on November 16, 2010
The Micca Slim-HD is a good little portable media player. I purchased the device for a recent conference overseas - the intention was to connect it to a large HDTV screen through a HDMI cable and run it continuously for 4-days with a looping video from a 500Gb Western Digital internal disk-drive.
As time was running short, I decided to purchase 2 devices - one to use as a primary device and the other as a redundant fall-back should the first one fail. When the shipment arrived I noted that the design was a little flimsy. I would have liked to see a tougher enclosure particularly given that it is designed to be portable and can easily be knocked around. In any case, I inserted the internal drive and went to power it up as per the instructions. Unfortunately, the first device did not work so I was relieved that I had purchased the second as a redundancy. I contacted Micca support using the form on their website and in a relatively short period of time "Jack" emailed me and suggested that I buy a 3rd device and return the other through Amazon. I did that and within days the 3rd device had turned up only to find that the power supply did not work. I emailed Jack again and he sent me 2 new power supplies. While there were issues, I found the customer support to be very impressive. Jack even called me at one stage to talk through the issues.
As for the functionality - The device will play most popular video formats. I found that some perform better than others. Jack suggested using the MKV file format which I found performed the best out of the many formats I tried. Out of these I found a couple that did not work including the high-end Apple ProRes codec . For most users this won't be an issue unless you're planning to use a professional editing studio to produce your own video content.
The most annoying thing about the device is its speed. At this stage I've only used the internal drive which Jack tells me is the quickest out of all the interfaces but it's still very slow. Finding video on the device isn't convenient but it's not too painful. It's about 3-4 clicks to find a video. The slow responsiveness may also be due to the remote. I find myself clicking buttons several times before the device responds to a command. This is probably due to the limited angle on the remote (you must be directly in front of the device for the remote to work) and the slow responsiveness of the device. As an example, several times I've tried to fast forward through a video only to have the screen message tell me something different - the actual video is fast forwarding but the onscreen display is telling me it's rewinding. Also, I've also found that on occasion video files do not appear in the folders, so you have to re-copy the file to the device - so yes, there are bugs in the software.
I consider myself a demanding user of the device and expect a lot. Keeping this in mind and given that it's more intended for home use, I was impressed with the system - it does what it says it will do. The hi-resolution video looked impressive on the big screen and it performed will over the 4-days of continuous use. There are some limitations that are annoying but easily overcome. If you're looking to use this for a simple portable video player you won't be disappointed. I think the price point is a little high given that new devices are constantly entering the market with internet connectivity, more functionality and better interfaces, so I'd expect to see this drop some time soon.
All-in-all it's a good device which is well supported by Micca's customer service team.
on December 9, 2010
This little unit plays all the major video files and plays them well. With the bonus of being portable. One connection using HDMI and your good to go. Remote is very well desinged and the unit looks fantastic. I added a 320GB hard drive but also tested both the SD card and the USB for playing video. I tested every format that is listed except RMVB and all played with top quality full HD. (Did not have an RMVB file to test). None of the other players I've owned could do this. I've been building HTPC's for about 10 years and have experienced the progress of many portable media players. I have the Xbox and used it to stream video: Too much trouble. Owned the Avox JukeBox by Vantec: Very limited file formats and remote is terrible. I've owned the Dlink DSM 510: Great product but very finicky. Locked up a lot and no internal storage. Owned the Galaxy Metal Gear Tvisto Mini: Nice product but limited formats and took a mess of cables to connect.
Nothing beats a Home Theater PC for quality and usefulness but this Micca slim is kick ass for a portable player...
I would recommend for anyone needing a portable video player. In fact, if you don't need the full features or expense of an HTPC then this unit would make a good HTPC alternative.
on December 18, 2011
This is a hard one, because the product is really great. I do read among the other reviews that there are quality control issues, however I haven't run into that.
This is a product I have long dreamed of. A portable device that I can use as a good travel hard drive and also plug into any hotel TV and watch my media with a remote. I say any hotel TV because some hotels have LCD TVs and HDMI but some have old TVs and need composite. Before the Micca, I was using an Archos for this duty, along with a Wii controller for remote control. Before that, a SageTV HD200 and portable hard drive (bulky as heck). Before that another Archos with no remote control (really long cables instead) and before that my laptop with a bulky MCE remote and an expensive bulky box to convert VGA to other output types. So you can image, seeing this product was like a dream come true.
