About the spring Eminent introduced the EM8102 Web-TV Box. A media player with cool web features. You have a choice of 500 channels and web TV apps. And it can also fit a hard disk. Sound hip?
The Eminent EM8102 ( details and specs ) is literally a box. Quite square, black, shiny, actually not very special, but sleek. On the front is an indicator light, which is red or blue (and quite bright! What is it with blue lights in recent years?), On the right side there is a slot for an SD card and a USB port (3.0). All other connections are on the back.
Channels and web TV
The most important feature of this media player is the fact that you get access to 500 channels or web TV apps, such as YouTube, Uitzending Gemist and NOS. Incidentally, not all of them are immediately available, they are spread over the 14 countries that are supported, so if you set the player to Dutch you only have specific apps for the Netherlands. You must first select a different country for the other apps. I have little to say about the web TV apps. Most work as they should, some require you to create an account first or grant permission to access an existing account, such as for Facebook and Twitter. So it’s a question of playing along.
You have the option to build in a 1TB hard drive. With that you can download files via BitTorrent to view or listen to. You can also insert an SD card, or connect an external hard drive or USB stick. The EM8102 can also act as a Samba Server and does nice with UPnP so that you can also play files via your network. He picked up my NAS without any problems.
New firmware was released on August 21. With the old one, there appeared to be some problems with the file manager, and the new firmware solved it immediately. Some files were not read or recognized and that problem now appears to be resolved. Also some other small improvements have been made. If you already have the EM8102 and are looking for new firmware, look here at Drivers / Software.
The portal looks a bit busy. All thumbnails of the web apps and file browsers are here. They are quite small, I have not yet been able to find out if I can enlarge them. If they had been bigger, it might have been more manageable. Nevertheless, it does come in nicely. However, when you open a file browser, it looks a bit boring. Everything is gray. You can choose from a list, thumbnails or list with preview. I found the preview list useful to browse.
What is also striking in the interface is that the background is dark gray, with a kind of light gray ‘sun’ in the middle. You can see that in one of the photos below. However, it now seems as if my TV has a lamp in the wrong place or my cameras flash was on and it is not. This makes the letters in the menu less readable, which is disturbing.
The Web-TV Box also includes the option of a browser via the internet. This is done with Opera. It is strange that when typing the URLs you can make a quick choice for .de, .com, .org and .net, but not for .nl, while I have the settings in Dutch. Do you think Dutch people browse a .nl website quite often? I put this under the heading ‘interface’ because typing URLs is actually part of that.
The interface is also a bit slow occasionally. Loading the portal takes quite a long time, you would think it would be better to buffer it. The entire device does not take much longer to start up than I am used to.
Secretly the best thing about this Web-TV Box from Eminent is that there is a Smart Remote Control app for it. In fact, it works with multiple media players, but also with this one. The app automatically recognizes your media player when you are connected to your home network. Then a one to one copy of the ‘real’ remote control appears on the screen. Big enough, so you never press next to the buttons, but the disadvantage is that you have to slide the remote back and forth in your image. The Smart Remote Control app is available for Android and iOS .
The Eminent EM8102 Web-TV Box is a sleek device with no bad interface in itself, but there are still many small things that could be improved. For example, the readability is not always good and the portal is very busy due to the small icons. With the new firmware update of August, some problems with the file manager have been solved, so that all files are now recognized. In addition to the real remote control, the Smart Remote Control app for iOS and Android is a nice extra. Browsing via Opera works well, but .nl is not included in the pre-selection of extensions in the Dutch-language interface. Unfortunately. Ultimately a very good device with many cool options, but still somewhat messy.
- Web TV apps
- Sleekly designed
- Supports all common audio and video formats
- BitTorrent download
- Smart Remote Control app
- Many connection options (HDMI, composite, etc)
- Portal looks very busy
- File manager looks boring
- Lists not legible due to gray ‘sun’ in the background
- No preselection .nl in NL-language interface when browsing
- Quite a bright blue light on the front