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Buffalo's LinkTheater mini: Too Little, Too Late

Last response: in Tom's Guide
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May 1, 2006 10:59:02 AM

A $100 networked media adapter handling music, photos and video sure got our attention. But Jim Buzbee found that Buffalo made too many compromises to get under that magic hundred dollar mark.
May 2, 2006 2:55:03 AM

They have the idea I had about the whole HTPC thing.

It at least appears to me that trying to build an HTPC with enough resources to do the job and be small, quiet, and cool, and simple to use is a really difficult if not impossible line to walk.

I'm working on a mini-itx diskless PXE linux box that will do alot of the HTPC stuff using a server in the back that has the disk space and capture cards. The server really doesn't have to be linux even (I'm working on that part of it a little later).

It seems a logical way to do it because you can have a front end box in every room and then have them share resources off the server in the back. From what I've read, ATSC needs only 5mbs, and at the top, MPEG 2 1080P uses about 28mbs. That being said, 802.11g or n equipment would be great for a wireless solution.

Good Article BTW.
May 8, 2006 11:00:32 PM

Does any one know if this mini will play DVD ISO of IFO files via Ethernet from NAS?
Related resources
May 9, 2006 1:50:03 AM

You'd want to use somthing like alcohol %120 to map an iso as a drive then share it out.
October 15, 2006 8:05:18 PM

WOW - This was an AWESOME review! I wish I read it long time ago in May.

I hope I can get some advice to help me to fix incompatability problems with my system.

My system have been "evolving" for some time and I have accumulated different hardware over a couple of years.

I have:

1. D-Link DSM-320 Player Wired to LAN(with Server software running on a PC)

2. A second D-Link DSM-320 Wired to LAN (with Server Software running on a PC)

3. Buffalo LinkTheater PC-PL3WG/DVD player wired to LAN

4. Buffalo LinkStation HD-HG250LAN Gigabit NAS (which has PCast server on it)

5. Thecus NAS N5200 Gigabit Storage with 5-320G drives installed

with these devices I have a problem to make a "unifiewd system for Media Sharing.

I would like to be able to play all my media files from the NAS without the use of computer.

Of course the Buffalo Player is using Buffalo Storage without much problems. BUT the same player would not recognize "Thecus" N5200 NAS.

My two D-Link DSM-320 players are running of the PC Server Software, but I would like to change that by adding D-Link DSM-G600 media Lounge device (which supposed to allow that direct connection).

I also noted the TwonkyVision software that MAY do what I am looking to do: (that is getting my N5200 NAS to be a server for all players on my system WITHOUT the use of computer based software).
But the N5200 is not listed on compatibele device list on TwonkyVision site.
(I did send the questions to TwonkyVision support and Thecus support as well as Buffalo).
The answer from Buffalo was that I can only run streaming to their player by using their PC software, because my "other" NAS does not have PCast running.
I am still waiting for answers from TwonkyVision and Thecus.

But after I read this article, I hope that may be I could get a better solution here - as I suspect that the manufacturers are not too eager helping the consumers to use Products other than their own.

If I could get helping advice and opinion how to achieve the best efficiency in my system - I would REALLY appreciate it.

Hope for a reply soon.

Best regards,

Vladimir
October 18, 2006 4:02:16 PM

The only way I see you being able to unify the entire thing is to put something onto the thecus that everything will recognize as the server.

Just reading the specs and Q&A on the Thecus, Its running a linux kernel of some kind. (maybe proprietary). The good news is that you can do some googling to find some tweeks that will allow console access.

Twonky or some other UPNP app can go on it then and you will have it made.

I would also look on source Forge as well.
October 20, 2006 3:30:12 AM

Thanks for your reply,

I agree that the only way to do what I want to do is to get a revised or Hacked Firmware or telnet a software patch that would run on top of the firmware.

I could not find either - meanwhile I got an answer form Twonky Vision that they do not support Thecus.

I am still waiting for an answer from Thecus - they have some Media Server that is running on their N2100, but not on 5200.

If I do not find a solution, I would probably try to sell the N5200 and buy a DLNA compliant device (which I should have had done in the first place)

Let me know if you find something
October 20, 2006 7:18:38 PM

Thats Your best bet unless you thinking of doing some serious rewriting.

You might just consider putting clarkconnect on it or freenas.
Heck, if you're linux savy, install netbsd on it and install twonkyvision on it or Ubuntu server (no graphics).
October 21, 2006 1:13:34 AM

I would gladly do that (install Twonky Vision) if I had a step-by-step instructions as I am not Linux literate.

Besides, Twonky Vision official Response was that they do not support N5200.

I am not giving up - I hope that I get Thecus' response (so far none) and will be able to upgrade this thing. I am getting ticked off that Thecus is not responding so far

Thanks for the advice though.

I saw somewhere on the boards that at least one person managed to load Twonky Vision on N5100using Debian implementation, I need to find that person and see if he could help.
Regards,
Vladimir
September 19, 2010 3:33:45 PM

This topic has been closed by Reynod
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