It seems that Brando can't go a month without bringing out yet another slightly-improved domicile for your orphaned SATA HDDs. Following in the footsteps of the very recent Multimedia Dock, the latest unit adds H.264 decoding to the already present DivX, Xvid and MPEG-4, while output graduates to full 1080p. Featuring HDMI and a plethora of supported media formats, the humble docking station has certainly grown up, but is it enough to compete with standalone media players? Input flexibility would suggest so -- the new device accepts 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch hard drives, alongside USB flash memory, SD, MMC, and MS cards -- but alas, Brando loses the plot at the final hurdle, asking for an astronomical $199. With prettier alternatives available at half the price, this is unlikely to sell like hotcakes, but Brando's breakneck refresh cycle give us the feeling it won't be long before we see that perfect do-it-all dock.

Onkyo keeps the SACD fires burning