Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Noontec MovieHome V8 HDD media player
This squat black box is a media player with Real Media file support and a clean interface
- RMVB file support, clean interface, quick streaming
- Loud internal fan, competing products support more file formats
Noontec’s MovieHome V8 offers media playback and network streaming in an easy-to-use package. Real Media file support might interest some people, while the limited file format support and loud internal fan may turn off others.
Price$ 229.00 (AUD)
The Noontec MovieHome V8 is a hard drive–based media player that is capable of connecting to a network. It has a clean interface and works speedily. However, it has a loud fan and support for some file formats is absent.
Like the company’s earlier GV3732 HDD media player, the MovieHome V8 has a black chassis roughly the size of three stacked DVD cases. It’s not unattractive, just slightly bland. It has space for a 3.5in desktop SATA hard drive, with a maximum capacity of 1TB, offering plenty of space to store your media files.
Like most recent HDD-based media players, the MovieHome V8 has a decent range of audio/video output ports. We used HDMI for testing, but component and composite video are also available. Analog and optical digital audio ports mean you can connect it to an external sound system if you want better sound than your television can provide; there’s a setting in the menu to switch between HDMI and these audio outputs when needed. A total of three USB ports are available: one for connecting a PC and two for hosting USB flash drives. A 10/100MBps Ethernet port is available for hooking the MovieHome V8 up to your home network.
Starting up the Noontec MovieHome V8 takes around a minute. Set up is a simple process, and navigating through the available options is easy with the on-screen interface. Setting up network shares is a slightly intensive process with some reading of the manual required, but once this is complete you can access files shared on networked computers. The process is made more difficult by the troublesome on-screen keyboard, which switches between QWERTY and a numeric keypad.
There were no obvious flaws with picture and audio quality. The player outputs at 1080p and upscales all video to that resolution with reasonable success; our MKV hi-def files were full of detail, while our DivX DVD-quality footage was smoothly displayed. We liked the automatic preview function in the menus: if you leave a movie selected for a few seconds while scrolling through the list it plays a short snippet of the video. We also streamed a few DVD-quality files through a 100MBps network connection. They started quickly and didn't pause or buffer during playback.
The Noontec MovieHome V8 has RMVB codec support, meaning it can play any Real Media file format. There is no support for playing VC1 (Blu-ray) or ISO files, however.
We were annoyed by the loud 40mm fan. Mounted on the side of the player, it has to spin at a tremendous speed to move any air. It’ll easily be drowned out if there’s any movie audio, but you’ll be distracted in quiet scenes.
The Noontec MovieHome V8 is a reasonable media player. You’ll need to purchase a hard drive if you intend to take advantage of its media storage capabilities, but even without one it’s a capable network streamer. If it didn’t have an annoying fan we’d recommend it without hesitation.
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