Review of Gateway PC-connected DVD player

Using a wireless 802.11b, WiFi connection to a computer, this $249 (£159) DVD player can also pull photo’s, audio and video from your PC, after installing media server software on your PC. Media files on the network can be navigated using the player’s remote control, through a Windows Explorer-like interface on the TV.

Not all media format are supported. On the audio side, the player supports MP3 and WMA audio, but not Ogg Vorbis or AAC formats. Only MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 video formats are available for playback, but surprisingly there is no support for AVI (including DivX), MOV, or WMV files. JPEG images are supported but TIFF or BMP are not – which isn’t much of a problem.

The review reports the delivery of photos and music files worked well over the wireless link but video struggled, which sound like a bandwidth problem. It’s not clear from the review what the quality of the wireless connection was and it may have been that the DVD player was placed a long way away from the PC holding the media, and bandwidth delivery could have been patchy.

It sound like a reasonable initial start for Gateway in the media hub arena but the media server software still have a few bugs that need to be ironed out.