Monday, August 15, 2011

Sony SMP-N200 Streaming Media Player with Wi-Fi

Price : Too low to display
Turn your TV into a smart TV and enjoy wireless access to popular apps like Netflix, HuluPlus, YouTube, Pandora, and Crackle.1 Stream your favorite movies, TV shows, music and more, even in full HD2 and 3D3. Control it all with a simple smartphone app for iPhone and Android.4

This review is from : Sony SMP-N200 Streaming Media Player with Wi-Fi
Almost perfect for my needs . My intended usages are:
1. Home network streaming video files from my Windows 7 x64 machine (rips from DVD and BluRay discs which can include .wtv, .mp4, .ts, .m2ts).
2. Hulu Plus
3. PlayOn (for internet streaming of shows not on Hulu Plus)My home network is all wired gigabit with Cat6 cable so it is as fast and as stable as you can get. I am not testing the wireless capabilities since I use wired connections.Pros:
- Easy setup.
- Automatically connected and found my Windows Media Center and PlayOn servers.
- Upgrading firmware was easy, although oddly the unit just shuts down after upgrading instead of restarting which at first made me think something had gone wrong.
- Excellent picture quality. On some videos it even looks a tiny bit better than my PS3. It was substantially better that the WD TV Live I tested and ultimately returned. (Samsung 40" LED TV and HDMI connection).
- Supports DTS Audio for streaming video files which the PS3 does not - for example from "passthrough" encoded m2ts Blu-rays files. The PS3 apparently only supports this from an actual Blu-ray disc and not when streaming. Hopefully they will fix that for the PS3.
- Noiseless since it has no fan like a PS3 or Xbox.
- Handles all file types I tested with ease including 1080p high bit rate videos (up to 24mbps) and hi frame rates (up to 60fps). I could pause, fast forward, reverse, and it would always correctly resume to normal play with no issues. (For me, and when used as a network streamer, the WD TV Live had issues with these tests).
- Hulu Plus app is actually more advanced than the PS3. When a video queues up it indicates the video bit rate, and exactly how much time before a commercial will start. If you fast forward you can actually see how far you can go before it will force you to watch a commercial. Obviously not "must have" features but pretty cool. Streaming quality is excellent and with surround sound.Cons:
- Is not compatible with streaming videos using PlayOn. It will connect to PlayOn and navigate all menus and video selection lists just fine; however, when you select a video the circular cursor in the upper right hand starts spinning and then the unit will no longer respond to the remote. The only way to recover is to unplug the unit. I actually left it in this state for several mintues to see if it would recover but it would not. I tried this 3 times with the same results each time. I searched the PlayOn forums and found a post describing the exact same behavior. Oddly the older SMPN100 unit does work with PlayOn.
- A feature that isn't important to me but is worth mentioning: The unit will not attach to shared folders, only to "server" shares like from Windows Media Center, PlayOn, Nero Home, Tversity, etc.
- Hulu/Netflix interface is getting panned a lot. To me it is not ideal, but it is usable. Instead of showing fewer and larger images with titles directly under each image, there are more smaller images with the text for the selected video shown across the bottom of the screen. I would prefer the interface for the PS3, but my wife actually likes the implementation for the SMPN200 better - so to each his own.
- This unit handles all file types and encoding I'm interested in, but other reviewers have stated the WD TV Live is better with mkv files. I didn't test this, but I take the other reviewers at their word. The documentation states it does support mkv files, but maybe it doesn't support all encoding and audio options that are possible with the mkv container. Also the WD TV Live is supposed to support reading ISO DVD and Blu-ray files from disc storage, and the Sony unit has no support for this option.Dinging it 1 star for not working with PlayOn. For all other criteria, and for my needs, I found the unit to be excellent.
Sony SMP-N200 Streaming Media Player with Wi-Fi Reviews
Good Bye To You Cable.... . We moved last week and I purchased this unit and only connected up the internet at the time of the move. So far - So Good.... But you have to create NetFlix and Hulu Plus accounts to do any real TV and moving watching. The stuff that comes free with Crackle is older. I also liked creating a Pandora account for days I just want music on and not get distracted by the TV. Now that I am an Amazon Prime Member I will add that service to my unit as well. It takes a little adjustment at getting over "cutting the cord from cable" but really, almost all the shows I watch I can just watch them the next night and be one day behind. I love that I can spend a cold and snowy winter day watching an entire season of a show I always wanted to watch and never did too.... So I think this will be great.
As for the technical side, I am no techie by any means. Last night the unit would not let me watch anything and kept giving me a 303 error message. I tried reconecting the network connection and nothing. I chose to just hardwire it for the best connection to the internet modum. I finally gave up in frustration and just went to bed. But I woke up in the middle of the night and heard my husband watching something so the unit must have reset it'self after a period of time. I am sure I will figure it all out over time, and if I have this little glitch every once in a while then so be it. I am all for saving the $60+ a month it was costing for basic digital cable that I watched most of my shows weekly "On Demand" anyway so Streaming Is my NEW Cable....
I gave it 4 star only because of my frustration last night and not being able to figure the error message out by looking into the manual.
Sony SMP-N200 Streaming Media Player with Wi-Fi Opinions
Just got it in. . I've had this device for less than 9 hours and it works great. I plugged it in, connected it per the instructions and it was online in less than 5 minutes. It was easy register with Netflix and Hulu Plus and started streaming Crackle instantly. The remote is easy to use and the android app for the remote is great (read the directions or waste 15 minutes like I did, then read the directions). The only function I haven't test yet is the USB media. This device is replacing a PC that was running as a media center. I'll update this review if anything changes, but I don't thing it will.

