AV Peripherals and Systems Guide
Dune HD Showcases Upgrade to the TV-101 with the Upcoming TV-301
Dune HD is a german company that exclusively develops and manufactures media players based on the Sigma Designs' media processor. Although they are not popularly known in the market, unlike those from Asus, Western Digital or AC Ryan, their players are known for their quality and smooth playback of a wide variety of media files. However, most of their players have been engineered for higher-end installations and that's probably one of the reasons why they haven't been too popular among mainstream consumers.
All that is about to change as they recently launched the TV-101 which is just a barebone player much like Western Digital's TV Live media player. Positioned in the same price range of such players, Dune HD aims to capture the mainstream market by introducing this device.
At CES, Dune HD introduced a follow-up to the TV-101, known as the TV-301. Also based on the same Sigma Designs SMP8670 platform, the TV-301 comes with more ports and an integrated hard disk drive. The TV-301 comes with an easy to open drive bay door which lets you slide a 2.5-inch SATA drive into its hot pluggable port. Besides support for an internal hard drive, the TV-301 also comes with an extra USB 2.0 port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an SD card reader and a USB 3.0 slave port. The USB 3.0 slave port is specially built to allow users to mount its internal drive as a storage drive in the PC for quick file copying between the PC and the media player.
Support for media formats include MKV, MPEG-TS, MPEG-PS, M2TS, VOB, AVI, MOV, MP4, QT, ASF, WMV, BDMV, DVD-ISO and VIDEO_TS while audio files include MP3, MPA, M4A, WMA, FLAC, APE (Monkey’s Audio), Ogg/Vorbis, WAV, AC3 and AAC. What sets this player apart from many other media players is its ability to support very high quality lossless audio encoded at rates up to 192 kHz / 24-bit, a feature that audiophiles will find useful.
The TV-301 is not yet available and according to Dune HD, it's slated to hit the market in the coming months. Pricing has not yet been determined but they indicated it might retail between US$150-200.