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.
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
- 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