Been looking for a media streamer with Apple-style usability but more open format support? If so, the LaCinema Classic HD is it.
Anyone who's familiar with LaCie's ever-popular USB hard drives will immediately recognise the angular, minimalist styling of the LaCinema.
Only a USB connection and blue down-light appear on the front – the glossy black finish combines with the compact shape to create a stylish, discreet unit.
The menus, made-up of large white icons on a pure black screen, make navigation straightforward. It found all our servers and shared folders immediately, and with the exception of Apple Lossless and AIFF files, will play almost anything.
Sound impresses as much as pictures
As the ‘HD' in the LaCie's name will suggest, playing back high-definition video is its raison d'être – and it's certainly impressive in this regard.
Fed a hi-def MKV or M2TS file, this is a clear step above its nearest rivals, offering greater detail, definition and depth to the image.
Motion is very stable, and colours are vibrant. With standard-def it's much the same.
It's sonically superb, too. Surround soundtracks have impressive weight and dynamics, while stereo music has greater detail and attack than most rivals.
The final trick up the LaCinema's sleeve is that you can fill its 1TB hard disk with media, not only to play it locally, but also so it can be shared with other streamers on your network (think Xbox 360 or PS3).
That's right: this streamer is also an effective NAS device. What more could you ask for?
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