Review: KWorld Media - Top Software, Cheap Hardware

Written by Matthew Lentini     29/03/2011 | 02:14 | Category name i.e.MEDIA CENTRES

An incredibly simple and handy piece of bundled software is the diamond in the rough with the KWorld M120.


The entry-level M120 from KWorld is a relatively small, black media player that supports a large range of video formats (including 1080p content) to TVs with a range of input options from SD/MMC to USB - the downside is that it doesn't always want to run with the best quality.

While the HDMI and VGA outputs sit behind the unit, the analogue YPbPr and AV outputs sit on the left side of the unit, which is the unattractive option you're left with by default since no HDMI cable is stocked.

The menu is simple, featuring movie, music, picture, explore and settings tabs. The explore tab lets you navigate through USB or SD/MMC inputs to choose what media you want to access, while settings gives a range of AV options including video output (whether you want PAL, NTSC, HDMI-1080p, etc, and at what refresh rate you want to playback) and audio format.

While the options are expansive, there's a general feel of lacking automation in what should essentially be a plug-and-play device.

The real star is the 'Format Factory' software that is bundled with the player. Format Factory lets users convert video and sound across most formats, ranging across popular web video standards like H.264, compressed files like AVI, mobile formats like 3GP and most other formats you'd look for across Mac and PC.

With the M120's playback of most file types, there's no real necessity for this software, but its applications outside of just the M120 are great. In practice it can be used for optimising video for phone playback, converting music for ringtones, compressing movies and sharing video across Mac and PC video editing software.

Video editing software for this type of file conversion is often expensive, so as a bundled CD this comes as a big selling point for the M120.

The device itself is simple enough, with clearly marked buttons and easily accessible input ports, but it also feels cheap, overly plastic and has a poor output layout. The picture quality is there but with less options apart from playback than on other players, though the M120 is still a plausible option for anyone hoping to run videos in obscure formats on their TV.

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Pros & Cons

Pros:

Simple file conversion software that does the job of expensive software; multiple inputs and outputs

Cons:

Mediocre build; specific playback options make it a little overcomplicated; cables get in the way of design