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Time for a media player

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CDs and DVDs are fast becoming outdated, with many users downloading movies and music. Users then often burn content to DVD to watch on their TV, which seems counterintuitive, but an HD media player does away with this and saves time, writes RUBEN NAIKER.

Many of us have DVD and Blu-ray collections with our favourite movies and giant towering stacks of CDs. But let’s be honest, CDs and DVDs are fast becoming out-dated, and those piles of cases just sit gathering dust on our shelves. Digital is the way of the future, and many people have already embraced this downloading music and movies has never been faster, and it is a lot easier to store all of our content on a PC. However, the problem with digital content on a PC is playing it back on your television or sound system. The traditional way of doing this is to burn it onto a disc, which seems counterintuitive and really does not support the concept of a connected home. A High Definition (HD) media player is a must have in the connected, digital world, enabling you to stream and share content from any device on a network, directly to your television, saving space and providing hours of quality viewing pleasure.

While many smart televisions and even DVD players allow you to plug in a USB stick to play digital content, this remains a cumbersome task, and many televisions and players do not support a large number of file formats. This means that often, to get your content to play, you have to convert it first. In today’s connected and fast-paced world, few of us have time for that. A media player is the perfect solution a centralised place to bring all of your content from any connected device together, wherever it is stored, and stream it to any connected television in the home. From PCs and notebooks to tablets, smartphones and even Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices, you can easily share your digital content, including movies, music, games and photographs, in HD.

Installing most media players is quick and easy, and these compact devices will sit next to set top boxes on a TV cabinet, fitting practically any space. Simply plug them into a power point, attach the colour coded AV cables to a television, and connect an Ethernet cable to your router or use Wi-Fi to add the media player to the network. Once this is done, any device on the same network becomes part of a digital content sharing hub. Optional HDMI cables can even connect a media player to a computer monitor for more sharing options.

Using a media player could not be easier either. They come with a remote and a familiar user friendly and intuitive interface, so you can navigate files and folders and select the content to play. You can also download applications to control certain media players with your tablet or Smartphone, allowing you to control your experience with the swipe of a finger on touch screen mobile devices. For even more entertainment options, many media players enable you to stay connected to your favourite social networks and even play games.

As bandwidth becomes increasingly available and affordable, downloading content is now a reality and many of us have vast libraries stored on our computers. Sharing and viewing this content, however, has always been the problem. Now, with a media player in your connected home, you can now enjoy this content on your television screen for endless entertainment pleasure.

* Ruben Naicker is the WD product specialist at DCC.

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