As a Portable Hard Drive
The Micca excels as a normal portable hard drive. It plugs right in and uses USB for power, no power brick needed. I put in a 1TB hard drive and this fit fine. Be careful, as there are hard drives that are too thick. You need to make sure the hard drive is 9.5mm thick, no more.
As a Media Player
It will not play everything, but it plays most things. A bit annoying that it doesn't play mts (HD camcorder format), but if you have a laptop, you can just change the extension and then it plays (no need to convert format). It plays most mkvs and handles 1080p well, however you will run into some it won't play for whatever reason. My SageTV HD300s don't play all my MKVs either, so I expected this going in. There are some advanced sound codec support missing, but again, as expected. Subtitle support is great (PGS missing of course), but I wish I could control the size of the subtitles and I wish embedded subtitles were supported.
The interface is unattractive and plain. Its also a bit annoying, requiring more clicks that it should, but its functional. I'm not a big interface person, I just want to watch my media on the road, so not a big deal for me.
The remote range is very short. I don't care which way you turn the unit, some of these other reviews are way off base on this issue or my unit is malfunctioning, because I've tuned it every which way and the range is short. I can prove its just weak IR because I use an IR adapter for my phone and control it that way and do not have any IR issues any more.
It gets hot. I carry a portable laptop cooler with me when I travel (for my laptop) and I stick this on top of it to keep it from overheating. I am not saying it will, but everyone knows heat is bad for electronics.
The biggest problem is Micca! This company is totally unresponsive. I emailed them before I bought the Micca, they did not reply. I emailed them after I bought it, no reply. I emailed them again, no reply. I emailed them again and warned them that I had not written my Amazon review yet, and then they replied! Sheesh!
I do not expect any firmware updates or improvements, as this company is totally unresponsive. You can buy this device from a huge well known Chinese internet vendor for 1/3 the price. You won't get any support when you buy it there, but then Micca doesn't give you any either.
A 4-star product ruined by a 1 star company. Such is the world. However, this device fills a dream product for me, so I couldn't take off any more stars. I wish I was happier about it though, why do good products have to be ruined by bad companies?
on January 26, 2011
I give the Micca Slim HD 4 big stars! A super small, portable, capable media player. I updated to the latest firmware available. I withheld the last STAR for:
1: A few playback issues - It cannot play older DivX codec and WMV8/7 codec.
Re-encoding those older files will be a waste of time.
It cannot play VOB files at all
2: The remote - Micca needs to improve or boost the IR signal of the remote control. If you
don't point it correctly it's very sluggish. If you're going through contents of
a 1TB external hdd, you will soon find your arms getting tired because of the need
for you to point the remote just at the right level.
Micca also needs to add more functionality on the arrow buttons
(up,down,left,right). I would be nice if you can use the left/right button move
forward/backwards within directories, instead of tirelessly depressing the
"Exit" button to move from one folder to the next. Also the exit button
needs to be just as big as the OSD button since it's constantly being used.
Powering "OFF" the device with the remote is fairly easy but for some
reason powering it "ON" via the remote can be quite a challenge . I have to
point & press at least 3x before it powers on.
Lastly, for some weird reason the DOWN arrow button of the Micca remote
can power ON/power OFF my old single DVD player(I removed the old
DVD player to solve the conflict)
3: Micca's LED power light - should turn on/off, a better indication to let you know if the unit
is on or off. Instead it remains on 24/7.
4: File description function does not work: When browsing files, on the top left there is a file
attribute section. Good idea but it does not work. Selecting a file does not
display any information on that file. It would be nice if the file info section
would actually display file info, an icon or a thumbnail for easier browsing.
Back to the Micca Slim HD: This tiny device is an excellent media player it can play many different video formats that you throw at it. Contrary to other reviews, the player itself is very responsive and quick to locate files on a USB external hard drive, flash drive, or an SDHC card (have not tried the internal drive yet since I don't have a 2.5" drive)
Without an internal drive, the Micca Slim HD is very light. I have to twist the HDMI cable so it doesn't keep the player slightly tilted to its side.
I tested several 720p/1080p video contents ranging from 5mbps - 35mbps(HD-WMV,HD-DivX,HD-XviD,HD-MKV) all files played without a glitch. Many SD video contents played very well.
All in all I highly recommend Micca Slim HD player if you want to watch all your media collections on your HDTV via internal/external HDD.
On a side note: It would be nice if Micca included a simple HDMI cable instead of the very useless composite cable.
