My findings are not meant to duplicate reviews with a lot of pictures done by others. I will update here when and where needed instead of making additional posts/replies. Updated with FW 2.3.35: Please comment on my findings. Colors used: Good and distinctive feature Inconvenience to be improved Caveat or bug to be solved I am using the players for the purpose as indicated in the title which means I hardly play videos/movies in AVI or MKV formats (only if I can't get the real thing). Where possible use 1:1 copies of the originals. Experiences are know to be different here and there specifically when using highly compressed material and/or other codecs. Positioning in a nutshell: I am quite happy with my Z9S and find Zidoo in general among the best Android media players at the moment. This specifically for my use as indicated in the title. It does a very good job for my deployments. If you just like to use KODI with a zillion plug-ins or use it as a gaming platform I would pick a different player running on a Linux (derivate). This review is now based on FW 2.3.35 plus added Google Play store (GappsInstaller-rtk-7.1_v1.2.4.apk) and ZDMC (zdmc-18.8).apk. It is not really user-friendly that Play Store & Services and ZDMC need to be installed manually as the player is clearly advertised including these. Worse once GAPPs is installed it needs to be reinstalled again after any update via USB or OTA manually. This was implemented in a far easier way for the new RTD1619DR based models. Z9S uses the RTD1296 SOC which mainly has an an improved I/O subsystem (30% faster), but most likely also ironed-out a few HW shortcoming of the original RTD1295 chip. Known improvements are better HDR handling, HDR <=> SDR conversions and more accurate frame-rates for 24/1001 and 60/1001 frame-rates. Frankly my review was delayed many months as the new Zidoo players were plagued with several serious problems originating from the combined RTD1296 and Android 7.1.1 uplifts. A series of Beta FW's were released but only the more recent versions brought real relief. This also includes support for the RTD1296 related additional capabilities. PQ is very good for Z9S playing BD, 3D-BD and UHD/HDR BD's and will compete nicely with other high-end players. Only DVD lacks back in PQ as I have seen better on other players. The player is easy to configure and leaving most settings for video on Auto/Default will already work nicely. The player not only supports auto frame-rate but also auto resolution to switch between HD and UHD which also works fine with my setup. My HDMI output is setup standard at 1080P23 only switched to other frame-rates and UHD/HDR automatically when required. For sound I am using an Onkyo TX-RZ720 AMP with it. With this setup all sound formats available on video discs are set to come out RAW which they do as they should including Atmos and DTS-X. I have no exceptions to report here, these all just work as it should. Unless specifically specified otherwise the standard Zidoo players are used for all handling and playback not ZDMC or any other Android based Media Player APP's. Bottom line I prefer a media player above any optical disc UHD/BD/DVD/SACD HW-player because: - I can use HDD and NAS to put my media on instead of having physical discs lying around everywhere and the need to handle these for playback. - The player can do Instant play next to Menu based playback. Mostly i choose to go straight to a movie. I call that "Skipping the crap" for those with many previews and copy warnings which occasionally even can't be skipped or be accelerated. - It plays external subtitles when desired. Still many old movies around without subtitles included even in English not to speak about Dutch. This player even gets subtitles on-demand when missing from http://www.opensubtitles.org. - Including a Movie Poster System (replacing the covers of those real discs). The player uses Android 7.1.1 for the main APP's combined with OpenWRT for background tasks like SMB Server which is a good combination. The HW-box and system: - Z9S has the small form factor used also by many competitors. The metal casing looks good though including a small quality display on the front. The display is too small to read at a viewing distance for me and therefore is less functional. For me a valid reason to look for a higher model. Having many ports these are on 3 sides except on the front. Specs are high end despite the small size with 16 G flash and Dual Band Wi-FI next to an amazing dual external SATA, 2x USB2 and 2x USB3. The two antennas are not detachable anymore which probably was done as a cost saver. - It is fast to boot (30 - 40 sec range) connected either via external SATA or via USB. Add 10 - 20 secs for detection of every additional HDD. This is good. This is not a reason for using a sleep mode. - HDMI-CEC is supported and has no negative side-effects. It also switches my setup to the designated HDMI port when powered on. Actual functionality will vary per setup and actual use but the basis is correct. - There is no USB3c port (Host/Slave) on this player as some have for concurrent PC access to all storage facilities. - It has a HDMI-Input port for PVR/recording and/or PIP using an included matching HDMI-IN APP for HDCP unprotected content that is. The APP allows for up to 1080P 10Mbit and stereo up to 48 kHz recording. The recorded stream can be saved on specified storage or be broadcasted. Still need to try using the port myself and to add the practical experience next. - UHD 4K support at 60P inclusive HDR and 10-bit Deep Color is included. The only things not working are Dolby Vision and HDR10+ which are official options for the new UHD Blu Ray standard which is today found on a limited number of UHD BD's, DV is always combined with 1080P not 4K. As far as I know there is no Android media player around offering HDR10+ today (but works on some Android TV's just like DV does). - With the box comes no printed manual just a quick setup folder. There is limited setup assistance in the FW included help section. - Multiple Menu languages were added gradually, this including the most common ones including Dutch too. They can be set as preference for audio, subtitles and on-demand subtitles too. - The Z9S comes with a good quality IR remote with multiple dedicated function buttons and back-lighting. The top rows are IR programmable. There is no mouse function included which becomes essential when adding specifically APP's designed for smart-phones. Use a BT Zidoo v8 remote now instead as I like BT a lot more than IR and it has also some more programmable IR keys. This remote is really excellent, but would have liked it even more including a pointer mouse instead of the cursor mouse. - There are many other ways to control the media players remotely: Webinterfac, Zidoo Controller APP (Android and IOS) and Control4. More expensive models include a RS232 port for control too. - It is possible to connect an External USB DAC to it making it sound great. https://www.futeko.com/newforum/index.php?topic=3868.0 This is valid for all current Zidoo models. - The Z9S will also formally support an external ROM Drive via USB or SATA. This is unique as far as I know. Tried it myself with a SATA connected unit. It worked functionally for playing music CD, MP3/FLAC, DVD and BD with a good user interface. Playing DVD/BD works well once going but Menu processing if selected is terrible slow. About the Power Supply Unit (PSU) and power consumed - It comes with a brick type external not earthed switched-mode PSU which is rated 12V at 3A. It is sized adequately when using one External SATA HDD with it but using two it will just do. The same PSU was used with X9S which was just fine as it had only one SATA connector and had one USB3 port less. Doing live ejects and swaps with two HDD's is risky. One would need at least a 4 A PSU version with it, better even a 5A unit. The same for using a SATA attached Optical drive plus a HDD. Keep in mind all those four USB ports may also need to supply adequate power. - In Standby it is well below 1W as it should be. - Running two HDD idle it used around 20W when playing. So that will be what it uses all day long if you run it as an always on NAS/SAMBA server with 2x SATA HDD connected. - The player itself just consume between 5W and 6W (without a HDD). Remark: Protective ground is not trivial as both USB and HDMI ports carry ground signals. When interconnecting equipment via these ports they become electrically coupled which might cause problems of several kinds. Connecting desktop and tower type of PC's may turn out specifically problematic and even hazardous as the PSU's in those may produce a floating ground. Tower/table PC's always should be connected to a grounded power outlet to avoid problems but often are not. You may see even a spark or get a shock when connecting such a PC to your media player, AMP or TV. The impact of the PSU on the total video/audio quality result is often underestimated. Just have a look at high end equipment and you will see how much attention is given there to specifically the power section (mostly superior linear PSU's). Due to the 1000 word limit on the forum split into 3 parts.