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Buffalo LinkTheater HD Nfiniti Wireless Media Player review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 175
inc VAT

The LinkTheater HD supports Draft-N WiFi on both 2.4 and 5GHz, and its two antennas can be replaced to improve its range.

It supports both UPnP and SMB, so you can use Windows Media Player or share folders in Windows. Buffalo includes UPnP server software but it was difficult to get working in Vista.

Using shared folders is easier than using Media Player and you’ll benefit from the LinkTheater’s excellent native support for a wide range of video formats. These include Matroshka (MKV), WMV-HD and H.264 MPEG4 files, although some MPEG files with AC3 audio played without sound. Some DivX AVI files with poor audio- and video-codec tagging also failed to play correctly. The LinkTheater is one of very few streamers we’ve seen that supports Microsoft’s DRM10, so it can play many protected WMA and WMV files. You can also play files from USB mass storage devices.

Buffalo’s interface has a no-frills feel to it, and the clean look makes it easy to use. A handful of options are available from the home screen, where you can browse media and view bookmarked and recently played files. Photo thumbnails are extremely small, though. A zoom button lets you switch between original size and full-screen display and the only setting you can adjust in the configuration menu is the slideshow interval.

Unlike most of the streamers here, the LinkTheater doesn’t support online video and audio services, so you can’t watch YouTube clips or listen to internet radio. Unusually, it can back up video files from a USB camcorder to either a USB flash drive or a shared folder.

At this price the LinkTheater is good value, but D-Link’s DSM-510 is a better choice if you don’t need the wide format support.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Media Streamer type streaming multimedia receiver

Audio Compatibility

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

Video Compatibility

Video MPEG-1 playback Yes
Video MPEG-2 playback Yes
Video MPEG-2 VOB playback Yes
Video MPEG-4 AVI playback Yes
Video MPEG-4 MP4 playback Yes
Video MPEG-4 DivX/XviD support Yes
Video H.264 support Yes
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 ASF, M2T, M2TS, MTS, 3GP, 3G2, MOV, MKV, ISO
Internet video stream compatib none

Image Compatibility

Image BMP support Yes
Image JPEG support Yes
Image TIFF support No

Network Interfaces

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

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 2x USB

Physical

Size 48x215x208mm
Antennas 2
Internal/external antennas external
Upgradeable antenna Yes
Power consumption standby 6W
Power consumption on 7W

Server Compatibility

Software included Macrovision LinkTheatre Media Server
UPnP Yes
iTunes No
SlimServer No
SMB Yes

Buying Information

Price £175
Warranty one year RTB
Supplier http://www.dabs.com
Details www.buffalo-technology.com

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