D-Link DSM-320 Wireless Media Player
|D-Link DSM-320 Wireless Media Player|
|Software, Setup and More|
|Daily Use of the DSM-320|
|Final Thoughts and Conclusion|
Product: D-Link DSM-320 Wireless Media Player
Provided By: D-Link Canada
Price: ~210.00CDN (Pricegrabber.ca)
In this day and age, a Home Theatre PC is becoming more and more standard. Let's face it though, most PC's make noise, and don't really blend in with your Entertainment Center. D-Link has a product in the market that fits these needs. I'm talking about the DSM-320 Wireless 54Mbps Media Player. This device is absolutely silent, very stylish and will totally blend in with your existing entertainment center. The only catch to the whole perfect world is that it requires a computer running the server softwware on the network. If you've got a closet and a P3 500 or higher running Windows, it's no problem. Read on to find out exactly what this media player is all about, and if it has a fit in your house.
Box, Bundle & Specs:
The DSM-320 is a rather large device as it sits about 17" wide to blend with your major set-top amps, DVD Players, etc. The box is rather large, but not very heavy. It comes bundled with enough goodies to get you started and keep you going for quite a while. The unit ships with a README regarding firmware updating, a Quick Install Guide, a CD that contains the D-Link Media Sever (Media Lounge) Software that is a little outdated. That package also includes a 6' Ethernet cable, a set of composite A/V cables, an S-Video cable, IR Remote & Batteries, as well as a nice RP-SMA antenna.
The included remote is your lifeline to controlling the DSM-320. The media player itself has only a single power button, so the remote better be good. Fortunately it is very easy to use, has decent range and is fully functioned. There are colored buttons on the bottom half that allow you to quickly jump to the different aspects of this media player - Music, Photo, Video, and Online Media. The red button on the top left is the power button, and the blue botton on the top right is the "Home" button. This button brings you back to a menu where you can choose how you want to entertain yourself.
The list of media capability listed below is actually an incomplete list that I pulled off the D-Link website. With the latest firmware update (1.05ca), the media player actually plays more formats that are listed below. We'll get into that when we cover the software install. In the meantime, the specs below give you an idea of what you are getting with the DSM-320. Thankfully it supports 802.11G and wired Ethernet. Playing high-quality DivX would choke on a 802.11b network, and the 802.11G is just barely adequate for some media due to signal strength issues. The wired network makes this unit fly though. I'm glad that this unit supports some level of encryption and 128bit WEP is pretty decent. I had a small fear that I'd have to open up my network in order to use the DMS-320. I was thankfully wrong.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Coax Digital Audio
Network:Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ 802.11g Wireless
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Supports up to 54Mbps transfer rate
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Wired LAN: 10/100Mbps Ethernet
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ DHCP or Static IP Address
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Hardware based WEP (Wired
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Up to 128-bit encryption
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ UPnP-AV 1.0 Enabled
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ INMPR Compliant
PC System Requirements
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Connection to 802.11g wireless or
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Windows 98SE, Me, 2000 or XP
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ 500MHz processor
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ 128MB memory
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ 20MB available hard disk space
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Broadband Internet Service
(cable or DSL modem)
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Operating temperature:
0Ã‚Â°C to 45Ã‚Â°C
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Storage temperature:
-25Ã‚Â°C to 55Ã‚Â°C
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Operating relative humidity:
10% to 95% non-condensing
The DSM-320 is very slim and blends very nicely in a home theatre setup. The front is very minimalistic. There is only a single power button on the front of the unit. This button is backlit with a blue LED that is not too bright, but is bright enough to be easily seen in daylight. Toward the middle of the unit is a pair of LED's that indicate connection to the network. One is for Ethernet and the other is for Wireless. When the DMS-320 is connected to either respective network, the LED flashes indicating network traffic as packets are received.
The back is where the multitude of connectors resides. Here we've got all the major connectors that you should ever require. Video choices include composite, S-Video and even component video. If you take a look at the back up close you can see that there is even a PAL/NTSC switch. Digital Audio out is provided in both the RCA style as well as Optical. There are also stereo analog audio outputs as well. If you can't find a connection that works for you, perhaps you need to trade in that 20 year old TV with Coax, and pick up something a little newer.
On this back you can also see the standard RP/SMA connector for the wireless antenna as well as the 10/100 ethernet jack. There is also a reset switch should you bork this thing up or perhaps the imbedded Linux OS should go bonkers.
Now that we've seen the physical side of the DSM-320, we're going to take a look at the server software that is required to stream music, video and photos to the unit. Head on over to the next page and keep on reading.