Zappiti is a French company that designs and produces high-quality multimedia players. Its catalog is quite extensive, with six different models to cover a wide range of prices. All of them are compatible with the reproduction of 4K HDR images and stand out for being able to reproduce practically any audio and video format. At the top of the French manufacturer's player catalog we find the new Zappiti Pro 4K HDR, a high-end player designed for demanding users .
This is a device designed to get the most out of our digital files . Among its most outstanding innovations we find features such as Direct Output, a toroidal power supply, a new ultra-rigid steel chassis, an exclusive HDMI output for audio, gold-plated ports or a double rack to store up to 32 TB internally. In short, a high-flying multimedia player not suitable for all budgets. I have had the opportunity to try it for a few weeks and I will tell you what I think.
Zappiti Pro 4K HDR datasheet
|Processor||Realtek RTD1295 (Quad Core ARM Cortex CA53)|
|DSP||Hardware accelerated video and audio DSP|
|Cache||1 MB L2|
|Connectors||Gold-plated HDMI 2.0a (HDCP 2.2, CEC, Deep Color, 12-bit, xvYCC, MHL 3.0), Gold-plated HDMI 1.4a for audio, 3 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB-C, gold CVBS analog video output, gold analog audio RCA, gold coaxial output and S / PDIF (Toslink) optical audio output, Gigabit Ethernet, 5 GHz Wi-Fi with 2 removable gold-plated antennas, IR input for IR diluent, AC input, gold-plated zero signal output, 6.35mm gold-plated headphone output|
|Storage||Two 3.5 ″ bays for internal SATA hard drives, up to 32 TB (2 × 16 TB)|
|Compatible fonts||External hard drive (USB), USB devices (USB flash drive, USB card reader, etc.), PC and NAS on local network (SMB, UPnP, HTTP), other Internet sources and local network. Supports external multi-bay USB storage NAS|
|Video codecs||HEVC, H.265, x265 (up to Main10 Level 6.1 High 60p in 4K), MVC, AVC, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VC-1, H.264 / x.264 (up to 60p in Full HD and 24p / 20 Mbps in 4K), FLV, AVS, XVID, DIVX (from version 4), Sorenson Spark L70, VP9 HW (up to 4K 60p); ultra high bitrate support (up to 400 Mbit / s in HEVC 4K)|
|Video file formats||UHD ISO, 3D BD ISO, BD ISO, BDMV, MKV, MKV 3D, MK3D, MPEG-TS, MPEG-PS, MPEG, MPE, MPG, TS, TP, M2TS, VOB, AVI, MOV, MP4, QT, WebM , DVD-ISO, VIDEO_TS, RMVB, RM, DAT, VOB, 3GP, FLV, DAT, AVCHD 2.0 (AVCHD 3D, AVCHD Progressive)|
|Audio codecs||AC3, DTS MPEG, MP3, ALAC, APE, M4A, AIFF, WAV, VSELP, FLAC, AAC, AAC-LC, HEAAC, HE-AAC v2, AMR-NB, OGG (Ogg / Vorbis), RA_COOK, LPCM, PCM , ADPCM, FLA, MQA; lossless and audio formats support (up to 32 bit)|
|Supported audio formats||Bitstream, DTS, DTS-HD MA, DTS-HD HRA, DTS: X, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos|
|Operating system||Android 6.0 with Zappiti customization layer|
|Dimensions||430 x 330 x 85 mm, 7.5 Kg (without discs)|
It will be perfect together with other Hi-Fi components
As soon as you receive the box, you realize that you are facing a very different player from others on the market. Its packaging and presentation is practically identical to that of the Oppo UDP-203, one of the UHD players most loved by audio and video fans. When we take it out of the box we find a device of great size and weight. It features a metal chassis with a brushed black finish and Hi-Fi isolation feet to reduce vibrations.
On the front we have a large cap, the power button, two USB ports (one at each end) and a 6.35mm jack for professional or high-quality studio headphones .
We can use it as a multimedia server
Opening the aforementioned lid we find a dual rack for 3.5-inch SATA drives . The Zappiti Pro 4K HDR is capable of internally supporting up to 32 TB of total storage (two 16 TB drives). According to the manufacturer, this equates to about 600 Blu-rays or 300 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays. In addition, it allows hot swapping , which means that we can practically speak of unlimited storage capacity.
We can make the most of such storage capacity by using the Zappiti Pro 4K HDR as a media server . And the fact is that the French manufacturer's device has an SMB, DLNA server and even an FTP server . That is, we can share the content of our Zappiti device with other multimedia players, mobile phones or computers. In addition, having an SMB server, file management is really easy from a computer.
Connectors of all kinds
At the back of the device we will have the large number of connections that it includes. It has an HDMI 2.0 output for video, an HDMI 1.4 output (ideal for outputting audio if you have an older AV receiver) , an optical output, a coaxial output, a USB 3.0 port, a USB Type-C port, a USB 2.0 port , a Gigabit LAN connection, a zero signal port, and an IR extender port. At the wireless level it includes Bluetooth and WiFi 802.11ac.
Great picture and sound quality
The Zappiti Pro 4K HDR offers truly impressive image quality . It allows automatic frame rate switching, HD audio transfer (DTS: X and Dolby Atmos included) and DVD / BD / UHD menu playback from ISO images or folders.
To transfer the image to the television, Zappiti gives us two options. The first is to use Magic Pixel, a system that automatically adapts the output video signal using the resolution and frequency closest to that compatible with the television or projector used. That is, it performs a kind of escalation.
