The GUI with all new firmware
The GUI with updated firmware
When we first gave the Playon!HD series a try we where a little bit disappointed by the graphical user interface (GUI), though it was functional it was based on a low resolution and often sluggish. We got our hands on the beta build of the new interface, and that opens up a completely new product, based on the very same hardware.
The GUI is a much more easy to the eyes, and even better ... it's now high-resolution giving you the look and feel of proper HTPC software like say MediaPortal. The one thing we do notice is that the menu interface still isn't fast, and especially after the new firmware upgrade it seems you can make roughly 2 selections per second. Its fast enough though, especially at this price level.
The menu is divided into Movies, Music, Photos, File manager and Internet media, quite different from the initial GUI. The first option lets you browse your media by location or type, while Media Library indexes your files by type, date, genre or artist to name but a few.
The unit also offers internet functionality such as Picasa, some news Feeds and Flickr. Not sure if anyone uses it, but its fun to see and play around with. You can setup and log into your personal accounts for YouTube, Flickr and Picasa, very convienient.
In the setup menu you can select a plethora of options. Since the screen grabs you are looking at, are actually taken with a photo-camera they unfortunately came out a little over exposed. But you'll get the idea.
The new video settings are a little more basic. Lacking here is say a post processing feature like a little extra image sharpening or gamma. Then again the default output quality has been fine tuned for you really well already. Sharp quality with razor sharp contrast and black levels. Still, a little personal tweaking we feel is always an option needed. Of course at the TV end you can and would probably want to tweak a little as well.