By Andrew Liszewski
Not only is the PicoHD5.1 media player from Crystal Acoustics remarkably smaller than the 2nd generation Apple TV, but it also runs circles around it in terms of functionality as far as I’m concerned. At least for those of us who aren’t interesting in streaming content. While it might look like a flash card reader, it’s actually designed to connect to a high-def display via HDMI and play back a multitude of different file formats including MKVs and Divx in full 1080P with 5.1 “multichannel” audio.
Content can be played directly from an SD card, a flash drive or even a full NTFS formatted external hard drive connected to the USB port. Understandably the PicoHD5.1 doesn’t have any on-board storage of its own, so you’ll have to remember to factor that in to the ~$80 price tag if for some reason you don’t already have a pile of drives lying around. But if you do and are looking for a dead easy way to watch ‘internet acquired’ content on your big screen, I can’t think of an easier or cheaper solution.