Our Verdict 
Lack of online content and copy-protected music are problems, but no HDMI is a major headache
For 
Decent price
small, good-looking unit
easy to set up and use
Against 
No HDMI means images are weaker than rivals’
limited format support
Reviewed on

This is so much cheaper than many rival products you might think, “Where's the catch”? Answer: no HDMI.

That's right, this is one of the only media streamers we've seen recently that has Scart as the best-available connection. Otherwise, the LinkTheater is a tidy unit: it's much smaller than the Netgear EVA8000 and Linksys KiSS 1600, and though a bit light and plasticky, is perfectly well put together.

Once connected to the TV, using Scart or S-Video, we were impressed by the bright and sharp menus. However, once you've set up the player, you'll quickly wish you had a better connection. Noise and pixelation in the picture are annoying, and the colour palette isn't as varied as that provided by HDMI-equipped rivals.

The others here show what the Buffalo lacksThe lack of HDMI means HD content is a no-no, and it's also fussy playing larger AVI files, even though smaller ones play fine.

Compatibility with audio formats is a little better, though Apple Lossless and copy-protected music doesn't appear in the Link-Theater's folders. You also miss out on the online content that's available on the Netgear and Linksys.

More after the break

Overall, it's a useful product, but you can certainly do better.