“Classic” in modern processing: an overview of the iconBIT XDS73D mk2 media player

    Well, something, and the iconBIT brand knows how to make media players, in this regard, it somehow does not observe equal competitors among Russian brands (if I'm mistaken, correct it). Earlier, I talked about curious media consoles like iconBIT Toucan Smart 3D and iconBIT Toucan Stick 4K. This time I had at my disposal a very interesting product - iconBIT XDS73D mk2. This is an updated version of the iconBIT XDS73D, the references to which send us back to the distant 2011. The original model belonged to a new generation of media players, it was one of the first to support a gigabit network and "honest" 3D. And even in the materials of 2012-2013, observers speak about the device in a purely positive manner. So, now the iconBIT XDS73D is listed by the brand as an archive model, while the iconBIT XDS73D mk2, the version of the “long-liver” with built-in Wi-Fi support, has replenished the current line.


    The media player comes in a neat white box on which the main advantages of the model are set out, and on the back all connectors and ports are indicated and signed.

    The set of accessories is extremely minimal: an AV cable, a network adapter, a warranty card, an instruction manual and a remote control. The instruction is quite detailed, although some important details are missing from my point of view. However, if that - help can always be found on the brand forum.

    The console is lightweight, with a claim to ergonomics. Plastic left a lasting impression on the television sets of my childhood and youth. The surface is matte, fingerprints do not remain on it. The keys are moderately elastic, but with a central "joystick" overdone - clicks loudly and clearly. If someone is sleeping nearby while you start the movie, not for long and wake the person. The functionality of the console is decent, it took me no more than a couple of days to learn and remember the position of the main commands. Of course, to exploit the whole sea of ​​buttons “blindly”, it will take much more time.


    The iconBIT XDS73D mk2 looks solid and expensive, a device with such a design is not ashamed to display next to the expensive home theater equipment. The case is all-metal, rather heavy, which in this case is perceived as a purely positive moment.

    At the ends and top there are no elements, in general, a single button is installed on the front panel. There are claims to a very bright button illumination; there are no adjustments to this moment. So, if it is absolutely unbearable, you can’t do without a piece of black electrical tape.

    Below we observe perforation for improved cooling. I note that a massive aluminum heatsink is used to cool the processor and the board, no fans. As a result, the media player is completely silent, in complete silence only the front diodes indicate the activity of the device. Well, the video being played :) On the underside there are four legs-overlays, their purpose is to avoid overlapping perforation with the surface on which the media player stands. The legs do not claim to improve adhesion to the coating, since they do not contain a single gram of rubber.

    A set of ports is where such “stationary” media players unconditionally beat all kinds of HDMI sticks. Plus, number one - with the iconBIT XDS73D mk2 and its component / composite AV outputs, you can revive your relatively old TV with an analog input. For example, a model could be useful to me in the country, but there for the second year there a simple player has been working on its $ 10. I mean, during the country trip, “upgrade” the TV to watch a movie in the evening after working on the site - that’s it.

    HDMI 1.4 needs no introduction, as does the eSATA port along with two USB connectors. One connector attracts attention in blue - yes, it's high-speed USB 3.0. Very good, although I did not disclose the full potential of the latter as part of the medical center, the volume of my USB 3.0 flash drive is only 8 GB. It completes the set with an optical output, eSATA and power connectors, as well as an RJ-45 LAN port.

    I note that the peripherals were connected “with a bang” - both the mouse and the keyboard were successfully launched. Similarly, everything went well with removable media. In particular, flash drives were tested, including USB 3.0, as well as (via adapters) SD and microSD cards for 16 and 32 GB. From the “heavyweights”, a 2 TB Seagate Constellation ES.3 hard drive was connected, all partitions and files in them were recognized and started correctly. For writing and reading, iconBIT XDS73D mk2 supports NTFS, FAT32, and EXT3 file systems.

    On the left side is a foldable antenna that provides Wi-Fi 802.11b / g / n signal reception. I live in a one-room apartment, so I can not fully appreciate the quality of signal reception. Nevertheless, as I did not try to maximally separate the router and the media player, the connection was stable, one or two divisions “fell off” from the maximum.

    Setup, features and hardware platform

    The basis of the model is the Realtek RTD1186DD chipset, not a newcomer to the media player market, the model was released in October 2011. Compared with the previous generation in the person of Realtek 1055 from 2010, a more advanced version introduced support for HDMI 1.4, 3D video and, importantly, Android - along with an increase due to the 750 MHz processor and 512 MB of RAM performance. In 2012, comrade iklementiev even performed experiments on expanding functionality over his media center based on Realtek RTD1186DD . At the same time, the chipset has support for a gigabit network, and interfaces that are relevant not only years earlier, but also now, including the USB 3.0 port.

    Despite the fact that they are currently producing very decent multi-functional Android sticks and consoles, the iconBIT XDS73D mk2 has a significant advantage over them. This model was originally created on a chip that is hardware-tuned specifically for video, the presence of Android here is made as a secondary feature. The iconBIT XDS73D mk2 does not even support Google Play, all additional programs are installed from APK files from removable media. On the other hand, it is Android that provides the models with a serious advantage over devices on purely “internal” firmware of manufacturers. After all, if there are problems with playback, otherwise you just have to hope that the company will fix bugs. But this does not always happen. In iconBIT XDS73D mk2, Android solves the issue at the software level - we picked up the software / codec and go, to watch the desired movie. So the number one here is firmware based on Realtek SDK4, and Android is a successful addition.

