Zappiti One SE 4K HDR Media Player Review

Just lately, we tried and tested the Zappiti One SE 4K HDR video player. It is a device that is specifically designed for indexing, storage, as well as playback of Ultra HD and HD HDR videos. With different compact Android TV players that are available in the market today, is there still even enough room for something like an old-school video player featuring a proprietary indexing system and interface?

Zappiti does believe so; and with their release of the brand new and fresh generation of UHD video players that feature the company’s main element, the Magic Pixel 2 video enhancing technology, it’s surely something to look out for.

Today, we’re going to give you all the details you need to know about this video player, and to help you decide if this device is something worth considering.

Zappiti One SE 4K HDR Media Player Review – What’s in the Box?

When we got our hands on our Zappiti One SE 4K HDR media player, it came in a nice thick and durable box which surely protects the device from any unwanted damages that may occur during transit. It features a white and orange theme that appears clean and neat despite the images and details specified there. Please note that the damage to the packaging is because it is a special review unit for press and is not a brand new unit. Actual retail units are in perfect condition.

Now, let’s talk about the exterior of the box. On the front portion of it, you will see the name of the media player right at the center of it, while below its name is an image of the device itself. Above the name, there’s a display of a flat screen TV that features the possible things that you can view / do with the device.

Below the image of the Zappiti One SE 4K HDR media player, you’ll find an orange strip that exhibits the different features of the device. It’s quite convenient since you’ll get to easily what the device offers. The back of the box features the same images and details that are in front, so we’ll go ahead and focus on the other portions of the package instead.

On the right side of the box, you’ll find most of the same features that you will see on the front and back portions; the only difference is that you’ll only find an image of the flat screen TV and not the device. On the left portion of the package, you’ll see a couple of symbols there, as well as text regarding the internal SATA HDD bay with the hot swap function.

We liked that the company included a plastic handle at the top of the box, so when you purchase this media player from a physical store, carrying the device won’t be a hassle and things will be more convenient on your part.

Once you open the box, you’ll need to pull out the device to get all of its contents out. Once done, you’ll see that the Zappiti media player is protected by two Styrofoam pieces on each side. For added protection, the company also included a plastic wrap to cover and better safeguard the device.

Aside from the Zappiti One SE 4K HDR media player itself, other items that are present in a much smaller box within the main package includes a backlit IR remote, an IR extender, an HDMI cable-compatible 2.0 with a braided sleeve as well as nicely crafted gold plated connectors. Wi-Fi antennas, an AC / DC power adapter, and of course, a handy quick installation guide.

The Product

Zappiti One SE 4K HDR Media Player Review

The Zappiti One SE 4K HDR media player is a finely-made and nicely-built device that gives off an aesthetic high-end appearance. Its body has a nice and solid feel to it, and its connections are of high-quality. Its provided backlit remote also has a nice solid touch and generally, its layout is really nice.

The whole player has a nice size that isn’t too big or too small, though it is a bit smaller compared to your regular Blu-ray device. It can easily fit in with any other components that you typically have in your home entertainment system.

The Zappiti One SE 4K HDR media player also comes with a full-featured lit remote which can also be used for the volume on your integrated amplifier or receiver. We noticed that the Harmony universal remote controls also readily support the Zappiti IR codes which we think is good.

If you’re searching for any switches in front of the device, there aren’t any available on the front panel since each operation is done via the remote control. Zappiti products are based mainly on the Android operating system and the device can run on any available Android application.

Out of the box, the Zappiti One SE 4K HDR media player has a browser, as well as a couple of Android-based utilities. Also, the company provides you with a number of free useful applications for iOS and Android devices which serves as an extra remote for your needs.

As we mentioned earlier, this multimedia player is an adequately-sized device that is 28 centimeters wide, 19 centimeters deep, and is 5 centimeters high. The CPU that it uses is the Realtek RTD-1295, plus a quad core 64-bit chip. It has more than enough power to provide the 4K display with; and as for its GPU, what is being used is the Mali T-820 MP3 tri-core that is able to perfectly run all available games that you can find on Google Play Store. You’ll also find 2GB of DRAM, as well as a 16GB internal storage eMMC memory.

When it comes to its connections at the back of the device, you’ll see a double HDMI connection which is something usual on a lot of 4K Blu-ray video players. It’s actually quite useful especially if you have a 4K television right in your home; however, it’s not really a good receiver for transmitting 4K signals to your TV.

For its HDMI video output, the Zappiti One SE 4K HDR media player uses the 2.0a variant, while the HDMI output for audio is the 1.4 version which is excellent for the transmission of high definition audio. Not only that, but there are also three USB 2.0 connections, a USB 3.0 connection, as well as a USB Type-C connector.

