The Good Streams digital audio, video, and photos; streams Internet radio; upgradable for new wireless-networking standards and additional media formats; solid TV-based music navigation; straightforward setup; built-in Web browser; supports AOL Instant Messenger.
The Bad Doesn't display CD artwork; keyboard sold separately; preconfigured to play only a few Internet radio stations; Windows only.
The Bottom Line The MediaPlayer's impressive combination of features makes it the strongest sub-$250 digital audio receiver to date.
While the digital audio receiver (DAR) category has seen significant price erosion over the past six months, Prismiq's MediaPlayer is the first DAR we've tested with a sweet-spot combination of value and features. At $249, the MediaPlayer comes with everything you need to stream audio, video, and photo slide shows over a wired network. Better yet, you can easily add compatibility with all three wireless-networking protocols using one of several off-the-shelf PCMCIA cards.
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Thanks to its black, plastic casing and scant dimensions (9 by 1.5 by 5.25 inches), the MediaPlayer will blend easily into most home-entertainment systems. The front panel is vacant except for a few text labels and four status LEDs that beam through the translucent black faceplate.