Today for review I’ve got another media player, this time it’s the Showcase from Hornettek that can use either a 2.5” or 3.5” hard drive for the storage of your stuff. The Showcase can support many different types of media formats, and it has outputs for HDMI, composite and component so you’ve got choices in how you want to hook it up. This media player works well, but it’s rather basic, so let’s just jump right into it.


Let’s get this started with the video unboxing:

Then on to the pictures of the box and contents.

The box is nice looking, nicely designed and there’s lots of information all over it, but it’s just a box after all and we want what’s inside.

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Once you get everything unpacked you’ll find the media player, user manual on disc, quick start guide, power supply, power cable, A/V cables, remote control, batteries and screws.

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The remote looks just like the one that was in the PBO Core media player that I reviewed recently, so I’m accustomed to using it.

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The Showcase itself is a small little black box made of plastic and metal. it looks nice, and it should be at home in any media center I’m sure. On the front of the box is a USB port, power button, IR receiver and LED indicators.

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On the back you’ll find a small cooling fan, composite, component and HDMI video outputs, there’s also a spidf port as well. You’ll also find the power switch, power port, ethernet connection and two more USB port, a regular one and a mini style.

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Specifications:

Showcase

The HornetTek Showcase is a 2.5”& 3.5 ” SATA Hard Drive Networking Multimedia Player.  A powerful media player that comes with Full HD-video playback (up to 1080p), Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound enabled, and an expandable internal storage via 2.5" or 3.5” SATA Hard Drive. The HornetTek Showcase comes with a user-friendly remote control and a step-by-step menu to assist you on playing your favorite movies, music, and pictures. The HornetTek Showcase’s feature menu allow users to quickly browse any shared videos, photos, or music over the network or external USB device. It also supports today’s most popular media formats (MKV, RMVB…etc).
 
The HornetTek Showcase is designed with a rigid aluminum casing layout to provide a full metal shielding for heat dissipation and sufficient EMI control. You may also insert a wireless dongle (HornetTek brand only) to wirelessly connect your Media player to the PC using the network streaming function for video playback via the UPnP network. The HornetTek Showcase comes with a USB 2.0 interface that offers you a high speed data transfer rate (up to 480Mbit/sec). Supporting both PAL and NTSC television formats, the Showcase will automatically adjust between PAL and NTSC to fit almost all Television standards set around the world.

Features:
-Full-HD 1080P video play back on your TV system
-2.5" & 3.5" SATA Hard Drive can be easily install into Media Player unit
-Browse photo with background music playing
-Stream and transfer files through Ethernet and USB 2.0 Host port
-Support various multimedia formats such as RMVB, MKV…etc
-Equipped with a High Definition Multimedia Interface Connector (HDMI)
-Support both NTSC and PAL video out
-Play file from USB storage device
-Direct connection to TV & HI-FI speakers & Fiber Optical Output
-Support Multi Language Subtitle Menu Language: English, Traditional Chinese, Spanish, French, Germany, Italian, Dutch, Polish and Simplified Chinese available.
-Support Dolby and DTS decode
-BT download available and file sharing on LAN (Transcode Server software needed)
-Power Adapter, 100-240 VAC(47Hz~63Hz), 12V/2A output
-Unit weight: 2.45 lb
-OS support: Windows 2000 / XP /  VISTA / 7 ,Linux kernel 2.4.1.0 or above

Specification:   
Model: Showcase
Exterior Interfaces:
Video Output: Composite Out  / HDMI 1.3 Out (Supported up to 1920*1080p)
Audio Output: Audio Out L/R
SPDIF(Optical)
File Transfer Port: USB 2.0 port (2 Ports)
Ethernet: 10/100Mbps RJ-45

WI-FI 802.11g: HT-2223BK (Optional)

Multi-Media Support:
Video Decoding:
MPEG-1: MPG/MPEG/DAT up to 1080p
MPEG-2: MPG/MPEG/VOB/ISO/IFO/TS/TP/M2TS up to 1080p
MPEG-4: MP4/AVI/MOV support up to 1080p
DivX/XviD 3/4/5/6: AVI/MKV support up to 1080p
H.264, AVC: TS/AVI/MKV/MOV/M2TS support up to 1080p
WMV9: WMV support up to 1080p
Real Video 8/9/10: RM/RMVB support up to 720p
FLV: FLV support up to 1080p

Audio Decoding:    
WMA, MP3, Real Audio (RA), Dolby & DTS
Picture Format: JPEG,BMP, PNG


For testing I hooked it up and watched videos, looked at pictures and listened to music.

The menu is very basic, on three choices on the main menu for File Copy, Browser and Setup.

The first is File Copy where you can copy USB, HDD or even over your network.

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The browser is where you’ll access all of your media from. It can be browsed by category of All, Music, Photo or Video. Photos and Videos offer previews which is nice.

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The music player is basic, but it works. It does tell you about the music if the tags are there. The sound was decent over my home theater system, no complaints there.

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Playing videos is I’m sure the main thing most will do on the Showcase media player and it does that well. The Showcase supports many types of files and up to 1080p in resolution. I loaded up a 1080P movies and watched a bit of it and found it looks great. I was connected via HDMI for the movie and it was flawless, no skips or jumps or anything like that. You can play video or other media from a USB drive, streaming over your network or use a hard drive inside of the Showcase.

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Under the Settings you’ll find more of the same stuff you find on other media players. The Settings menu is broken up into sub-menus of Audio, Video, Network, System and Misc.

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Conclusion:
The Hornettek Showcase is a fairly basic media player, but it can handle many types of video formats all the way up to 1080p resolution.

The Showcase is well made and easy to use. The remote works well, it does have good range on it.

The menu is very basic and at times it can be slow at browsing.

The Showcase isn’t exactly what I would call a top of the line player, but it’s not bad overall. I think it could use a redeign ont he interface surely to make it look more aesthetically pleasing and maybe more streamlined.

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Pros:
+Easy to use
+Can use either 2.5" or 3.5" drives
Several output options
+Many supported file types
+Small and sleek looking

Cons:
-Basic interface
-Interface can be slow at times

Grades:  
Overall score 8 10 thumb1 Review of Hornettek Showcase Media Player
Design score 9 10 thumb1 Review of Hornettek Showcase Media Player
Performance score 8 10 thumb1 Review of Hornettek Showcase Media Player

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