Cons Review
A disappointment but there's so much better out there . I picked up the Sony SMP-N200 looking to find a good solution for playing local media while also having a good amount of choices for internet streaming as well. I own 3 Roku units right now, and by far they are the best internet streamers out there, but they have a very limited range of codec support so aren't ideal at all for local playback.I also have a WD TV Live Plus, which is terrific for local playback, but it's interface is terrible. I had (and returned) the Logitech Revue because it was cumbersome to use and lacked local playback flexibility as well. I did really like the Chrome browser so when I saw the introduction of the new Sony also had an internet browser I was sold. When it arrived it was very easy to set up and get online. I noticed the box is larger than other boxes I had, and the remote was so lite it was almost weightless. I did worry right of the bat that either I would accidentally break it, as it felt more like a toy than a real remote control. Apparently the augmented version of the Xbar UI from the PS3 used in the smp-n100 is unchanged in this new model. It wastes alot of screen real estate and is small enough that unless you're right up on the TV it's difficult to read. The Netflix app, which is customized by Sony suffers from the same. Very small cover art and text that it is tiring to continuously squint at. The Hulu Plus app works well, but the Amazon Instant Video app has no rhyme or reason to how things are sorted in the Prime Streaming selections that it too was more pain that it was worth to find what you were looking for. The unit does include a very nice Vudu app, but for my tastes there really isn't anything coming out now days that I want to spend their high prices to see. Sony Unlimited Movies and Music is also on the box but I didn't bother to try because honestly I didn't want to give Sony my credit card info lol. Besides the big providers mentioned, the vast majority of the other streaming channels were basically worthless throwaways that no one would spend any time watching. One "channel" (I can't remember the name) of tech reviews had seven videos of reviews in total of products that were all dated from 2008. Certainly gave me a glimpse at the expected update frequency.. Also, the Bravia Internet selection is not included on this unit, so if that's what you're expecting you will be disappointed. The local playback was a mixed bag. The box could do DLNA (which I did not try) because I have my media on a small usb hard drive. The first thing I noticed is that because the Sony has no way to mount or unmount the drive, you must plug or unplug any usb attachment while the unit is off. Meaning that you can not even change thumbdrives/hard drives unless you power the whole unit off. Curiously, a few times the unit did not recognize at all the same flash drive that had worked previously in it. I was also dismayed to see that the Sony did not support all the .jpg image thumbnails of coverart for the files, so then every movie was just a default icon. Furthermore, I found that it would not play many .avi files I had (that would play on the WD) because apparently Sony does not support the divx codec. In all fairness, that codec is not listed in the manual as being supported so that one is really my fault for not realizing before I bought. It also does not play DVD ISO files.The Opera browser, the biggest reason I went for it over another capable box, is terrible. Navigation with the remote is awkward and cumbersome, and the biggest kicker is that it is not flash capable!?. I was under the assumption that the whole reason for having a browser on your TV is so you could point it at web page video and view it, but apparently that is not the case. I did chat with a Sony support rep and they stated there was not going to be support for a flash plugin.All in all, if you are looking for a streaming box that lacks any real user-friendliness that includes customized apps like Hulu Plus, Amazon, Netflix, and Vudu, somewhat (but not complete) wide local file support, and a (worthless) browser, well the Sony is the way to go I guess. Truth be told though, I sent mine back after four days of use and opted for the new WD Live streaming player. It plays absolutely anything you throw at it with probably the best UI on the market right now, has built in wireless as well, and a great selection of streaming services. I couldn't be happier with the WD over the Sony. The Sony just had too many little things that either didn't work right, or was plain poorly thought out in the first place. It felt like a half-hearted refresh of their previous unit. As my title says, there are better options out there than this for the same money. Save yourself the time and skip it.
Feels like an early beta product not ready for a market . The main reason to purchase this device was it's ability (at least advertised) to support both online services like Amazon VOD, Netflix, Vudu, etc and DLNA streaming. Well, the bottom line is simple: I am going to return it and keep my WDTV Live Plus media player and Roku. Why? Because DLNA (and even playing video files from a locally attached USB storage) is a total joke. If you have, say, 1000 movies downloaded from the Internet (.avi, .mkv, .m2ts, etc), you can expect maybe 10% of them playing without any issues on this device. Another 10% will play without sound. Another 10% will not play over the network connection. Another 10% of files will simply cause it to reboot itself, and the rest of your movies will not play at all. There are some pros, though, for example - Netflix and Amazon VOD apps are quite good. But anyway, for $100 you may find a cheapest Roku somewhere on sale and previous or even current generation WDTV player and enjoy much, much better experience.Pros:+ Fast and easy setup
+ Nice looking device, very good built quality
+ Good remote, very responsive
+ Good interface, fast and smooth navigation
+ Good Amazon VOD, netflix, and Vudu apps
+ Shows connection to the server speed when starting to play online media
+ Instantly detects all the DLNA servers available on your home networkCons:- Crashes when playing some media files or stops somewhere in the middle (all those files will play just fine on WDTV Live Plus)
- Does not play any .mkv files over network connection
- Plays just SOME divx and xvid encoded files
- Most .mkv files from a locally attached USB storage will not play at all or play without any sound
- You can't choose which apps to show in the list - there is a lot of them, and most of them do not make any sense (for example, some app dedicated to Michael Jackson which allows you to play a few short previews... Sony, how can you possibly call this the app?)
- "Option" button on the remote is something you'll never know what to expect from - sometimes it does nothing, sometimes it show some list of options which again does not make any sense - why would you need the option to check the device authorisation with Sony when you're navigating through the list of apps?Overall, this device feels like an early beta of some really promising but ABSOLUTELY not ready for a market stuff. Not recommended.
Not really useful . I have a Apple TV, Roku, Google TV, Netgear NeoTV, and a Western Digital WD TV. Beyond the Sony material there is not that much useful or original contain. I think if I did not have a PS3, I would have liked it more.

Product Image

Feature Sony SMP-N200 Streaming Media Player with Wi-Fi

  • Wirelessly stream entertainment from Netflix, Pandora & more
  • le to stream 3D3 and up to 1080P2 high definition video
  • Connect to any TV & share music via optional HomeShare speakers

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Product Details

EAN : 0027242833289
UPC : 027242833289
Brand : Sony
Weight : 3 pounds
Height : 3 inches
Length : 9 inches
Width : 9 inches
Binding : Electronics
Manufacturer : Sony
Model : SMPN200
Publisher : Sony
SKU : 01E3UC-000
Studio : Sony

Where To Buy

You can buy Sony SMP-N200 Streaming Media Player with Wi-Fi on Amazon . Click here to Read More