Linksys’ all-in-one, hi-def media streamer is just itching to throw video around your house over Wi-Fi and Ethernet. Watch your back, Apple TV
And the good news for those in the market for a network video player is that it’s gone and applied all that knowledge into creating as easy a set-up procedure for the KiSS 1600 as you’re likely to find.
Once you’ve ripped the compact yet chunky player from its packaging all you have to do is connect it to your TV and it’ll diligently search the ether for nearby networks to connect to.
Once engaged in a limpet-like snog with your computer it’ll stream any of a whole slew of file formats - including WMV and DivX for video and WMA and MP3 for audio - to your TV. Unfortunately, it draws the line at Apple Lossless and copy-protected files.
Performance depends on two main factors: what you feed the KiSS and what method you use to shove those lovely files down its gullet.
And while a 720p Windows Media video danced and stuttered when streamed wirelessly to the KiSS, using an Ethernet cable or playing directly from a USB device smoothed out all the problems.
Wobbly wireless HD performance is joined in the naughty corner by the 1600’s shoddy menus. The lack of thumbnails, for instance, makes searching for photo files a complete nightmare. And the KiSS 1600 doesn’t have a hard drive like Apple TV, so your computer has to be on for you to stream video.
On the plus side, extras – such as real-time news and weather – are a nice touch even though they can’t be viewed when a video’s playing.