Micca Network Digital Media Player Review
I’ve been looking for a home entertainment device for some time, but with all the different types of media players on the market today, I just couldn’t figure out which one was best for my needs. So I kind of put the decision on the back burner hoping that one home entertainment device would eventually stand out among the rest.Because I have an extensive media library, I needed something that could hold my video and music collection, as well as my thousands of family photos. Browsing Amazon’s media player offerings one day, the Micca EP350 G2 1080p Network Digital Media Player caught my eye. It has a slide out drive where you can install a hard disk drive with up to 4TB of storage space. After checking with a friend who is an IT expert, he said this device would definitely meet all my home media and storage needs.
Easy, Guided Setup with Helpful Prompts
Not being technically savvy, I was a bit hesitant to set up the Micca EP350 G2 full-HD 1080p digital network media player on my own. But I thought I would give it a try since the setup instructions in the user manual looked pretty basic and easy to follow.
I love how organized the box itself is. The front panel houses the stand-by button, IR remote sensor and indicator displays. The rear panel has all the video, audio and data connectors well arranged and labeled. The remote controls all the media player’s functions, which I found extremely convenient having everything at my fingertips.
Before using the Micca media player, you need to perform some basic connections. If you’re connecting the Micca box to a TV, HDTV, or home theater system, like I did, then you first need to connect your TV to the player with either a coaxial or composite cable. Next, connect your Ethernet if you are going to connect the device to your wired LAN network. A wired Ethernet connection is the best method for streaming A/V content, but the Micca network media player is also compatible with a wireless network using a Wi-Fi USB adapter. Connecting the power is fairly simple using the provided AC adapter and inserting it into the DC IN jack on the Micca player. Then, just connect the plug of the AC adapter to the power outlet and switch on the digital media player and your TV.
The first thing you’ll see is the Initial Setup Screen, where you can select your preferred menu language, time zone and wired LAN settings. After finishing the initial setup, Micca automatically displays the Main Menu, which is your cue that the media player is ready to use. I like the design and layout of the Main Menu screen, with the menu items listed in a column on the left side and status icons listed in a row along the middle of the screen. The status icons show connectivity status and let you know which storage devices are in use.
The Main Menu has seven menu categories. The File Manager is where you can look for media files on your hard drives, flash memory cards, USB drives, UPnP servers, or network folder shares. The Videos menu item is where you can browse video files stored on any device and play video files on your TV or other device attached directly to the Micca player. The Music category is where you can browse and play all your music files. The Photo menu item is for browsing and playing photos. With video, music and photo files, your viewing options are thumbnail, list, or preview modes.
The Internet Access icon is where you can access Internet video, music and photo content. The Bookmark menu item is for viewing videos that you’ve added as bookmarks. With the Setup menu icon, you can access the setup menu when you want to change settings on the Micca digital media player. This is also where you’ll find a screen saver option, which is valuable for those with CRT or Plasma televisions that tend to burn-in images that are displayed for a long time if the player is idle for a while.
Using the TV Media Player
One of the benefits of the Micca EP350 digital network media player is that it can be used in many different ways. Besides using it with your TV to stream media, you can also connect the Micca box to a computer to transfer files at high speeds to and from the media player’s internal hard disk drive. What’s more, you can connect Micca to a USB storage drive and play back media files. So with the Micca media player, you’re getting video streaming, playback of all sorts of media files and a centralized storage location of media files that can be accessed by any device on the same network. It’s that versatility that makes the Micca digital media player and storage device an ideal home media entertainment solution.
When using the Micca player, keep in mind that unlike other network media players, this one uses the network for not only playing media files on other devices, such as your TV, but also for serving a wide range of media files to other devices. With its network capabilities, the Micca media player also works as a NAS (networked attached storage) for serving files and media to other computers and devices. For example, it plays media files from external USB drives, SD/SDHC flash cards, other network devices, NAS and UPnP media servers. But in order to utilize the network capabilities, you need to be sure to connect all your devices to the media player during the setup process.
One area where I feel the Micca network digital media player falls short is the number of apps available from Internet media service providers. Streaming is not a major function with this player and, as such, you won’t find apps from the big name media content providers, like Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Pandora, etc. However, YouTube, Flikr and Picasa are among the web services offered, along with various video and audio podcasts. But if you have an extensive video collection already, then this player is perfect for playback and centralized storage.
The Micca EP350 digital network media player with 7.1 HD-Audio, Fast LAN and 3.5-inch SATA bay is manufactured by Micca Electronics. The EP350 is part of the company’s digital media players’ advanced EP series.
