The PlayOn!HD2 comes with a remote, 24W power adapter, USB 3.0 slave cable, HDMI, component and composite cables and a quick install guide.

The remote is pretty prosaic, like most other media streamers. I am not sure why companies don't devote much attention to this aspect. The buttons feel very cheap and are too responsive, i.e, a single click of a menu button translates to multiple commands on the unit.

The front of the unit has the power button, while the two sides are taken up by the EZ-Drive hard disk slot and the SD card / dual USB 2.0 host / USB 3.0 slave port respectively.

The rear side of the unit has the component and composite ports, HDMI 1.3 connector, GbE connector, SPDIF (both optical and coaxial) and the power adapter connector. There is also a small 40mm fan to keep the internal hard disk cool. It is not possible to have a media streamer with a 3.5" hard drive to be passively cooled. If you are sensitive to fan noise, you should look for a completely passively cooled solution without an internal hard disk.

In our CES 2011 coverage of A.C.Ryan, I had mentioned that the PlayOn!HD2 had a nifty EZ-Drive dock for the hard disk.

The EZ-Drive dock is one of the easiest ways that I have seen in a media player to slot in an internal hard disk. There are no screws to handle or trays to take out. There is only one way the disk can be put in, and a gentle push makes sure that the SATA pins on the hard disk are locked securely.

The PlayOn!HD2 was very straightforward to disassemble. Once we got the screws out from the rear side, we had to take out the wires connecting the power on switch / IR receiver to the board. The SATA / power connector for the EZ dock frame was next, and in no time, we had the RTD1185 board standalone.

Introduction The PlayOn!HD2 Chipset
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  • conejo99 - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Doesn't the Popcorn Hour A210 support a hard drive without needing a fan?
  • Sharro - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Yes it does, got 2 at home.


    I wish Anandtech would cover more or PCH products.
  • ganeshts - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    I should have mentioned -- amongst the streamers we have reviewed :)

    Btw, a 3.5" HD without fan is asking for trouble wrt component longevity unless there is quite a bit of airflow in the case.
  • AmdInside - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    What video streaming services will be supported? Netflix?
  • ganeshts - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    A.C.Ryan is working on this, but you should never assume the feature is going to come in until it is announced. As of now, there is no Netflix, but it MIGHT change in the future.
  • bertrandr - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    When doing the final review try to compare features with: the also new Netgear NeoTV-550, the Dune SMART (D1) and the current gold standard for HD streamers -the Popcorn A-210.

    The NeoTV-550 seems very promising, and the latest beta firmwares are quickly fixing any serious issues.


  • ganeshts - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Got the NTV-550 and it is a great streamer for the price to feature ratio. Still needs some firmware tweaks. Will definitely compare it against the PlayOn!HD2 though there are a lot of features in the 550 which are not in the POHD2, while there are some features in the POHD2 not in the 550 (this is reflected in the price of the base model.. the POHD2 is cheaper)

    Don't have the Dune D1 or the A210 for comparison, though :( (unless the manufacturers contact us for reviews, we don't want to take them up because we already have quite a number of streamers lined up for review)
  • hohowan - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Can you please test for proper stylized-ASS subtitle support?
  • ganeshts - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Sure, I will do that.. Just wanted to mention that the Boxee Box is the only streamer I have tested so far to do flawless stylized-ASS.
  • ckryan - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    I've got streaming devices falling out of my closet (and off my desk, and draped off my tv). I like what I have seen with the ACRyan devices. My hope is that interest will continue to climb and perhaps ACRyan will reconsider their decision to not offer their more interesting devices here in the US.

    I'll be looking for the update.

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