Netgear EVA9000 review

This network player has great format support, but it can't quite match Apple TV in the usability stakes Tested at £190.00

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Our Verdict

Better sound and Apple TV-like usability and we'd be looking at five stars – as it is, it's close but no cigar

For

  • Great format support
  • impressive pictures
  • built-in storage
  • Wireless-N

Against

  • ...but not the Apple TV
  • music lacks detail, drive and dynamics

While the Netgear EVA9000 (confusingly also known as the EVA9150) has the appearance of an affordable DVD player, it feels extremely solidly built.

What's more, rather than an optical disc drive, the Netgear has a 500GB hard disk, so as well as streaming your media from your PC or NAS device, it can also store it locally.

This is also the only non-Apple player we've tested with built-in wi-fi – of the super-fast 'wireless-N' variety, no less.

Format support is equally impressive: if your movie file isn't protected by DRM, it'll play. Obviously that includes HD files right up to 1080p, and when playing an HD version of Lost, results are very decent.

True, it doesn't have the outright sharpness and definition of the LaCie LaCinema Classic HD, but it remains a balanced performer. With a standard-definition copy of Casino Royale it's closer to the best, offering good insight and vibrancy, though with a touch of motion judder.

Sound is balanced but lacks vigour
In terms of sound, the Netgear can't quite muster the punch and enthusiasm of the best rivals. That leaves the action of James Bond sounding a little less dramatic than it should, and robs Florence and the Machine of some vibrancy.

It's not sonically unpleasant – the delivery is smooth and tonally-balanced – but we would appreciate a little more vigour.

Our only other gripe is that installation is a little fiddly. Discovery of network shares isn't perfect, and it's not as slick as its rivals.

Dedicated channels for YouTube, internet radio and podcasts goes some way to making up for these shortcomings, but the best do the basics better.

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Specifications

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General Information

Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.netgear.co.uk
Brand NameNetgear
Product TypeNetwork Audio/Video Player
ManufacturerNetgear, Inc
Manufacturer Part NumberEVA9000-100NAR
Product NameNetgear EVA9000
Product ModelEVA9000

Miscellaneous

Package Contents
  • EVA9000 Network Audio/Video Player
  • Remote Control
Environmentally FriendlyYes
Environmental CertificationWEEE

Network and Communication

Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes
USBYes

Audio

Audio FormatsMP3
Sound SystemDTS

Management and Protocols

ProtocolsTCP/IP, DHCP, WEP, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK

Physical Characteristics

Width431.8 mm
Depth254 mm
Weight Approximate2 kg
Height38.1 mm
Dimensions38.1 mm (H): 431.8 mm (W): 254 mm (D)

Technical Information

Internet StreamingYes

Video

Scan Format1080p
Video FormatsH.264, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, WMV9, MPEG-1, MPEG, XviD, VC-1, AVI, MOV, M4V, VOB, ISO, IFO, MKV, TS, M2TS, PS

Image

Image FormatsJPEG, BMP, TIFF, PNG

Warranty

Limited Warranty1 Year