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Zyxel HomePlug DMA1100P review

Kat Orphanides
23 Jun 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
170
inc VAT

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Specifications

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 typestreaming multimedia receiver

Audio Compatibility

Audio MP3 playbackYes
Audio WMA playbackYes
Audio WMA-DRM playbackNo
Audio AAC playbackYes
Audio Protected AAC playbackNo
Audio OGG playbackNo
Audio WAV playbackYes
Audio Audible playbackNo
Other audio formatsLPCM
Internet radio stream compatibnone

Video Compatibility

Video MPEG-1 playbackYes
Video MPEG-2 playbackYes
Video MPEG-2 VOB playbackNo
Video MPEG-4 AVI playbackYes
Video MPEG-4 MP4 playbackYes
Video MPEG-4 DivX/XviD supportYes
Video H.264 supportNo
Video MPEG-4 MP3 audio supportYes
Video MPEG-4 AAC audio supportYes
Video WMV playbackYes
Video WMV-HD supportYes
Other video formatsnone
Internet video stream compatibnone

Image Compatibility

Image BMP supportYes
Image JPEG supportYes
Image TIFF supportYes

Network Interfaces

Wired network ports10/100
Wireless networking supportNo
128-bit WEPNo
256-bit WEPNo
WPANo
WPA2No

AV Interfaces

Minijack line outputs0
Minijack headphone outputs0
Stereo phono outputs1
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs0
Optical S/PDIF outputs1
Total SCART sockets0
HDMI outputs1
Component outputs0
S-video output0
Composite outputs1
Other connectorsUSB, 200Mbit/s Homeplug AV

Physical

Size38x244x165mm
Antennas0
Internal/external antennasN/A
Upgradeable antennaNo
Power consumption standby8W
Power consumption on9W

Server Compatibility

Software includedDiXiM Media Server
UPnPYes
iTunesNo
SlimServerNo
SMBNo

Buying Information

Price£170
Warrantytwo years RTB
Supplierhttp://www.ebuyer.com
Detailswww.zyxel.co.uk

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