LaCinema Black PLAY media streamer

The LaCie LaCinema Black PLAY is a 500GB Wi-Fi-enabled media streaming device

LaCie LaCinema Black PLAY
  • LaCie LaCinema Black PLAY
  • LaCie LaCinema Black PLAY
  • LaCie LaCinema Black PLAY
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Attractive, impressive format support

Cons

  • A little expensive, doesn't support Macs

Bottom Line

Beautifully built and feature rich, the LaCie LaCinema Black PLAY media streamer is a solid device.

Would you buy this?

We first had a look at the LaCinema range of media-streaming devices back in March when the LaCie LaCinema Max - the top end model in the range - arrived in the Test Centre. The LaCie LaCinema Black PLAY is a marginally less capable product with very similar styling and a lower price tag. It comes with a 500GB hard drive but doesn't have a TV tuner.

The LaCie LaCinema Black PLAY is a very attractive media streamer. Finished in piano black, we were immediately smitten by its sharp black lines. Discreet LaCie branding is hidden on one side, while the only indication of any sort of function is a recessed USB connector. In use, the LaCinema Black PLAY has a glowing blue light that emanates from below.

Its design therefore gets a huge thumbs-up - the LaCie LaCinema Black PLAY products are among the few you'd probably be happy to find sat next to your flatscreen TV or DVD recorder. Round the back of the device is a neat arrangement of connectors: component video and audio outputs, an HDMI port, two flat USB 2.0 ports and a square one plus an ethernet port so you can connect the Play directly to a network. It also streams over a draft n wireless network.

The 500GB LaCie LaCinema Black PLAY comes with its own HDMI cable and a dear little remote control about half the size of the one you probably use with your TV. Buttons control and mute the volume, bring up an onscreen menu and let you access the settings menu. A navipad is used to get to items you want to play.

Media to play back is detected by a Twonky server that in effect turns your PC into a UPnP (universal plug and play) server and funnels respective content into Video, Photo and Music Spaces on the LaCie LaCinema Black PLAY device.

Photo file formats run from Jpeg and bitmap to Tiff, GIF and PNG - far more than most such devices can recognise. Music playback options are similarly impressive, with Ogg Vorbis, AAC and AC3 joining the ubiquitous MP3 and WMA options.

It's video that will interest many consumers, however, given the LaCie LaCinema Black PLAY's 1,080i high-definition playback capability and its inclusion of a wireless n receiver. H.264, Mpeg 2 and Mpeg 4 are joined by DiVx, MOV, VOB and MKV and several others.

All of this worked flawlessly and, against the smart black background of the PLAY's interface, photos and videos looked exceptional.

Our only real criticisms of this LaCie LaCinema Black PLAY are that it seems a little expensive compared to the similarly capable Netgear Digital Elite and that it doesn't support Macs. Given its design pretensions, this seemed an oversight worth addressing.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?