D-Link DSM-320RD review: D-Link DSM-320RD Wireless Media Player

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Typical Price: $450.00

D-Link DSM-320RD

(Part #: CNETD-Link DSM-320RD)
3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Simple setup routine. Embedded DVD player.

The Bad May not fit in some more slender cabinets.. No HDMI/DVI.

The Bottom Line The DSM-320RD is a simple media streamer that's definitely a touch dated, but worthwhile if your needs are only very modest -- or if you need a spare DVD player.

6.0 Overall

Design
There's no doubting where the design aesthetic for the DSM-320RD came from; in all but name, this is a DVD player that also happens to double as a home media hub. As such, it's quite a large media hub unit, or to be more accurate, it's really a very long unit. It measures in at a whopping 425.45 x 285.75 x 38.1mm, much wider than just about any other media streamer we've seen. In a room with a PS3, an Xbox 360 and several other PVRs and set top boxes, the DSM-320RD managed to stand out by being wider than all of them -- and in the case of some of the media hubs, several of them combined.

Features
As a home media hub, it's hard not to view the DSM-320RD as being a little underpowered. Wireless is supported -- but only up to 802.11g, useless for HD video, and shaky even for SD stuff. Likewise, video connectivity tops out at component; there's no HDMI or DVI option to be seen here. Finally, file type support is at what we'd consider to be an absolute rock bottom when it comes to working like a modern media hub, with support for basic stuff like WMV and XviD, but nothing for streaming ISOs or MKV files.

For what it's worth, the DSM-320RD is also a capable enough DVD player, if you don't already happen to have several devices that fulfil that function.

Performance
One factor that many media streamers get badly wrong is in making the set-up torturous, either through dodgy LCD display panels on the devices themselves, or poorly laid out on-screen controls. The DSM-320RD does an excellent job of making new users easily acquainted with the technology, and getting it up and running wirelessly was no problem whatsoever. It should be noted that D-Link's provided server software does take rather a long time to catalogue large collections of music, movies or photos, so if you're a digital hoarder, be prepared to wait for a while before being easily able to view your material.

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