What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Mon, 23 Jul 2007, 11:00am

Buffalo LinkTheater

Tested at £100
60100
3

Lack of online content and copy-protected music are problems, but no HDMI is a major headache

Write your own review

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

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 lacks
The 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.

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

Latest offers