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Buffalo LinkTheater HD Nfiniti Wireless Media Player review

Kat Orphanides
23 Jun 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
175
inc VAT

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Specifications

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 typestreaming multimedia receiver

Audio Compatibility

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

Video Compatibility

Video MPEG-1 playbackYes
Video MPEG-2 playbackYes
Video MPEG-2 VOB playbackYes
Video MPEG-4 AVI playbackYes
Video MPEG-4 MP4 playbackYes
Video MPEG-4 DivX/XviD supportYes
Video H.264 supportYes
Video MPEG-4 MP3 audio supportYes
Video MPEG-4 AAC audio supportYes
Video WMV playbackYes
Video WMV-HD supportYes
Other video formatsASF, M2T, M2TS, MTS, 3GP, 3G2, MOV, MKV, ISO
Internet video stream compatibnone

Image Compatibility

Image BMP supportYes
Image JPEG supportYes
Image TIFF supportNo

Network Interfaces

Wired network ports10/100
Wireless networking supportYes
128-bit WEPYes
256-bit WEPNo
WPAYes
WPA2Yes

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 connectors2x USB

Physical

Size48x215x208mm
Antennas2
Internal/external antennasexternal
Upgradeable antennaYes
Power consumption standby6W
Power consumption on7W

Server Compatibility

Software includedMacrovision LinkTheatre Media Server
UPnPYes
iTunesNo
SlimServerNo
SMBYes

Buying Information

Price£175
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.dabs.com
Detailswww.buffalo-technology.com

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