Testing & Performance
We took a spare Seagate 7200.7 160GB from one of our unused computers and put it in the Milano to test. Thankfully, Milano worked first time and we had no issues at all. When it had finished loading, it displayed the partitioned NTFS volumes we had on the drive which in our case was two.
Once running, pressing the setup button brings, quire rightly, the setup screen. The first group of settings are ‘AV Setting’ where modes (PAL/NTSC) are chosen along with aspect ratio and screen resolution. Current settings are shown at the bottom of the screen.
Navigation is very simple with the remote control, using the direction pad and OK button in the centre. The interface is very bland and kind of boring and the file browser is pretty basic. We weren’t too worried about the interface or browser though because they just worked and that’s what mattered most. In the file browser, the file types are shown and represented with the association icon and the file size in the top right corner.
Once you select a music file, the music player starts and a playlist with the files in the current folder are displayed. Elapsed time on the song is shown in the top box’s left hand corner and the time remaining is on the right. The progress bar is shown below the file name and a volume bar is right next to the progress bar. To return to the file browser, there is a ‘Stop’ button which will take you back. Annoyingly, if you’re playing music and you decide to go back to the file browser, your music will stop playing.
Thankfully, video playback is very good on the Milano. We had no problems getting our videos to play on the Milano and the quality was excellent even in complex scenes. DivX and Xvid playback was flawless which is great news, but you’ll find that not all of your AVI contained files will play, e.g. from digital cameras, etc. VOB files worked well as well. Unfortunately, the Milano is unable to play back WMVs, which would have been nice. Composite, component, and S-Video out are available, but what’s lacking is digital video out such as HDMI. A feature like this would definitely be welcomed and would make the Milano a lot more attractive.
Analogue sound produced by the Milano was decent but nothing out of the ordinary. Optical out was definitely a lot better and crisper and we’re glad that this feature was included on the Milano.
In general, the Milano works well. The user interface could do with some work in terms of navigation. It’s also quite boring and plain, so graphics wise it could look a lot better. Video playback is great for what the Milano supports but more support would of course be better.