Hewlett Packard DMR-EW5000 Digital Media Receiver for Windows PCs
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- Wireless digital media receiver provides interface between PC and connected stereo and TV
- User-friendly interface automatically gathers music and pictures from multiple networked PCs
- Connections: 802.11b Wireless LAN; standard 802.3 Wired LAN 10 Base-T Ethernet interface; analog audio left & right out; composite video out; S-video out
- Supports music formats: MP3 and WMA, plus import of M3U, PLS and RMP playlists; image formats: JPG, GIF, BMP and PNG
- Supports 64-bit and 128-bit encryption supported, ad hoc and infrastructure modes
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Wireless digital media receiver provides interface between PC and connected stereo and TV •User-friendly interface automatically gathers music and pictures from multiple networked PCs •Connections: 802.11b Wireless LAN; standard 802.3 Wired LAN 10 Base-T Ethernet interface; analog audio left & right out; composite video out; S-video out •Supports music formats: MP3 and WMA, plus import of M3U, PLS and RMP playlists; image formats: JPG, GIF, BMP and PNG •Supports 64-bit and 128-bit encryption supported, ad hoc and infrastructure modes
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Secondly, the unit has a tendency to get behind on button presses from the remote. When accessing things on the network, the user interface hangs until it is complete. Then all those button presses are processed. My unit has had a tendency to hang(requiring power cycling)--especially when I make the network unreliable by walking near the unit with my cordless phone(2.4Ghz). The unit also seems a bit deaf. I get 60% only 15 feet away from my WAP. My laptop gets full strength signals all over the house including downstairs. HP, to their credit, is sending me a no-hassle replacement, but they didn't sound to hopeful that anything significant will change. The support team, however, spent a great deal of time with me to try to solve the problem. I give them very high marks. Oh yes, in case you are wondering, I did update the firmware to the latest release. It helped slightly, but did not fix the problems.
On the other hand, when it works, it is a nice unit. Easy to choose the music, pictures, etc. A nice feature is to assign a music play list to a photo album. Also, when making changes on the PC, the unit seems to pick up the changes without rebooting. The song title/info is in a small font. I wish that they would display the song in the screen saver instead of the HP logo.
The only major drawback is that you need to serve the files from a Windows PC. You cannot use Linux/Samba or any open standard file sharing system. I was thinking of adding a network harddisk to my network. This is no longer an option. I notice that Sony is also using a proprietary solution for their network server. I was also surprised that I could not control the unit via a web page.
I currently own a TurtleBeach Audiotron which is a far more robust and versatile unit. If it had a TV interface for music selection I would not even consider the EW5000 which is a toy by comparison.
Yes, the product works and does provide all the features it claims to offer but let us look at them one by one.
In this age of sleek UIs with wonderful layouts and smooth text and buttons, EW5000 User interface seems to be a relic of 80s. Text is fuzzy on TV, there are two many scrrens for simple tasks. Even the BIOS setup UIs are better than this one!!!
Audio Quality is fine but the player seems to stop playing whenever it wants. There seems to be no logic to that. UI is not responsive at times and there is no error displayed. The track information UI stops updating after playing a track or two. Wait a bit longer and even the tracks wil stop playing till you hit the play button again and sometimes you have to pick another album.
Best feature but the worst implementation. The reciever often looses conection and takes forever to re-connect. Again in the year 2003, it shouldn't be that difficult to buffer 5-10 minutes of Audio so that such connection losses don't lead to moments of annoying silence for the listener. You will get many annoying pauses destroying the pleasure of Brahms symppony no. 1 or whatever you are listening to. And please do not blame the connectivity issues on my wireless access point and expect me to put EW5000 a foot away from my WAP.
Server Software on PC:
Doesn't auto sychronize the new addition to the library, takes too much CPU time and takes minutes to synchronize additions or deletions of just 1 or 2 albums.
The box itself:
The worst quality materials have been used to make this otherwise good looking box. Input connectors and the wires supplied seem to be worst grade that the money could buy. Don't even get me started with the remote control.
Bottomeline!! Well you get the picture.
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