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

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.

Alex Kidman
Alex Kidman is a freelance word writing machine masquerading as a person, a disguise he's managed for over fifteen years now, including a three year stint at ZDNet/CNET Australia. He likes cats, retro gaming and terrible puns.
Alex Kidman
2 min read

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.


D-Link DSM-320RD

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.

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.

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.

Wireless streaming of video over 802.11g is a fickle beast, and what works on one occasion may not even start on another, even within the same location. Thankfully, the DSM-320RD also supports 10/100 wired networking, which somewhat eliminates this problem if you've got either cabling, or your power lines are up to the challenge of Powerline networking equipment. We were able to mostly stream SD content to the DSM-320RD without too many stutters, but given the top real speed of 802.11g, HD video was out of the question.

There's no doubt that there are newer and technically more polished and capable players on the market than the DSM-320RD. It's pretty clearly a unit that's best suited to streaming novices whose needs are small.