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Netgear NeoTV review

The Netgear NeoTV 550 is hugely flexible and will play almost any digital media file thrown at it Tested at £150

Our Verdict

Decent enough if you know what you’re doing, but no easy ride

For

  • Hugely flexible
  • loads of connections
  • extensive format support

Against

  • No streaming services to speak of
  • quite hard to live with

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Decent enough if you know what you’re doing, but no easy ride

Pros

  • + Hugely flexible
  • + loads of connections
  • + extensive format support

Cons

  • - No streaming services to speak of
  • - quite hard to live with

The Neatgear NeoTV follows a more specialist path to streaming nirvana. It comes with next-to-no services built-in (unless you count Flickr and YouTube) and rarely holds your hand through the setup process or day-to-day usage.

Its menus are a far cry from the slickness of many rivals, and it won’t download and arrange album artwork for you.

But what the Netgear will do is play almost any digital media file you can throw at it, delivered almost any way you can think of, thanks to eSata, USB and SD inputs plus support for a prodigious range of music and video files.

High-quality options such as FLAC and MKV are on the agenda, and the NeoTV 550 even outputs HD audio.

It also has an array of analogue audio and video outputs.

Performance is consistently decent, with especially good motion handling and a punchy, energetic sound.

So, the Netgear’s a good buy. If only it tried a little harder to make your life easier…

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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