The powerful 1080p video player has a wide range of video codec support, as well as audio format support. An internal drive bay is available for mounting a 3.5-inch HDD with up to 2TB in internal storage space. The network features a built-in 10/100 Mbps Ethernet LAN connection, with optional 802.11n Wi-Fi capabilities for managing Samba/NAS, BitTorrent downloads, connecting to UPnP media servers and accessing web services.
The back of the media player houses the power switch, as well as numerous connections, including DC-IN, DC power input; USB; HDMI; USB Host featuring two connectors for connecting USB devices; Optical S/PDIF; CVBS/R/L; Y/Pb/Pr; LAN 10/100mbps Ethernet; and Coaxial.
AV output includes HDMI 1.3 or up to 1080p, 60Hz; component video YPbPR; composite A/V; coaxial digital SPDIF audio; and optical digital SPDIF audio. Storage supported includes an internal 3.5-inch SATA drive bay; 3 x USB 2.0 host port; and SD/SDHC flash memory card reader. The power supply is a 100-220V AC adapter and 12V 2A DC player power.
Lots of Functionality, Plus a Hard Drive Option
One of the things I like most about the Micca digital media player is the option to add a hard disk drive. All you need to do is slide out the drive bay on the right side of the device, purchase and install a hard drive, and you have a great mechanism for storage space. What the hard disk drive allows you to do is store media files and play them back so you don’t need to use an external storage device during playback.
From what I’ve read about other digital media players, very few have the functionality of the Micca EP350. Not many can support the different video files this one can for video playback. But perhaps what puts this network enabled digital media player in the best category is its ability to stream media, store it and serve it to other devices. Micca also gets high marks for its interface, which makes navigating through your media files a quick and easy task.
Its extensive functionality also enables you to get movies, music and photos from TVersity or other type of uPnP servers, shared folders on a PC, external or internal HDs, USB or SD cards, or even the build-in from Windows 7. You have the option of copying files using the internal HD as a NAS or using the GUI.
When purchasing the Micca EP350 G2 digital media player, the contents of the box will include:
- The Micca digital media player;
- An infrared (IR) remote control;
- Two hard drive screws;
- One 110-240V AC/DC adapter;
- One composite AV cable;
- One USB data cable;
- A User Manual.
The Micca EP350 network digital media player retails for $149.95, however both Amazon.com and the Micca store (http://www.miccastore.com/digital-media-players-advanced-series-c-2_19.html?osCsid=40da93fa03d2e730feea7348919a5ef5) sells the device for $99.95 and includes free shipping. Amazon also offers refurbished players for $79.99 plus shipping.
What Others Are Saying
The Micca EP350 G2 1080p Network Digital Media Player is getting some good reviews, both on Amazon and the Micca store (http://www.miccastore.com/micca-ep350-fullhd-1080p-digital-network-media-player-p-69.html). The reviews are written by actual consumers who purchased the device and have been using it for some time. While professional reviews are helpful in terms of more technical information, they often don’t give you a perspective on how the product fairs over long-term use. In terms of customer reviews, I found Amazon has more of them, giving you a wider range of opinions. The majority of people like the Micca media player, but there are some complaints. Most pertain to defective units, which were returned and replaced. Here is a capsule of some of those reviews, both from Amazon and the Micca store.
- “It appears to work perfectly, but I have immediately noticed a problem. The slightest static shock to the machine causes it to reboot. I will attempt to ground it but I am hoping support may be able to weigh in on the situation.”
- “This machine is totally AWESOME. I have purchased 3 other MICCA players as gifts, and my friends are over the moon with them!! Worth every penny, and then some. Thank you Micca.”
- “I have never owned a media player with that many features, and the best thing is that all works just fine. Overall, great product, great R&D and support, great customer service.”
- “I’ve been looking for a simple NAS for a long time. I like to play movies from my laptop and I wanted a place to store the huge files. I bought a router with a USB port in which to attach an external drive. That was ok, but I still had to have my laptop turned on, attached to the computer and transferring files to/from my machine was insanely slow. Then I decided I’d buy a highly-rated NAS from a reputable vendor. That worked a bit better, especially since it had a built in torrent client. However, transfers were still slow and I was unhappy. Then this baby came along and WOW. I put in a 2 TB disk and I can not only store all of my files on the device, I can access them via shared drives. The player has played EVERY FILE TYPE I’ve thrown at it with no issues. The picture is beautiful and 7.1 surround is fantastic. I don’t know why I didn’t look for such a device to begin with. I’m sold on Micca and will look forward to seeing their line of new products.”
