on July 18, 2010
I chose this little box over the NBox and other comparable media players, mainly because it has a wider array of audio/video ports, and it pretty much splits the difference price-wise. I am using the HDMI port for my plasma screen, and the digital coaxial port for my receiver. I am beholden to Western Digital My Passport Essential USB drives, and I couldn't be happier with the results. The HD picture looks fantastic, and the booming 5.1 surround sound far exceeds what I could get out of my laptop. It browses reasonably fast through your files, folders, and sub-folders, and it offers continuous playback of your media. It played AVI, MPG, MP4, VOB, MKV, and pictures with no problems. The box is packed with composite cables and a short component video cable. It has two USB ports, and you can supposedly copy/paste/delete between the two, and apparently you can play a photo slideshow and music simultaneously, neither of which I have tried yet.
However, it does have it's shortcomings. Like most remotes, this one is a little user un-friendly, and doesn't seem to work when you're more than 10 feet away. The manual is scrawny and somewhat disorganized, so read it carefully. It wouldn't cooperate with one of my drives for some reason, and it also wouldn't play any of my Flash videos, not that I ever save them anyway. I put a movie on pause for a few minutes; when I resumed play the audio became out of sync, and I had to cue backwards to align it again. Still, the pros far outweigh the cons--I doubt I'll burn a DVD ever again.
Some tips: if you hook this up and turn it on and get no picture, repeatedly push the "TV Out" button on your remote first, the menu should soon come up in sharp full-color form. I recommend powering down the unit using the on/off switch on the back, rather than using the remote. It's supposed to go into "standby", but it seems to me that it still uses too much power for being inactive, and I'm more comfortable shutting the player down completely before I remove the USB cable. If your movie file is encoded with AC3 audio and you're using a hi-fi, set the digital out to "RAW" so your receiver can decode the Dolby Digital/DTS soundtrack, otherwise you'll just get 2-channel stereo.
All in all, a remarkably versatile little gadget that should round out any home theater, whether you're running out of storage space for your DVDs and CDs, or if you want a convenient way to move your PC experience to the living room. I just hope it's as durable as it performs.
on March 8, 2011
This thing has played every file type that I have thrown at it. It's small and can be easily concealed, but like the pervious reviews, the remote needs to be pointed directly at the device. Setup is a breeze, just configure to widescreen (16:9) and set the tv resolution to 480p,720p,1080p etc.
on March 3, 2011
Working exactly as described, have had NO trouble hooking it up, having it recognize and read my files from hard drive, and remote works also. VERY nice to have. However, now that I have had it for about a month, it keeps freezing and then when you try to turn it off, it won't and it won't play or move and so we have to pull the power out of the back and restart it that way, then sometimes it flickers when coming back on and you have to unplug it a second time. I am hoping this problem does not get worse, if it keeps it up at its current rate, it is livable, but if it gets any worse I may become upset. Bummer too, because I love the convenience and if I could afford it I would get one for every room and get rid of all movies and DVD's. :-)
on January 27, 2013
A mostly capable media player, the MPLAY-HD's major flaw is that the chipset is NOT heatsinked or fan cooled and has reliability concerns due to overheating. Also, there are NO case vents so all of the heat remains trapped in the case. As an example with the player on (playing movie files) I have measured the 1055 chip at over 65 degrees Celsius - more than 40 degrees over the room temperature (See my uploaded photo of the circuit board showing no heatsink). I suspect Micca knows about this overheating problem based on exchanges/returns for MPLAY-HD.
Reliability concerns aside, the MPLAY-HD is a compact media player that supports HDMI and playback of certain file types that the cheaper Micca MPLAY cannot playback (See my MPLAY review). The MPLAY HD has 2 USB ports and a (full size) SDcard slot for media storage.
I will be comparing the MPLAY-HD to the cheaper MPLAY (note no HD) models below.
+ Plays x264 (H.264/MPEG AVC Part 10 encoded) video. The cheaper MPLAY cannot play x264 files and you must re-encode to MPEG4 (XVID/DIVX) for these to play.