UPDATE: I finally bought a 2.5" 500GB Western Digital 'green' hard drive. I copied all my encoded mp4 & mkv files on it, installed it in the Micca slim HD player and I'm glad to report that it recognized the 500GB internal hard drive with no problems and played all my movie files just fine...
Another UPDATE: THE GOOD: Yes, my Micca HD-Slim is still alive and kicking...THE BAD: It's sad that I cannot update the HD-Slim firmware to the latest one because the one posted on the Micca site is just a patch for v120107.[...]. The instruction said I need to have v120107 installed before I can install the latest update. Micca support is unresponsive. I contacted them 3x but no luck, they will not send me the download link of firmware v120107.
Micca HD-Slim - believe it or not is still working, although the AC power plug & cord now a bit loose & worn out. The media player itself is still working just fine. I have an old SATA docking station attached to it so I don't have to keep unplugging the media player & further damage the AC power plug/cord. As for the firmware, nothing ever happened to it.
on May 12, 2013
I had a DVD player with xvid support and usb input that I use to play movies, mostly for my kids. DVD died so I wanted to replace it with something that could pack all their movies and series in a single place instead of keeping track of a number of USB pendrives, and better codec support. And cheap. Finally settled on the Micca SlimHD.
Got the box, includes the Micca SlimHD, remote (no batteries, uses 2xAAA), component cable, USB adapter cable, AC adapter, and (very thoughtful of Micca) a small screwdriver so you don't need any tools should you want to put in an internal HDD. I did and it's very easy. No issues with removing the cover, connecting the disk, and closing up.
Setup is pretty straightforward. Plug in HDMI cable, AC cable and off you go. Menus are pretty decent as far as usability goes. Image is crisp and clear. Playback is smooth. Tried mkv, avi, mp4, everything played ok. Had problems with a couple of WMV files, but I think those use an unsupported codec (WMV2/. Subtitles, both embedded and external SRT, work perfectly. And, here's a nice surprise, subtitle font size and color are adjustable on the fly. Played files from USB sticks and a SD card without issues.
I had an issue and had to deal with support: I installed an internal hard drive (320GB 5400rpm WD Scorpio Blue) and everything showed up. But when I played files from the HDD, playback of the files would never end properly. The movies would abruptly cut off at an arbitrary time. The exact same files would play fine from a USB stick. Which is obviously very frustrating, and makes the HDD feature pretty much unusable. I contacted support and got emails going on pretty fast (about 24 hours to answer each). They had me try some things (e.g. reformat the drive, both with NTFS and FAT32), and I tried some on my end, until I found out that somehow my hard drive and my micca slim didn't get along. I replaced the hdd with another one, with the exact same files, and now it works perfectly. I don't think the disk is defective (I've been using it without issues for about two years in a external HD enclosure). Just that both of them, the SlimHD and the original HDD, just don't get along. If you have issues with hdd playback but not usb or sd card, I would suggest trying a different hard drive. I do think it's worth noting that support was, well, supportive. Courteous and prompt. Good experience dealing with them.
Now, it doesn't get five stars because:
- Remote control angle is very sensitive. Point the box straight forward or prepare to be frustrated.
- This unit will not really turn off. While the AC is plugged in, the internal disk will happily spin away. Even though you power it off in the remote and push the power button for five seconds. So bear that in mind... I just unplug it, but it's in an accessible place for me. I would think someone who wants to bury it in a corner with bad access might find this a PITA.
- The USB input, with the extra dongle-cable (adapter between miniUSB and femaleUSB), couldn't properly power up my external hard drive enclosure. So beware if your intention is to use this with enclosures rather than USB sticks - it might not be enough. Could be that my enclosure is too power-hungry, could be that all those cables in between don't work properly, but I can't really tell, and I don't have another enclosure to test with.
Bottom line: For what I wanted it for, it's great. Single box instead of a handful of pendrives that usually get lost. Would have liked a unit that actually turned off, but that's minor.
