Mede8er sent us their MED1000X3D, the second media player with a Realtek RTD1186 processor. It's interesting that it took this veteran manufacturer of media players so long to launch a 3D compatible media player. Hardware.Info tested it to find out how it performs. Also, is there still room on the market for a dedicated media player in this day and age?
Since we reviewed the last media player with an RTD1186 chip at the end of last year not a lot has happened in the world of media players. There are several reasons for this. The Realtek chip that added Android and 3D support to the popular precursor RTD1185 had some initial issues. It caused consumers to choose cheaper alternatives with proven hardware.
Another reason is that Realtek has indicated it won't support the Android features. It does work (sluggishly), but no support is provided to manufacturers wanting to implement the Android features into their products. That means they would be forced to provide this support themselves to end users which would be very costly, or they had to leave it out all together. The latter solution requires some updates of the firmware, and that's the approach Mede8or took with its MED1000X3D.
All Android features have been removed from the MED1000X3D. Mede8er developed its own version of the SDK and firmware, which took time. Mede8er claims the time investment proved beneficial, as all processing power now serves the core features which should make the media player very fast. Considering Android did not perform very fast even on the 750 Mhz RTD1186, we wonder how much processing power was really freed up. Our tests will clarify this of course.
The question is whether consumers will actually miss Android. Google does not (yet) support Android on media players, which means there is no certification process and no access to the Google Play Store and other Google apps. Also, when we reviewed previous media players with Android they tan version 2.2, while the rest of the world is using 4.x and version 5 is around the corner. In other words, the lack of Android is not a big deal.
Media player exit?
The question is also whether there still is a need and demand for media players. An increasing number of televisions, Blu-ray players and home cinema sets have the ability to play back digital content. When you add to that the growing number of media-capable smartphones and tablets equipped with HDMI (or MHL) outputs, the added value of a media player in this day and age is starting to diminish. It's a great time therefore to test a deluxe media player in the shape of the Mede8er MED1000X3D, which costs around £160 for the model without hard disk.