Sometimes all you want to do is show some high-definition video from a hard drive on your HDTV, but…dang it, the TV isn’t networked, there aren’t enough power outlets, there’s no place to put your notebook (or, heaven forfend) your desktop, and even if there were the way the cabling works out everything would downscaled anyway. But it doesn’t have to be that way: if you can put your high-definition video on a USB hard drive or thumb drive, ViewSonic‘s new VMP70 direct-connect media player can put it on an HDTV. And, it’ll do with style, supporting both HDMI output and S/PDIF audio for hooking up to a home theater system.
“We believe in enhancing the entertainment experience in a way that is both convenient and user intuitive,” said ViewSonic VP Jeff Volpe, in a statement. “With more compatible media formats than any other media player on the market, we are confident that our portable media box provides consumers the freedom to enjoy HD multimedia content on their favorite HDTV without limitation.”
The VMP70 supports a wide variety of media formats, including 1080p output from MPEG1/2/4, Divx/Xvid, MKV, H.264, VC-1, WMV9, and RM/RMVB. On the audio front the VMP70 supports DTS, Dolby Digital, WMA, MP3, FLAC, OGG, and MKA—oh, and let’s not forget JPG, JPEG, BMP, PHG, and GIF image support. The unit sports two USB 2.0 ports where users can pop on any USB media using EXT3, NTFS, or FAT 16/32 file systems, then push their media out HDMI, component, or composite outputs to an HDTV, or send audio to a home theater system using S/PDIF. The VMP70 itself just features a power button—all other features are controlled via a remote, including aspect ratio along with audio and format settings. And the whole unit weighs less than a pound, making it easy to cart around…although it does use an external power adapter.
The VMP70 is available now with a suggested price of $129.99, although ViewSonic is offering currently special holiday pricing of $98.99.