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Zyxel HomePlug DMA1100P review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 170
inc VAT

Zyxel’s DMA1100P may look more like a router than a hi-fi component, but it’s the only media streamer we’ve ever seen that has built-in HomePlug AV networking.

This turns the mains wiring around your house into a network, allowing devices to communicate with each other. It’s a great alternative to WiFi but you’ll need to buy at least one HomePlug adaptor to connect your PC or router to the mains. Like the other multimedia receivers here, the DMA1100P has an HDMI output. If your TV doesn’t support HDMI, you’re limited to composite video. For audio, it has a pair of stereo phono outputs and a coaxial S/PDIF out.

The DMA1100P’s interface looks bland, but everything is clearly labelled. Helpfully, the menu options are replicated as buttons on the remote control, which makes it easier to find the file or setting you want. You can view image, video and audio files in separate lists or simply browse your shared content. We experienced slight lag when scrolling through long lists of files, though.

The DMA1100P supports only UPnP. It comes with DiXiM media server software, which you can use as an alternative to Windows Media Player. DiXiM scours your hard disk for media, but the streamer wasn’t always able to play what it found, including our H.264-encoded MP4 video files and many MPEG2 VOB files. There’s no internet radio client but Zyxel provides easy-to-follow instructions on using Windows Media Player to stream content from the subscription-based eMusic server, LoveFilm and BBC iPlayer.

The DMA1100P lacks SMB capabilities and can’t handle H.264 video, although its integrated HomePlug is ideal if you can’t get a decent wireless signal. Otherwise, this is an adequate but unremarkable streamer. If you can stretch to another £30, Syabas’s excellent Popcorn Hour A-110 is a better choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Media Streamer type streaming multimedia receiver

Audio Compatibility

Audio MP3 playback Yes
Audio WMA playback Yes
Audio WMA-DRM playback No
Audio AAC playback Yes
Audio Protected AAC playback No
Audio OGG playback No
Audio WAV playback Yes
Audio Audible playback No
Other audio formats LPCM
Internet radio stream compatib none

Video Compatibility

Video MPEG-1 playback Yes
Video MPEG-2 playback Yes
Video MPEG-2 VOB playback No
Video MPEG-4 AVI playback Yes
Video MPEG-4 MP4 playback Yes
Video MPEG-4 DivX/XviD support Yes
Video H.264 support No
Video MPEG-4 MP3 audio support Yes
Video MPEG-4 AAC audio support Yes
Video WMV playback Yes
Video WMV-HD support Yes
Other video formats none
Internet video stream compatib none

Image Compatibility

Image BMP support Yes
Image JPEG support Yes
Image TIFF support Yes

Network Interfaces

Wired network ports 10/100
Wireless networking support No
128-bit WEP No
256-bit WEP No
WPA No
WPA2 No

AV Interfaces

Minijack line outputs 0
Minijack headphone outputs 0
Stereo phono outputs 1
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs 0
Optical S/PDIF outputs 1
Total SCART sockets 0
HDMI outputs 1
Component outputs 0
S-video output 0
Composite outputs 1
Other connectors USB, 200Mbit/s Homeplug AV

Physical

Size 38x244x165mm
Antennas 0
Internal/external antennas N/A
Upgradeable antenna No
Power consumption standby 8W
Power consumption on 9W

Server Compatibility

Software included DiXiM Media Server
UPnP Yes
iTunes No
SlimServer No
SMB No

Buying Information

Price £170
Warranty two years RTB
Supplier http://www.ebuyer.com
Details www.zyxel.co.uk

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