Conclusion: Setting it up was a nightmare, the device crashed easily, and it isn't attractive, to boot. Still, when it's up and running, the product has an impressive feature set. If Apple TV is for the iPod-familiar, hands-off user, then the Netgear is for the patient, hands-on BitTorrent addict.
Pros: Very versatile media extender. Plays lots of DRM-protected files. Can access YouTube and Flickr over the Internet. Records TV via your computer. Plays content directly off USB drives.
Cons: Crashes more than Billy Joel. The complex setup process may prove tricky even for networking pros. Interface graphics and device itself are ugly. No hard drive. Can't auto-update its media library.
Conclusion: While improved since we last saw it, the interface is nowhere near as clean as Windows Media Center, Apple TV, or even XBMC -- although it is generations ahead of Zensonic's Z500. Fortunately our stability issues have been resolved, with only one crash occurring when the player didn't fully understand a file format. Unfortunately, for a device that's been on sale for around a year it still feels largely unfinished, and is still slow and clunky.
Pros: Fiddly set-up process, Slow start-up and laggy interface, No 802.11n support
Cons: Extensive file format support, YouTube and Flickr browsing, Plays purchased (DRM) music, Supports streaming HD from PC to TV
Summary: Netgear's EVA8000 is a streaming media player designed to plug into your high-definition television, allowing you to enjoy your videos and listen to music stored on your network from the comfort of your lounge.
Pros: Extensive file format support, YouTube and Flickr browsing, Plays purchased (DRM) music, Supports streaming HD from PC to TV
Cons: Fiddly set-up process, Slow start-up and laggy interface, No 802.11n support