O2 Media HMR-2000 Review

O2Media is a company that specialises in media players. Today we are taking a look at the O2 Media HMR-2000, a media player that comes with a ton of features.

 

 

Let’s take a quick look at the player’s specs and features, taken directly from the company’s website:

Features

With an advanced multimedia Realtek engine. Includes the latest and most powerful multimedia decoder Realtek chipset that enables new options for recording and playback of HD files. 

External Hard Drive.
 You can use the HMR-2000 as USB external storage unit to back up datas from your PC or share datas with other devices . Any 3.5″ SATA hard drive of any capacity can be integrated.

Automatic HDD formatting. Format the hard drive and easily create partitions. 

HDMI 1.3. High-Definition Multi-media Interface (HDMI).
 Allows the use of standard video, enhanced or high definition video and digital multichannel audio in a single cable. 

Recording and playback. Recording from any of its video and audio inputs (euroconnector, SCART, AV), Integrated digital TV tuner for HD H.264, with EPG, Time Shift, scheduled recording, etc…
Playing H.264, MKV, MOV, HD, WMV9… natively… from the hard drive, USB or LAN. 

Maximum connectivity .Includes SAMBA server and FTP for file transfer via network. 
10/100 Mbps Ethernet cable, Wi-Fi 802.11g / n 54Mbps/300 Mbps (with optional USB adapter), USB Device 2.0-and USB-HOST. Video outputs: HDMI 1.3, Component and Composite Video. Audio outputs: Stereo, Digital Coaxial and Optical 5.1 

Multiple quality recording. High-quality mode HQ, Standard SP, Long LP, EP and SLP. Supports high-definition digital TV.

Copying files from and to different inputs. Copy files from the HMR-2000 to PC or other USB-connected devices. You can create and delete folders to hold all the files sorted. 

USB HOST. Includes 2 USB HOST to play multimedia content of external USB devices (HDD, DVD, memory cards, etc.) can also connect a USB WiFi adapter (optional) to have wireless access. 

Time Shift function. To start playing deferred or to stop it.

Mobility. For its small size and portability, you can connect the HMR-2000 on the audiovisual system of your home or on your car one.

Digital photos album. Enjoy your digital photos with high-definition quality. 

Easy configuration settings. It has a user interface easy and intuitive for easy access and configuration of all its functions. Includes menus in multiple languages and comprehensive user manuals (in Spanish, English, French, German, Italian and Korean).

Audio Juke Box. The O2 Media HMR-2000 is compatible with Dolby Digital AC3, DTS, MP3, WMA, AAC, OGG, WAV. You can play your music from Lan, USB or HDD.

Continuous developments. In constant evolution of functions through a simple firmware update the equipment will always be up to date in reproduction of new files.

Internet Radio. Now, with your new HMR-2000, you can use thousands of radio stations through internet and with the best digital quality.

 

A Closer Look – The Package

 

 

The O2 Media HMR-2000 comes in a nice red cardbox. At the front side of the box we can find a picture of the actual player, along with a brief summary of its features at the top right corner. At the sides of the box there is information regarding the wide variety of connection types the player has to offer, as well as its serial number and colour. Finally, at the top side we can find the player’s logo as well as features listed with icons. The truth is that the player has many impressive features, fact that make us expect the best out of its performance and usability.

The O2 Media HMR-2000 and its accessories are  well-protected inside the package, using foam material.

 

A Closer Look – Accessories

 

 

All the accessories come inside a white cardbox. They can cover any user’s need concerning the player. However, we will not find an HDMI cable, which we feel should be included for a player of this price range.

 

The remote control is of black color and it is a little bit too long in our opinion. The build quality though is awesome and the buttons have a nice feel when pushed. The labels are also easy to read and we would strongly recommend to read the manual to learn what all buttons do. At the rest of the pictures we can see the power cable, the AV connectors and antenna cable and finally, the USB 2.0 connection cable that is included in the package.

 

 

Inside the package, we will of course find a User Manual, which, we have to admit, is one of the most detailed manuals we have ever seen. There are detailed descriptions on how to operate the player, how to navigate and use menus, as well as information on connections. Of course, the manual is available in various languages.

 

A Closer Look – The O2 Media HMR-2000

 

 

The O2 Media HMR-2000 comes in a black finish with silver details and its size is bigger than most media players. The build quality is very good and it certainly does not feel like one of those cheap media players out in the market. At the front side we can see the small 2 inch colour LCD display which helps in menu navigation, as well as the main controls of the unit. The player is relatively light but it gets heavier with the installation of a 3.5″ SATA HDD. With the installation of a hard disk, you can use the player as a PVR to record content directly from the TV, use it as backup storage or share data over your network.

At the back side of the player we will fnd a plethora of connections that will cover any need. There is also a silent fan that helps the player remain cool during operation.  It is true that O2 did a good job designing the unit, they have not left many blank spaces and they have stuffed the back with many connector types. The same applies to the front side, there is even a card reader at the left side of the front panel.