Aside from these, it also makes use of a Gigabit Ethernet port, toslink & digital coax outputs, analog video & analog RCA stereo output, and an HDD bay for fixing the 3.5 inch hard drive if you won’t use your NAS device.

Product Features

Zappiti Magic Pixel v2

You don’t really need to get those pricey outboard video processors since the Zappiti One SE 4K HDR media player will only provide you with the best. This device incorporates the Magic Pixel V2 technology which provides you with excellent picture quality. Not only that, but it also gives you accurate colorimetry, enhanced dynamics, increased contrast, better upscaling of up to 4K resolution, and solid deinterlacing.

Even with full HD 1080p TV or for a front projector, you will be amazed by how much your display’s image has improved. 3D also provides you with increased image depth, as well as an immersive effect.

Zappiti Video

The Zappiti One SE 4K HDR media player is of course, compatible with the Zappiti Video which offers official cover art exploration while simultaneously giving you detail information for your TV show and movie files. We’re talking about information like actors, subtitles, directors, the release date, and a lot more, which is really very convenient in our opinion.

With that, you’ll be able to edit information for each of the available files, and you can also change the cover depending on your preferences. You can do all of these directly from your player via the RC, from your smartphone or tablet, or even straight from your PC or MAC.

Excellent GUI

This outstanding HDR media player sets a whole new standard in the Media Center with its outstanding GUI, motion design, 3D effects, reflections, as well as its optional yet beautiful skins. The settings for Zappiti will allow you to disable or enable some of the available visual features such as lighting effects, top movie covers, and more.

Music Playback Without Television

With its Music Control feature, you can easily manage your music playback via the Zappiti media player. You can control this using your tablet or smartphone (either Android or iOS), without having to use a television. Choose the media player you want to control then manage all of your music collections straight from your smart device.

Quality Movie Covers from Zappiti Db
Aside from movie covers that come from different databases, Zappiti provides its own film covers that all come from Zappiti Db. The posters here were exclusively designed by the company’s team of graphic designers to provide movie covers that are appropriate for Zappiti’s display ratio. What’s great about these is that the movie covers are available in multiple languages.

Also, the film titles are clear and readable which makes it even better. Another great aspect of this feature is that the essential visual elements and texts have not been cropped, so the images have been properly edited to provide you with the highest-quality movie covers that you’ll ever need.

Currently, Zappiti Db offers around 9,000 posters that range from the popular movies, the latest films of today, as well as the classics. New posters are also added daily in the Zappiti Db.

Parental Control Feature

This feature allows you to to categorize the appropriate movies for children and set a PIN code for other movies to keep these blocked. With that, your children can safely access their choice of movies.

The media player also has a child mode which gives you direct access to movies without synopsis to make this easier to use. Lastly, this specific feature readily blocks access to the deleting and editing functions of your collection to ensure increased safety.

Gold-Plated Ports

The high-quality output ports of the Zappiti One SE 4K HDR media player are all nicely plated in gold. These ports are for analog audio left / right, coaxial audio-digital for improved sonic accuracy, natural sounds that offer more detail, and it also provides less corrosive effects that may occur in time.

The gold-plated ports make use of the newest engineering methods, as well as top-quality materials to lessen interference and noise. These help deliver natural, clean, clear, and crisp audio with improved accuracy.  The gold-plated materials are also utilized for CVBS and Wi-Fi ports.

