Sunday, January 23, 2011

GIEC GK110HD Internet Media Player

Warning: Not an Apple-product related post!

I just bought the GIEC GK110HD Internet Media Player @ S$150 from a promoter on lvl 4of the famous Sim Lim Square in Singapore. She threw in a free HDMI cable :)

GIEC is a big electronics company in China. Based on how well this media player worked, I think GIEC is a company to watch. They should consider making an Apple TV clone at half the price.

The internet media streaming player market is really competitive now. I was walking around on lvl 3 and 4 of Sim Lim, listening to various sales pitches, asking for demonstrations, checking out what internet connections speeds the promoters were using and comparing pricing, model features etc.

You have to be careful whether any specific media player model supports internet streaming. If it's cheaper than S$100, there is a high chance that it is just a stand-alone mediaplayer (which cannot stream direct from the internet). If in doubt, just check whether the mediaplayer has a LAN socket for internet cable.

Seriously, given that many internet media player with HD/HDMI support is priced at less than S$160, no one should be getting those without at this point in time. The GK110HD does have RCA connectors (yellow/red/white) to support legacy connections.

My GK110HD works surprisingly well considering I only have a 6mbps internet connection (my telco is starhub) - the streaming HD movie quality is as good as my Blu-ray movies, though there were some occasional image stuttering that didn't bother me. (Though my wife noticed it more than I did).

The remote that came with the media player also allows fast forwarding of ppstream movies (something I understand is not common for most internet media streaming players).

Most PRC and HK channels connect well but Taiwanese channels tend to be a little iffy (some sites give the 404 or file format error). Cached/Archived movies and programmes tend to fare better than live streaming TV. The streaming sites packaged with the player are:

PPstream (best streaming experience, even at peak hours)
Union Voole (movies - but very laggy streaming)
HDPFans (for CCTV)
Youtube (many videos unable to play from the GK110HD)
RSS Streaming

The promoter was also offering the GK220HD at $170 with internal space for a HDD but otherwise I couldn't see much difference feature-wise so I decided to go for the GK110HD.

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