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Xtreamer review

Seth Barton
19 Oct 2009
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
99
inc VAT

A low price, an amazing range of capabilities and a basic but effective menu system make the Xtreamer a winner.

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It's rare for a product to come out of nowhere and truly impress us, but the Xtreamer has done just that. For only £99 you get a media streaming device with a remarkable range of functions plus support for practically every file format you'll need.

The device itself looks more like a wireless bridge than a piece of powerful home cinema kit. Thankfully, it's small and so should be easy to tuck away somewhere near your HD TV. Despite its size, there's space for a 2?in SATA hard disk inside, so you can store files locally if desired. Two USB ports on the rear let you attach external storage devices if preferred. However, one of these will be taken up by the bundled 802.11n wireless adaptor unless you opt to use wired Ethernet. A third USB port lets you connect the Xtreamer's hard disk to a PC for fast and easy data transfers.

Also on the rear is HDMI, with support for resolutions up to 1080p, plus optical S/PDIF and AV outputs. Digital audio, via either S/PDIF or HDMI, supports Dolby Digital (AC3) and DTS formats, in either 5.1 surround or stereo downmix.

The menu system is easy to understand and reacts swiftly to your inputs on the clearly marked remote control. It's not the prettiest looking interface, though.

It played Blu-ray-quality H.264 video flawlessly, with all the vibrant colour and fine details we'd expect. Entire DVD movies, complete with menus, can also be streamed or played from local storage. The remote has a volume control, and there's a resume function for half-watched files. One downside is a maximum video rewind and fast forward speed of x32.

The Xtreamer supports all the image formats you'd expect. Photo loading is quick, and smooth image scaling made the most of our images. Photos are shown as a text list, however, with only a single thumbnail shown at once.

Audio files can be browsed by artist, album or genre. You also get album art, but again only a single piece to the right of a text list. It had no problems picking up our playlists from Windows Media Player.

As well as streaming media files from UPnP servers on your network, the Xtreamer can act as a UPnP server, so you can access files from other PCs in your home or over the internet. It also has basic NAS functions, letting you create shared folders. It supports SMB file shares, allowing you to see shared folders on your Windows PCs and vice versa. You can also access web-based content such as YouTube and Picasa Web Albums.

Its interface may not be as slick as some, but the range of functions is incredible and format support is among the best. For only £99 it's a bargain, especially given the bundled 802.11n adaptor. This makes it better value than our previous favourite, Syabas's Popcorn Hour A-110, which costs £180 and has no wireless networking.

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 playbackYes
Audio WAV playbackYes
Audio Audible playbackNo
Other audio formatsAC3, DTS, FLAC, PCM
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 formatsnone
Internet video stream compatibYouTube

Image Compatibility

Image BMP supportYes
Image JPEG supportYes
Image TIFF supportYes

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

Size162x27x110mm
Antennas1
Internal/external antennasexternal
Upgradeable antennaNo

Server Compatibility

Software includedN/A
UPnPYes
iTunesNo
SlimServerNo
SMBYes

Buying Information

Price£99
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.thextreamer.com
Detailswww.thextreamer.com

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