|BuffaloTech LinkTheater High-Definition Wireless Media Player with Progressive Scan DVD (PC-P3LWG/DVD)|
|Summary||Combination DVD player / networked multimedia adapter can play HD content, but not from DVDs. Supports AOSS automatic wireless setup.|
|Update||28 April 2005 - Corrections from Buffalo comments|
|Pros||• Attractive user interface
• Plays many formats
• Supports 720p and 1080i HD
• UPnP Support
|Cons||• No HDMI or HDCP-DVI connectors
• Does not upscale DVDs to HD
• Lack of WPA support
Over the last few months I've had the privilege of trying out a number of networked home multimedia adapters. They've all had a comparable form-factor, being similar in size to a home router or access point and their feature sets have been similar as well. The basic ideas for these types of devices is that you connect them into your TV and/or stereo and they access your home network either wirelessly or via Ethernet to play digital content such as movies, pictures, and music from a computer running a specialized server.
In general, these devices can be thought of as just another little specialized computer sitting on your network. But there's another type of device that leans more toward the home entertainment center than the home computer. These devices have the same type of feature set and mode of operation as the others, but they use a home theater form-factor to fit onto the same shelf as your stereo, VCR or amplifier.
In this review I'm going to take a look at the LinkTheater by Buffalo Technology. It combines the standard audio / video / still picture playback capabilities that I've seen in other units, but it comes in a home-stereo form-factor and includes a built-in DVD player.