+ Plays WMV files, whereas the cheaper MPLAY cannot.
+ The remote for the MPLAY-HD uses 2xAAA batteries (not included) whereas the MPLAY uses a CR2025 coin cell battery (included, but harder to find when it's time to replace). The AAAs will last much longer than the CR2025.
- As previously mentioned there is inadequate chipset cooling - the player will probably fail in weeks/months.
- Unlike the cheaper MPLAY (none-HD) model there are no buttons on the case so make sure you don't lose the remote otherwise you will be unable to operate the player.
- The VOL +/- buttons are poorly located at the bottom of the remote.
- Cannot play dv video (i.e. videos that use the dvsd codec for digital video). You will have to convert these to another media type.
OVERALL it works and plays common files that most people will need to play. Micca has issued firmware updates to fix problems, so that's definitely a plus. However I have concerns about the potential reliability of this player due to the heat issues (might fail after warranty runs out). Micca, the case needs vent holes and a heatsink on the 1055 chip!
I have also compared the MPLAY-HD to the kdLinks HD210 Full HD 1080P Multimedia Digital Signage TV Media player, please see my review on the HD210 product page.
I hope you have found this helpful!
on July 2, 2011
From the Product Description: "The MPLAY-HD makes finding and playing your media files quick and easy. Its media library feature is like Google for your videos and music, finding exactly what you want is just a quick search away even when you have thousands of files."
Um... My 250 gig hard drive takes two hours to index. That's NOT "quick and easy".
I can imagine that this player would seem perfectly wonderful for anyone just starting out in life, with only a handful of media files. You know: a few dozen songs; the holiday photos; 3 movies. The interface would seem awesome. The 10-second delay while the machine indexed your couple of hundred files would be almost no worse than waiting for your DVD player to read a disc menu. But fast forward to the same person, 6 months later, with a few thousand songs, 150,000 images, and 5 movies, and this player is just an utterly frustrating kid's toy version of what it actually claims to be.
Prior to having indexed everything the player is useless*[but see footnote added after hearing from Micca on this] - folders simply don't exist in the menu. Once the index file is in place you are good, unless you power down the player or remove the drive. If you do that you then have to wait for, or cancel, the "quick" re-scan, which takes about a third of the full time but actually doesn't seem to do any fresh indexing. I may be wrong about that. After waiting 40 minutes I usually have forgotten what it was I set out to do.
If you rename files or folders, the old files and folders are all that show up in the menu until the drive has been completely re-indexed, and trying to access them results in an error.
If you delete a folder, even using the player itself, the folder still shows on the menu until you perform a complete rescan, and trying to open it results in an error.
If you forget to delete the recycle bin on your hard drive, or, you know, you actually WANT your hard drive to have a recycle bin, all the recycled files show up as regular files on the scan. Deleted media files show up as all being in the recycle bin folder, under bizarre names, and are all presented first in a list of available files. But deleted folders appear in their original undeleted place in the directory structure, as though you hadn't deleted them after all. If you try to open one of these folders you get an error message.
If you simply add a few folders to your disk drive and plug it back in, the new files don't show up at all until you've done a complete rescan.
Did I say how long that takes? At best, the player can scan about 30 files a second. That sounds awesome until you do the math on how many files there are on your hard drive.
THAT is what makes this player absolutely useless to me.
The reason I bought this player is that I had the earlier version with the exact same name. It was a bit flaky at times - if it couldn't read a file it locked up. If you tried to hurry it, it locked up. If it was in a bad mood, it locked up. Curing the problem took 10 seconds: unplug and reboot. It had no frills - It couldn't do random play, which was frustrating, but then (unbelievably) neither can the new one, and it had a character maximum for files in a folder: if a folder contained 14,000 files you pretty much had to name them "00001" through "14000" to get them in under the character limit, or the player locked up. But, well, I can't think of anything else I wanted from it that it couldn't do. It was a four star machine and what in particular it could do is take any size hard drive and allow me to navigate the hard drive's directory to find a folder of items to play so that within moments of plugging the hard drive into the player, I could forget the player existed and just enjoy the show.
