Zensonic Z400 Media Player

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Zensonic Z400 Media Player

Pros

  • Nothing to report

Cons

  • Requires PC configuration, interface is slow and ugly, remote control buttons are clumsy, music volume too low, picture galleries slow to render, no WMV support

Bottom Line

Consider it an opportunity missed.

Would you buy this?

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The Zensonic Z400 Digital Network Home Media Player, much like the D-Link DSM-320, is a media streamer, taking movies, audio and pictures stored on a PC and displaying them on a TV set. It works over both wireless (802.11b/g) and Ethernet.

The PC needs to be configured to identify where media files are stored; a bundled remote is used to control the Z400 receiver and to select the music or video to be played.

For output, the Z400 supports coaxial digital audio, optical digital audio, composite audio and video, S-Video and component video. Its user interface is displayed on the television connected to the Z400. It supports a range of video, audio and image formats, including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 (and XviD), MP3 and JPEG. The Z400 doesn't play Windows Media (.WMV) video files. The Z400's implementation leaves a lot to be desired. My 26-character wireless password was rejected with a curt message that passwords must have 26 characters. Even connected to a 100Mbps Ethernet network, the Z400 interface is slow--and also ugly. The buttons on the remote are clumsy, which makes setup rather frustrating.

Music played at a much lower volume than expected. Picture galleries were slow to render and to navigate. An MPEG movie that is fine on a PC played back at several times the normal speed; one AVI video clip wouldn't play, and the video and audio tracks were played out of sync in another. The Z400 is clearly not yet ready for prime time.

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