While there are a lot of HD media players out there, I think there’s still room for more. So when I got a review unit of the BriteView-CinemaTube HD Media Player, I thought WD TV has some pretty nifty competition up ahead.
The CinemaTube does not have an internal storage so you need to hook it up with an external HDD. While this is a cheaper configuration, you still need to buy your own HDD with an enclosure (configured and sold separately). That means you’ll also need two power cables to hook both the player and the external drive (not a big issue).
The media player’s enclosure is made of up of plastic. Nothing really wrong with since it feels very light but it also gives an impression of a cheap construction (the painted logo of BriteView-CinemaTube is a little off).
It’s compatible with all hard disk format windows(NTFS), Linux (EXT2/3), and MAC (HFS). The player supports a large number of video formats — MPEG1/2/4 (M1V, M2V, M4V), MPEG1/2 PS (M2P, MPG), AVI, ASF, WMV, MKV, H.264.
CinemaTube supports multiple audio output formats, including MPEG I Layer 1,2,3(2-CH), MPEG II Layer 1,2 (Multi-Channel), LPCM, ADPCM, FLAC, AAC, WAV, WMA and OGG, RA, Dolby Digital AC3 and DTS. DTS (downmix) is supported by CinemaTube so you do not need additional DTS receivers to enjoy HD videos with DTS tracks.
Unlike the DW TV, the CinemaTube is also a torrent downloader (the built-in torrent engine does all the downloading without the need of a PC). The LAN port at the back is the primary connection to hook it up to the internet but I think you can also use a WiFi dongle on one of the USB ports to get it on wireless. The only approved and dedicated WiFi adapter is the WL-6200C which you need to get separately.
At the back panel, you get a conservative number of ports — 1 HDMI, 2 SUB 2.0, Ethernet, AV and SPDIF. The UI and navigation of the CinemaTube is pretty simple, straightforward and easy to understand.
Most useful is the preview panel/screen that allows you to view a short clip of video you are browsing before playing them (no need to guess what the video file is). The UI is simple and self-explanatory and the device plays videos pretty quickly.
Although I have not tried it, the device can also do UPnP Streaming so you can watch CNN, ESPN, CBS and Hulu via 3rd-party applications like PlayOn and TVersity.
The CinemaTube will retail for Php6,350 when it comes out in November. It’s one of the most affordable HD media player out in the local market. You can check out www.digilivingph.com for more info abut the product.