At the bottom of the player there are two stickers, the first one indicates the model’s serial number and the second one has a schematic concerning the installation of the hard disk drive. The fan found on the back side is designed to silently cool the player, which in general is quiet during operation and the only noise comes from the HDD operation.

 

At the back side we can see the two antenna connector’s at the right side of the panel. There is an antenna in and an antenna out connector, so that the user can watch and record TV programs directly from the player.

At the sides of the panel there are small ventilation holes, as well as an SD/MMC/MS card reader that further enhances connectivity.

 

HDD Installation

 

As you can see from the pictures, the HDD installation is painless. All you have to do is remove the drive bay as indicated by the sticker at the bottom of the unit, mount on the drive, screw the bay cover back into place and you are done.

 

User Interface and Operation
 



Once you power on the player, you will see that it takes a while to load. After that, you will be prompted to adjust the video settings that best fit your configuration. The menus are very user-friendly as you can see. Connecting the player to our internet connection and network was a piece of cake, we just plugged in our LAN cable and within seconds we were able see and play shared files or listen to internet radio.

The O2 Media HMR-2000 utilises a dual tuner Freeview-HD, which, combined with the powerful Realtek 1283DD+ chipset, allows us to record two different channels in HD while we are seeing simultaneously a film in Full HD 1080p without lags or problems.
Note that the O2 Media HMR-2000 includes HDMI 1.3 Full HD 1080p playback and supports natively  the HD H.264 codec and containers like Matroska MKV, MOV, WMV9, etc.

At the bottom of the page we will find pictures from the menus of the player, just to take a general idea of the user interface and the player’s functionality.

Let’s take a look at the interface highlights:

Bit Torrent: Maximum connectivity .Includes SAMBA server and bit torrent and FTP for file transfer via network. The connection can be established by ethernet cable or Wi-Fi 802.11g / n 54Mbps/300 Mbps (with optional USB adapter).

Hard Disk Format: The user can automatically format the drive, though this can be done in FAT32 partition only.

Internet Radio: The HMR-2000 supports internet radio playback through thousand radio stations.

Multiple quality recording: You can record in High-quality mode HQ, Standard SP, Long LP, EP and SLP. It also supports high-definition digital TV.

Recording and playback: You can record content directly to the HDD from any video inputs in high quality. There is also an Integrated digital TV tuner for HD H.264, with EPG, Time Shift, scheduled recording, etc…

Playback of H.264, MKV, MOV, HD, WMV9 is natively supported directly from the hard drive, USB or LAN.

The unit is also a powerful DVB-T HD tuner and recorder.

Thanks to the dual tuner, you can record one channel and watch another at the same time, or record two channels at once.
Of course, EPG and Time Shift are also supported.

Navigation through the channels is quick and easy and with the embedded EPG function you can always check what is playing on the selected TV channel and what is next.

 

 Performance

After we hooked up the player, we had much to expect considering the player’s features. Of course, we tried Full HD 1080p movies and there the Realtek 1283DD+ chipset showed its real power. The playback was smooth and the quality was crisp. Of course, it is difficult for us to show this by using pictures, you have to see it in action. Even at the large-sized avi files, playback was not choppy in any case. Subtitles were easily setup and shown and sound was crystal clear. Apart from playback from an HDD, you can also play content from a USB flash drive, a storage card or over the network. Our USB flash drive was found immediately and playing a movie from it was never choppy or problematic.

The unit can play virtually any media filetype, but its usage does not stop there. Bit torrent setup was painless, downloading was done efficiently.
The unit also played YouTube content flawlessly, same goes for internet radio.
One of the player’s most powerful features is the ability to record two TV channels simultaneously, thanks to the chipset’s processing power. That way you can be sure that you will never miss your favourite TV programs.

 

Verdict

The HMR-2000 can virtually play any media filetype, but its usage does not stop there. Bit torrent setup was painless, downloading was done efficiently. The unit also played YouTube content flawlessly, same goes for internet radio, there were no lags or buffer hangups.
One of the player’s most powerful features is the ability to record two TV channels simultaneously, thanks to the Realtek 1283DD+  chipset’s processing power. That way you can be sure that you will never miss your favourite TV programs.
We can surely say that the O2 Media HMR-2000 is a nice device addition for your network as well, as you can manage and play your files without being in front of your PC all the time.
We have to add that the machine is firmware upgradeable, meaning it can support more file formats in the future and more functionalities can be possibly added.
Overall, we have to do with a unit that is a decent media player and does pretty much everything. Costing around 200euros in Europe, we would surely say it is well-worth the money, as it combines performance and numerous functionalities that are everything we could possibly ask from a media player of this category. Remember that you are not getting just a player, but also a DTT Full-HD dual tuner receiver.

 

Thus, we can surely give the O2 Media HMR-2000 our Editor’s Choice Award.

 

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