Media players come in many types, and while their physical appearance doesn't allow for too much variety, their insides and software definitely are enough to provide it. Arctic's latest model shows this.
Frodo is a name that most people know from the Lord of the Rings books and films, being the name of the protagonist, or one of them.
It so happens that there is an operating system that is called that name: XMBC 12 Frodo.
This OS is the one featured on the Arctic MC001-XBMC, a media player that can run all popular audio and video formats.
It was made in such a way that it can get into its role as soon as it is taken out of the box. All it needs is for a TV to be plugged into the optical S/PDIF output, the VGA port, or the HDMI port.
For that matter, PC monitors will work fine with it as well, although HDTVs are preferable since they are larger and, in regular homes, are positioned in rooms that see greater traffic than others.
Spec-wise, the media player is more of a media center, as it includes 1 TB of storage space that can be accessed not just through the aforementioned video ports, but the network and USB as well.
That, together with the Intel Atom D525 and the Radeon HD 5430 GPU, is enough to suggest that the product can be labeled a NAS (network-attached storage device), were it not for the distinctive shape and focus on video streaming.
Speaking of which, the MC001-XBMC comes with a pre-installed DVB-T/ATSC TV tuner.
As for the rest, Arctic tossed in five USB 3.0 ports, 3.5mm audio and microphone jacks, an integrated Ethernet connector and even Wi-Fi, for wireless streaming and links to tablets and phones.
There are even apps available for download on tablets and phones, allowing them to act as remote controls and treat the media center as a set-top box.
Finally, Arctic is shipping the entertainment product for the low price of $229 / 168-229 Euro, even though the normal tag is $459 / 338 Euro.