    Frankly, at first iconBIT XDS73D mk2 made me seriously worried. The fact is that by default there are only three items in the main menu: file manager, Internet services tab and settings. Where is Android here? Where are all the services and programs that I saw in the reviews of the previous model? Here I would like to blame the iconBIT, which did not bother to illuminate this feature of the model in the manual. The fact is that usually they try to dump all the options of the media player on the user, and only after the user, if this is possible, disables unnecessary menu functions. So, in iconBIT XDS73D mk2 they went from the opposite, all items except the three listed need to be manually enabled through the settings, where they still need to be found.

    In general, the approach is ambiguous, although I do not deny it - it has its own logic and pluses. But it is necessary to warn at least in the manual. But what happened motivated me just in case to update the firmware. According to the download directory, the firmware has been updated four times, the last not so long ago - in March this year. At the same time, I became convinced of the simplicity of the update process - we drop the IMG file on a USB flash drive, press the player’s power button for a couple of seconds, and after that we watch the installation start. No additional “body movements” need be undertaken. Later it turned out that right in the settings there is a point to select the update image and start the process.

    Well, it’s necessary - it means it’s necessary, we go to the far from the most intuitive Settings / Miscellaneous tab and activate the desired services. It’s not very convenient that there are no grouping of items, the activation of the programs goes in one list with other options in the tab. Well, okay, once accustomed, you stop paying attention to such trifles. You can see the full list in the pictures, we will familiarize ourselves with the services below.

    For what I would like to shake hands with the developers, it’s for autorun. We have a choice of auto start sections - video, music or photo. That is, if, in addition to video, you rarely resort to other features / services, you will not have to make unnecessary moves around the menu. In addition, it is convenient if households are not very versed in technology (is this still common?) And can get confused in the system.

    Since my acquaintance with the player began with the settings, I will dwell on them a little more.

    We will definitely have to visit the System if we want to use Android. Yes, the platform must first be activated, after which you must enter the system through the special item on the main menu. And do not forget to reboot, otherwise you will not see the treasured item. Java support is not provided for in the model, so we are satisfied with the “BD-Lite menu” for activating options while watching Blu-ray films.

    "Audio" - in the presence of the so-called night mode, when you turn it on, the volume automatically decreases to a "more comfortable value." In addition, we set the sound source and make a choice between RAW and LPCM.

    In the "Video" innovative items are not visible, quite standard settings. There is a “Plasma Effect", but in addition to changing the brightness, I did not notice any special consequences of its use.

    Network settings include both wired and wireless connection methods. I had no problems with Wi-Fi, only when I entered the password I did not immediately find the CapsLock button. After the connection, the network is saved along with the password for the future connection in the “WiFi Network Settings” tab. Here, right from the beginning, we select from the points available in the district.

    Services and software

    The file manager is the first in the menu, and we will start with it. You must select the content source: USB drive, Network, UPnP, or NFS connection. If the connected media is partitioned, they will be presented as a choice. Navigation is fast, the media player did not slow down both in flash drives and in a 2-terabyte hard drive.

    Various options for sorting, filtering and presenting files are available in the context menu. I like the usual list, but I really liked the option with a preview - a list of files is displayed on the right, and playback of the current video quickly starts on the left.

    The Blu-Ray files I tried were not particularly remembered, since everything went more or less smoothly, the autorun menu included in the system settings functioned correctly. With 3D-movies, regardless of the bitrate, the media player also coped without the "strain". After connecting to the TV, I was asked to use the pseudo-3D mode. If you run a 3D movie, we will first be asked if we really want to watch “in volume” or whether 2D is suitable.

    The pop-up menu during video playback essentially duplicates the buttons on the remote control, so there’s someone who likes to control it. From the remote, you can even call up a small window with detailed information about the file: sound, resolution, bit rate, etc.

    Contextual settings depend on a specific file - there is a choice of subtitles, audio tracks. Moreover, both options can again be launched from the remote control.

    Well recommended viewing photos. Nowadays such times that almost every other family has “DSLRs”, and weak processors of cheap media players with poor photos do a poor job. In thumbnail mode, iconBIT XDS73D mk2 draws a preview of 12 photos in a maximum of 3 seconds. Switching between files "at the pace of a waltz" occurs with an interval of up to 2 seconds, most often the delay is almost not felt. The photo can be set as wallpaper, run a slide show, choose from almost a dozen transitions.

    Music playback does not stand out, the dialogue is built on the principle of the video preview mentioned above. Unfortunately, no equalizer is provided.

    Further on the main menu are sections of the library - videos, music and photos. However, my icons remained gray (inactive), as knowledgeable people suggested, these sections are available only for hard drives. It is a pity that this only works for the eSATA connector, the connection of the hard drive via the USB media player was “not impressed”.

