Installation is, for the most part, pretty easy, though in my case it wasn’t without some teething problems. In the box you’ll find Component, Composite, Stereo Phono and Ethernet cables, along with a power clip compatible with UK and European connectors. Though there’s no HDMI cable in the box all you really need is there, including a set of batteries for the included remote.
For its part, when you plug in the DMA 2100 for the first time it immediately starts with Quick Installation guide that’s well thought out and easy to follow. Having setup the various settings and connected to your network you’re then given the option to setup the Extender straightaway, which you can take or come back to at a later date.
Though straightforward enough, this is where I encountered some problems. First, you must update your source PC using the disc provided: nothing difficult about that. Then, you must turn on both the Extender and your desired source PC, which should detect the extender and ask if you wish to install it. Next, you must enter a code provided by the extender into your PC, which should then begin the process of the two communicating with each other.
This is all fairly simple, even entering the code is only a small inconvenience and even novice users should have few problems following the steps. However, my initial attempts just simply failed. Everything would go fine up until the very final point, with the extender and the PC seemingly failing to establish a secure connection. After several attempts with different computers I was completely bemused. There were no third party firewalls interfering and there was no clear reason why I was having such problems: it just wouldn’t work. So, after a many hours of floral language I just gave up and decided to do something less annoying.
Until, that is, a few days later when I decided to attempt the process again. And, to my great relief, it worked first time. It probably goes to show that networks can be inconsistent things at times, so it’s not too bad a reflection on the DMA 2100 and most reports seem to suggest setup is smooth and without too many issues.
Having finished configuring the extender, getting everything up and running is relatively simple provided you already have Media Center configured and ready to use. On first use the extender will search for the various files in your media library and it’s not too sluggish about it either. Menus appear exactly as they do in Vista Media Center and though navigation can be a little sluggish at times, for the most part the DMA 2100 is responsive.
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