The second is Direct Output, a function that allows us to view the videos in their original resolution and frequency . This is ideal if we have a high-end television or projector, since we will leave the scaling work to him.
The Zappiti Pro 4K HDR video features go much further. For example, it offers HDR to SDR conversion by implementing a custom gamut mapping formula to convert BT.2020 to BT.709. It also maintains the original speed of 23,976 fps or 24,000 fps directly to the screen , thus achieving natural movement.
Compatible with all audio formats
And as for the audio, it is compatible with all current formats on the market. We can even reproduce Dolby Atmos sound in mkv files , something available to very few players on the market. It also supports HD audio files , such as 24-bit or multichannel FLAC.
But, as they say, nothing is perfect. Despite being able to reproduce almost any possible format, the Zappiti Pro 4K HDR does not support either Dolby Vision or HDR10 + . Something that, in my opinion, is essential if we talk about a device of this price.
A very complete interface ...
The Zappiti Pro 4K HDR has Android 6.0 as the operating system. But we will not recognize it at any time, since the manufacturer uses a very powerful customization layer . Perhaps the configuration menus are the only thing that reminds us of the Google system. That and the ability to install applications.
The main menu of the device is made up of only three large icons: Video, Explorer and Music . As you can imagine, with the first one we access the movie collection, with the second the file explorer and with the third the music player.
The initial configuration of the library is really simple. We just have to indicate where we have the movies, either on local drives or on the network. Once indicated, the device will search for the information, covers and even the music of each movie . In general, my entire collection has recognized me perfectly, having to manually search only 3-4 titles out of more than 100.
Once the scan is done, when entering the video option we will see a "wall" with the covers of the films. When choosing a movie we will enter its information and a second selection will play the file.
The first access will provide us with all the information about the film. We can see the synopsis, actors, director, duration, release date and technical data of the file. We will even listen to the music of the film while we are in the file and when we go over the cover , a detail that I loved.
All the information of the movies is located automatically, as long as we have an Internet connection. But by pressing the menu button on the remote we can modify any type of data and carry out a new search if it has not been right the first time . The truth is that it is very easy to have our library of movies and series in order.
Zappiti's system goes even a little further, creating movie groups that have multiple titles . A help to better organize the library, which we can use or not.
As for the other two services, through Explorer we can directly access the files . The device offers a complete file management system with which we can copy, cut, pass (multitask), delete and rename. Also directly play the file from Explorer.
The last icon will give us access to the music player. This time we do not have it in library format, being more similar to the file explorer. Once the music file to be played is located, we will have its information on the right side, including the cover (as long as we have it stored in the corresponding folder).
… But that should improve its performance
I loved the movie management system, but it must improve its performance . As we moved around the library I have noticed a lack of power. Maybe not from the processor, it may just be a lack of optimization. But the interface is quite slow . Moving between menus is expensive, especially when they have many options (for example when we display the menu with the options from the movie library).
And it doesn't just happen in movies. I have also noticed it notably in the music section. Loading of album art and audio files is slow. Many times I have had to wait several seconds to start playing .
This slow operation does not help the control, whose performance is bad. The buttons are long-haul and from the moment we press until the device reacts there is a very annoying little lag . This means that if we want to go fast, many involuntary pulsations are produced.
We can install apps, but not all of them work well
Earlier I mentioned that the operating system included in the Zappiti Pro 4K HDR is Android version 6. This means that we can access the Play Store and install applications . Honestly, I have saved this for last because it is not his strong point.
First of all because we have an old version of Android . Second because some applications do not work as they should . For example Netflix, which shows a mobile interface instead of the Android TV interface.
It is true that it can be interesting to install IPTV applications, such as SSIPTV. Also in case we want to use Kodi to play movies instead of Zappiti's own system. It is something a bit absurd, because we would lose some functionalities (the automatic change to 24p for example), but we have the option.
Another option we have is to use the device to watch YouTube videos . This application does show a correct interface and works smoothly. However, I have had problems playing 4K videos. Being, in principle, compatible, when I put a 4K video it played 2 seconds and then it stopped. And it was not a problem of the Internet connection. I do not know if it is a failure of the press unit or it will be general.
Conclusions and price
The Zappiti Pro 4K HDR is a great player for audio and video files . It is capable of reading practically any format that is currently on the market, both video and audio. It can play 4K Blu-Ray menus in ISO images and folders, as well as supporting Dolby Atmos playback through mkv files. Two very difficult to find features.
On the other hand, the management of the movie library is very interesting . The information is downloaded quickly, is almost always correct and has the addition of including the music of the film. In addition, the manual management of the library is also quite comfortable (in case we have to make adjustments).
I also really liked that we can use it as a server . Its storage capacity of up to 32 TB means that we can put all our multimedia content on the Zappiti and serve it to other devices. We will thus save the use of a NAS or a computer.
But of course, its high price makes the demand on the device maximum. And the truth is that it fails in basic points of a multimedia player .
What has caught my attention the most is the slowness of the interface . It takes a little while to move between menus, something that hurts the user experience. Be careful, it is not exaggerated, but it shows. And, as I said before, the remote does not help, something that I do not understand in a high-priced device either.
The second "bug" that I see is its non-compatibility with Dolby Vision and HDR10 + . And it does not seem that it is something that can be solved with a simple update, at least in the case of the Dolby system. It may not be important for many users, but in my opinion if you spend so much money on a multimedia player it is to have it all.
The Zappiti Pro 4K HDR is on sale with an official price of 800 euros (without hard drives). You can find it in some stores specialized in audio and video.