Networking

New D-Link Digital-Wireless-Internet Picture Frame

dsm210sm Over the weekend I received a DSM-210 ten inch widescreen format digital frame. While there are a ton of frames available, the only ones I’d consider for personal use must include a bulletproof way to stream content from my network, a way to upload photos to frame memory, and some kind of Internet streaming.

The D-Link frame, part of the Medialounge product family does all the above and more.

I’m pretty impressed. Besides handling the wireless streaming (which you’d expect from a wireless picture frame), the DSM-210 is very network savvy. Autosensing my DNS-323 NAS (which sports a UPnPAV media server) the network settings displayed this server as a media source. When I fired up a computer that previously was not used for media sharing, Window Vista detected the DSM-210 and asked if I wanted to set up Windows Media Sharing. Pretty slick.

The frame has 1GB internal storage and comes pre-loaded with some sample pictures. D-Link has a widget that works with Yahoo Widgets and lets you manage the content in the built in memory. Delete the samples and drop your own images onto the widget and they are quickly uploaded. In fact, the widget lets you manage multiple frames.

I’ve only just begun to explore the Online Content features. You can view photo streams from all the usual places (or set up your own from your hard drive or other RSS capable source). Plus there are channels for just about every interest. And yeah, I’ve got my local weather forecast set up.

I can email images to myself (even from a camera phone) and invite friends to email images to me as well at a special address (jpg format). This works pretty much the same as the analogous feature on the Momento frame.

If you want to keep your DSM-210 frame in your bedroom, you don’t need to turn it off at night. The frame autosenses motion or light and somehow activates itself when you turn on a light or walk into a room. I’m still investigating this feature to see just how it works.

The D-Link logo and some blue LEDs fire up for a bit when you first power on the frame but turn off automatically.

Here’s a quick and dirty picture of the frame right after I started a stream from the DNS-323 NAS box.

 DSM-210 Fig 1

I like this hardware a lot. More to come as I dive deeper into the features.

D-Link DSM-750 Media Center Extender (FAR better than Linksys!)

I’ve just setup a production DSM-750 Medialounge Media Center Extender. This new extender streams everything over Wireless 802.11n Draft 2.0 (using a DGL-4500 in 5GHz mode) including High Definition Live and Recorded TV from a Vista Ultimate x64 box with two DCT (OCUR) tuners.

Some unboxing and setup images can be found at one of my websites.

Out of the box, the DSM-750 blows the dinky Linksys DMA 2100 out of the water. Solid construction and a nice looking peripheral that doesn’t look like cheap plastic in my living room. The DMA 2100 has no optical SPDIF (RCA flavor digital SPDIF only) and worse, does not see Atheros based 802.11 Draft 2.0 N SSID’s and probably some other brands. The DMA 2100 only has two antennae. D-Link has all the ports and three antennae, which really helps with wireless connectivity .

dsm750003

D-Link integrates network setup with Extender setup and it is a real easy task to get up and running. While I admit to having had experience with a beta engineering sample, the engineering sample was wired only without the 802.11n dual band capability. I was really impressed with how well it worked and how integrated it was. D-Link has tons of experience with something like 6-7 previous versions in the Medialounge wireless media player line. This experience shows.

The Linksys takes forever to connect to the host Vista machine while the D-Link connects seamlessly and far more rapidly.

In my opinion, if you have a choice between the Linksys DMA 2100 and the D-Link DSM-750, the D-Link is well worth the wait. Linksys was first to market, but the race is not always to the swiftest.

Wireless Networking Gear-The Softer Side

I’ve got this great DAP-1555 Draft 802.11n “Xtreme N Duo Mediabridge” that I use to wirelessly enable my Xbox 360. (You can buy these in pairs to add to existing networks. And if you want to use your 360 wirelessly, you’ll definitely want “N” speeds.) The device itself supports both the 2.4 and the 5.0 Ghz bands. In my wifi oversaturated neighborhood, the 5 GHz side is truly a neccessity!

My only beef was that the stark white color made the device stick out like a sore thumb. I stumbled on a page on D-Link’s web site that showed some skins for the DIR-655 router. Since the form factor for the DAP-1555 is the same, I decided to go for it. I went with a color scheme that sort of matches my Xbox 360.

skin1

skin2

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