Live the network media stream dream
The ability to pipe music from one room to another in a home was once the kind of luxury only found in the lavish houses of eccentric British racing drivers or wealthy founders of giant technology corporations.
Nowadays, however, it’s easy to stream not only music but also photos and video around your house for relatively little money. Games consoles and even mobile phones can be employed for the task or you can opt for a dedicated device, such as the Eminent HD Media Stream EM7075-DTS.
This unprepossessing little black box from a relatively little known Dutch manufacturer is very easy to set up, assuming you already have an existing home network. Connect the HD Media Stream to your router and plug it to your television set using either the HDMI or composite video connections. Refreshingly, the unit comes with all the required cables in the box, including the often-elusive HDMI.
To stream from your PC, you’ll need a media server program but the chances are you won’t need to install any new software. The HD Media Stream works with the media server built into Windows Media Player (from version 11 onwards), so all you need to do is activate sharing in Media Player (go to the Library tab and select Media Sharing) and your PC will show up under the HD Media Stream’s Network category.
Eminent’s device has a nice, clean interface. It’s very simple and can be navigated using the small remote control handset supplied. Pictures and video can be pumped out at up to the highest 1080p high-definition resolution and a vast number of audio, video and photo file formats are supported. For surround fans, DTS audio and an optical digital audio output are also included. A USB port allows users to attach and play media directly from an external storage device such as a memory key or USB hard disk.
We were impressed by the ease of setup and simple operation of the HD Media Stream. It’s also not bad looking and fairly good value. The only thing lacking is wireless network support. There’s no Wifi at all, so you’ll need to hardwire this to your router with a network cable.
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One of the simplest HD media streaming devices around Good points Easy to set up; full 1080p high-definition support; comes with all cables required; simple user interface Bad points No wireless network connection
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