Specifications

  • Chipset: Realtek RTD1295.
  • CPU: ARM® Cortex® CA53 x4 (Quad Core).
  • GPU: Mali™-T820 MP3 (3 Core) (equivalent to an Octa-core Mali 450) – DirectX 11.1, OpenGLES 3.1, OpenGL 1.2, FP, ASTC, Renderscript. 4x Multi-Sampling Anti-Aliasing (MSAA).
  • Operating System: 64-Bit.
  • DSP: Video and Audio DSP with hardware acceleration. Native hardware 10-bit YUV support. Hardware performance optimizations for Zappiti UI.
  • Cache: 1 MB L2.
  • RAM: 2 GB DDR4.
  • NAN eMMC: 16 GB (5.0).
  • Connectors: HDMI Audio Video 2.0a (HDCP 2.2, CEC, Deep Color, 12-bit, xvYCC, MHL 3.0), HDMI Audio Only 1.4a, 3x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB Type-C, gold platted CVBS video analog output (both analog and digital video outputs are active at the same time), gold platted audio analog RCA (both analog and digital video outputs are active at the same time), gold platted S/PDIF coaxial and optical audio output (Toslink), Ethernet Gigabit 10/100/1000 Gb/s, Wi-Fi 5 GHz with 2 removable antennas, IR input for IR extender, SD / MMC card reader, AC connector, AC button On/Off (at the back), LED display on front panel controlled with RC.
  • HDD Rack Option with Hot Swap Function: Easily and quickly insert and exchange internal 3.5” SATA HDDs.
  • Media sources: External HDD (USB), USB devices (USB flash drive, USB card reader, etc), built-in SD card reader (SD/SDHC/MMC), PC and NAS in local network (SMB, UPnP, HTTP), other Internet and local network media sources. External multi-bay USB storage enclosures supported.
  • Easy and fast file transfers: up to 90 MB/s via SATA, 70 MB/s via USB 3.0 / 115 MB/s via Ethernet.
  • Internet navigator: Connect a computer mouse and keyboard to browse Internet as on a computer.
  • DLNA: Full support of DLNA standard (1.5 or 2.0) / MiniDLNA Server.
  • SMB Server: Zappiti Share, OpenWRT
  • FTP Server : OpenWRT.
  • Video codecs: HEVC, H.265, x265 (up to Main10 Level 6.1 High 60p in 4K), MVC, AVC, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VC-1, H.264/x.264 (up to 60p in Full HD and 24p/20 Mbps in 4K), FLV, AVS, XVID, DIVX (from version 4), Sorenson Spark L70, VP9 HW (up to 4K 60p) ; ultra high bitrate support (up to 400 Mbit/s in HEVC 4K).
  • Video file formats: UHD ISO, 3D BD ISO, BD ISO, BDMV, MKV, MKV 3D, MK3D, MPEG-TS, MPEG-PS, MPEG, MPE, MPG, TS, TP, M2TS, VOB, AVI, MOV, MP4, QT, WebM, DVD-ISO, VIDEO_TS, RMVB, RM, DAT, VOB, 3GP, FLV, DAT, AVCHD 2.0 (AVCHD 3D, AVHD Progressive).
  • Video output flexibility: Output video in any resolution and format from SD to 1080p, Ultra HD (3840×2160) and 4K (4096×2160). Up to 4K 60p. Display your movies in true 24p (23,976 Hz ouput).
  • Audio codecs: AC3, DTS MPEG, MP3, ALAC, APE, M4A, AIFF, WAV, WMA, VSELP, FLAC, AAC, AAC-LC, HEAAC, HE-AAC v2, AMR-NB, OGG (Ogg/Vorbis), RA_COOK, LPCM, PCM, ADPCM, FLA, MQA; lossless and audiophiles formats support (up to 32-bit).
  • Zappiti Music: Album cover thumbnail support (internal and folder.jpg), folder playback (including sub folders), random (shuffle), repeat playlist, repeat title, favorites and excludes, playlists creation and management. Control the music playback using Zappiti Music Control app for smartphone or tablet (Android/iOS) without the need of TV. Click here for more info… Musical slideshow for live concerts or display the internal pages of album booklet or the back cover (via Zappiti Explorer).
  • Multichannel home cinema audio: Bitstream, downmix stereo (DTS, DTS-HD MA, DTS-HD HRA, DTS:X, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos).
  • Force SD Audio: In SPDIF output, multichanel HD audio formats are donwmixed in Dolby Digital or DTS (if Core) or stereo (if not core). Note: Only HDMI can support HD audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD.
  • Subtitle formats: SRT (Subrip / external), SUB (MicroDVD) (external), text (MKV), SSA/ASS (sous-station alpha / MKV, external), VobSub (MP4, MKV, SUB/IDX external), SMI (Sami), IDX, PGS (UHD ISO, BD ISO, BDMV, M2TS, MKV), DVBSUB (DVB-T, DVB-S, DVB-C).
  • Subtitle options: Download subtitle option. 3D subtitles support with depth settings. Multi-coding. Multiple external subtitles. Default subtitle setup.
  • 3D Hardware acceleration: OpenGL.
  • Photo file formats: JPEG (hardware decoding), PNG, BMP and GIF with resolution up to 8192×8192 pixels. Musical slideshow option with dynamic transition effects.
  • Supported formatting: FAT16/FAT32 (read-write), EXT2/EXT3 (read-write), NTFS (read-write), MAC OS / HFS+ journaled (read-write), ExFAT (read-write).
  • Ethernet: 10/100/1000 Mb/s.
  • Wi-Fi: 8IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, 802.11AC, 2.4 GHz / 4.900 GHz ~ 5.845 GHz (5.0 GHz ISM Band). Dual band. Dual external antenna (gold platted and removable).
  • Bluetooth 4.0: BT4.0
  • Android 6.0: Install and enjoy additional apps via GooglePlay. Warning! Some Android apps are not suitable for use with the remote control. In this case, use a connected computer mouse or an AirMouse (not supplied).
  • Mirroring audio / photo / video : Mirroring your smartphone or tablet device’s display and sound on your TV, showing off photos from a recent trip, or listening your favorite songs.
  • Network playback: Special optimisation of the network, guaranteeing better performances of the local network playback no matter which type of media thanks to SMB protocol (HEVC UHD files included) via Gigabit Ethernet or Ethernet 10/100.
  • Universal RC: Integrate seamlessly into smart home installations via ready-to-use Control4 driver, RTI driver Crestron IP codes, Logitech, Pronto, and general IP codes. Power ON and Power OFF discrete codes.

