D-Link Australia DSM-330
A competent wired and wireless media streamer
- Easy setup, range of outputs, good file support, great interface
- Struggles to play 720p content over wireless
D-Link's DSM-330 is a product that excels at streaming media over a wired network, but struggles a bit with the combination of wireless connection and high-definition video.
Price$ 399.95 (AUD)
D-Link's latest streaming media player, the DSM-330, differs from its predecessor the DSM-320 with the addition of DivX codec support. The device excels at displaying standard definition and high definition video content over a wired network, although it had troubles with 720p video through wireless.
The device itself is small and unobtrusive, designed to be hidden away in an A/V rack or on top of a DVD player. Its simple fascia has a power LED as well as a few network connectivity lights.
Unpacking and connecting the router-sized gadget is simple and only takes a few minutes. A decent number of ports are included on the unit's rear, with HDMI, SCART, S-Video and composite outputs covering video, as well as optical and analogue RCA audio connections. When we first set up the device it was unable to transmit video over HDMI, but after connecting a composite cable and completing the initial setup all was well.
Setting it up took a little while but was fairly simple. It is recommended you install the included software prior to connection to help with finding and accessing media files.
Once the software is installed, setting up the DSM-330 is a simple procedure. After setting up the screen and sound calibration, the streamer prompts for a wired or wireless connection. Wireless setup was easy; all common encryption types are supported. The device connects quickly to the server software, and then handles all the streaming of video, music and photos competently. From a cold start-up, expect a load time of around 45sec before you can navigate to your files.
The interface of the DSM-330 is a thing of beauty. It's intuitive to use, with a maximum of two sub-menus from the main menu. Photos, music and movies are easily accessed, as are options to add more plug-ins or play a series of games from the DivX website. In the past, the DSM-330 was able to download video from DivX's partner Web site, Stage6. Since that site's closure, the feature has been unavailable. DivX's Web site reports that it is in talks with other companies to revive the online download service, although there is no indication of when or if this will happen.
Photos are quickly streamed, with an average size file loading in around 2sec. Photos with a higher resolution than the box's 1280x720 standard were significantly compressed and jagged. The photo function excels at displaying movie stills and screenshots, but it isn't fantastic for viewing holiday snapshots straight off your digital camera.
When playing music over either wired or wireless networks we couldn't hear any skips or stuttering. The device's screensaver activates after five minutes by default, which means you might see the screen go blank before longer songs end; this feature can be disabled or extended if necessary.
Video playback was great in standard definition. Videos played smoothly over a wired network as well as wireless, and the DVD-quality content we played back looked great. No noticeable compression could be seen, and pictures maintained the vibrancy and clarity of the source material.
High-definition playback over a wired network was excellent; 720p content was seamlessly streamed, and load times were minimal. When switching to wireless, however, we found that 720p content struggled to play. This is often the case, as a wireless connection doesn't offer the bandwidth of a wired connection. For the best experience we recommend either ensuring you have a perfect wireless signal or simply stick with your cables.
It's a device that has plenty of potential, and in most areas it performs admirably. Music and photo content is streamed easily, and video is adequate as well. Picture quality is great, but the device may struggle with HD content unless it's set up on a wired network.
Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HP Stream 11 laptop
- 2 Acer Chromebook 11 (CB3-111)
- 3 Asus Zenbook UX303LN Ultrabook
- 4 Samsung's Galaxy Alpha review: A peek into the Galaxy S6
- 5 Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro hybrid Ultrabook
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- FBI concludes North Korea 'responsible' for Sony hack
- What we know about North Korea's cyberarmy
- Cyberattack on German steel factory causes 'massive damage'
- Blackberry reports falling revenue, but loss shrinks
- Microsoft helps boost Android, iOS app performance with offline access
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.