The PlayOn!HD2 board design can be roughly divided into three main components:

  1. The Realtek 1185DD along with the associated DRAM and Flash memory
  2. The JMS551 USB3-SATA bridge
  3. GbE PHY frontend for the GbE MAC on the 1185DD

The PlayOn!HD2's primary function is to act as a media player. This is enabled by the Realtek 1185DD chip, whose internal MIPS core runs at 500 MHz. Compared to the 64 bit DRAM interface of the Sigma Designs chips used in media players, the 1185DD has only a 32 bit DRAM interface. This ensures that the BOM (Bill of Materials) cost for a product based on the 1185DD is lesser than the corresponding cost for a Sigma Designs based player. There are two x16 DRAM chips on board, namely, the Nanya NT5TU64M16GG-AC, giving a total of 2 Gb (256 MB of SDRAM). This DDR2 SDRAM is capable of running at upto 400 MHz.

512MB of Flash memory is provided by the Hynix HY27UF084G on the rear side of the board.

The USB3 slave port on the PlayOn!HD2 is enabled by the JMicron JMS551 USB3-SATA bridge.

The GbE MAC on the 1185DD is fed by the Realtek AFE (Analog Front End) / PHY, the RTL 8211D.

Unboxing the PlayOn!HD2 In Conclusion...
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  • probedb - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Excellent, can't wait for a review of this. I'm particularly interested in how good it is at deinterlacing DVD content. I rip mine and stream to my PlayON!HD mini but I would upgrade to this if it's better.
  • Bartjes - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    I'm very very interested in the real speed of the USB3 and Gbit network. And if supplied the WiFi speed with a USB dongle.
    Having Gbit and USB3 doesn't mean the filling up of the HD goes fast (see previous generation of mediaplayer).
  • SlyNine - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    My WDLive HD does do DTS HD, My reciever sees it as a DTS stream, so unless its encoding a DTS ( Doesn't support DTS MA) stream from a DTS MA stream ( highly unlikely, na impossible) It does support DTS MA It just sends the core audio(DTS.

    In fact its the Dolby True that I cannot play back. My Receiver only supports Dolby Digital and DTS, Its a harman Kardon from about 2004.

    My Files are MKV remuxes of full Bluray ( no re-encoding) movies. I use DVDFab, ClownBD,MKVMerge, and ANYDVD HD.

    Software I use Twonky Media center in Virtualbox ( It didn't play nice with my Windows 7).

    The WDLive is connected though component to the TV and through Fiber for Audio.
  • ganeshts - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    I am sorry if my comment about the WDTV Live series wasn't clear.

    I meant to convey the fact that the WDTV Live series can't decode to full LPCM / bitstream the full DTS-HD MA soundtrack. Yes, core DTS is taken advantage of.. but that is hardly what the people with the latest AV receivers want.

    Btw, over fiber, you will get only DTS or Dolby and not any of the HD audio bistreamed.
  • SlyNine - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Yea I understand that you need HDMI for any of the HD Audio formats.

    What leads to my confusion is the fact that I have yet to get Dolby TrueHD's core audio to stream through my WDlive HD. Right now I have to demux the core Dolby Digital sound track and if I want to retain the TrueHD I have to have that as a separate audio track. Not a big deal but it is one extra step I'd love to remove.

    Any Ideas? Does the WD Live simply not support this?
  • SlyNine - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the preview, I love these.

    If you guys could tell us how the Media streamer handles/ Builds the libraryies i'd appreciate that. Expecially the libraries located on a network drive.

    This is important for us who want to set it up for people less tech savy. The most important thing is how clean the selection is, How many different folders/screens do they have to navigate to find the content.

  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    For $300, what can this do that a zacate mini itx cannot do?
  • ganeshts - Monday, February 14, 2011 - link

    For starters,

    1. Ease of use for the non-DIY crowd

    2. No messing around with codecs

    3. Play 1080p60 H264 videos in a reliable manner

    Don't get me wrong.. I build and use HTPCs too, but there is a market for each of these products :)
  • Trefugl - Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - link

    Also, the $290 comes with a 2TB HDD. I for one, would want to just stream all my video from my NAS, so a cheaper version of this w/o HDD would be interesting and less expensive than building something with the same features from scratch.
  • probedb - Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - link

    Then you want the Mini2 :)

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