Noontec V8 MovieHome Media Player Review

 We had a good two weeks with the Noontec Media Player MovieHome V8. It’s a totally new media player to me but having used and played with a lot of similar ones before, it was fairly easy to familiarize myself with the device. Check out our full review after the jump.

There are a number of models in the Noontec line-up and the MovieHome V8 NAS is the newest of the lot (launched back in June with a local distributor bringing the unit to the Philippines just this month).

The manufacturer (Noontec) is based in Shenzen, China and has been making a lot of media players for years including a recently launched Android Gingerbread-based Smart TV HD Player.

The player looks like a cross between one of those black and slim DVD players and the PS3 with its combination of glossy and sand-paper finish.

The Noontec V8 houses an internal storage using a 2.5″ or 3.5″ HDD with capacities of up to 3TB. You can transfer movies into the drive via a USB 3.0 cable or directly download files straight into the client. The drive bay can be easily opened from the front when you install a HDD (no need to unscrew any of the metal panels).

That somewhat justifies the larger than usual size of the player compared to the ones we used before.

You can also connect an external drive, NAS, or SD card on any of the ports built into the player. There’s a single HDMI port at the back to connect to your TV or, if you have an analog display, use the S-Video sockets.

The SD card reader is on the right side and can read media card with up to 8GB in capacity (not sure why it’s limited to that size but it could probably be fixed with a firmware update).

There’s a Gigabit LAN port as well to connect the player to the network although an optional WiFi dongle can be hooked to one of the USB 2.0 ports if you want wireless connection. The LED display up front also provides helpful info about the media you are currently playing.

The Noontec V8 reads just about any of the more common file for movies (including Bluray ISO), music and photos. And the HDD doesn’t need any special formatting as it supports FAT32 and NTFS.

    Video decoding: MPEG 1/2/4, Xvid, H.264,VC-1, RM/RMVB
    Audio formats: APE, MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC, OGG, FLAC, Dolby Digital, DTS Digital
    Audio codec: MP3, WMA, WAV, OGG, AAC, LPCM, FLAC, AC3
    Photo file format: JPG, JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF, GIF

One issue I had was that the manual that came with it is all in Chinese. Luckily, you can download a copy of the English Manual from their website.

The UI is very simple and easy to understand and use. It’s fast and responsive even when the list of titles on the catalog is quite long. It’s a minor feature but I really liked the idea of having a background wallpaper that you can customize on the screen.

Setting up the device to the network was pretty easy and straightforward via the LAN port. I haven’t tried the WiFi since it will need the optional, dedicated dongle to go with it. The Gigabit connection (1,000Mbps) is a huge plus factor when you’re transferring large files across your network. If not, you can still use the USB 3.0 port for really fast file transfers.

The Noontec V8 also comes with a Bittorent client so you can download movies straight into the internal HDD. The interface of the client needs a little bit more work though — it’s not that user-friendly (I keep coming back to the Chinese manual). In any case, it does the work as expected and as long as it can download torrents on its own, that’s fine by me.

Movie playback is fast and smooth with support for full HD 1080p videos. No lags or noticeable choking of video streams. Video output is great and the player renders them without any degradation (tried it on a 42-inch LCD TV and worked flawlessly).

The LED display in the front does help in providing media information of the file I am playing (as well as the elapsed time).

The remote control looks good, has a solid build and easy to use and operate. I wish they added backlit keys so one can use them even in the dark.

The Noontec Media Player MovieHome V8 has a suggested retail price of Php7,799 but they’re offering it for Php6,999 as an introductory price (HDD sold separately).

Not a bad price for a pretty capable device — biggest advantage is the USB 3.0, Gigabit LAN and Bittorent client.

Don’t know which stores carry these players but you can email for inquiries (will update once I get them).