I figured it was so good that I wanted another one; that way I could play a slideshow on one, and music on the other, and not have to interrupt one whilst making changes to the other.
But instead of the player I was expecting, I received this piece of garbage.
Oh, and after having allowed the new player to scan my disc drive, Windows 7 then suggests the drive may be damaged, and asks to check it for errors. The problem persisted and I re-formatted the drive in order to start over from scratch. After that the drive worked perfectly, enabling me to port files back and forth from home to work without any error messages, until I again allowed the Micca player to scan it. The same thing happened to my backup disc drive.
One time after using my disc drive in the Micca player it became entirely unreadable by Windows 7, resulting in another format; another time after using my backup drive in the media player almost all the files on it appeared to have a different time stamp to the files they were copies of, which meant the backup program basically had to delete the entire disk, file by file, and rewrite everything. This took all evening. I have no evidence that the Micca player was in any way responsible for either of these events. I just mention them in case someone reading this had the same bizarre things happen to them.
During the week I spent struggling to find a way to get the player to work in a way that was useful to me, I encountered a number of other problems and quirks that I neglected to document properly. But, to be fair, the new player does have a few neat tricks I'd like to see implemented on a player that does its scanning on the fly. For example, clicking "play" on a folder allows the player to play everything in that folder, including nested folders. Unfortunately you can't jump in half way; it's all or nothing, unless you are prepared to press "forward" a few thousand times....
Oh. That reminds me:
The old player figured that if you pressed "forward" or "backward" during a slide show, and it responded by displaying the subsequent or previous image, then that ought to be sufficient feedback for you to know it was doing what you asked. That's the sensible way of things. The old player was clever like that. It also was pretty reliable about responding to such a request. The new player, on the other hand, doesn't think like that at all. When you press "forward" or "backward", and the device actually figures out what you wanted and responds to your request (often it just doesn't bother, or it waits 10 seconds to think about it), it then changes the image and throws up a huge arrow in the top right corner of the screen by way of confirming that it is indeed doing what you asked. This ridiculously blatant icon persists for a couple of seconds and is horribly distracting while it is on screen. A manually operated slideshow really tests your mettle. I gave up. It just bugged me too much. The entire player just bugged me too much.
So I replaced the new Micca player with the old player, took the two hard drives I'd used for the test, reformatted them and re-installed all their files, and I am now back to where I was a week ago with nothing to show for my wasted time and money other than this scathing review.
*Added August 15, 2011, and see additional notes in comments: The player works pretty well if you turn off the indexing, and instead of using the "Music" or "Photo" icons you use the "File" icon and then click OPTIONS to select "All Media". You can then navigate the regular file structure and go right to the folder where your stuff is. This information is somewhere in the manual. Way towards the back, I think. I certainly missed its importance when I read through the manual on first opening the box. I have thus altered my rating from one star to three stars. I still think the whole idea of scanning a drive for files in order to build a media library is horribly flawed.
on November 18, 2010
I am really impressed with the quality of service from Micca. I received the product on time, no delay. The response was good. However the product did not work as per the description.
It plays all kind of media files, but for few minutes. After 5-10 minutes of play, the picture, remote got stuck. Nothing works after 5-10 minutes of play. I need to restart the device (power off and then power on) to resume the operation.
I upgraded/downgraded the firmware on the device, but the same OLD issue.
I went for a refund on this product.
on April 22, 2011
MY ratings: I give it a 4.0/5 >> price 10/10; software 8/10; remote 7/10; functionality/compatibility 9/10; customer service 6/10
I was a bit skeptical at first considering the products low price, but seeing the company's representatives respond to complaints on Amazon encouraged me to take the plunge and buy. I am very glad I did. If it wasn't for receiving a defective unit, and the company's unfriendly warranty/RMA policy I would have given the product higher marks. However, the replacement that Amazon sent me in exchange for the defective one works almost flawlessly.
