Published on Thursday, 28 August 2014 11:20
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Three to four years ago i used to review standalone hardware media players by a long list of manufacturers all the time but since most modern TVs now come with such media players built-in (well the majority may not be as good as standalone ones but for most consumers they are just fine) that specific segment of the market isn't as "exciting" as it once was (several manufacturers have also ceased operations). Luckily there are still manufacturers out there that spend large amounts of money for the research and development of standalone media players aimed primarily at more demanding consumers who are just not satisfied with current built-in solutions. Dune HD is without doubt one of the most popular media player manufacturers around (if not the most popular) and today we will be taking a look at their latest addition in their product line the Dune HD Connect Universal Media Player.
Dune HD is a global leader in high definition media players and connected boxes for consumers and operators. Over the past five years Dune HD has received more awards than any other company in the category for universal media players. Dune HD products support a wide number of digital formats, from Internet-based digital streaming and download to disc-based formats such as 3D, Blu-ray and DVD, along with supporting IPTV, VOD and OTT. Designed by world-class engineers, Dune HD media players are enjoyed by more than half a million consumers in more than 60 countries. Learn more at www.dune-hd.com.
Thanks to the brand new SMP8674 processor (mainstream yet high-performance model) by our friends over at Sigma Designs and a total of 512MB DDR3 RAM the Dune HD Connect is not only capable of up-scaling SD content to high quality Full HD 1080p but it can also reproduce even the highest (3D included) bitrate media files (MKV/MPEG-TS/MPEG-PS/M2TS/VOB/AVI/MOV/MP4/QT/ASF/WMV/DVD-ISO/VIDEO_TS - up to well over 50MBit/s according to Dune HD) and at pretty much every possible/supported frame rate (23.976/24/50/60) via HDMI v1.3. Hardware specifications however are not what makes the Dune HD Connect special, it's size is since we are talking about the smallest media player currently in the market (slightly larger compared to a normal USB flash drive) that offers an Ethernet port, built-in WiFi and a microSD card reader. Unlike however other similar solutions the Connect Universal Media Player comes wearing the same GUI (graphical user interface) we've seen with every previous solution by Dune HD and although that means slightly "inferior" customization capabilities (always compared to regular android models) still as you will see later on it offers everything you may ever need and offers something android doesn't, completely lag-free navigation.