It's right there in the name. Patriot Memory is a company that has largely focused on memory products in the past, loading up your computers with RAM, solid state drives, and positively massive USB flash drives. Well, it seems that Patriot has developed an interest in consumer electronics too.
Whether you're loading up with home movies or you're looking for a better way to enjoy the digital content that you download from the Internet, it is certainly more appealing to bring that multimedia goodness into your living room. This is where we find ourselves with the Patriot Box Office PCMPBO25 Media Player. This relatively simple device looks like a set top box for your television, but it does so much more.
Introducing the Home Box Office
Not to be confused with the premium cable television network that brought us The Sopranos and Entourage, the Patriot Box Office is a media player that connects to your HDTV, freeing "your digital media library from the constraints of a PC." Your living room is so much more comfortable, after all.
The Patriot Box Office improves on solutions like the Xbox 360 Media Player by offering extensive file format support. This includes popular AVI and WMV formats, as well as FLV, RMVB, MKV, MOV, and more. It'll do FLAC audio too.
In addition to regular USB expansion, you'll notice an internal 2.5" SATA drive slot. Other highlights include network streaming, on-board file transfer, PC-free download management, movie previews, and full 1080p HD video support.
What's in this Box (Office)?
As with almost every other media player in this market, especially at this price range, the Patriot Box Office doesn't come with any included storage of its own. It will be up to you to provide either your own USB external storage or a 2.5" drive (HDD or SSD) to plunk into the internal slot.
Cracking open the cube-shaped box, we discover the metal-bodied Box Office itself, as well as a set of composite cables, USB cable, HDMI cable, wall adapter, remote control, AAA batteries, quick installation guide, software CD, and a set of hard drive screws.
Assuming that you don't "invest" in some expensive Monster Cable product, it doesn't take a lot of money to buy a generic HDMI cable. Even so, no other media player (to my knowledge) comes with a "free" HDMI cable. For that alone, Patriot has a better grasp on what consumers need. We don't want to watch through composite cables, thank you very much.
Control in Your Hands
The design for the remote control is anything but inspiring, but I suppose it's perfectly functional. If you didn't know any better, you would think that you are either looking at the remote that comes with a TV or some generic universal remote.
It's unclear why Patriot decided to include the digits at the top, because I did not encounter a situation where they were used. I also prefer a "five-way navigator" layout for the play, pause, rewind, and fast forward keys, which this remote does not have.