- “It is very slow and does not respond when connected to ethernet hardwire network. It freezes and the on screen background picture was distorted and blinking, could never get it to read any of the files from connected USB hard drive to play movies. I tried this as a substitute to compare to WD TV Media players that I own, because of performance issues with those, well at least some of the time the WD TV works, this item is a piece of junk! I do mail order all the time and have very rarely had such negative feedbacks on items performance. This item I felt the need to let others know it is a waste to spend your money on this merchandise!”
- “This newest Micca – the EP350 G2 – is awesome. It is obvious that this company is maturing because its products are increasingly sophisticated in terms of engineering as well as customer satisfaction. The Micca EP350 has the ability to accept up to a 4TB hard drive internally, and the mounting was obviously designed to be smooth and easy – which it is. Two screws on the side of your drive and it slides right into the Micca. It simply does not get easier than that. In addition, the interface is very intuitive and leaves nothing to be desired. I installed a hard drive, hooked up an HDMI cable to my TV, and was enjoying my movies in a very short time. The remote is great, the buttons are easy to understand, and it controls everything just as it should. I bought two of these and they are both fantastic, but in saying that I must confess that this was also the less desirable part of setting these media players up – it takes a really long time to transfer almost 1T of movies to a new drive. Of course this has nothing to do with Micca, but with me and the number of DVDs I had to transcode to put on the player. Now that it is done I look forward to a quick, easy, and spectacular way to watch movies. Thank you Micca for such a great product. I would highly recommend this product to anyone.”
- “I used to have an Apple TV, sold it to buy this Micca device. I doubted a bit, because of the marketing Apple has behind. I don’t regret a bit. It resulted in a big time win. I’ve been using it for more than 6 months now, and I can say it’s one of the best acquisitions I’ve done in electronics or entertainment in my 40 year old life.”
- “It plays almost any audio/video/image format there is, at least, any I’ve tried. I have now backed up my whole collection of movies, music and family photos, and with an internal hard disk of 3Tb (bought apart) I have it all there, and take it anywhere to have my family an extra option of entertainment. Bottom line: if you are looking for a media player you can use to entertain yourself or your family, don’t look more, this is it, you’ve found it.”
- “Absolutely love it. Makes my last media player seem like a cheap toy .(ok it was). My favorite thing is that it plays ISO. Streaming is great. Installing a hard drive is simple.”
- “Absolutely love it. My favorite thing is that it plays everything. Installing a hard drive is simple, the remote could use a little work.”
- “Not too easy to navigate, remote control does not look like in the picture and back cover (battery) falls as soon as I use it, very annoying! I might have to put tape to keep it in place because it does not snap in (not broken) wonder if I made the right choice, problem formatting hard drive with the unit (3TB) had to do it on Windows!”
- “During the few weeks I have been using it, the Micca EP350 Media Player has worked well with a few glitches.”
- “First of all, the Pros: Plays every media format I have tried, and does it flawlessly; Good looks and feels solid; Provides a good platform to store and share your media. The Cons: The user interface needs polishing, but it’s responsive most of the times; The USB ports may not work with some USB cables until you adjust the cable to an exact position; There’s no way to update movie information from Internet Databases like IMDB.”
- “Been using for about 2 months. Player is great, plays all formats with ease. My one and only problem is that my player locks up every time I hook up a 1tb or larger external hard drive. My 500gb external plays great, my 2tb internal play great its just the big external hard drives give it problems. Please fix!”
- “I’ve owned this product for over a year and I’ve had no issues to report. The interface can be a little clunky at times, but that’s about it; I haven’t found a format it hasn’t been able to play.”
- “This EP350 has been a pretty solid Player through the last 14 months I’ve owned it. Only a few little hiccups here and there but all in all a fairly decent player.”
- “The Micca EP350 G2 1080p Digital media player has met my expectations. It is a light weight device but when you add the hard drive to the system then the weight is pretty much normal. I haven’t had any issues with it up to this point and the movies play nice and clear, quality for the pics are great also. I have no regrets concerning this purchase I like it a lot.”
Where Can I Buy the TV Media Player?
The two main sellers for the Micca EP350 G2 1080p network digital media player are the Micca store (http://www.miccastore.com/micca-ep350-fullhd-1080p-digital-network-media-player-p-69.html) and Amazon.com. With the prices the same, most people prefer Amazon because it has a longer and more flexible satisfaction guarantee and returns policy. In addition, if you ever want to sell the device, you can do so on Amazon with its resellers program.
Where Can I Read More Reviews for the TV Media Player?
You can search the Web for professional reviews or check for forums about the Micca digital media player. Social media is also a good source for product reviews. However, I have found the most unbiased reviews can be found on Amazon and the reviews are frequently updated by those posting them.