Using the Product

Setting up the Zappiti One SE 4K HDR is quite easy so you won’t have to worry about having heightened technical skills and knowledge to get this device working. There are actually two options to choose from: you can either go wireless or wired. The Zappiti One SE 4K HDR media player is fitted with the dual band Wi-Fi controller, yet we highly recommend that you opt for the wired connection when it comes to UHD or HD players.

Going back to the setup process, we just plugged the device into one home theater processor just like every other HDMI based device. When images appeared on the TV display, we setup the media player on our wireless network then chose a couple of parameters such as matching the screen resolution to the display and allowing over the air updates on firmware.

We actually instantly received a notification of a firmware update when we had plugged the Zappiti One SE; and the nice thing about it was that the device instantly updated without any issues. This was actually very nice and non-time consuming.

We transferred some of them using our in-house network to the drive that’s in the Zappiti One SE 4K HDR media player. You can also choose to plug in an external drive using the USB 2 and 3.0 ports that are available. If you’re utilizing the external drives simultaneously with an internal drive, then the Zappiti software will be able to see all of your content as a single collection, not as an individual collection of films.

When we were able to get the movies on the hard drive of Zappiti, the device accessed our internet and located the movie covers, the program length, cast information, still photos for customizing the user interface, as well as the film’s ratings.

We had a couple of personal movies available, and it’s really great that the device allowed us to choose the graphics, titles, and other details for the movies. It was a rare instance, yet there was one time when the Zappiti software made a mistake with the movie title; but despite this, we just had to restart the search then we were presented with a collection of movies with similar titles to the one that we had. Getting a match would only need you to push on the remote control’s OK button and you’re good to go.

During the entire setup, we noticed that the Zappiti One SE 4K HDR media player was able to instantly group  and categorize films in Sagas. So if you have films such as Star Wars, James Bond, and the like, the device will automatically categorize them under an appropriate image to help you determine each of the films there.

You can also opt to keep them separate if that’s your preference. When it comes to deleting a movie from your movies folder, Zappiti will immediately remove the descriptive page and cover from the Zappiti collection upon the next analysis. With that, you will be able to manually delete a movie just by utilizing the delete option which can be found in the Zappiti menu.

We also wanted to connect the media player to our collection of TV shows. We did this by connected the Zappiti to our NAS that is on the local network. This was done very easily as the NAS appears in the list of available network connections.

Once the NAS was connected the Zappiti One SE 4K HDR was able to scrape the TV show data to display all related meta data.

Overall Experience

The overall experience that we had with this Zappiti One SE 4K HDR media player is something that we can describe as being smooth, efficient, and excellent. We didn’t experience the interface faltering and all data that appeared on our screen was clear and crisp.

The movies that we had played without any errors nor did it falter; we even played an ultra HD Blu-ray disc which played flawlessly. What really amazed us was when we played some of our old DVDs. We were expecting to see some plain and rather lower quality images yet surprisingly, the images appeared great when using the Zappiti One SE 4K HDR.

Its upscaling was really effective, and when we directly compared this with another similar device, the Zappiti One was able to perform even better when it came to the level of display. As for the music or audio, the Zappiti One SE 4K HDR was able to perform just as efficiently.

The sound that it produced was more detailed and transparent using the analog output; digitally, it all depends on where you link your player.

You can utilize your own software for visually representing your film collection since the device works intuitively and smoothly for this. Synopsis and film posters are also brought in excellently; plus, the software will be adequately optimized by the device which is really great.

Conclusion

The Zappiti One SE 4K HDR media player is a pleasant device to use and we did not experience any lags or issues when we tested it. We also didn’t experience any issues when we watched MKV 1080p AVC, as well as 2160p HDR 10-bit files; and while at it, our TV instantly switched to the HDR mode which was pretty neat.

We also compared the image quality delivered by the Zappiti One SE 4K HDR media player with the one from nVidia Shield TV – Android TV player, and the Emby Android. None of these two featured a video post-treatment function unlike Zappiti. As for the Magic Pixel technology – which is always activated along with the Zappiti media player – offers you extra brightness and contrast, as well as allowing the image to benefit from more detailed textures without overdoing things. This is to make your entertainment experience more enjoyable.

Overall, it’s a very good HDR media player and we’re definitely recommending the Zappiti One SE 4K HDR media player to you.

Where to Buy

You can pickup the Zappiti One SE 4K HDR for 290 euro / $328 USD from over at the Zappiti product page.

Design
Features
Performance
Usability
Value
4.7
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