- Oct 24, 2007
Patriot Box Office Media Player Review
Manufacturer's Product Page: Patriot Memory - Products
Part Number: PCMPBO25
Tekwiki:Patriot Box Office Media Player - TechWiki
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Over the last year, stand-alone media players have been surging in popularity and if you are like most people we know, you may not understand why people are attracted to these pint-sized products. You may not even see the need for them considering the prevalence of DVD players, Blu-Ray players and PVR / DVRs that “just work” for most of if not all of your media needs. However, with the explosion of internet-based broadcasts and the legal downloading of movies, shows and other videos to your PC, the market is slowly moving away from the traditional means of getting media onto your TV.
Home Theatre PCs are an option for streaming all of this online content onto your screen but even the least expensive ones come at a price of several hundred dollars and consume far more power than your typical DVD player. In addition, several game consoles have touted their media playback and streaming capabilities but once again, their potential is limited and the asking price is quite high. To fill the gap between a basic disk player and an expensive HTPC, several companies have released what they call Digital Media Players. Today we take a look at one such product: Patriot’s Box Office.
Past versions of media players have been extremely limited in their uses and compatibility. The less expensive ones had support for a few video and audio codecs but didn’t support any type of future expansion and usually needed an external storage device (be it a flash card, USB stick, external HDD, etc) containing media to be plugged in. Other devices such as the famous Popcorn Hour have offered a bevy of media features but at prices that many were unwilling to pay.
The reasoning behind the Box Office is quite simple even though its uses are quite far-reaching. Basically, Patriot is aiming this player at a market that has been long looking for a cost effective and compact way of playing or streaming media files to their television. With full 1080P compatibility, support for both external and internal storage along with the possibility of network streaming, this product sure looks ready for the big-time. It also supports a wide range of media formats including H.264, ISO, VOB, DivX, xVid, MKV, MOV and MPEG just to name a few.
Considering its price of under $150 CAD, the Box Office has the potential to be a must-have for users who want the ability to play a long list of media files on their TV but just don’t have the patience to deal with codec issues and the extravagant prices of some HTPCs.
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