Buffalo LinkTheater

Buffalo LinkTheater

Overall, it’s a useful product, but you can certainly do better.

Buffalo Tech
> Product website
Price: $449
> Pricing info
Type - Server Hard disk (GB) - 0 Wireless - Yes Network integrated - No Zones - 1 Built-in amp - No Uncompressed audio - No MP3 - Yes Max MP3 data rate - 10/100 WMA - Yes AAC - Yes FLAC - No AVI - Yes DivX - No WMV - Yes Quicktime - No HDMI in - 0 DVI in - 0 Component in - 0 Scart in - 0 S-Video in - 0 Composite in - 2 USB video - 1 HDMI out - 0 DVI out - 0 Component out - 0 Scart out - 1 S-Video out - 1 Composite out - 1 Coaxial digital in - 0 Optical digital in - 0 Analogue stereo in - 0 USB audio - 1 Coaxial digital out - 0 Optical digital out - 1 Analogue stereo out - 0 Dimensions (hwd, cm) - 5x28x12 Weight (kg) - 2

Lack of online content and copy-protected music are problems, but no HDMI is a major headache

This is so much cheaper than many rival products you might think, “Where’s the catch”? Answer: no HDMI.

That’s right, this is one of the only media streamers we’ve seen recently that has Scart as the best-available connection. Otherwise, the LinkTheater is a tidy unit: it’s much smaller than the Netgear EVA8000 and Linksys KiSS 1600, and though a bit light and plasticky, is perfectly well put together.

Once connected to the TV, using Scart or S-Video, we were impressed by the bright and sharp menus. However, once you’ve set up the player, you’ll quickly wish you had a better connection. Noise and pixelation in the picture are annoying, and the colour palette isn’t as varied as that provided by HDMI-equipped rivals.

The others here show what the Buffalo lacks
The lack of HDMI means HD content is a no-no, and it’s also fussy playing larger AVI files, even though smaller ones play fine.

Compatibility with audio formats is a little better, though Apple Lossless and copy-protected music doesn’t appear in the Link-Theater’s folders. You also miss out on the online content that’s available on the Netgear and Linksys.

Overall, it’s a useful product, but you can certainly do better.

Decent price; small, good-looking unit; easy to set up and use

No HDMI means images are weaker than rivals’; limited format support

Source: Copyright © 2010 What HiFi?

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