I bought this unit because I have a Squeezebox Logitech Squeezebox Touch
for my music (and love it) and wanted to do the same for my movies - digitize them so I don't need to dig through all those dvd's to watch what I want. I just go to the O!play, pick the file out and play it.
For what I paid for this device it is pretty awesome. It plays back with 99% of my media files and downloads. Picture quality has been excellent on both my old 50" standard def and my new 46" high def TV. The simple rule of good quality with this box is - if it doesn't look good running full screen on your pc, it won't look good playing back on your TV either.
I mostly watch movies and TV shows from DVD on my O!play. I have all my DVD's ripped to iso files and playback works just like playing the DVD with all the extras and everything. This also means they are full quality and fairly large files.
Way back when I first got it there were issues connecting to Win7 but they have been corrected, as have a lot of other issues. The box has never frozen, stuttered, or refused to connect to HDMI, even though in a previous version of the firmware my (new) tv was identified as having HDMI connection problems. Dolby Digital and DTS pass-through to my receiver works perfectly and TrueHD support has recently been added. Still pictures look great as well.
There are only two things that bug me about this device. The first is that there is no Menu button on the remote and with some DVD's you have to fast forward through the whole DVD to get back to the menu. The second is that when playing back some files you need to switch audio modes, (spdif raw to lpcm) which can be done pretty simply without stopping the video, but it still bugs me.
I have tried the Music mode and it seems to work ok and the sound is ok - it just doesn't hold a candle to what my Squeezebox can do.
I have also tried the online streaming but it is limited at the moment to the sites coded into the firmware. It seems to work but does not interest me.
This is not a device for everyone though.
-You need to connect it to a network or external disk.
-You will need to feel comfortable updating the firmware to improve operation or add features.
-You will need to rip content to play on it.
-You will need to store and access that content through a network or attached disk.
-You will likely need to add hard disk storage to your pc or your network once you start ripping. Full quality video files are not small.
-You will likely need to access Asus Support forums to get the most of your O!play.