Jekyll & Hyde
Jekyll & Hyde
Perhaps more well-known for its NAS products, QNAP is now venturing into the world of network multimedia players with the NMP-1000. NMP here stands for Network Multimedia Player and QNAP has cleverly implemented some features into this network media player to differentiate it from other network media players in the market, which are a dime a dozen these days.
The QNAP NMP-1000 looks unremarkable but sensible. The front is dominated by a LCD panel that gives off a gentle blue glow when its switched, and the entire unit has been treated with a matte black finish, lending it a serious look. The buttons and ports are all where you'd expect to them, and are all easily accessible.
That aside, the QNAP NMP-1000 also boasts sensible specifications and functions. As a network multimedia player, it has a Sigma Designs SMP8635 processor and 256MB of RAM and is full HD compatible. It will also play a wide variety of video formats ranging from the more common AVI, WMV and MOV to the more exotic MKV, M2TS and ASF formats. Music lovers will also be happy to learn that it will play lossless FLAC files.
No Pain, No Gain
Apart from being a network multimedia player, the QNAP NMP-1000 is unique because it boasts NAS features as well. The NMP-1000 allows users on the same network to access files from it, and even supports BitTorrent downloads and remote file access. These are additional features that will help it stand out from its competitors.
However, the QNAP NMP-1000 was a pain to setup. First, despite claiming support for Mac OS X, the QNAP refused to establish a connection with our MacBook Pro which was running on OS X 10.5.8. Oddly, the MacBook Pro could do the reverse, and easily detect and access files from the NMP-1000. Elsewhere, there were some irregularities with the file structure when connecting to PCs, as it would wrongly display folder names, making it difficult for us to find our content.
After we successfully setup the QNAP NMP-1000, we subjected it to a variety of formats ranging from H.264 encoded MKV to MP4, MOV, AVI and DivX, and it was able to play everything we threw it at smoothly and quickly. Buffering was exceptionally snappy, and we even tried to upset it by skipping the video forwards and backwards, but to no avail.
Overall, the QNAP NMP-1000 is a decent network multimedia player, albeit one with split personalities. It was tedious to setup, but it has a wonderful set of features and excellent playback capabilities and performance. If you don't mind spending the extra time to get the NMP-1000 up and running, this is a worthy consideration.