Sony USB Media Player (SMPU10)

A budget Sony media streamer that does the basics well

Sony USB Media Player (SMPU10)
  • Sony USB Media Player (SMPU10)
  • Sony USB Media Player (SMPU10)
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Affordable price tag, reliable video performance, high-quality remote control

Cons

  • Limited functionality, only one USB port

Bottom Line

The Sony USB Media Player (SMPU10) is pretty light on features -- but it's also light on your wallet. If you require an affordable way to watch PC content on your television, it will get the job done with aplomb.

Would you buy this?

Sony's USB Media Player (SMPU10) is the company's belated answer to the Western Digital WDTV. It allows you to quickly and easily transfer digital media files — such as music, movies, photos and camcorder footage — from your PC's hard drive to a TV. Essentially, it provides a quick, fuss-free way to watch stored media in the comfort of your living room (or wherever your television happens to be situated). You don’t even need to connect the device to a computer to get started. As with most media streamers, it has the ability to play Full HD 1080p video via HDMI.

With an RRP of $129, the Sony USB Media Player is one of the cheapest HD media streamers on the market — including budget models from lesser-known brands. However, Sony has made some notable omissions to keep the price down, including inbuilt Wi-Fi and Ethernet. If you’re looking for a way to stream content across your home network, the Sony USB Media Player is not for you. It’s also a bit bland looking — especially for a Sony product. On the other hand, if you merely want a cheap media streamer that can do the basics, the Sony USB Media Player is a reliable choice.

The Sony USB Media Player connects to your television via composite video, component (RGB) or HDMI. A composite cord is included in the sales package, but you’ll need to source the other cables yourself. Instead of inbuilt memory, the player relies on a single USB port for storage. This will recognise practically any USB device you care to insert, including SD memory card readers and flash-based thumb drives.

To get started, all you need to do is connect the Sony USB Media Player to your TV with a storage device attached: it’s then a simple matter of choosing the files you want to watch from the relevant folder.

The first thing that impressed us about the Sony USB Media Player is the included remote control. Both chunky and highly responsive, it puts the WDTV’s tiny rubbery offering to shame. The menus, however, are decidedly less impressive, consisting of spindly text on an ugly white background.

We were also a little disappointed by the lack of a second USB port — most media streamers, including budget models like the Noontec Moviedock A6 and Xtreamer Xtreamer come with a pair of USB inputs. As mentioned, Ethernet and Wi-Fi are also absent, which means there’s no way to connect the device to your network. That said, the player's target audience is unlikely to be computer savvy, so the lack of networking features probably won't be missed.

When it comes to design, the Sony USB Media Player is curiously pedestrian for a Sony-branded product. It’s basically a plain black oblong with a few blue indicator lights: ho-hum. By contrast, Western Digital's WD TV is small and intriguingly shaped. This is one area where we thought Sony would come up trumps (presumably the design team was too busy working on Vaio notebooks). On the plus side, the Sony USB Media Player is thin enough to slot away from view.

We experienced no glaring issues with picture and sound quality during testing. The player outputs at 1080p and upscales standard-definition video to Full HD when connected via HDMI. We tested a variety of different codecs and did not encounter any skipped frames or unexpected glitches. Audio also remained in synch. For photo viewing, the Sony USB Media Player offers a slideshow mode complete with transition wipes and a maudlin piano ditty that is guaranteed to drive you up the wall within 12 seconds (thankfully, this feature can be switched off).

The list of compatible playback formats is large — but far from exhaustive. DivX, MP3, WMA, LPCM, AAC, MPEG-1, MPEG-4 and JPEG files are all supported.

Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters

Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: sony, home entertainment
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?