23 - 10 - 2017
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Dune HD Solo 4k UHD HEVC Enabled Media Player Review

Article Index


 

CONCLUSION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dune hd solo 4kb 

   Dune HD is one of those companies that really require no introductions and the same applies for Sigma Designs since they’ve been at the vanguard of media player development since day one. All the previous media players I had the chance to use by Dune HD were at the top of their class with many features and although the MAX is still my favorite media player I can’t deny that the Solo 4k surpasses it in every possible way (leaving out the Blu-Ray module of the MAX of course which I found to be very convenient) pretty much because of the SMP8758 media processor which according to Sigma Designs Is up to 4 times more powerful than the ones used in previous models (includes an ARM A9 dual-core processor and quad-core Mali GPU). For reasons unknown Dune HD decided to use the “older” HDMI 1.4b output instead of the new HDMI 2.0 standard and that’s why it only supports 4kp30 and is not “really” compatible with 4kp50/60 (4K@50/60) content. I’m sure Dune HD had their reasons for doing so (or Sigma Designs for that matter) but it’s a strange choice regardless. Also although I’m not much into watching TV channels I did like the built in DVB-T digital TV-tuner since it gives something extra to people who may want a good media player for their “older” TV set and are also in need of a DVB-T tuner. Dune HD also used the latest Z-Wave controller module but it’s not something currently used in many devices and at least for now I see very little use for it. When and if it takes off however I’m sure many people will be happy this little device came with it. I was slightly disappointed with the fact that the Solo 4k didn’t come with an illuminated remote (unlike the TV-303D) and also lacked an optical audio output especially since many AV amplifiers and even soundbars have those instead of HDMI connectors (they do have 3.5mm ports but I’d still prefer an optical one) but I guess we can’t have it all especially in such a compact media player. One of the things that surprised us was the Wi-Fi receiver since even at roughly 11 meters away from our modem/router it worked like a charm but as you can see for yourselves in the GUI section I did prefer the safety offered by wired connectivity when performing firmware updates.


   Dune HD is considered to be the “Mercedes” of media players so their products are not known for their low prices. For good or bad the Solo 4k UHD HEVC media player is not an exception to that rule and so currently it sells for USD419 inside the USA (Amazon.com) and for 315Euros inside the EU (Amazon.co.uk). Of course for that money you’re not just getting one of the best media players in the market today but a DVB-T digital tuner and what may be the center of your smart home in a few years (if Sigma Designs Z-Wave technology becomes popular that is). Can you find a lower-cost solution with roughly the same features? Probably but then again that applies to most things in the market especially in the electronics segment. Still since Dune HD is among the only manufacturers that use the latest media processors by Sigma Designs the moment they get released I’d say that they are in their very own league. Overall I still love the MAX model (mainly due to its Blu-Ray player) but the Solo 4k and the newly announced Duo 4k (should be here with us soon so expect a review in January/February) are certainly many steps above it and for that today the Solo 4k gets our Golden Award.

gold

PROS


- Build Quality
- Compact Size
- Top Notch Performance (Sigma Designs SMP8758)
- Compatible With UHD HEVC 4kp30 VOD, 3D And 10-Bit Media Content
- 2.5" HDD Rack
- Z-Wave Controller Module
- Easy To Navigate GUI
- Built-In Wi-Fi
- Built-In DVB-T Digital Tuner
- Product Support

 

CONS


- HDMI v1.4b
- Price (For Some)
- Regular Remote Control (Not Illuminated)
- No Optical Audio Digital Output