The Asus O!Play is a small, low cost media streaming device. It’s not a full fledged computer, but here’s what it can do: You place it next to your TV and plug in a hard drive or flash card with media on it and you can watch video, listen to music, or view pictures on your TV. But there are two reasons that I’m particularly excited about this device:
- It also features an Ethernet jack so you can connect it to your home network and stream content from your PC.
- It costs just $100.
Sure, WiFi support would be nice. But if you don’t feel like stringing Ethernet cables throughout the house, you can always pick up a cheap Powerline Ethernet adapter from eBay which will let you turn your home’s electrical wiring into one big Ethernet network.
Asus has put together a little video showing the O!Play in action. You can check it out after the page break.
While the software interface is pretty basic looking, the device supports a wide range of formats including MPEG1/2/4, H.264, VC-1, MP4, MOV, WMV, XViD, VOB, and FLV. It doesn’t look like you’ll be able to watch web video on the device at this point, but thanks to that Ethernet jack, I wouldn’t be surprised if a future software updated added support for YouTube and other online video sites.
Of course, if you want a more full featured media player with support for online video you could pick up a Neuros Link, but that costs twice as much.
You can pick up an Asus O!Play HD Media Player from Amazon for $99.99.