Thursday, June 02, 2005

Philips Streamium SL400i

I was asked the other day [by Jim] what media receiver I would recommend [as if I'm an expert!]. Considering I've only had used the one I own, I don't have a huge amount of experience to draw on in order to answer that. But I suppose I do know the kind of things to look for - and look out for, so I set to the task.

For starters I'm only interested in ones that support video, but for those interested in music streaming I'm sure the list would be very different as the requirements are very different - like the need for a built in display panel etc.

Another decision I made was that it has to support Twonkyvision as it seems to be the leading media server.

I did a lot of random web browsing but eventually came to my senses and realised that I should just look at the list of client devices that Twonkyvision supports. Which can be found at
http://www.twonkyvision.de/UPnP/devices.html. Of of the supported list the following are video enabled :-
  • Netgear MP115
  • Sony PCNAMR10
  • Sony STR-LV700R
  • D-Link DSM 320
  • GoVideo D2730
  • Philips Streamium SL400i
  • Philips Streamium SL300i
  • Philips Streamium MX6000
  • SMC SMCWMR
  • Zensonic Z400
  • Telegent TG100
Out of these 1 really stood out as a contender for best of breed,
The Philips Streamium SL400i:-


It has excellent posture, a nice flat back, and a glossy coat....haaaaang on, that's all wrong. Anyhoo..... seriously - it looks amazing, it's technical spec sounds amazing, it seems very simple and claims to support a LOT of video formats.

It also has a very intriguing USB 'PC-Link' - maybe this can be used to simply connect a media packed USB drive directly and remove the need for a media server, probably not and from what I can see - definately not at the moment.

There's also a very well subscribed streamium forum at
http://www.streamiumcafe.com/ so there's no shortage of discussion and help to be found there.

Only 1 problem. You can't buy them in Australia. Grrrrr. And at $US450 RRP or 300 in the real world - it isn't cheap either. Having said that, if I could buy one right now, I would - and sell the weaker one on eBay. Actually mentioning eBay reminds me - there is not a single streamium on eBay - that's got to be a good sign, yeah?

For more information on the streamium range visit
http://www.streamium.com/index.cfm

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