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Netgear NeoTV 550 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £138
inc VAT

Apart from a fairly fiddly internet content browser, there’s not much wrong with the NeoTV 550. It’s not special enough to justify its premium price, though.

Netgear’s latest media streamer can play files from UpNP, DLNA and SMB shares, stream video from YouTube and access internet radio stations. If you don’t want to plug it into your network, it can also access media stored on a flash drive or SDHC card.

The NeoTV 550 is a simple black box, with a USB port and SDHC card slot on the front and a smattering of logos. Seeing as it’s likely to be sitting under your TV among a selection of sleek AV kit, it’s a shame Netgear didn’t make more of an effort with the 550’s looks. On the rear are HDMI and component outputs, an optical S/PDIF and a 3.5mm minijack socket for the included composite video and stereo phono cable. If you don’t want to put up with poor standard-definition composite connection video quality you’ll need to buy your own HDMI or component cable.

Netgear NeoTV 550 rear

There’s no built-in wireless, so you’ll need to use an Ethernet cable, HomePlug kit or Netgear’s own WNCE2001 wireless bridge to connect to your network. We’d recommend a wired Ethernet connection for streaming high-definition content. The 550 didn’t cope well with losing its network connection half-way through a film – it crashed, and we had to unplug it from the mains to reset it.

The included setup program makes installation easy. It searches your PC’s hard disk for available media files, shows you a list of locations where such files are present and lets you select which ones you want the 550 to monitor for content. You can also browse the folders you’ve shared from the 550’s menus.

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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 WMAPro, FLAC

Video Compatibility

Other video formats MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, WMV9, XVID, DIVX, VC-1

Image Compatibility

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

Network Interfaces

Wired network ports 10/100
Wireless networking support Yes

AV Interfaces

Minijack line outputs 1
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 1
S-video output 0
Composite outputs 1
Other connectors USB, SDHC card reader, eSATA


Size 38x432x254mm
Power consumption standby 0W
Power consumption on 7W

Server Compatibility

Software included Netgear setup
UPnP Yes
iTunes No
SlimServer No

Buying Information

Price £138
Warranty one year RTB

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