I previously owned a WD TV media player but after having it replaced under warranty, I experienced the same problems over and over again that made the unit useless. The WD's would freeze with many different file types and large movie files would lag horribly to the point of unwatchability.
I purchased the Micca to mostly play mkv's, but also a variety of other media formats such as mp4, avi and mpeg. It handles all of them flawlessly and with perfect video quality hooked up to my Samsung HD TV with an HDMI cable.
- Design - unit is small enough and isn't obtrusive at all next to my tv.
- Functionality - handled every media file I threw at it, including mkvs, avi, mpeg, and mp4. Quality and playback were flawless for each file. I was able to rewind, fastfoward with no hesitations and no lag. Also, the settings to customize the subtitles are very helpful and these work well also if you have embedded Subtitles in your file.
- Compatibility - Works well with hard drives that are over 500GB. (PS3 will not recognize hard drives this large)
- Video/Audio Quality is superb
- PRICE!! -> You can not beat the price of this unit; the comparable, albeit worse performing WD unit is almost double the price of the MICCA).
- Remote could have used a better design; (see TIVO's remote for a great design). An example is that I feel the volume keys are reversed and that other buttons could have been placed in more convenient locations. However, there are no issues with the remote's sensitivity; at 12 feet it responds promptly and accurately.
- Software interface - could be more user friendly; would like more options to customize the unit.
- Warranty/RMA Policy is pretty bad - My first unit was defective because it would not power off and remained in the power on (blue state) despite pushing power button on remote or on unit itself (I tried to not let the defective unit hinder my review too much). I emailed support and because they are not open on weekends that took a bit more time than I would have liked to hear a response. Support was nice and said I could return the defective unit to them and then they would send me a new one. HOWEVER, as I explained to them, I purchased the unit and it didn't work, why should I have to pay to ship it back to them? Further, why do I then have to be without a product until they receive my RMA, "examine" it, then ship me a replacement. This would likely take 10-15 business days, or almost three weeks. *Instead of doing this and spending even more money, I informed Amazon who not only paid for return shipping on the defective unit, but sent me a fully working replacement at the same price in the expected 2 business days.
- Some Freezing - So far, the unit has frozen during playback once. I would say out of every 10 hours of playback, it freezes once, where the unit has to be powered off from the back.
I highly recommend this product as in my experience it is the best functioning home media player (assuming you get a functioning unit), especially when its price is factored in. It is versatile and should have no problem handling any of the media files you give it.
UPDATE -- May 2, 2012 (Rating dropped from **** to *):
While it has been more than a year since I originally wrote the four star review, I have since purchased a second, more updated unit a few months ago to try and take advantage of the company's supposed firmware upgrade. I am now lowering my review of the Micca MPlay-HD to 1 star. I've experienced sputtering sound, video flickers and failures at connecting to any usb drive. I have tested it with numerous drives and files and even unplugged the AC to reboot. I even tested the hdmi cable! After at least 3 weeks of these problems, the unit finally died and will not power on. What a piece of garbage...After all of these defective units, they must be doing something wrong. Too many other customers have experienced similar problems to say it is our fault, and these issues result from their hardware and "QC testing". Micca should at least set a goal of providing customer service that is better than the product (that would not be too hard to do)! With their ludicrous warranty policies, it is evident they do not stand behind their products at all. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they were making money off of the return process.
Overall, if the player turns on, it seems to work really well for a while (few months at best), but then experiences a slow, painful, and frusturating death. If your willing to take the chance with any of Micca's products, then I wish you nothing but the best of luck. Their warranty and RMA policy still suck and the product (at least the one before this new outer shell redesign) is shoddy at best and will only function for a very brief time, if at all. I personally wouldn't mind paying a little extra $$ for a working product, let alone paying for a product that functions at any level. This would be a welcome change and I am now searching for another media player. Happy viewing!
on July 1, 2014
We already had a portable unit from Micca which works well, but there were some features on the larger unit that we wanted so we decided to give it a try.
