Buffalo Technology LinkTheater
- Progressive scan, high-definition, straightforward wireless network playback
- Minor glitch in requiring the user to set the DVD region manually
The Buffalo LinkTheater is packed with features, including support for high-definition, progressive scan, wireless networking, and compatibility with just about every popular media format imaginable.
Price$ 449.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 6 stores)
Buffalo's LinkTheater is a top-notch network media player packed with powerful features. On paper, it's an impressive piece of kit. The device handles a massive range of video formats including DivX, XviD, QuickTime, WMV and all flavours of MPEG. It also supports all common audio formats ranging from MP2, MP3, OGG, WAV, WMA, M4A and AC3, and popular image formats. In fact, given the solid codec support, there's very little that the device won't play. The progressive scan DVD player also has no trouble reading burnt DVDs and CDs, and offers full support for HDTV formats right the way up to 1080i.
The LinkTheater features a stylish design with a slim (6cm) front face and mirrored finish. It is relatively wide, measuring 42cm across (with a depth of 27cm), but it should still fit in most home entertainment units. Power and playback buttons run along the bottom edge of the fascia, and there's a USB port for attaching external hard disks, digital cameras or memory keys. The back panel offers composite, component, S-Video and HDMI video connectors along with RCA, coaxial and S/PDIF audio outputs and an Ethernet socket to interface with a home network. The LinkTheater includes 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, but there is no external antenna. The device also ships with a matching silver ergonomic remote control. It's clearly laid out; however, the relatively small text is hard to read in a dimly lit room.
Setup takes around half an hour between unpacking the device and installing the software on the host PC. Only Windows software is provided, so Mac or Linux users are out in the cold. One elegant feature encountered during setup is the AOSS (AirStation One-Touch Secure Systems) button on the front panel that allows the device automatically detect and configure security settings with compatible devices (though there's no provision for WPA security).
After adding media and finishing the software configuration, the device is free to play back media files. The Link Theatre offers a slick black interface that's quick and easy to navigate via the bundled remote, and the system remained responsive during testing. All tested media played back smoothly without skipping or glitches. The only minor issue that we found was with the DVD region setting. By default, the device ships with a preset to handle region two DVDs, and you have to change the region setting before it will handle local (region four) discs. An instruction card is bundled to help you make the switch, but it's still something that should be done at the factory prior to shipping.
The region issue is an extremely minor fault for what is otherwise a stellar network media player.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 2 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 3 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 5 Microsoft Lumia 640 review: Honouring Nokia's legacy
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Google quietly kills its Nexus Player as Chromecast overshadows Android TV
- How to customize the Apple TV (fourth-generation) home screen
- YouTube's Content ID program finally provides for ad revenue during disputes
- Sony cranks up optical disc storage to 3.3TB
- Hands-on with Surface Hub: Microsoft's huge tablet has some productivity holes
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCOperations Systems Support ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - NV1VIC
- CCSkilled Sitecore / .NET DeveloperNSW
- FTJunior Web Developer | CBD | Digital AgencyVIC
- FTAX Lead Functional ConsultantNSW
- CCDeployment Engineer / IT AuditorQLD
- CCProgram Business AnalystVIC
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- CCIteration Manager/Agile Project ManagerNSW
- CCData Engineer | Real Time StreamingNSW
- FTNetwork Engineer- LinuxWA
- FTBusiness Systems Architect - Technical LeadershipWA
- CCBPM / Java DeveloperNSW
- CCOracle Siebel Administrator - JULY STARTACT
- FTAX Lead Technical ConsultantNSW
- CCExcel DeveloperVIC
- CCChange Manager- ProcurementNSW
- FTLinux System EngineersNSW
- CCSenior Project ManagerVIC
- CCSenior Systems AnalystSA
- CCSenior Network Engineer - NV1ACT
- CCSAP Hanna ConsultantNSW
- CCAWS Developer/LeadNSW
- CCContract Computer Operator (UNIX/Windows-based) 1610524/CCO/vmtAsia
- CCTechnical Digital Producer / Requirements EngineerNSW