The Linksys KiSS 1600 is described as a wireless high-definition media player. Which reminds us very much of another product we've heard about called Apple TV. Amusingly, KiSS is owned by Cisco Systems, who you might remember had a scuffle recently with Apple about the name of a phone...
The KiSS 1600 aims to be an all-in-one media solution. It can connect to your home network either wirelessly via the built-in 802.11g or via cabled Ethernet. Once it's happily chatting away to your network it can play a plethora of media, including Windows Media 9 HD, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX and H.264 AVC -- high-definition MPEG-4.
The network functionality of the player also means it can connect to thousands of Internet radio stations, play online games and access other applications and services. So should you have extra time that needs wasting, you're in luck.
The 1600 features an HDMI 1.2 socket to make connection to an HD Ready screen a doddle. The player is capable of outputting video at a resolution of 720p -- like Apple TV. There's also a USB connection, which will enable you to play media files from an MP3 player, portable hard drive or USB memory stick.
Unlike Apple TV, the KiSS 1600 doesn't have a built-in hard drive. This means your PC will have to be on in order for you to play files on your TV. To compensate, the 1600 does have a DVD player built-in, so you can enjoy all your existing discs upscaled to 720p. You'll also be able to play files you've -- cough -- backed up on to DVD in the player, which will be handy.
The Linksys KiSS 1600 will be available from the start of April, and will cost £260. So it's a little bit more expensive than Apple TV but a similar price to the Xbox 360 -- if only Microsoft would let us play more media files on its console, Crave would be truly happy. -IM