UPDATE: I just tested it with a VIDEO_TS folder, and it worked as a DVD would. Looks like the latest firmware does support the DVD structure and not just playing the VOB files. Though it doesn't always work. For some DVDs, it works. For some others, the menu didn't work (but I could navigate the chapters with the GOTO button). One with multiple angles didn't work at all (instead of letting me change angles, it skipped between angles every half second or so. Pretty much inusable). You can, however, for all DVD folders, select to open the folder and play the VOB files directly instead of playing the folder as a DVD.
on March 6, 2011
I can't understand why the bigger brands are getting more raves and kudos, when a cheap, unknown chinese brand is able to pull all the strings effectively. I had trouble running certain mkv and flv files on both the Patriot Box Office AND the Western Digital Media thingi. This thing plays every damn file on the planet, I kid you not! Granted, the UI may not be too flashy, but it is adequate and easy to use. Very rarely, there may be a video/audio sync, no issue, just stop and start the file from beginning. Doesn't heat up, is very portable, I am using it as en external HDD enclosure too, and it's a brilliant utility when you need to show something to people on TV.
Plays .m2ts, MPEG4s, MKVs, DVDs, FLVs, WMAs, AVIs and every other video file extension I am yet to come across. You can believe the reviews for once, and if there was anything money can buy best, pick this up!! Don't loose the remote folks, or it's a gonner (no physcial buttons).
Let me just say it up front: I wish this thing were running XBMC rather than the built-in, barebones GUI it has. While the Micca Slim-HD does indeed play every file I throw at it, and I can't complain about the size, shape, weight, or playback efficiency, I have to say the GUI is just plain ugly. Bland. Lifeless. It can't even support thumbnails properly.
If this thing had the ability to run XBMC it would be awesome. Five stars-- No, Six stars! It would rock. As it is, though, it just stands at "very good" and not "amazing".
I know. If wishes were horses then school lunches would have meat. Or something like that. Either way, I'm not going to give this thing a bad review because of what it isn't. I just wanted to say: It's SO close to awesome that it kind of hurts.
So here's the basic rundown: The Micca Slim-HD plays your media files. It does it well. It does it in HD if they're HD to begin with. It has a remote control, can hold a hard drive of your choosing, can use external storage via USB, and has a card slot. It really does handle every media type I've tried thus far. And it's small.
The Good: Plays everything. Lets you use your own hard drive. Supports many types of storage media. Simple to use.
The Bad: Crummy remote control. Boring, bland user interface.
The Ugly: Nothing ugly to report, thankfully. The remote gets close to being "ugly", but it's passable enough to be classified as just "bad" for this review. The user interface is functional, so I can't lump it here, either... But it is still "bad" in my book.
The Final Verdict: If all you want to do is play your media files, the Micca Slim-HD is a great choice. The no-frills interface might be a bit of a bummer, but it makes up for that somewhat in versatility and compact size.
I give the Micca Slim-HD Four Stars. I docked it one star because of the bland interface and mushy, tiny, not-very-sensitive remote control, but the fact that it doesn't flinch no matter what files I throw at it makes it a solid four-star device.
on March 18, 2013
This is a great device that has played every movie that we have thrown at it. We have it paired with a WD Black 750GB drive that has worked without any interruptions, including while driving in our minivan. I was also wondering how I would be able to take our movie collection with us to Disney, while in the hotel, and this is the answer. I'm very happy with this purchase.
+ Internal Drive Capability
+ Plays all my video formats
+ Menus system is relatively quick
+ IR needs direct line of sight (I used some velcro and mounted it in line of sight in the van)
I would definitely purchase this again!
on April 21, 2011
Overall a product you cannot live without in the digital age. The MICCA plays (so far) every sort of digital video file I have thrown at it, including a lot of stuff my LG direct USB port will not recognize. But sadly the onscreen menu is tedious to wade through and very poorly designed, and the remote control leaves a lot to be desired.
1) Plays just about any video file you can throw at it.
2) You can connect either an internal SATA drive or an external USB drive, or both.
3) Small footprint, about the size of a deck of cards, and elegant in appearance.
4) Recalls where you last played a file if you stop viewing midway, even after powered off. It even recalls this for multiple files, in cases where suppose you watch half of 3 separate videos. I'm not too sure how it does this, or if it will still recall midway points if you change USB drives and then change back.
But overall an impressive feature no doubt.
5) Excellent versatility in choice of output formats, both resolution and aspect ratio. I purchased this item precisely because my LG TV with an onboard USB interface will NOT play a lot of videos in true full screen mode. The LG TV also will not play certain videos at all (must be missing a key codec) but the MICCA plays it all and plays it all in full screen with minimal interaction from me apart from the initial setup. Swapping from letterbox to full screen is a one button push on the remote and instantaneous - nice touch.
6) Outputs to either HDMI or RCA-style jacks.
1) The onscreen interface is pathetic. It's similar to wading through the basic style windows file explorer, with no graphical thumbnails, and if you have a long file list takes forever to plow through.
