VidOn Player HD boasts a set of codecs and playback options that, while impressive, muddy the water to what it actually is. At its simplest, it is a way to play almost any video format on your mobile device. It has other, more technical, features but - unless your home network is already set up for sharing and streaming over LAN - you probably won’t use them.
When it works it works
Moving videos on to your phone or tablet can prove a more trying experience than it should. What VidOn Player HD provides is a simple way to just dump your video files en masse onto your device and watch at your leisure, regardless of format or the need to encode them. You can check the iTunes page for a list of the supported codecs, but almost every one I can think of is present. It concludes with the “and many more” catch-all companies use then they realize they have already gone further than normal people are likely to read or care about.
The best thing is playback of these is smooth and available in full HD. With the ability to display video right up to 1080p on your mobile device you can be certain you are getting the same experience as on home theater set up just a few short feet from your face.
Once you become accustomed to the app, you can also train yourself in its handy gesture controls. These allow you to alter volume, brightness, and scrub back and forth through movie without bringing up the display.
And when it doesn't, it really doesn't
That’s the easy stuff, just drop files on your phone and play them. But setting up the streaming, FTP, and Wi-Fi options is a far more complex process, and with no instructions the process proves both unguided and unintuitive. Even knowing the various terms in play, we found it impossible to successfully download videos or stream them over the office’s local network.
Our issue of course may be the office setup. Developed for home sharing, networks already set up for streaming and sharing over LAN (using Upnp, Samba, Ftp, DLNA, Nas devices) may find utilizing the features of VidOn Player HD a simple process – making this element of the app really only for users looking to fulfill an existing need.
Along with all these complexities there was also one clear technical issue which saw the app occasionally quitting and sending me back to the homescreen while navigating it menus – a definite issue, but not one that affected playback.
Good at what it does
But I shouldn't leave this on such a negative note, because when VidOn Player HD works it works well – playing and filing videos. It just that all of the other features are so hard to set up, that it is tough to recommend to casual users.