Media Center Extender shootout, courtesy of EngadgetHD
by Brad Linder, posted Jun 19th 2008 4:57PM
When Windows Vista was released, Microsoft proudly highlighted the inclusion of media center functionality in Vista Home Premium and Vista Ultimate - the two most widely used consumer versions of the operating system. And one of the coolest features is support for media extenders, or relatively cheap computer-like boxes that you can connect to your home network to access your media throughout the house.
But when Vista launched, the only media center extender available was the Xbox 360. Now that Linksys, D-Link, and HP have all put extenders on the market, EngadgetHD's Ben Drawbaugh decided to throw three extenders together in a cage match.
So if three enter and only one can leave, who wins and who gets beaten into a bloody pulp? We'll let you click through to the full review to find out. But here are some of the highlights of the battle between the Linskys, D-Link and Xbox 360 extenders:
- Picture and sound quality is pretty decent on all three boxes, but the Xbox 360 does the best job of showing photos
- The Linksys extender boots up way faster than the others
- The Linksys extender is the cheapest, but all three devices cost between $240 and $300
- The Xbox 360 has the noisiest fan and overall operation
- The D-Link and Linksys extenders support several video codecs that the Xbox 360 does not.
- The Xbox 360 plays games, the other extenders don't (unless you count games designed for Windows Media Center)