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Photos

Selecting photos for playback on the EVA8000 is similar to the music selection. Your photos are presented in a structured menu where you can select by date, folder, size, etc (Figure 8).

Photo Selection

Figure 8: Photo Selection

When setting up to play a slide show, I found it took a lot of button presses to actually start it. For example, after I've told the system I wanted to browse by folder, I'd like to just select a folder and then hit the play button. Instead, the sequence was: select the folder; next screen - choose again between Browse Photos, Year, Camera, etc.; next screen - select "Play all in order"; next screen - wait for a thumbnail page of the photos to display; next screen - select a photo to start playing the slide show. Yeesh!

Preferences are available for how long to keep a picture on screen, and for selecting several nice transition effects, such as fade, slide, zoom etc. While a slide show is playing, you can navigate into the music menu and select music to accompany your slide show.

NETGEAR advertises support for JPEG, BMP, PNG and TIFF files, although I had one TIFF file fail to display. It was somewhat curious to see GIF files left off the list, since they are so common. I thought maybe it was just an oversight in the documentation, but then I noticed that indeed my GIF files were not showing up in the photo menus.

The EVA8000 has a screen-saver that will come on if you stay on a menu too long, but I found that, at least in the photo thumbnail screen, it didn't work. So be careful if you have a TV that is susceptible to burn-in. Speaking of the screen-saver, I was annoyed to find that whenever you hit a button to leave the screen-saver, you ended up back at the main menu rather than where you left off.

The EVA8000 can also display photos directly from the online Flickr website. This was kind of fun, but one again, navigation was more clumsy than using your computer. Capabilities are provided for viewing by user, tags, etc. A couple of times while viewing Flickr photos, the system seemed to lock up, requiring a reset.

Other Features

The EVA8000 has a number of other features that I didn't find all that useful, but others might. You can view RSS feeds, which is kind of nice. But formatting codes would often display embedded in the text, as shown in Figure 9. Plus, if the RSS headline had a URL for the real info, there was no way to follow it.

RSS Display

Figure 9: RSS Display

You can view weather maps, but the resolution was so low that it wasn't very useful.

Weather Map

Figure 10: Weather Map

The EVA8000 will also let you see and control the desktop of your PC on your TV. However, you can't plug a mouse or keyboard into the USB ports. So, if you want to do anything, you'll have to move the PC mouse cursor around with the remote, using the select button for mouse clicks. If you happen to have multiple EVA8000s on your network, you can send text messages between them, or arrange to have your media playback moved from one to the other.

Finally, if you'd like to control your EVA8000 from a web browser, the box runs a web server with a menu that mimics the on-screen one (Figure 11).

Web interface

Figure 11: Web Interface

This feature could come in handy if you have a laptop near your entertainment center, or if you want to set up a recording while away from home.

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