DSM-520.jpg

A friend of mine lent me the DSM-320 (it’s coming back soon, Patrick) and I evaluated it to decide to buy the ($229) DSM-520. Both boxes are UPnP AV streaming devices that let you stream audio, video, etc. from a PC.

DSM-320.jpg

Here’s the differences (all in favor of the DSM-520):

  • Supports WPA encryption on wireless
  • Supports high definition component and HDMI outputs
  • Has plug-in on front for USB drive

First impressions:

  • The box is quick and easy to setup, and found Windows Media Connect, NeroHome and D-Link Media Server without problems.
  • Firmware on both is clunky, and has even crashed a few times on the DSM-520 requiring a reboot
  • D-Link Media Server software is poorly implemented, alternatives including the live video transcoding capable NeroHome (my favourite)
  • Few video formats can be read “out-of-the-box”
  • The current firmware strangely can only be set to FF/Rewind OR jump to location. This is most annoying.

After a few months:

Overall, I still really like the DSM-520, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a high-definition streaming video player for a big-screen TV. It’s relatively inexpensive, and works quite well.

  • You can rip a DVD (I use DVDdecrypter) and play it back later. This is great, but several DVDs change audio language abruptly in mid-movie, requiring the rest of the movie be watched on a computer.
  • NeroHome is my preferred media server, supporting many more video formats for live transcoding than the D-Link Media Server
  • Only D-Link Media Server and NeroHome support fast-forward and rewind (Windows Media Connect 2.0 chokes)
  • I intend to buy an Infrant ReadyNAS NV, which will allow me to stream directly off that, without ever having to keep or turn on a computer in the house (supports UPnP AV).
  • I really wish they’d improve FF/Rev, including both jump, and some kind of “jump forward or backwards a few seconds”
  • I would love to see some kind of webbrowser built-in.
  • Pictures are still broken (either stretched to the wrong aspect ratio, or too small). This needs a bug fix desperately from D-Link