Sony SMB-U10 : another USB media player
Nov 16, 2009 at 3:03 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

estreeter

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Yes, it will probably sound like crap, but I'm willing to take one for the team. I bought this today and will give you some impressions tonite:

Amazon.com: Sony SMPU10 USB Media Player (Black): Electronics

I previously owned a WD TV, but thought the sound was pretty ordinary taking it from RCA into my integrated amp. Sony claim this thing has a DAC (ok, a DAC worth mentioning in the blurb..), so I guess I'll find out tonite. If nothing else, it will let me play movies from my hard drive on my widescreen TV - efforts to do so from the HDMI on my Asus have thus far failed.

Photos and impressions tonite.

estreeter
 
Nov 16, 2009 at 8:41 AM Post #2 of 6

estreeter

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Its currently hooked up to my integrated CA amp via the RCA cables, and I want to get at least an hour warmup before I give any impressions beyond this:

- initial listening through several headphones would put it on par with my iPod Classic from the lineout into the same amp. Thats not stellar, but about where I would have expected something at this price point to slot itself. I like the bass, but its just too bright and thin in places (yes, even with phones other than the 325s ..). There is definitely more life to the music than I remember experiencing with the WD TV, but I dont think the makers of Bryston and Alpha DACs have too much to worry about.

- being able to plug my Walkman USB cable into the thing and have music emerge from my speakers is a bit of a novelty - cant detect any difference between this and the USB stick I was using earlier.

- the user interface, quite simply, is crap. It looks like it was designed some time in the 1970s and is clunky as hell. Way to go Sony - even rebadging someone else's media player would probably have resulted in a better interface. It seems to expect everything on the the stick/player to be in folders for each artist/album : I need to experiment with this to see what sort of 'playlists' I can come up with.

If I were designing a player like this, I would have a 'Shuffle' button on the remote that simply started picking music files from the source and began playing them - no need for a TV or monitor. The brief time I spent looking at a video file would seem to indicate that they spent time getting that right, and I guess thats understandable, but given the UI I cant see this unsettling the WD TV from its place on top of the heap.

I'm looking forward to giving 'Transformers' a spin later - as I said in my OP, if nothing else it should let me play video on my TV.
 
Nov 24, 2009 at 9:44 AM Post #3 of 6

estreeter

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Just to wrap this thread up, I could only recommend this for someone who has a stack of movies on hard disk and no other way to watch them. Even with the crazy amount of effort I went to tonight (see below), music playback was below par. The reasonably good quality rip of Transformers is rendering a lot more nicely on my 19" Samsung monitor than it did on my widescreen TV, but I would be much happier watching it from my laptop and it would have been a lot less hassle. I guess Sony envisaged people slotting this into the AV cabinet, but I took this as an excuse to experiment with a couple of connections:

1. HDMI from the Sony into the monitor
2. Coax out from the Sony into a coax-Toslink converter
3. Toslink into MD10 DAC
4. RCA out into my CA integrated amp

Counting the power cord for the converter, that's 4 powered devices to give me a slightly better AV experience than I can get from a netbook. The sound is better, no argument, but my cheapie Toshiba DVD player outperforms the Sony as a music player and the video performance is roughly the same.

As I said in the OP, I was happy to take one for the team - if you really need something like this, I'd recommend spending the extra on the WD TV.
 
Nov 24, 2009 at 11:56 AM Post #4 of 6

dura

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Hmm, the description says FAT32 HDs.
Isn't that limited to 4GB files? a DVD is up to 9 GB, HD-movies can go up to 40GB+, you need a NTFS-drive for that (or some linux/apple equivalent).
The thing also doesn't have a display, so for listening to music you've got to switch on the TV. Or does as you do and use it as a kind of dock, but that isn't the prime purpose of the device.
 
Nov 24, 2009 at 12:02 PM Post #5 of 6

estreeter

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Anyone who is burning HD movies at 40GB a pop isnt going to be shopping for one of these. Problem solved.
 
Nov 24, 2009 at 3:39 PM Post #6 of 6

dura

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Quote:

Originally Posted by estreeter /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Anyone who is burning HD movies at 40GB a pop isnt going to be shopping for one of these. Problem solved.


No, because he simply can't!
I would "solve" this problem another way, and not buy it. What is the use of having a HDMI output, if the thing can't manage HD-input.
I view HD-movies on a similar device; my Western Digital HD, same size, hardly more expensive, but supports NTFS. Now that is what I call a problem solved.
 

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