Prestigio Media Adapter DMA-301 reviewed

The following is one man story about the product, it may not be the ultimate truth, judge yourself!

Background

I've been looking for a product to go wireless between TV and computers at my home for a long time. I can consider myself as a heavy user - probably 90% of the entertainment stuff I watch comes from computer. So far I've been using wires: if a new video is downloaded to my laptop, I have to connect two wires, low down screen resolution and turn on the TV and I'm ready to go. Last week, out of the blue, came question: is there a product which allows me to play mp3s with Winamp wirelessly to home cinema receiver? After deep googling I found two gadgets: Linksys Wireless Music Bridge and Apple Airport Express. As I'm not a big fan of iTunes software and Apple's Airport Express seemed to be too limited, I stuck to Linksys WMB54G. Unfortunately it is not sold in Eastern-Europe, so it was not my lucky day.

After discussing it with my friends, I heard that a new product has released called Prestigio Digital Media Adapter DMA-301, which does almost what I want and a lot more. As the box says:

Expectations went high after local distributor said that they just received first ones. In the morning the next day I already owned one and took this to my workplace.

First impressions

I opened the box and nice user manual with CD were looking at me. I started installing the software to my laptop. Everything went pretty well, pressed few times "Next" and agreed with every word in licence terms.

I started the media server software to see what can be done. It looked somehow weird. I browsed to a directory where most of my media files are, but I could not click the button to start sharing these. If I click on share button, nothing happens. After reporting to the manufacturer, I had a thought, that maybe its because of my increased DPI settings (due to 1400x1050 resolution everything is too small with normal DPI). And that was it! After going to normal DPI, buttons became alive. Prestigo helpdesk promised to forward this information to software developers, hope they get it fixed.

After turning on the main unit and connecting it to LCD projector, everything went pretty well. Exept the picture flashed once and the next second it was gone. I had to turn off the auto input detection on projector and the situation went under control again.

I had to configure ad-hoc connection between devices. Main unit soon discovered laptop and I was ready to go.

Where are my files?

Hey, but where are they? I can see a list of mp3 ID3 tags from all subdirectories messed up together. But what if I want to look things like they are on my hard drive? OK, found it is possible through Contents menu. So far so good, I found a directory with the music I would like to play. But how to play them all? After looking every single possibility on the screen, looking at the mirror, I found Play All button on the remote control. Pressed it, and nothing happens. What's going on? OK, it's just so slow with 100 mp3 files. After waiting like forever, the first mp3 started to play. How to go for the next one? Tried forward buttons, next-back buttons, but nothing happens. Back to the manual again. I see, always rtfm as they say, intuitive user interface wants me to use up and down arrows to change track. Probably I can get used to it.

The next problem. How to play songs in directory randomly? I gave up and it is still unsolved. I considered it YOU CAN NOT.

Internet radio

One good thing I thought it could do, is to play mp3 based internet radio. I created a m3u file with stream addresses, navigated to internet radio menu, clicked it and nothing happens again. Hey, wait! Something do happen, Media Server application crashed.

I assume that when the m3u file for internet radio still sits on my laptop's hard drive, I can not listen to stream without computer. Why is it? Media Adapter is connected to IP network, have all the right gateway settings to use internet, why can't it play radio without computer?

Compatibility

I have a little background in IT and I can figure out some problems why this device is using it's own sharing application and server, but these problems are solvable. A lot of people have linux based network file servers and it would be great if you can play files from server directly to TV. You can not do that unless you have windows operating system running there.

It is sooooo slow

Navigating through menus reminds me the good old days when you have to wait until the picture "builds" itself on the screen. Even if you have mp3 playing, running minutes and seconds are noticeably refreshing, whay can't it go smooth?

In my home desktop, there is 200GB hard drive just for media files I wanted to share out. Media Server has been indexing files for an hour, and the progress bar shows less than 30%. Should I take the day off?

The interface

Besides it is extremely sleepy, it is really hard to understand, what exactly is going on. For example in mp3 player view, how to go back to files and choose something else while the old playlist is still playing? OK, it can be done, but how to get back to play view? All those small things makes up very unfrieldy and absolutely not intuitive interface.

Conclusion

I have not tried all functions (I don't know if I even want to), but I can't understand what were the developers thinking? Thousands and thousands of working hours has spent, the product is available worldwide, but it is so badly manufactured.

Probably I'm returning it to reseller tomorrow.

WE DON'T WANT PRODUCT THAT DOES THE BARE MINIMUM!

meix future.ee