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UPnP

The last feature I wanted to check out on the box was its standard support for the UPnP protocol. D-Link's own server worked well, but how would the box react to a UPnP server from a different manufacturer? Fine, as it turns out. Going back to the setup menu, I selected the Twonkyvision UPnP server (Figure 12) that I run on my Kuro Box NAS device and began to check it out.

Figure 12: Server selection

Figure 12: Server selection

With multimedia devices, I don't want to run a hot, noisy, power-hungry computer just to play music or watch a movie. Instead, I put my media on a low-power, silent NAS drive and access it from there. As I ran through the same menus I tested previously, I saw little difference in behavior. I could watch videos, listen to music and view slide shows. Once again the only issue I saw was the lack of picture thumbnails as I had seen in USB mode.

In general, I was impressed. Several other boxes I previously tested looked flashy when using their own server and bland when using a foreign server. But with the DSM-520, it was hard to tell the difference.

One benefit the Twonkyvision server offered was for Internet radio stations. The Twonkyvision server presented a list of usable Internet radio stations under the music option, while Internet radio stations were only available after signing up for service from the Online Zone option with the D-Link server.

The only complaint I had about using alternate servers was when I changed from one server to another. Usually with these boxes a top-level menu is presented from which the user can select from a menu of servers, but with the DSM-520, changing servers required going back into the setup menu, searching for servers, selecting a server and then saving the preferences. But this was a minor issue because most people don't often change servers.

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