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Introduction

LinkTheater mini

At a Glance
Product Buffalo Technology LinkTheater mini Network Media Player (PC-P1LAN)
Summary Sub-$100 media adapter for photo, music and standard definition TV, but with limited format support
Pros • Inexpensive
• Small
• DLNA certified
• Works with NAS media servers
Cons • Composite AV only
• Problems with MP3s
• Limited format support

I've long been a fan of little home network devices that do only a few things, but do them well. To that end, I make use of a number of Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices on my LAN for storing multimedia such as music, images and movies. Last year, I reviewed the LinkTheater media player from Buffalo Technology that could use my NAS devices as a source of content. I liked the device, but it was a bit expensive, and I ended up never using its built-in DVD player.

Now Buffalo has come out with a "mini" version of the LinkTheater that drops the DVD player - and the price - and has a very small form factor. The mini doesn't have support for wireless LANs or high definition video like its big brother does, but one thing it does add is Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) certification. DLNA is a standard designed to allow different digital multimedia devices from various manufacturers to seamlessly interact. I'm all for open standards that will allow all of my little LAN devices to play nice with each other, so I was happy to see this standard start to be picked up by manufacturers.

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