Sitecom MD-500 Digital Media Set review -
Final words and conclusion
Final words and conclusion
All pieces of this very large puzzle come together form a really nice symbiosis. Now before we dive deep into the conclusion let me first state that Sitecom did a splendid job keeping things attractive, easy to use and simple. That and a stylish single color design.
That's doesn't mean though that this kit is for everybody, you'll notice that we are going to recommend the kit only if you are interested in creating this somewhat lifestyle infrastructure. We feel very much that if we do must make the recommendation for this kit, that you you need a decent level in understanding of hardware. As easy as this is for the generic PC aficionado, this all is a lot of gear to deal with for the inexperienced end-users. The manuals are complete though, but if you are a computer illiterate very likely you'll end up with your nephew connecting and configuring everything. So as easy as the kit really is to use, it is not for everybody.
The consumers that will have a blast with this kit are the guys and girls like you and me that visit this website. You guys all know how to setup and configure a router, access NAS units and absolutely know how to setup a television at 1080P. This line of understanding is exactly the threshold of knowledge you need to be able to deal with this kit.
Okay, so once you start to setup the kit take it one by one. You start with the router, configure it, change wireless and router password and make sure that your newly created LAN network runs fast.
Your second step into to setup will be the NAS server, follow our little guide. Bind it to your computer with a network drive, and copy some content on the public network share. Once you established that you'll have an understanding on how NAS units really work.
You now have your local area network setup ready and working. It's time to move towards the Network TV Media Player. Whether you prefer wired or wireless Network access is up to you. Connect it to the TV, make sure you configured 1080P, if wireless then setup the protections, access the NAS and try and playback some movie.
From there on it is all about tweaking, tweaking your television with image sharpness, using and choosing the proper content for movie playback that the Network TV Media Player can actually handle well, perhaps make a connection through HDMI or Optical TOSLINK to your AV receiver and enjoy DTS / Dolby Digital movies and so on.
Should you have missed out on it in the review, here is the video review on the TV Media player again.
My recommendation with this is kit is to tell you to install it one by one, get the basics going and worry about the rest later. Once everything is working as expected, then it's time to move to the Logitech Harmony remote control. This little unit is a small computer by itself. Connect it to your PC, and setup use the web to program its software and preferences, try out a macro or two and we'll guarantee that after 15 minutes of trial and error, in the end you'll sit in your living room like a cough potato enjoying good tunes, photo's and movies all originating from that Sitecom MD-500 Digital Media Set.
Now, we do wonder if kits like these sell well, Sitecom has to fight a big issue, most people already have a router and these days even a NAS or external storage solution. But still we seriously enjoyed the MD-500 Digital Media Set in every way possible. You do need an understanding of hardware and how to set it up, but everything was kept relatively easy. The router really is great with good range, could have been a tad better with some antenna's we think, but this kit was designed with aesthetics in mind of course so we understand that choice.
The NAS unit is simply very easy to configure, work with and its fast enough for streaming all content over that gigabit Ethernet jack. The Network TV Media Player is a whole lot of fun. It will play WMV/MKV/MOV/H.264/x.264 etc content fairly well. A 1080P x.264 file is perfectly playable and watchable. You will however miss some of the functionality and GUI options that a true HTPC can offer you. For example we missed sorting files asc- or descending. Also image sharpening and other little features that a true HTPC does offer. But then again ... at 550 EUR with the Logitech Harmony 650 remote control, a router and a NAS unit with two HDDs installed this entire kit is well worth the money invested for the components, quality and functionality you receive.
We find the Sitecom MD-500 Digital Media Set adequately priced for what it does and as such can recommend it very much if you are in the market for a kit like shown today. Oh and hey, it comes with a ten years warranty. Great stuff.
The Sitecom Powerline Ethernet adapters allow you to use your mains electricity circuit to transfer data, this way you can extend your network to wherever you have a free plug socket. The product we test today comes from Sitecom, their 500 Mbps plus Homeplug. The kit provides a connection of up to 500Mbits/sec. Divide that by 8 bits and you'd in theory would be able to see transfer speeds of 62.5 Megabyte per second. In practice, however we tested the maximum net data rate is much MUCH lower, 60~100 Mbits/sec - still that is faster than Wi-Fi and sufficient fenough or streaming high-definition video from say your PC with network shares to, for instance, your HTPC.
Sitecom Media Player 2TB MD-272 review
So the new Sitecom Media Player comes standard with a new improved GUI, but also hardware wise harbor the latest Realtek 1185 chipset, and that changes a thing or two as pretty much any of the performance issues we had noticed in 1080P content playback (with very high bit-rate) on the previous chipset now are a thing of the past. That Realtek 1185 chipset has an increased clock frequency, 500 MHz coming from 400 MHz on the original version. And as little as it sounds, it makes a serious difference. The HDD TV Media Player 2TB allows you to play digital films, music and photos directly on your TV with High Definition quality (1080p).
Sitecom 300N X4 WLR-4000 Wireless router review
Sitecom introduces a series of standard routers but with a twist. They tagged their mainstream range from X1, X2, X3 and a more enthusiast range from X4, X5 and X6. They are all Gigabit models, but obviously the higher the number the better the feature set. all models now come with cloud security, and that's the new feature we'll discuss later on. We test the X4 WLR-4000 model.
Sitecom MD-500 Digital Media Set review
One of the kits Sitecom recently introduced consists out of a Gigabit router for your intra and local area network connectivity, a storage unit which Sitecom calls 'Home Storage center' will function as NAS server for all your multi-media content like photo's, music and movies. And then a small all-in-one HTPC or TV media player as we like to call it these days. To top things off they throw in a Logitech Harmony 650 universal remote control. Aren't you just eager to see how this HTPC network platform will perform ?