2) The remote control is far too small, must be pointed direct at the base to work, and lacks important functionality. For example, if you go to highest fast forward speed, in order to return to normal play speed you need to step down 6 times - there is no one PLAY button to resume normal speed. Also, it lacks a very nice feature my DVR has which is the ability to play a video at roughly 1.5 times normal speed, WITH AUDIO. This feature is great for watching slow-talking shows, such as JUDGE JUDY, in less time.
3) It requires its own power adapter. Would be nice if it could draw power from a USB port instead.
4) Only accepts the smallest of internal SATA drives, which greatly limits drive selection. Would be nice if they had made the product a bit larger to accommodate all 3.5" SATAs. You can work around this by using an external power supply to power ANY SATA drive and connecting only the data cable to the internal connection. To my way of thinking it would have been a lot easier if they had placed the SATA connections on the OUTSIDE of the MICCA. I am using mine with BOTH an externally powered 1.5TB Seagate SATA drive, and a USB drive, and it is working great with either or both.\
5) Has audio sync issues with some files.
6) Over time, it gets progressively buggier and will just totally shut down randomly in the middle of playbacks for no apparent reason.
A nifty toy overall, just unfortunate they chose to cripple it with a Microsoft-inspired interface and remote.
I also believe, if MICCA is listening, the key to getting this device the mass market appeal it deserves is to bundle it with an onboard digital TV tuner, timer, program schedule and DVR. But PLEASE NOT TIVO or anything else that requires a monthly fee. Essentially combine this with a channelmaster CM7000 PAL and you have a perfect product. The TVIX DVR 6600 (see my separate review) does a far better job, and includes 2 HDTV tuners and a robust programmable DVR and onscreen program guide to boot.
on March 13, 2014
I got this to use with my Sony HMZ-T3W personal 3D viewer. This thing only measures 3/4" x 5 1/4" x 3 1/4" which is about the same size as the battery pack/controller for the Sony 3D viewer, so I just strapped this hard disk/media player, the Sony controller and the Sony power supply all together, and I use the small Sony power supply to power both this media player and the Sony 3D viewer. I custom made the power wires and hdmi cable to fit exactly between the two devices, which leaves me with a fully contained entertainment system that is only about 3 1/2" x 1 3/4" x 8" including the cable connectors that stick out!
I stuck a 2 TB hard disk in this thing which gives me more disk space to put my movies and TV shows on than I'll ever need. The media player has played everything that I've tried on it so far, mkv's, avi's, mp4's, all with various audio and video codecs, and so far, this media player plays all of them perfectly. It is so nice being able to have tons of movies and video's to take with me when I'm traveling.... no more suffering through crappy hotel TV's! With this media player strapped to my Sony 3D personal viewer, I have movie theater quality entertainment anywhere I go, and it all fits in a small bag that I can easily take anywhere.
I can transfer movies from my computer to this media player using the included usb cable at about 35 Mb/s, which is a pretty good transfer speed. One thing to note... depending on the hard disk you install in this thing, you may have to use a powered usb hub for it to work, I tried one hard disk that didn't need it, but the 2 TB hard disk I wanted to use was a 7200 rpm, faster drive, and I have to use a powered usb hub to transfer my movies using that disk, there isn't enough power coming directly off my computer usb port for that hard disk. So if you are getting intermittent problems using the hard drive or it won't work at all, try a powered usb hub and it probably will. I suspect if you stick to a 5200 rpm sata hard disk, it will probably work directly from your computer usb port without a powered hub. Some computers may also handle the 7200 rpm drives too, I just know my Surface Pro 2 wouldn't. Also, you have to unplug the power to the media player to transfer files to the hard disk, when the media player has the power connected, it won't allow the disk to connect via the usb cable.
They also have what looks like a power button (even has the universal power button symbol) on the top of this media player, that lights up a bright blue, but it's not really a power button, it's an OK/Select button, only way to power the thing on/off is by either unplugging it, or using the remote. You have to use the remote, because that one button on top only selects things, you can't navigate the menus with it. The menu system isn't very fancy, but it gets the job done.
So, to sum up, the software/menu system isn't anything fancy or great, but for me, the fact it's so small, and I can use a 2 TB hard disk to store all my movies on, and the fact it mates perfectly onto my Sony 3D Personal viewer system... and plays ALL my video's perfectly, makes this a great buy for me! I'd highly recommend it if you have similar needs.