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NeoDigits Helios X5000 HD Network Media Player

by November 27, 2006
  • Product Name: Helios X5000 DVD Player
  • Manufacturer: NeoDigits
  • Performance Rating: StarStar
  • Value Rating: Star
  • Review Date: November 27, 2006 19:00
  • MSRP: $ 579

General Features:

  • Sigma Designs EM8620L Chipset
  • High Definition Upscaling up to 1080p (1920x1080) resolution

  • 12bit / 150MHZ Video DAC
  • LG DVD-ROM

Special Features:

  • Burr-Brown 2 Channel low-noise Op Amp
  • Wolfson 2 Channel 24bit/192khz Stereo DAC
  • Professional Audio Grade Capacitor
  • R-core linear power supply
  • Handcrafted fully-brushed aluminum front panel
  • Gold-plated RCA jacks

Connectivity:

  • Ethernet: 10/100 BaseT
  • WiFi: Built-in Wireless 802.11g
  • 2 * USB 2.0 port to support Mass Storage Devices (NTFS format supported)
  • HELIOS Media Portal
  • NeoLink Server software for Windows
  • Third party UPnP compatible server software
  • Built-in web browser (supports HTML, RSS feeds, Internet music and Internet video)
  • Firmware upgradeable
  • WEP / WPA Encryption for WiFi

Photo Formats: JPEG, PNG, BMP

Languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch

Video Resolutions: 1080p, 1080i (NTSC 60hz / PAL 50hz), 720p (NTSC 60hz / PAL 50hz), 480p /576p, 480i/576i

Video Outputs: HDMI, DVI with optional HDMI to DVI converter cable, Composite Video, Component Video, S-video

Video Formats: MPEG 1/2/4, DivX 3.11/4/5, DivX 6/HD, XviD HD, WMV 9/HD, VOB, TS

Audio System: Analog 2 Channel Stereo, Optical Audio, Coaxial Audio

Audio Formats: Audio CD, WMA / WMA Pro, MP3, MPEG / MPEG-2, FLAC, AAC, Ogg Vorbis

Disc Formats: DVD, DVD-R/DL/RW, DVD+R/DL/RW, DVD-RAM, VCD, SVCD, CD, CD-R/RW, MP3-CD

Accessories:

  • Wireless Antenna
  • 5 ft. HDMI cable
  • Video/audio cable
  • Backlit fully-functional remote control (with batteries)
  • Quick Start Guide

Power Supply: R-core Linear 110/220 manual switch

Software Requirements for NeoLink Server Software:

  • PC running Windows 2000 (SP3 and up) or WinXP(SP2 and up)
  • Minimum 128M RAM and 200M free hard disk space
  • Minimum 500mhz CPU


Pros

  • Upconverts all your DVDs to your display’s native format
  • Great image detail
  • Can share media with other Helios users over the Internet
  • Upgradeable over the Internet

Cons

  • Poor de-interlacing performance
  • Occasionally drops video
  • Setup is a pain
  • Media streaming is inconsistent
  • DVD menus sometimes unresponsive
  • Occasional freezes/crashes

Introduction

When I was asked if I was interested in reviewing the Helios X5000, I said ‘yes’ out of hand. You can’t be a reviewer and not be interested in reviewing nearly everything that comes across your desk. But honestly, I had no idea what it was. I knew it was a media player but it seemed to be more focused on the video side. They seemed to be pushing their upconverting capabilities and I could find no information on how the unit recorded and played back media. Very confusing. So, when the unit arrived, I hooked it up not really knowing what to expect.

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About the author:

As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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