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Netgear NeoTV 550 review

A media streamer that can do it all

Our Verdict

A hugely functional and easy-to-use media player that will find files on just about any device

For

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Huge file support
  • Great remote
  • Cover art is useful
  • Good value for money

Against

  • Lack of internet apps
  • Looks bland
  • No built-in Wi-Fi
  • No HDMI cable

Despite the ongoing march of Blu-ray into homes across the country, there's been no let-up in the number of media devices that enable you to get all the media you've collated on your PC – whether movies, music files or photos – and access them on your TV in another room.

These boxes of joy can deliver the goods stored on your PC in a variety of ways: by having a built-in hard drive that you can put your files onto, like the D-Link Boxee Box or the Western Digital WDTV Live Hub; by simply plugging an external hard drive into the device, as the AC Ryan PlayOn! HD2 Mini does so well; or by streaming them from your computer over the air, like with the AirTies 4420, which is capable of punting full HD movies from one place to the other.

The Netgear NeoTV 550 takes the latter approach, but it also doubles up as a network-attached media player, allowing you to stream content from the internet, such as YouTube videos, or listen to radio stations. The NeoTV also caters for those wishing to get their media kicks through a locally-attached storage device.

You can plug in a USB memory stick and a hard drive at the same time via the two USB slots, you can stick in an SD card – which is ideal for photographers or those using a handy cam – and there's even an eSATA connection – brilliant if you're connecting a large hard drive with lots of files on that you want to access quickly.

So, then, nearly all the important boxes are ticked – however you want your media to be served, the NeoTV can manage it. But does it do any of it particularly well?


Tech Specs

Product TypeNetwork Audio/Video Player
EthernetYes
HDMIYes
Internet StreamingYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Brand NameNetgear
Audio FormatsMP3, WMA, WMA Pro, WAV, AAC, FLAC
Video FormatsWMV, MPEG-2, MPEG-1, MPEG-4, AVI, XviD, MOV, M2TS, DVD Video, VOB, IFO, DivX, MPG
Scan Format1080p
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
USBYes
Video Signal StandardHDTV
HDMI Version1.3
Component VideoYes
Number of Analog Audio Inputs1
Number of Digital Optical Outputs1
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card
ColourBlack
Sound SystemDolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD
Product SeriesAV
Image FormatsJPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF
FeaturesPC Streaming
ManufacturerNetgear, Inc
Product Model550
Product NameNeoTV 550 Network Media Player
Product LineNeoTV
Manufacturer Part NumberNTV550-100UKS
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.netgear.co.uk
Marketing Information

Bring all your digital media to your TV. Play movies, music, and photo collections stored on your networked devices (such as PC, Mac, and network attached storage). The NeoTV 550 also provides easy access to files stored on your USB drives and SD cards

ProtocolsUPnP
Package Contents
  • NeoTV 550 Network Media Player
  • Remote Control
Scanning ModesProgressive Scan