Once you've tried networked multimedia, it's difficult to go back to anything else - as any rich AV enthusiast will tell you.
You might have read about dream kit like the Kaleidescape media system - yours for £25k. Kaleidescape stores 'ripped' DVDs and CDs on the massive hard-disk array of a central server.
This content can then be accessed from networked clients that drive the AV systems located in the various rooms. No more hunting high and low for discs - sure sounds tempting, doesn't it?
The good news is that you no longer need a Jean-Paul Getty-shaped bank account to join in this particular branch of electronic fun. Indeed, the humble PC - which can accommodate terabytes of affordable hard-disk storage nowadays - can be pressed into service as a media server.
Indeed, multiple PCs can be used; in addition some clients will also work with networked hard disks, known as networked-attached storage (NAS). The networking gear you'll need is a gateway-router, now found in thousands of broadbanded homes around the country.
Picture quality. Plenty of features. Hi-def compatible
Compatibility issues. No significant uPnP support
Not as polished as it needs to be, but a big step in the right direction nonetheless
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.
431.8 x 50.8 x 254
Ethernet Composite video
Ethernet 802.11b 802.11g