Sony SMP-N100 USB media player
Sony SMP-N100 USB media player review: This media streamer offers with inbuilt Wi-Fi
- Inbuilt Wi-Fi, impressive playback performance, user-friendly interface
- No recording capabilities, uninspired design
The Sony SMP-N100 is an HD media player that can wirelessly stream content from a PC to a TV over your home network. While its price is a little on the steep side, it remains a reliable and user-friendly product.
Price$ 229.00 (AUD)
The Sony SMP-N100 USB media player is Sony's answer to digital video streamers like the A.C. Ryan Playon!HD and Western Digital WD TV Live. When connected to a USB storage device, the Sony SMP-N100 will play pretty much any video file you care to throw at it. It can also play sound files and display photos.
In addition, it allows you to connect wirelessly (802.11b/g/n) to the Internet, granting access to your PC's hard drive and BRAVIA Internet Video — a portal to popular Web sites such as YouTube and Style.com. Boasting Full HD support via HDMI, the Sony SMP-N100 USB media player is a worthy accompaniment for the modern home theatre. Pretty much the only thing it doesn't do is record free-to-air television — a regrettable but forgivable oversight.
The Sony SMP-N100 USB media player has an impressively small footprint, measuring just 185x185mm. This makes it a good choice if your home entertainment system is already packed to the gills with video game consoles and the like. The player's single USB port is front-mounted for easy access, with all other connections (HDMI, composite and component video, Ethernet and optical audio) located on the rear.
In terms of aesthetics, the SMP-N100 is about as basic as you can get — even Sony's trademark ultra-glossy finish is absent (instead, plain black plastic is used). Thankfully, its compact size means you can tuck it away from view when the Queen comes to visit, or whatever. No playback buttons are provided on the player, so you'll need to keep an eagle eye on your remote.
The included remote control is up to Sony's typical high standard, which is a blessed relief. All too often, media players are hamstrung by small, fiddly remotes that are incredibly frustrating to use. (Look at the WD TV's tiny, rubber-buttoned monstrosity for proof.) By contrast, the Sony SMP-N100 sports a full-sized remote control with large, responsive buttons. We didn't experience any lag when making menu selections either — another bane of media player remotes.
The Sony SMP-N100's user interface adopts the same XrossMedia bar as the PlayStation 3 video games console. Personally, we find this a lot more intuitive than the usual maze of submenus — it means every option is right there on the screen, with no need to sift through separate menu pages. On the downside, we couldn't get the player to preview video files before playing them. This is especially annoying if your media library lacks obvious files names.
To test the Sony SMP-N100's playback performance, we hooked it up to a 50in Sharp LC52LE820X LED TV and watched a variety of video files using a Kingston Data Traveller 5000 USB thumb drive. The SMP-N100 recognised all the videos we attempted to play, including high-def MKV files.
Picture quality was very impressive across all media formats: even our fuzzy DivX files of The Larry Sanders Show looked surprisingly sharp and watchable. This is apparently due to player's inbuilt Content Noise Reduction technology, which improves the quality of compressed video images. We usually take these claims with a grain of salt, but it can't be denied that our standard-definition files looked crisper than usual.
The Sony SMP-N100 USB media player is also capable of decoding the latest HD audio formats, such as Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD and DTS 2.0+.
Connecting to the Internet is a breeze: we simply searched for the available networks and then made the relevant connection (an Ethernet port is also provided for traditional wired folk). In addition to Web sites like YouTube, the Sony SMP-N100 also provides access to Catch-Up TV; a service that lets you watch free-to-air TV shows on demand after they've already been broadcast. Catch-Up TV currently supports ABC (iView) and Channel 7 (Plus7), with more networks tipped to follow.
The Sony SMP-N100 is also DLNA compliant. This means you can access your PC's media files over a home network. Naturally, the USB port can also be used to connect digital cameras and camcorders, including high-def AVCHD models.
All in all, we were suitably impressed by the Sony SMP-N100. In fact, our only real reservation is the current RRP: like most Sony products, it's a teensy bit overpriced. By contrast, the A.C. Ryan Playon!HD costs just $189 — and it also comes with recording functionality complete with a 3.5in hard drive bay. While the Sony SMP-N100 provides a better user experience, the A.C. Ryan's PVR capabilities give it a slight edge.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HTC U11 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Gigabyte Aero 15 corporate gaming laptop review
- 3 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 4 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- HP Omen laptops include a first: Nvidia Max-Q graphics technology
- HP's Omen X Compact Desktop can morph into a backpack VR PC
- HP's Omen Accelerator can give your laptop some guts
- HP reboots Omen desktop with more of what gamers love
- Samsung to detail new Tizen OS for smart home appliances, IoT devices
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
- MSI GL62M 7RDX gaming laptop review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTPL/ SQL developerOther
- FTApplication Support Lead l Experience with health applicationsNSW
- FTSenior Siebel Integrator/Developer - Canberra/MelbourneACT
- FTInfrastructure EngineerACT
- FTData Storage Integration SpecialistACT
- FTETL TesterACT
- CCInfrastructure Project ManagerNSW
- FTSAP Project ManagerOther
- FTSenior Systems EngineerOther
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTPeopleSoft Technical Campus Solution DeveloperOther
- FTNetwork Security EngineerOther
- FTSenior Java DeveloperOther
- FTReporting Analyst | 6mth ContractOther
- FTSales Client Services Manager (Mid-market)QLD
- FTFront End DeveloperOther
- TPProject ManagerQLD
- FTIntegration Specialist - TIBCOOther
- FTHR Project Officer (Workforce Planning)Other
- FTMarketing Content Writer - Tenders & SocialNSW
- FTIT Project SchedulerOther
- FTFull Stack DeveloperNSW
- FTPractise Manager - SecurityVIC