Review Price free/subscription
My verdict on the D-Link DSM-320 Media Lounge is highly qualified. You need to have a stash of digital media on your PC that you want to stream to your TV, and it really helps if the media is organised in a logical fashion. You need to have spare audio and video connections, ideally using SCART to the TV and RCA or S/PDIF to your surround speakers. It is essential that your PC is connected to an 802.11g router, and that the connection between the D-Link and the router runs at a decent speed. Riyad never got the DSM-320 to work properly in his flat but he has some very solid walls that cause major problems when it comes to 802.11g performance. That said, he’s about to install the new software and give it another try.
When I’m streaming a movie CPU usage runs at less than five per cent for my Athlon 64 3400+ and the upload speed over Ethernet varies between 100Kbit/sec and 400Kbit/sec, so it’s clear that there’s no need for Gigabit Ethernet but you do need a decent wireless connection, and if you want to use the Internet services then you need Broadband.
I bought the D-Link DSM-320 with my own personal cash and with the v1.02 software I was deeply disappointed. The v1.03 update isn’t perfect but it has transformed the DSM-320 and it now works very well for me indeed.
Note From Riyad
As Leo mentioned in his review, I had real problems getting any kind of smooth video streaming via the DSM-320, but to be fair, this isn’t really a criticism of the Media Lounge itself. The building I live in was built in the 1850s and any wireless signal from my router to the living room has to pass through four solid stone walls – this causes problems for any wireless device, but it can be disastrous for a streaming device like this. I will be trying the Media Lounge again, while also installing a booster antenna for my router, so I’ll let you know how I get on. However, while meeting with D-Link at CES in January I saw the answer to my problems – a Media Lounge with an integrated hard disk. The hard disk will be able to buffer the video stream so that it shouldn’t matter if the signal is interrupted sporadically. The hard disk equipped Media Lounge should be available later this year, and I’ll be first in line to try one out.