Review: ASUS O!Play Mini Plus
Smart TV is all the rage and if you want to get in on the trend you may end up ditching a fairly new LCD TV to do so. Thankfully, there are companies like ASUS out there that have a solution – ASUS O!Play Mini Plus.
Smart TV is all the rage and if you want to get in on the trend you may end up ditching a fairly new LCD TV to do so. Thankfully, there are companies like ASUS out there that have a solution – ASUS O!Play Mini Plus. A strange name for a product but it isn’t the name that will necessarily sell the product.
LCD TVs are coming equipped with multiple HDMI inputs but it wasn't until a few years ago you'd find more than two or three on a TV unless you bought a high-end model. With multiple HDMI inputs you can dedicate one of the HDMI ports to the O!Play Mini Plus (Mini Plus). In the event you have run out of HDMI ports you can still use the Mini Plus via the analog A/V output. It kind of defeats the purpose of having the high resolution LCD TV but if you have a setup at home like me, you may find yourself with no digital ports left. I’ve got a Sony PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, DVD Player and the cable set-top box. All of these already command the use of four HDMI ports and my computer isn’t even connected yet. Luckily the LCD TV I am using has a separate VGA port and my DVD player can work with the Component connector. So, I’ve got one HDMI port left.
With a high definition video signal to the TV settled I needed to worry about an additional wire for network connectivity. You can setup the Mini Plus for wireless but I prefer wired connectivity especially for devices that can be affected by the consistency of the transmission. Streamed video is definitely subject to latency and congested Wi-Fi signals. So, Wi-Fi networking just leaves open the door for complaints when the stream gets jerky or pixelated. The wired connectivity is a Gigabit connection so it is well worth the wiring versus the Wireless-N speed.
So, why would you even need to consider the Mini Plus when you could just as easily accomplish the same by connecting a notebook or desktop computer to the LCD TV. Well, the same reason why Smart TV’s are the ‘In’ thing. The Smart TV’s built-in applications are instant-on with literally no shutdown time. Flick the switch and you are good to go. This is one of the most compelling reasons to owning a Tablet and in my humble opinion one of the reasons for its success but that's a different story.