Patriot’s PBO Core does what it is supposed to do, play a lot of different types of media files. However, it is plagued by a non-intuitive interface, lack of USB keyboard support, bad compatibility with Windows Media Player Network Sharing, mysterious album art, and a non-useful preview window. While that list is pretty long, only one of those things effect media playback, and that’s the Windows Media Player Network Sharing compatibility issues.
On the media side, the PBO played everything I threw at it except for FLV’s. While I think FLV is an important format, it isn’t super necessary. If the PBO were to clean up its issues and still leave out FLV support, I’d probably award it a 9 out of 10. However, those issues can become frustrating and annoying over time, so the Patriot PBO Core gets docked a couple of points to a 7 out of 10. You can find it online for just under $100.
- Excellent playback support of almost every available format
- Internet content is a nice touch
- Any setting can be changed on the fly
- Interface isn’t too user friendly
- Doesn’t decode WMA PRO and other formats to AC-3 for older receivers
- No FLV or USB keyboard support