Wireless and Under the Covers
Last check was the 510's support for wireless networking. Most people won't have a handy Ethernet drop available in their entertainment center, so they will have to resort to connecting wirelessly. Setting up the wireless connection was fairly easy to do. Figure 13 shows the result of the 510 scanning for available wireless access points. Once the scanning was complete, I selected one of mine and started entering my encryption information.
Figure 13: Wireless Site Survey
The 510 supports WEP, WPA and even WPA2 wireless encryption. Entering security codes on these devices usually entails painfully keying them in using SMS style entry. But the 510 had a nice soft-keyboard (Figure 14) that made the process a lot easier. Once my info was entered, the device rebooted and I was operating wirelessly.
Figure 14: Encryption Setup
My access point is one floor below and directly underneath my entertainment center, so I had a good connection which made operation fairly trouble free. D-Link doesn't recommend a wireless setup for streaming large format (high definition) video, but I was able to play a short 1280x544 3 Mbps DivX stream without issue.
Once I moved the device further away from my access point, however, I began to get a bit of "stuttering" in the stream, so your mileage may vary. In general, I was able to use the box in various locations around my house, but for video streaming, you're always going to be better off with a wired connection.
As usual, I dug into the 510 to see what makes it tick. Figure 15 shows the main board of the 510, but between heatsinks and covers I couldn't get much information about the chips used in the device. Fortunately, the FCC ID photos were more helpful.
Figure 15: DSM-510 Main Board
The main media processor is a Sigma Designs EM8620L-LF, which is actually a pretty capable media processor. The VIA VT6212 4-port USB 2.0 Host Controller handles the single USB port, while the 10/100 Ethernet port comes courtesy of a Realtek RTL8100C. The HDMI port is driven by a Silicon Image SiI9030 HDMI PanelLink Transmitter with DVD-Audio.
Figure 16: DSM-510 Main Board without heatsinks
As far as the software running in the box, I didn't have a lot to go on. A port-scan turned up a few open UPnP ports, and connecting to one turned up the following string:
Linux/2.4.22-em86xx-uc0-sigma UPnP/1.0 DigiOn DiXiM UPnP/1.0 DigiOn
This indicated that the box was running a Linux 2.4.22 kernel, and using a UPnP server sourced from DiXiM. The em86xx string pointed to the Sigma Designs processor.