Review: LG DP1W

Published: March 8, 2011 11:00 PM
By Régis Jehl
Translated by: Jack Sims
With its original design, the small LG DP1W media streamer won't go unnoticed. Its pared down interface, wi-fi connectivity and web features are all supposed to facilitate use: there's nothing like putting a device through its paces to see if it lives up to its promise...

Original design, low power draw

Looking a bit like a sound bar, the LG DP1W stands out from the rest. Out with the standard black box and in with a sort of panel combining glossy plastic and imitation brushed aluminium. Nice to the eye but a magnet for finger marks, especially on the touch control buttons on the upper part.


Energy consumption is particularly well managed with the DP1W drawing just 7.4 W during video playback. In standby, we measured it as drawing just 0.4 W. As there's no fan, it runs silently.

A simple but effective interface


The DP1W interface is nothing if not simple, with navigation broken down into several zones. Each of these zones includes just a certain file type: music, video or photos. Files can be viewed in list form, miniature or 'coverflow'. The patient among you can also add film posters to create a simplified video jukebox. You have to do it manually and it takes time but it's practical when you come round to choosing a film.

 
You have to retrieve films manually

Internal and external music album covers can also be displayed but audio tags are only visible on mp3s, Oggs and Flacs.

Lastly, folder photos are displayed in mosaic format, making it easier to find that shot you've got in mind. The thumbnails are created pretty fast but moving from one photo to the next is particularly slow: practically six seconds!

 

Compatibility: an all-rounder

The DP1W's decoding chip reads most current file formats. HD video playback is fine (no jumps), Dolby Digital and DTS can be decoded (stereo downmix) or sent to an amp (bitstream) and the only downside is the lack of support for DVD / Blu-ray menus and Apple Lossless audio format.


Find all our readings in the media centre face-off

Connectivity: streaming is supported but preference for UPnP

There aren't many video outs but what is there is sufficient: HDMI for HD televisions, composite for SDs. The audio can be transited via the HDMI, in analogue stereo (RCA) or via the optical out.

USB peripherals such as keys and external hard drives can be linked up to one of the two hosts on the right-hand side of the device. HD video playback poses no problem and you can even copy files, as long as you're willing to put up with the extremely slow transfer rate of 3.7 MB/s.

Networking is via ethernet 100 Mbps and built-in wi-fi n 300 Mbps. There's no problem with the fluidity of 1080p videos in either case as long as you're using the UPnP protocol. While standard files (Samba type) are nice and visible, playback quality is particularly poor. A UPnP server is therefore strongly advised!
3/5 LG DP1W DigitalVersus 2011-03-09 00:00:00

Pros

  • Multimedia compatability
  • Effective wi-fi n
  • Nice design
  • Simple interface with thumbnail displays

Cons

  • Network playback: only UPnP is ok
  • No automated solution for creating video jukebox

Conclusion

A very good media streamer that focuses on the essential: playing multimedia files! There are a few gaps in the audio and networking features and this is what knocks it down to a three-star rating.

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