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Uebo M400 review: Uebo M400

Uebo M400

Jeff Bakalar Editor at Large
Jeff is CNET Editor at Large and a host for CNET video. He's regularly featured on CBS and CBSN. He founded the site's longest-running podcast, The 404 Show, which ran for 10 years. He's currently featured on Giant Bomb's Giant Beastcast podcast and has an unhealthy obsession with ice hockey and pinball.
Jeff Bakalar
5 min read

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.


Uebo M400

The Good

The <b>Uebo M400 WiFi Media Player</b> can stream content to your HDTV, other computers on a shared network, and can play any media file type thrown at it. A solid amount of interface connections, tons of preprogrammed Internet content, and the ability to install up to a 2TB drive really extends the overall potential of the device.

The Bad

Because it relies so heavily on search and text input, the M400 desperately needs some sort of QWERTY remote control input device. While we can appreciate the amount of customization and the DIY approach to home streaming, the M400 might be a bit confusing to someone who is not well-versed in the world of media and networking.

The Bottom Line

While we recommend the Uebo M400 to the DIY streaming and content guru, the M400 is certainly not for novices. It's also desperately in need of some sort of QWERTY input remote.

Our last Uebo review went relatively well with the company's M200. 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.

Noticeably absent from the included accessories is an HDMI cable.

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.

Around back is where most of the connectivity options hide.

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.

In addition to basic media browsing, the M400 offers plenty of Internet-based functionality, including YouTube, Picasa, and Flickr support as well as Internet radio, and RSS feeds. There's also a Web browser built-in as well. The M400 can use the Play On media service (which requires a subscription) that opens up the door to ESPN, Hulu, and Netflix on-demand content. This requires a PC to run the Play On software as well, so just know the source PC must be on at all times for access.

The included remote control is an improvement over the M200's. The confusing center button and its arrow icon are gone and replaced by an OK button. Things still get a little cluttered as we make our way down the remote, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. Alas, we still really wish QWERTY functionality was implemented in some capacity here. We also were very confused by the center button and its arrow icon.

The M400's remote is a big improvement over its predecessor.

Like most of the same products in this category, the M400 can also access devices on the same network and then stream them to your HDTV. Even though the M400 boasts a Wi-Fi connection, we're still believers in wired connections for products like these and only recommend going wireless if it's an absolute necessity. Like almost every other product before it, we found that a wired connection provided overall higher quality and a quicker overall experience.

The M400 can also act conversely, making itself the server. In addition, the device comes loaded with a Web-based interface easily accessible from any browser on a home network. The M400 can also act as an FTP or SAMBA server.

Making its return is also a built-in BitTorrent client. However, the use of it relies solely on having an internal hard drive installed. Unfortunately, it does not seem that you can load a torrent file onto a thumbdrive and download from that. You'll need to load the torrent file on the internal drive, and only then can you actually download. While it's certainly an unexpected yet welcome feature, we really wish it was accessible through other connected devices (like an external mass-storage hard drive). If you don't plan on purchasing an internal 3.5-inch SATA drive, this feature is useless.

It's tough to put into words the sheer amount of functionality the M400 packs inside. Even though we spent two weeks with the device, we feel like there are plenty of hours we can still spend searching through content and experimenting. While this will surely whet the appetites of savvy DIYers, it's probably a bit intimidating for more novice users. For this reason, we'd refer that demographic to a product like the "="">Western Digital TV Live Hub. Pound for pound we think its interface is a little less confusing, and it comes with a built-in 1TB drive. Even though the two products are similarly priced, the TV Hub does appear to be the better overall deal, especially for the beginner user.

If you need more advice on choosing the right digital media streamer, check out our guide that'll recommend the best device for your individual taste and situation.


Uebo M400

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 8Performance 7