Media Streamers and Hubs Guide

AVerMedia AVerLife HD Studio review

AVerMedia AVerLife HD Studio - Simple Does It

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Overall rating 8/10
Design:
7.5
Performance:
8
Features:
7
Value:
8
THE GOOD
Compact size
Clean and speedy UI
THE BAD
Small remote, even smaller buttons
Issue with displaying subtitles


Performance

The HD Studio Impresses (Almost)

The HD Studio has gotten nods of approval from us so far with regards to how easy it was for us to navigate the UI as well as its responsiveness. Now it's time to get tough on it to determine its video playback capabilities (we assume this is what you bought the player for).

First up, we tested the HD Studio on its format compatibility. Here's a list of supported video formats according to AVerMedia:

  • MPEG1 (.dat, .mpg, .mpeg): Up to 20Mbps
  • MPEG2 (.mpg, .mpeg, .vob): Up to 80Mbps
  • MPEG4 (.avi - divx3,4,5,6, xvid, .mp4, .mov, .mkv): Up to 20Mbps
  • H.264 (.mkv, .ts, .m2ts, .avi, .mov, .mp4): Up to 20Mbps
  • Real Video (.rm, .rmvb): Up to 10Mbps (1280 x 800)
  • Flash (.swf)
  • DVD ISO, BD ISO

True enough, the HD Studio played every test clips we threw at it, with the exception of WMA and OGM video files (we aren’t too surprised as these two aren’t in the list to being with). In general, video playback was smooth, even for full-HD 1080p videos. We did notice that the start of the RMVB video had a slight stutter. But that only lasted for a couple of seconds. After that, the video loaded and played smoothly. Loading a BD-ISO did not stress the machine one bit either. The HD Studio handles typical home theater audio formats like Dolby Digital and DTS, but not Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

Ironically, one issue we had with the video performance had nothing to do with playback. Rather, it was the subtitles. No matter what option we toggled, be it the timing offset, the size or the position, nothing would get the player to display the full subtitles. Sentences would be cut off before being replaced with the next sentence, often leading us to make out the end of sentences ourselves. By the way, subtitle support is listed as SMI, ASS, SSA, SRT, SUB, SUB+IDX, and PGS.