What was once a niche market has now exploded into the mainstream. Networked media streamers are becoming an absolute necessity in today's home theater setup, solidifying their place as a legitimate source of content and by bridging the gap between TV and Internet.
Our last Uebo review went relatively well with the company's. The unit handled near every file type we threw at it and was easy enough to set up. The M400 brings much-needed Wi-Fi support out of the box and the ability to add up to a 2TB internal hard drive.
Aside from these two additions, most of the device's functionality remains the same. There's still a bevy of preprogrammed Internet channels like YouTube and Flickr, Internet Radio playback, and room for video expansion using services like Play On (requires a separate subscription). The M400, like its predecessor handled every file format we threw at it with ease.
Speaking in terms of aesthetics, the M400 most resembles the M200 for its two-tone brushed-aluminum and glossy-black finish. It now appears much like a digital cable set top box. Finding room for the M400 shouldn't be much of a hassle for any home theater setup, but just note that the protruding Wi-Fi antenna does require a bit more of an open area. If bringing your own hard drive is in the works for your M400, we definitely recommend finding even more of an open area as the box will generate a lot more heat with a spinning drive inside.
All the other usual suspects are here, too, HDMI, component, and composite out is supported, along with a wired LAN connection too. The right side of the device supports SD/MS/MMC memory cards as well as USB slots; two host ports for external drives, thumb drives and the like, and one USB device slot for connection with a desktop or laptop connection. We also noticed the upgrade to USB 3.0 for file transfers--a nice touch considering the gigantic size of high-res media files. Of course you'll need 3.0 compatibility on the source device, but it's a great addition nonetheless.
The M400's interface is simplistic, smooth, and easy to navigate. There's the option to browse via media type, by all, or by drive. Sure, the UI has its quirks, but it's nothing a few days behind the wheel won't cure. Text input remains a major issue with the M400 and from the get-go we really felt handicapped navigating without some sort of QWERTY functionality.
Like we alluded to above, the M400 had no problems with pretty much any file type it claimed support with. Supported video file types include AVI, DIV, MKV, TS, TP, TRP, M2TS, MPG, MP4, MOV, M4V, VOB, ISO, IFO, DAT, WMV, ASF, RM, RMBV, and FLV flash files. Audio support includes MP3, OGG, WMA, WAV, ACC, and FLAC files. Video playback supports Dolby Digital True HD, DTS HD-MA or pass-through. Resolution support includes the HDMI 1.3 profile for up to 1080p at 60Hz.