New toy: Netgear EVA700

by Volker Weber

eva 700

While we are waiting for the Apple TVs to arrive, it's time to look at some alternatives. Netgear has two Digital Entertainers: the EVA700 and the soon to be shipped EVA8000. The later model is not yet available but should ship in a few weeks.

The EVA700 is already interesting enough to take a closer look. It supports more video formats than the Apple TV (MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, AVI, WMV, Xvid) and it has one very interesting feature: a USB port at the front of the device. Plug in your thumbdrive or an external drive and play directly from that. Of course you can also play from your UPnP media server. I already have Twonky running on my Linksys NAS and it will be interesting to see if it can deliver suffient data for video.

Update: It. Just. Works. Plugged it in, connect to TV, joined my WLAN, and I am playing video. I would not want to use it to navigate thousands of MP3 files, but the maximum 20 videos on my server are easy to select. If somebody comes along with a USB drive, you just plug it in and look at photos, listen to music or watch videos on the drive.

Verdict: I like. Beware that a newer, even more capable device with an HDMI connector is around the corner. If you can hold off for a few weeks, you may want to get the EVA8000. If you don't need HD, you can save some money by getting the EVA700.

Comments

You might want to take a look at the Kiss DP-1600 (Linksys) which should be released in April. It's a DVD player with a built-in UPnP-AV-Client. Plays nearly all relevant formats (WMV, Xvid, Divx, H.264, MP3, AAC, Ogg etc.), HD capable, HDMI (upscaler up to 1080p), ethernet, WLAN (54 MBit) and USB.

Linksys.com

Joachim Bode, 2007-03-27

Indeed, very interesting.

Volker Weber, 2007-03-27

A friend of mine has the Netgear and it works fine for him. He's using it with a Synology Disk Station DS-106e, which also has a UPnP server built-in, and it's working fine for him. It's very similar to the Pinnacle ShowCenter 200 (which i have), but the newer models should play a little bit more different formats, especially XVID with QPel and GMC.

Dirk Steins, 2007-03-27

It would be great to get a detailed review from the owners of EVA700 with TwonkyVision. What works and what does not?
I am also thinking about buying one, but I would like to know more about it before buying one.

Cart Antro, 2007-03-28

I bought the LinkSys/KiSS DP-600 "Multimedia Center" some time ago. When I understand that right, it's the forerunner of the DP-1600. Well, I can't approve it. It didn't work and I had to send it back. All I got from the player was "Please wait..." after switching it on. Not very much.
I read a lot of same experiences in different boards and newsgroups at the internet.
Perhaps it was just a firmware-/software-problem and the new one (DP-1600) is much better... but once bitten twice shy.

Thomas Langel, 2007-03-28

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