The wireless media stick name can be deceiving, and before anything else, you should ask yourself, what are you intending to do. This device's use is to enhance the media capabilities of an exisiting media player, be it a tv, dvd or blue-ray player. Basically this connects to a shared drive or NAS and exposes the files stored there as its own filesystem, as if those file are in the stick. It does that and only that, it has no media playback capabilities of its own.
What use does it serve then?.
Well, for example, in my case, I have a Samsung LED tv with usb media player capabilities, it's pretty good, it can play any media type I throw at it, be it avi, flv, mp4 or even h264-aac-ac3-with-subs-1080p mkv files, heck, it plays more formats that the ps3 hooked to it. Problem is, the tv has no net connectivity, so I had to copy the files I want to see to a usb stick and then plug it on the tv to watch. With the wireless media stick, I just configure the stick to "see" the shared folders of my NAS, where I store all my media files, and then plug in on the tv, and voila!, my tv can see everything that is stored in my NAS, and stream from it transparently, as the tv sees the files as stored on a usb stick.
I repeat, the stick per se has no media playback capabilities, is the tv doing the playback. That why it's stated that it works on anything that has a usb port, as far as the device you connect it to is concerned, is just a normal usb stick, but files are really being streamed from a shared folder/NAS. (Don't know why the other reviewer is so upset about this, is clearly stated on the manufacturer website)
If you have already a media player that can stream from NAS/shared folders, you don't need this, it will be redundant. This is in case you have a media player that:
1.- Doesn't have net connectivity (Or that it only haves DLNA and you only have SMB Shared folders)
2.- Can play/read files from usb sticks. (Example, a tv, dvd/blu-ray player, or even a PS3 if you don't have DLNA)
And even that, for the price, maybe a Roku or other stand/alone media player will be better for you, since this doesn't add any additional support for filetypes/formats. You will only read/reproduce what your media player can already reproduce.
Worked for me because:
The TV own media player reproduced more formats and better than the ps3, (that besides, requires a DLNA server, not just plain SMB/Shared Folders, and no, I will not put custom firmware on it. However, you can use it on a PS3 also, to work around the DLNA requirement).
I like the UI of the TV media player better than the one on ps3.
I can control the media player already on my tv with my universal remote.
I didn't want another device, with the corresponding power brick. (I have limited space)
For those technically inclined, consider this as a hardware SMB client, that exposes the shares as it own filesystem.
At 99 usd is way too expensive for what it does, but the manufacturer has recently put down the price to 69. Even at that, is somewhat expensive, as a roku costs 50 usd (but, thats another device, another remote, another power brick). If you love the media player that you have and would like to stream to it from a NAS/shared folder, then it may be worth the price for you, or wait for a deal or coupon on it.
Now on the pros and cons:
- Small form factor, (usb stick size).
- Doesn't require any additional power.
- Supports WiFi b/g/n (You'll need at least wifi g for 720p/1080p files)
- Easy setup and web interface for managing shares
- You won't need another remote, since you are using the same media player as always.
- Rather expensive for what it does, depends on your setup (Already have a NAS, love current media player)
- Filesystem initialization can take up to a minute
(because it has to index all files from the shared folders, the more files you have, the longer it takes, but
never takes more than 60 seconds)
- It doesn't refresh the filesystem on realtime, this is, if you add a file to the NAS/shared folder after this has
been initialized, the stick will not see it, you need to reinitialize it (unplug, plug it again, or reset via the
web interface). This is not a limitation of the stick but of the USB protocol I think, and don't really see it as
- It emulates a FAT32 filesystem for maximum compatibility, as some devices cannot read NTFS. However, FAT32 filesystems
cannot read files bigger than 4gb, so if you have huge media files, this won't work. (In the manufacturer forums
they are saying that maybe a future firmware revision will have NTFS emulation).
As you can see, it's a solution for a very specific problem and set of circumstances, but for that, is a great product. If your situation is different, maybe you will be best served by a stand alone media player such as Roku, Boxee, Maxtor media player, etc. In my case, it does what it should and does it greatly.