    “Favorites” - add shortcuts to quick access to specific folders and files on removable or remote media.

    In the "Applications" hidden a good two dozen Internet services. The list is as follows:
    • YouTube
    • GlavTV
    • Media center
    • Transmission (torrent client)
    • UA online2
    • Entertainment (13 links to sites with videos, news, jokes)
    • Новости (почти три десятка порталов, в основном компьютерной тематики)
    • Jukebox
    • Погода
    • Биржа (Yahoo)
    • Picasa
    • Flickr
    • Audio Podcast
    • Video Podcast
    • Last FM
    • Shoutcast
    • DailyMotion
    • Realpilot
    • Buddy Link
    • Google карты

    Plus additional service management and updates for them. In my opinion, it turned out to be a rather strange “hodgepodge” - almost half of the services of a wide Russian-speaking audience are unlikely to be interesting.

    I have already told you in past reviews of iconBIT media players what Media Center is. Let me reiterate the official description: “Play IPTV (UDP / RTP multicast), online TV (HTTP / RTSP / RTMP), Internet radio and audio / video files from local and network resources (FTP and SMB) from M3U and XSPF playlists” . Here, in places, they duplicate the “Applications” - again we meet the torrent client. In general, the selection is not bad - there are almost all the largest video platforms such as IVI.RU, MEGOGO.NET, etc.

    In the latest firmware version, web-serving is assigned to a standard Android browser. If you roll back to previous versions, then we will see a rather strange, but still Casablanca browser. The application, although it causes mixed feelings, is even suitable for remote control. However, if you want to really spend a lot of time surfing the web through a set-top box, I still recommend looking at the same iconBIT Toucan Smart 3D Quad or iconBIT Toucan Stick 4K.

    It’s not worth counting on Android, it’s a secondary, and not equal to the main SDK feature of the device. Due to the chipset, the platform’s capabilities are very limited, in a good way we have a more convenient browser, and installation of simple utilities. Yes, and the version of Android 2.X imposes its limitations on software compatibility.


    According to iconBIT, this model supports:

    • Video containers: MKV [.mkv, .mka], ASF, WMV [.asf, .wmv], MOV, MP4 [.mov, .mp4], MPEG [.ts, .tp, .m2ts, .mpg], AVI [ .avi, divx], RealVideo [.rm, .rmvb], Flash Video [.flv]
    • Video codecs: H.264, MPEG 1,2,4 (DivX, Xvid), VCD, SVCD, DVD, WMV9, M-JPEG (640 × 480 × 30p; 848 × 480 × 10p), RealVideo 8, 9, 10 (up to 1280 × 720)
    • Audio containers: WAV [.wav, .pcm], ADIF, ADTS [.aac], M4A [.m4a], OGG [.ogg], ASF, WMA [.asf, .wma], FLAC [.flac], RealAudio [ .rm, .ra, .rmvb]
    • Audio Codecs: MPEG 1/2 Audio Layers I, II, and III (MP3), Dolby Digital (AC-3), DTS, DTS-HD, Dolby TrueHD, PCM, MPEG-2/4, AAC LC and HE Microsoft WMA and WMA Pro, FLAC Sampling rates: 8, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48, 96KHz, DTS 6 ch, LPCM, ADPCM, RA-cook
    • Subtitles: MicroDVD [.sub] / SubRip [.srt] / Sub Station Alpha [.ssa] / Sami [.smi]

    I conducted “chaotic” testing on a collection of HD and Full HD video clips with a bitrate of up to 13.6 Mbps. The model coped with the confusion of codecs and containers on the top five, I did not expect anything else from Realtek RTD1186DD. As a non-standard testing ground for testing, I chose my own huge archive of video from car recorders and action cameras, here the bitrate reached 12-15 Mbps. And again, without excesses, both sound and picture were reproduced normally. However, the Super Full HD video of the newfangled recorders turned out to be beyond the player's power. However, this permission was not declared as supported. The same story with 4k videos. I’m just forming my own mega collection for testing media players, so for now I suggest looking at a detailed video test on the website of Chekanov Laboratory - there at one time they tested the "original" iconBIT XDS73D on the same hardware platform, only without Wi-Fi.


    What did I not like about the iconBIT XDS73D mk2? Poor equipment, an HDMI cable could be attached. There are localization flaws, maybe they will be fixed in future firmware. A very controversial benefit from Android - in fact, the benefit is limited to the browser and an additional video player.

    According to Yandex.Market, the average price of an iconBIT XDS73D mk2 is 3,360 rubles ($ 90 dollars). For comparison, the more Android-oriented iconBIT Toucan Smart 3D Quad will cost 4,990 rubles ($ 134 dollars). From the position of a classic media player with a “bun” in the form of Wi-Fi, the price is more than adequate. The strengths of the model are its excellent support for a variety of video formats, playback of 3D content, many built-in video services from the Internet, and finally the attractive design of the media player itself. Regarding Wi-Fi, you can focus on both watching videos from the Internet and connecting to a NAS, in both cases I did not have any particular complaints about the device. Yes, and how not to mention the abundance of ports, up to Ethernet and composite outputs. Generally,

    Also popular now: