Feeds
75%

Netgear EVA8000 network media player

Now with Matroska support

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

However, there is an area where you can't fault the EVA8000: codec support. With the beta firmware installed you can pretty much throw any file generally available at it and it'll be able to produce a picture. For a full rundown of what it can support, take a look at the table below. It shows the results of testing the player with the majority of formats you're currently likely to encounter. In the table, Y means the file played back without a hitch, P indicates that the EVA8000 could play the file but not without dropping frames, and N means that file wouldn't play at all.

EVA800 Codec Support

Highest bit-rate in Mb/s

Hardware wise, the EVA8000 has pretty much everything you'd want. There are HDMI and component-video ports for high-def output plus co-ax and optical digital audio out for surround sound. There's a network port and built-in wireless, plus two USB ports - one at the front and one at the back - for hooking up external storage.

The device will function happily as a standalone unit, although the set-up routine does try and push you to install the accompanying PC application to help it out. You'll also need to set up the PC side of things if you want to watch YouTube videos directly from the box - but watching squished, blocky, lo-res YouTube on a hi-def display is such a horrific experience you're unlikely to miss this functionality if you skip the PC install.

One irksome thing about the EVA8000 is the way it handles media files. It tries to index and organise everything for you, which would be acceptable if it wasn't such a time-consuming process. Scanning a 500GB network drive for content took over an hour.

Every time you add any addition files, you need to perform what Netgear terms a 'quick scan' - this can take anything up to 15 minutes. This could all be forgiven if you could simply browse the directory structure on attached drives manually, but even with folder browsing turned on you still can only see files that have been indexed.

Verdict

Netgear's EVA8000 really should be a fantastic media player, but it currently falls flat thanks to two issues. The major clanger is its lack of high bit-rate content support. There's a small chance that this could be rectified in future firmware updates, but it's unlikely to improve drastically as it's probably down to the amount of physical buffer memory available.

The second big problem is the way it handles file indexing, which is time-consuming. However, provided you keep its index up to date and don't throw any high bit-rate files at it, it's a great little player. Given Netgear's commitment so far to regularly-issued firmware updates, there's a chance the problems could be fixed in the future.

Application security programs and practises

75%

Netgear EVA8000 network media player

Netgear's EVA8000 would be great if it weren't for its issues with high bit-rate content and annoying file handling...
Price: £220 / €291 RRP

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Microsoft confirms secret Surface will never see the light of day
Microsoft's form 8-K records decision 'not to ship a new form factor'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.