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Logitech Squeezebox Duet

When you see a color display on a music-streamer’s remote control, it’s
natural to assume that the manufacturer is going after the vaunted
Sonos Digital Music System. But after thoroughly testing the Squeezebox
Duet—Slim Devices’s first new product since being acquired by
Logitech—we’ve concluded that Sonos has little to worry about.

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HP MediaSmart EX475

We’re going to get this out of the way up front. If you’re looking for raw speed, the MediaSmart isn’t for you. We’ve tested faster NAS boxes, but we’ve never tested a network storage device that delivers the same level of functionality as this little Windows Home Server-based wonder.

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Creative Xmod Wireless

Creative is a little late to the wireless music-streaming party, but the company comes with a gift its competitors can’t match: the X-Fi Crystalizer technology lifted from its X-Fi soundcard line.

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Sony LF-V30 LocationFree Base Station

Which consumer product first enabled any PC with an Internet connection to remotely control a set-top box or DVR and stream live or pre-recorded television to it? If you answered “Slingbox,” you’re mistaken. It was actually Sony’s LocationFree TV.

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Netgear Digital Entertainer HD EVA8000

We like Netgear’s EVA8000—a lot. Its industrial design fits in with the rest of our AV gear, its user interface is as elegant and polished as it is easy to use, it supports resolutions up to 1080p with an HDMI port, and that’s just the beginning. But if you buy one, make sure it has the latest firmware update before you do anything else. We couldn’t configure our review unit at all until we updated the software. With that housekeeping accomplished, we were on our way to streaming bliss. Although the EVA8000 has dual antennas, it’s still limited to 802.11g speeds and cannot reliably stream high-definition video content without a wire, but it delivered excellent image and audio quality.

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MediaGate MG-350HD

We found some innovative ideas inside the MediaGate MG-350HD, but this streamer’s shortcomings far outweigh its assets.
Designing the shell to accommodate an optional 3.5-inch hard drive, for instance, is brilliant; ditto for including logic enabling it to operate as a USB 2.0 host. This means it can not only behave as a NAS box but also copy images off your digital camera without you having to first fire up your PC. But we’re less enthused about having to do a reach-around to access the USB port, and the hard-drive interface is old-school IDE.

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