The first unit we received would not boot up at all. The Micca logo would display and then the unit would hang up. The only thing we could do was unplug it and try again with the same results. We tried doing a firmware update for it, but without it booting up, the update could not be completed. We returned the unit for a refund.
We then decided to try a second one thinking it was a defective unit. We had problems with it out of the box where it would constantly hang up. The support staff at Micca determined that it was an issue with our TV and suggested that we try a firmware update using a 2007 version of the update. This worked, but then we continued to have different issues. Playing a folder of photos, the unit would occasionally display a message that the file was incompatible although our portable unit would display the same photos fine. This unit would also eventually get to some photo it didn't like and hang up where the only thing to do would be to unplug it. Micca support staff suggested that it was an issue with our photos although the portable unit worked fine.
We decided that it was fine, we would reformat our photos to work with the unit, but then we had issues with the recovery feature of movies. We would watch a movie and then pause it. After a while we tried to restart it, but then it would start with a frozen picture frame with the sound playing. I tried turning it off and restarting it with the same results, and then tried just fast forwarding to where we left off, but then it still would not play the movie only the sound. This was enough, The unit went back to Amazon.
If you are looking for a media player for movies, I would suggest the Micca portable unit and not bother with this full version.
on March 11, 2015
UPDATE: It's a great first impression, but it just can't be trusted to drive content all day. It'll go a couple hours and then weird stuff happens. AVOID THIS PLAYER FOR PROFESSIONAL PURPOSES.
I’m a professional video artist with the highest expectations.
I just purchased and compared three players on a Sony Bravia 1080p monitor:
1) Micca Speck 02
2) Incredi Sonic Mini HD Player
3) Micca MPlay HD Wlan
First off, both the Micca Speck and the Incredi Sonic are nearly
identical. Their playback and software are so identical that it’s
obvious they are made by the same people. Between the two, the Micca
Speck has a tad better fit and finish, including an AC adaptor that is
sideways mounted, saving space on a multi outlet. If you want the
absolute cheapest version, save the couple bucks and go with the
Incredi Sonic. Personally, the extra $3-5 is worth it for the Micci
Speck which also has a more intuitive remote control.
For most people, one of these players is completely wonderful and they
will be tickled pink.
However, if you’re super picky about your resolution—and in particular
if you’re using one of these somewhere where you want the best image
possible—then skip both of them and get the Micca MPlay HD Wlan. It’s
got better chips inside that creates an image that’s noticeably better
if you stick your head in the screen.
Would my friends who love movies notice the difference? Hell no. Will
most people? I bet 95% of everyone couldn’t pick up the difference.
However, when you’re working hard to make videos, and you look in the
background of one of them and some of your actors are INCREDIBLY LOW
RES (even when all settings in the player are correct: 1080p and so
on) then that’s an issue. Anyone who looks hard at one of these images
will pick up on this—the difference between the Speck/Sonic and the
MPlay is a big one for the folks who care about compression artifacts
and pixel resolution.
If you’re just wanting to watch a movie then all three are great,
especially for the price. But if it’s you’re using this
professionally, the lower end options take too many shortcuts. Since
the price difference is something like $25 bucks, it’s easy to
All three auto repeat and auto play content (but you have to really
read the fine print on the MPLAY: to have your video auto play it has
to be in a folder titled “video” inside another folder titled
“autoplay”. Sheesh. The Speck is much more intuitive to set up auto
plays (and doesn’t require looking at the book).
on October 15, 2012
My husband just opened the box and is jumping for joy! The Micca MPLAY-HD Player is exactly as advertised and extremely easy to set up and use. He plugged it in and put a flash drive in and it started right up. He is like a kid in a candy store and we intend to buy more for our other televisions. This is an excellent buy and well worth every penny.