When viewed as just a Blu-ray player, the Smart B1 is a fail. You can get better performance and more features for significantly less. But when you factor in its potential as a full home movie server — say, a “poor man’s Kaleidescape” — it appears in an entirely different, and awesome, light. If you’re willing to go through the steps of ripping your DVD and Blu-ray collection, the Smart B1 can play them back in pristine quality from an attached drive.
Streaming content to its players over the Internet is of paramount importance to Dune HD, and it expects to add Vudu in a firmware update in the first quarter of 2012. (It also anticipates “adding other popular services” regularly.) Dune HD has an optimistic road map for players like its Smart B1. It will be interesting to see how far the company moves toward meeting those goals.
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