Pros Played PAL DVD on my NTSC screen
Cons whatever feature you choose you will find bugs
Summary I bought it, I upgraded the firmware to the latest level, I used it, I returned it after 7 days. Following is a list of problems I encountered:
1. Playing music
- I have an iTunes collection of MP3 music that is about 70 GB large. It requires a lot of steps to scroll down to an artist whose name begins with a letter that is in the middle of the alphabet. Very annoying experience.
- Once you find an album you can only play the songs in the alphabetical order. Many music CD’s are made the way where one song turns seamlessly into another one. To enjoy such a feature you obviously need to play songs in the order as they were on the CD. I am not going to rebuild my music collection since I already put all the needed info into MP3 Tags.
2. Playing video
- About every second movie that I have is of not yet supported format.
3. Streaming video
- It is not possible to play live broadcast from the internet source directly through DSM-320 into the TV. Not too many live streams can be captured into a file – which would be the only way to have it played through the DSM-320 on a TV.
4. Remote control
- Arrow keys sometimes do not work, sometimes they behave as if I pressed it twice. There is no feedback (light flash or sound) that would indicate a successfully pressed key.
5. Media server software
- Software needs to be started as an application as opposed to having it as a service. That results in a need to not only turn on the computer, in order to use DSM-320, but also logging the user in. That is another annoyance that was driving me crazy.
6. Displaying pictures from media card
- Moving to the next picture using the Next button on the remote seems to only work for first three pictures. It doesn’t work after that.
7. Overheating of the unit
- I put the unit into my entertainment "tower". It was getting way too hot after a couple of minutes of playback time.
There are nice features available too. I was able to play DVDs purchased in Europe (PAL system) on my regular NTSC screen. That was a big plus.
April 28th, 2007
Pros None. Couldn't make it work
Cons Poor technical support
Summary I could not make the DSM-320RD work with my Linksys DI-624 router - even with Linksys Technical Support. (I use 128-bit WEP encryption). I finally gave up on the wireless and connected using ethernet, and succesfully updated the firmware. At that point, the system recognized my Windows XP media center with Windows Media Player 11. Unfortunately, it could not download the MP3 files in the library. Tech support suggested I return the unit as defective.
I also have some complaints about the design of the interface. THere is no way to assess connectivity status from the front panel or the video menu. There is also no way to consistently cancel an operation. Once you beging a task during set-up, there is no way to stop it short of pulling the plug. The remote control is problemmatic - it fails to detect button presses and / or detects a single press as multiple presses. It makes using the DSM-320RD infuriating! Finally, be aware that the USB port on the back cannot be used for an external hard drive. It appears to be dedicated to use for importing wireless network settings via a thumb drive. There are better choices out there!
Pros plays dvds
Cons Not zone-free, doesn't play MP4/AAC audio, poor streaming quality
Summary Here is my bad experience with this device: (a very bad one I'm afraid)
Not a zone-free dvd player
Doesn't play MP4/AAC (iTunes) audio files, even though it seems to support MP4 video (weird).
Poor video streaming quality and lack of features when not using the provided server software but the Microsoft Windows media connect one (image freezes, gets corrupted and very limited possibilities of navigating through files shared by the server).
When playing VOB files, doesn't allow selection of audio tracks.
The internet radio streaming is limited to live365 provided channels, and basic access (free) gives very poor audio quality due to limited provided bandwidth.
No built-in web browser or possibility to select RSS feeds or other standard internet radio streams (real, or windows media)
Pros Replaces my regular DVD player, easy memory card / usb drive access
Cons Cheap remote, poor on-screen interface
Summary Initially, this unit didn't work after I set it up. It wouldn't sense any of the media servers or my DSM-G600 which has a upnp-AV server built in. I discovered the problem was my router setting. Once I turned off "loopback", it worked perfectly. Loopback blocks upnp.
Pros Support a lot of format
Cons slow operation