The Netgear Digital Entertainer Elite 9150 is very much the big daddy of wireless media streamers. It's at least the size of a standalone DVD player and its rear fairly bristles with connection options.

It is also one of the few media streamers that supports wireless n - ideal for video streaming. We went straight for HDMI since Netgear had been good enough to include the necessary cable with the Netgear Digital Entertainer Elite 9150.

As soon as we powered up the Netgear Digital Entertainer Elite 9150, we were ready to go, allaying our concerns that English was the only language for which we couldn't find a quick start leaflet in the box (it's because the onscreen instructions and software are all in English anyway). Large, colourful circles indicating media playback types soon greeted us and we were then prompted to adjust the settings to match those of our TV.

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Netgear supplies a chunky remote control with a soft-rubber moulded underside that fits snugly in the hand. Armed with this, we zipped through the helpful and informative onscreen prompts to select our wireless or wired network preferences and to scan for available Wi-Fi networks. Ours appeared within moments.

Once we'd installed the corresponding Netgear software on our Windows Vista PC the Netgear Digital Entertainer Elite 9150 was able to see and access whatever we chose to share. Advanced setup options on the player itself allow you to access UPnP servers and content stored on a networked drive such as a Netgear EasyNAS.

Should you have any issues with connecting, there are helpful prompts specific to the Netgear Digital Entertainer Elite 9150 player on the Netgear website.

We needed to configure Vista to allow media sharing - a simple process of ticking folders we wanted to be able to access and ignoring those we didn't. Having plugged in an external hard drive to the PC, we were also able to enable media sharing from this by clicking Add folder and choosing the USB drive in question.

After this we were in business and were able to play all manner of content. You can connect the Netgear Digital Entertainer Elite 9150 to just about anything and play 16 different video formats including all those the other devices we've tested can play. Music formats are equally well accounted for: from iTunes and WMA to AIFF and MKA - the latter hardly a mainstream format. Dolby Stereo HD playback is also offered.

The Netgear Digital Entertainer Elite 9150 is also able to offer up content directly from the internet. As well as internet radio you can search through and play YouTube video clips - be wary of simply clicking on the latest additions list however - the ones that appeared when we did so were distinctly fruity. Podcasts and Flickr photostreams can also be viewed, which is a useful ruse if you want to show off some of your best snaps and don't want to bore your friends with your whole collection.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Netgear Digital Entertainer Elite 9150: Specs

  • 500GB wireless media streamer
  • 802.11b, g, draft-n, ethernet, USB, S-Video, HDMI
  • USB, HDMI, S-Video, component, mains cables
  • maximum resolution: 1,080i
  • TV tuner
  • DNLA-certified
  • UPnP
  • Playlists
  • Album art
  • Netgear, Windows Media Player 11.0 software
  • YouTube, Flickr
  • MP3, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, Flac, AAC, AC3, AIFF, WMA, bitmap, Jpeg, GIF, PNG, TIFF, Mpeg2, Mpeg4, DiVx, AVI, H.264, MKV, VOB, Xvid
  • 51x432x254mm
  • 2.5kg
  • 500GB wireless media streamer
  • 802.11b, g, draft-n, ethernet, USB, S-Video, HDMI
  • USB, HDMI, S-Video, component, mains cables
  • maximum resolution: 1,080i
  • TV tuner
  • DNLA-certified
  • UPnP
  • Playlists
  • Album art
  • Netgear, Windows Media Player 11.0 software
  • YouTube, Flickr
  • MP3, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, Flac, AAC, AC3, AIFF, WMA, bitmap, Jpeg, GIF, PNG, TIFF, Mpeg2, Mpeg4, DiVx, AVI, H.264, MKV, VOB, Xvid
  • 51x432x254mm
  • 2.5kg

OUR VERDICT

We found the Netgear Digital Entertainer Elite 9150 perhaps the most dependable and likable of the media streamers. Setup was easy, the onscreen prompts and status updates meant you always knew where you were with the setup procedure and once installed, accessing and playing media of all types worked like a dream. If you want a single device that does everything and the sheer size of the Elite isn’t an issue, it’s a great choice.

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