|At a Glance|
|Product||DragonTech ioBox-100HD Networked Media Tank|
|Summary||Compact, fanless "Media tank" style player with wide video format support|
|Pros||• Supports Wide variety of video formats up to 1080p
• Plays ripped DVDs w/ menu
• Supports UPnP AV
• Active Developer Community
|Cons||• Some bugs
• Bland user interface
Every since I hacked my AppleTV a
couple of years back, it's been the primary multimedia player in my house.
With my hacks in place, the AppleTV can access files from the various NASes
on my LAN and play back all my ripped and H.
It's slick, but as cool as it is, it hasn't been the answer for all of my media. When it comes to high definition movies, the AppleTV just doesn't have the horsepower to handle anything higher than very specifically encoded 720p videos. If you want to play 1080p movies on your home network, you're going to have to look elsewhere.
But now Sybase is acting as an OEM for other manufactures wanting to build
their own players. They have branded their OEM solution, the "Network
Media Tank" (NMT) and now there are several manufacturers producing
boxes based on this platform. In this review, I'll check out one of those
products, the Dragontech
Physically, the ioBox isn't much bigger than a VHS videocassette (for those
of you who remember what those are
The front panel (seen above) has a couple of USB ports for plugging in
external drives (FAT or NTFS supported) and also a slave port for direct
attach to your PC for
The back panel (Figure 1) has a full suite of connectors for both HD and
Figure 1: Back Panel
The only thing missing for
Figure 2 shows the ioBox remote.
Figure 2: iobox Remote
The remote is full featured and worked well enough, but it's not backlit. So if you like watching your videos in a darkened room, you may want to have a flashlight handy.