D-Link's DSM-520 Wireless HD Player provides exceptionally beautiful sound. It also comes through with a wide selection of music-listening choices.

Not only can the D-Link DSM-520 stream protected .wma files purchased from subscription services such as Napster (using Windows Media Player 11 <538>), but it can transmit audio from sources such as AOL Live, Live365, Napster, Rhapsody, and vTuner.

Free sample versions of both Live365 and vTuner are included with the D-Link DSM-520 Wireless HD Media Player. The DSM-520 HD isn't able to play back AAC iTunes music, however, whether the files are protected or not.

The D-Link DSM-520 Wireless HD Media Player's video capabilities, though, are less impressive. Standard-definition clips looked a bit blocky, while HD videos (which can include .wmv, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4 files) came through somewhat better. The DSM-520 can output video at resolutions up to 1080i over HDMI (high definition multimedia interface).

The D-Link DSM-520 Wireless HD Media Player was the only player that gave us absolutely no Wi-Fi setup trouble. D-Link assured us that using the DSM-520 with a D-Link router provides no advantage.

The D-Link DSM-520 Wireless HD Media Player permits you to enter the password via a point-and-select screen or a remote-control phone pad. Or you can skip these two options and set up the network with a flash drive prepared in Windows' own Wireless Network Setup Wizard - an excellent method that no other player we've looked at offers.

Setting up the D-Link DSM-520 Wireless HD Media Player to take full advantage of our TV was another matter. With my input choice (HDMI) selected, we couldn't alter the resolution at which it output video to our test TV; the unit simply grayed out the option.

To work around the difficulty, we changed the output to component, altered the resolution, and then changed the output back to HDMI - but having to go through that routine didn't inspire confidence in the D-Link DSM-520 Wireless HD Media Player. (D-Link is working on a fix.)

Once set up, the D-Link DSM-520 Wireless HD Media Player sports a promising, eye-pleasing menu system. But despite its large, coloured buttons and comfortable fit in the hand, the remote seemed unresponsive. Sometimes we had to press Enter a second time because the first press accomplished nothing.

Besides supplying the D-Link DSM-520 Wireless HD Media Player's own server software, the D-Link CD contains an excellent 122-page .pdf manual with one of the best guides to cables we've run across.

D-Link DSM-520 Wireless HD Media Player: Specs

  • 54Mbps wireless HD media player
  • IEEE 802.11g (compatible with 802.11b products)
  • HDMI connection
  • support for MP3, WMA and WAV
  • JPEG, JPEG2000, TIFF, GIF, BMP and PNG
  • MPEG 1/2/4, AVI, QuickTime, Xvid and WMV9
  • remote control and on-screen display
  • 17in format
  • HD video playback with digital surround sound
  • ccess media directly from USB drives
  • supports Windows Connect Now
  • 54Mbps wireless HD media player
  • IEEE 802.11g (compatible with 802.11b products)
  • HDMI connection
  • support for MP3, WMA and WAV
  • JPEG, JPEG2000, TIFF, GIF, BMP and PNG
  • MPEG 1/2/4, AVI, QuickTime, Xvid and WMV9
  • remote control and on-screen display
  • 17in format
  • HD video playback with digital surround sound
  • ccess media directly from USB drives
  • supports Windows Connect Now

OUR VERDICT

D-Link's DSM-520 Wireless HD Player provides exceptionally beautiful sound. It also comes through with a wide selection of music-listening choices and excellent printed manual.

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