Summary: I really wanted to like this unit but mine was essentailly DOA. I spent several hours with Netgear tech support and it wouldn't read networked files nor files from a usb stick directly plugged into the unit. Many other reviews which I have read note Quality Control issues on these units and unfortunatly mine was one of the bad ones too.
**Major** disappointment to this failry tech savvy user (IT professional)
Everett B. White, Amazon
13 March 2008
Summary: Short version: I cannot express how excited I was to get this device, but after two and a half long weeks and well over 12 hours on the phone with some very polite (but ultimately inept) Indians, I had to acknowledge this experience for what it was: and exercise in futility. I hated having to send the unit back, but I really don't need another expensive piece of useless clutter in my place. Save yourself the frustration. It's *really* not worth it.
Summary: I have been looking for such a product for a while. Apple TV just did not cut it for me as I did not want to be limited to iTunes. This one looked great per the specs. I also liked the fact that they seem to have a partnership with bittorrent so I could buy some TV shows and movies. So I bought it regardless of the bad reviews. Big mistake. The product is just not ready. So unstable it is almost unusable. And terribly frustrating.
What is Netgear thinking?! Obviously not a technology they should be developing.
R. Badeges, Amazon
30 November 2007
Summary: Returned mine after two weeks of use. It takes too much of an effort to get it up and running. Having the product to initialize for every power up literally take minutes. Connecting external USB device, and having the device indexed all media files in order to play it, takes so much time. And this product is so buggy, that whenever it acts up, which happen quite often, the indexing have to be redone.
Summary: The product did not work with windows vista ultimate. After many hours and constant escalation up the chain at netgear. The product would not recognize most of the folders that I was trying to share and gave different share results each time it scanned. In the end, Netgear was at a loss for what to do.
Summary: Wow, what a piece of expensive garbage. The setup is easy and it found my videos (although not MP4s as promised), but it simply will not play them. You'll go along great for a few minutes, and then it freezes. Or reboots. Or stops. Or returns you to the beginning of the clip. No way to get out of it, and firmware updates do not help or resolve any of the issues. Don't waste your money!
Summary: I had great expectations for this product. I own an earlier generation media streamer based on a chip from Sigma, the company that makes the newer gen chip that is used in the EVA8000. Sadly it will not play HD content properly. Practically all high bitrate media must be re-encoded before it will play without skipping and halting.
Great idea - poor implementation. Wait for a new version.
Todd Reasinger "treasinger", Amazon
20 September 2007
Summary: I know, I know - buying a new model as soon as it's released is risky, but I'm pretty tolerate of little glitches and willing to spend time doing firmware upgrades, ect... but the EVA 8000 is worse than most early release versions of a computer product (and the technical support is non-existent). I own a Turtle Beach Audiotron which I love (!!!) but it doesn't support video/picture files, the feature that I wanted to add to my home theater setup.
Summary: I won't bother repeating what the other reviewers have said, except to summarize: 1. This product could be great 2. It isn't, because it is totally unstable and buggy I'm a software developer too and so I am comfortable enough with the odd peculiarity or minor bug. But this - even after firmware upgrades etc. - is so riddle with bugs it seems like functional swiss cheese.
Summary: This product is full of defects. Definitly not ready to ship to the market. After 4 days of operation it would not boot any more. Tech Support was not able to hard reset it. Other defects: If you apply the online firmware update then you cannot use 802.11G WPA encryption any more. It consistently does not find SMB file shares. Video playback suddenly stops during payback. They are no error messsages. It just jumps back into the main menu.