Connecting up the DSM-520 was straightforward, but since it didn't come with an HDMI cable, I found out first-hand about how much these connections can cost. My local big-box retailer wanted upwards of $100 for a cable that would convert from the HDMI port on the DSM-520 to the Digital Visual Interface (DVI) port on my TV. A $100 cable to hook up a $250 device? Ouch.
Not willing to fork over $100 for a cable, I first opted to hook the box up with analog HD cables. But then eventually ended up ordering a DVI cable and a HDMI converter on-line for about half the big-box store price. Since these aren't like the 79-cent RCA cables you can pick up at Radio Shack, the cost of digital cables is something to consider when pricing your system. Along with the A/V cables, I plugged in a network cable, the power cord and turned the box on.
The first user screen to appear on my TV was a wizard (Figure 3), which directed me to make sure I had a media server running on my network. According to the documentation, the DSM-520 uses the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) audio/video protocol to deliver content, so any UPnP-compliant media server should work.
Figure 3: The installation wizard
I wanted to try out the D-Link supplied server, so I used the included (Windows-only) CD to install a media server on my Windows XP laptop (Figure 4).
Figure 4: Windows media server
The idea is that you tell the server where your music, movies and pictures are located on your hard-drive and then the server makes the content available to the DSM-520. After the server was installed on my Windows system, I turned my attention to the installation wizard still running on my DSM-520. The wizard walked me through various steps, such as giving the box a name and setting up the network (Figure 5).