Hey folks, Valkor here. And as the year 2010 nears its end, I just wanna say how grateful I am to be a part of this wonderful site that I call "The Other View" and I'm also grateful at all the visitors (the good and the bad) who have stopped by to show the love and/or hate (hey at least they stopped by). To you I say "Thank You". I look forward to a new year and bringing you so much more in terms of coverage. And speaking of coverage, ViewSonic has stopped by the Val-Cave with quite possibly one of the greatest gifts of tech anyone could have ever hoped to receive. It's called the VMP75 Media Player… and oh yes… you want it!
The VMP75, from the outset, is a simple black box – no buttons, knobs or anything on the outside, the device is controlled completely by remote (included). On the back you have all your connections such as USB, Ethernet, HDMI, an optical, and an AV port as well as a power port. But it's what's on the inside… the inside of this bad boy is what's really important.
You see, the VMP75 is a media player (I think I said that already) and much like Seagate's Theater+, the VMP75 plays just about every digital format out there. With video you get Divx, XviD, VOB/ISO, MP4, MKV, H.264, WMV9, FLV, and more (which you can play in full 1080p)! Music formats are MP3, Dolby Digital, DTS, PCM, WAV, AAC, OGG, etc. And photos you get JPEG, GIF, TIFF, PNG, and BMP; so just about every digital format out there is covered by this one device (minus documents, but who says a firmware update can't fix that). And did I mention you can stream Netflix? Check out photos on Flickr? Essentially, everything you can do on the Theater+, you can do on the VMP75. But don't start salivating just yet – I've got more to show you. While Seagate and ViewSonic are similar thus far, it is at this point where the similarities end. Why? Well the VMP75 can traverse the WWW (World Wide Web) giving you access to all your favorite social networks and websites. Plus as soon as it's plugged in, set up (which is a breeze mind you), and switched on, you'll automatically start receiving time/date/weather updates and soon after that, you can hit the internets for that full fledge web experience. Wanna get the latest news, see what's happening on Facebook and Twitter, check sports score, and more? You got it right here! On top of all that you can get RSS feed updates, stream ShoutCast, or Live365. That's a lot from this little black box.
And if you have most your media located on an external Hard Drive or flash drive, then the VMP75 has you covered in that respect so you're not just limited to just streams; you can play all your files locally from their HDD casings.
I should point out that I haven't tried out the Netflix service as I get enough films through the MediaView side that I don't need it, but I'm sure the Netflix streaming fanbase will be able to appreciate that the function is there. So given all the facts, how does the VMP75 fair within the confines of the Val-Cave?
The VMP75 is quite possibly the best media player that I've ever tested! I though Seagate had a lock on that, but in steps ViewSonic – a company only known for making monitors (erh!!??); where did this thing come from? You know what? I don't care! The opening interface is clear and easy to navigate; the remote makes it that much easier as it has dedicated buttons, giving you the option to go straight away to the feature you want. When it comes to video, I haven't tried it out on every format – just the ones that are important to me such as DivX. And with that, video quality gets a nice 1080p jump (thank you HDMI hook up) and it looks wonderful! Sharp, crisp images and simply amazing to behold! Audio quality will be dependent on your system. Since I use the Orbitsound, it sounds superb, crystal clear and just right. But what makes the VMP75 standout is the fact that I can go online with it; while navigation takes some getting used to, you'll quickly and easily dive right into it. I've read that you can use a wireless keyboard and mouse combo for that real web TV feel; I haven't personally tried it, but so long as the option is there, I'm happy.
This Christmas, give that home theater enthusiast in your life something to smile about, by making ViewSonic NexTV VMP75 Media Player a part of their setup. It's the perfect centerpiece for any media center. And though it may look simple, there's so much more to it than meets the eye. Out of TOV 5 stars, I give the ViewSonic VMP75 a perfect 5 and my pick as "Tech of the Year".