CNET First Look
Netgear Digital Entertainer Elite EVA9150While it's a bit pricey and far from perfect, the Netgear Digital Entertainer Elite EVA9150 offers an easy way to access the widest array of digital audio, photo, and, especially, video files for the do-it-yourself crowd.
[ Music ] >> Jeff Bakalar: Hey what's going on everyone I'm Jeff Bakalar for CNET.com today we're checking out the Netgear Digital Entertainer Elite. Now we've looked at plenty of network connected media extenders in the past most of which rely on Windows Media Center for content. Now we're really not fans of that sort of device that's so heavily invested in Windows Media Center which is why we like to have the Digital Entertainer Elite. It avoids all interaction with Media Center and instead offers a very easy to use, highly compatible experience. Video quality was great whether we used Wi-Fi or an Ethernet connection and the rear of the Elite gives you plenty of connection options to hook up to your TV. We really were impressed with the amount of compatibility that the Elite offers. It's compatible with a veritable laundry list of file types. Now you've got a few options for grabbing content. You can watch streams from the pre programmed internet channels. You can use your own RSS feed or you can stream files and media from your PC. There's included software that makes setting up a shareable directory easy. We just recommend you toss all of you media files into 1 big folder because for some reason or another the software on the computer only sees folders, it can't look into sub directories which is a little weird. The Entertainer Elite also comes with a 500 GB hard drive that you can actually upgrade yourself to 1 TB. Netgear lets you use this storage space to transfer files from your computer to the unit and it also helps with buffering videos that you're streaming. A few things we didn't like about the Elite. It doesn't play any flash video what so ever. Nor can you use it to connect to Netflix or Amazon Video on demand. Overall, we found the Elite to also be a bit pricey. It's around $400 and it may be more for the sort of do it yourself video file who's very savvy with all these sort of file types and features like that. That said for the amount of features and the range of compatibility this Netgear should be one of your first choices for media streaming. I'm Jeff Bakalar and this has been the Netgear Digital Entertainer Elite.