Digital Stream DPS-1000 review

Full review: HD ready media streamer with BBC iPlayer, Twitter and Facebook

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Digital Stream's media streamer boasts iPlayer but it's rough around the edges

Digital Stream is a new name on UK shores having recently produced a Freeview HD PVR. The DPS-1000 is an HD ready media streamer with the added bonuses of social networking and catch up TV.

But is it a living room essential? As a viable alternative to your laptop for BBC iPlayer or media streamer?

Speed is not the DPS-1000's strong point. Using the latest firmware downloaded straight to the box, booting ‘from cold’ takes aleisurely90 seconds on average though from standby it's near instantaneous.

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TheDPS-1000 uses Onyx software as found on some Cello-brandedTVs which allows you to create user profiles including login details for Facebook etc. Functionality is grouped under three headings - Home Media (for playing your own files), BBC iPlayerand Web TV. The latter offers YouTube, Flickr and an assortment of vodcastsfrom the likes of Jamie Oliver, UEFA and, er, Sesame Street.

Widget apps for news and weather, Facebook and Twitter appear on the main menu or can be called up while watching a video, using the large remote control, which looks a little cheap and is festooned with buttons which takes time to get used to.

BBC iPlayer gets theTV-friendly 'big screen' interfacebut while shows were marked asbeing'also in BBCHD' selecting this option saw us presented withthe SD version instead. The DPS-1000 can play the most popular media formatsincludingMKV, AVI, XviD, WMV, MP4,and MP3. but can only output HDup to1080i.

The device has no problem playing files stored onUSB drives or our networkedPC running Windows Media 11 and Western Digital NAS drive.However, video playback via HDMI looks a tad softer in many casesthan when using our PlayStation 3 andyou can't create playlists either.

Open web browsing is possibleusing the remoteand avirtual onscreen keyboard (you can use a realkeyboard butmice aren't supported). The web browseralso frequently struggled to loadeven seemingly simple pages with any haste over a 20MB connection.

The DPS-1000 has no onboard storage so you'll need to connect an external hard or flash drive using the two ports provided or use networked devices such as a PC or NAS drive. A dongle of your own is required for wi-fi too. HDMI and Scart outputs are included but, while Dolby support is claimed,the DPS-1000doesn't have separate audio outputs.

It maybe inexpensive at£90 buttheDPS-1000 has too many shortcomings to recommend it especially when there are better products available for around the same money such as the Western Digital WD TV Live (£100) for streaming capability, (though admittedlyit doesn't haveiPlayer), or even a set-top bo like the Humax FOXSat HD (£120), which offers iPlayer support.

Digital Stream DPS-100 release date: now from John Lewis

Digital Stream DSP-100 Specifications

  • Video formats: MKV, AVI, VOB, ASF, WMV, MP4, MPEG 1/2, MPEG-2 TS, MOV (
  • Audio formats: MPEG 1/2, MP3, M4A, AC3, WMV, WMA, AAC, HE-AACStorage: Nine
  • Storage: N/A
  • Connections: HDMI, Scart, 2 x USB, Ethernet
  • Dimensions: 170 x 35 x 125mm
  • Weight: 421g

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