Feeds
75%

Netgear EVA8000 network media player

Now with Matroska support

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The beta firmware is distributed via Netgear's online support forum - you need to request access to download it. An updated version is generally available every couple of weeks - sometimes more frequently - and the latest release, version 2.0.140, released 8 December 2007, not only incorporates reliable MKV support but also includes many fixes that affected stability in early versions.

Netgear EVA8000 digital entertainer

Hardware wise, the EVA8000 has everything you'd want

However, although the beta firmware expands the number of file options available, it's not without its own problems - somewhat to be expected, given that it's an unfinished version. The most notable of these is that it struggles to play back high bit-rate files without dropping frames or skipping audio. Testing the device with a series of 1080p H.264 files encoded from the open source movie Elephants Dream at bit-rates from 1Mb/s to 15Mb/s showed that the maximum bit-rate the beta firmware could handle when playing back from a USB-connected hard drive was 9Mb/s. The official firmware, on the other hand, managed to keep going up to 13Mb/s before the footage started stuttering and became jerky.

While the results are a little worrying, the issue becomes much more significant when playing back material over a network. Using the wired Ethernet port on the back, playing back the files from a PC connected to the same hub resulted in a maximum bit-rate of 5Mb/s for both the beta and official firmware before the picture broke up. Using the same approach, but this time playing the files over the network with a 200Mb/s Homeplug AV connection in the middle - it transfers the network signal over the mains cabling in your home - the maximum attainable bit-rate from both firmware versions was a scant 3Mb/s.

This is slightly disappointing, since one of the major benefits of a network-enabled player is the ability to store the content anywhere in your home and stream it across the network. If you've got a wired network you might just be fine, but if you're relying on HomePlug AV, then you'll find your content choices severely limited.

Netgear EVA8000 digital entertainer

Network-limited

Part of the problem could no doubt be solved by equipping the EVA8000 with a larger data buffer, but it doesn't even make the best of what it's got. When stuttering occurs, it doesn't pause playback and attempt to rebuffer, but just carries on with jerky, unwatchable video and no sound.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
Ford's B-Max: Fiesta-based runaround that goes THUNK
... when you close the slidey doors, that is ...
All aboard the Poo Bus! Ding ding, route Number Two departing
Only another three days of pooing and I can have a ride!
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.