Netgear Digital Entertainer Live EVA2000 media streamer
A small media streamer that allows you to view videos from your PC on your TV
- Small, two USB ports, can stream a wide range of formats, YouTube streaming
- Video quality isn't good on a high-definition screen, no setup wizard for new users, streaming video services are subscription-based and not all services available in Australia
Netgear's Digital Entertainer Live EVA2000 is a fine media streamer for those of you who want to stream videos off a USB 2.0 hard drive onto an older, standard-definition TV, but if you want to view good quality video on a high-definition screen, you're better off going for a more advanced model, such as the EVA9100.
Price$ 179.00 (AUD)
The Netgear Digital Entertainer Live EVA2000 is a standard-definition media streamer that you can connect to your TV in order to watch videos that are stored on your computer or on an external hard drive. Additionally, you can use it to view photos, listen to MP3s and watch online video from YouTube and other Web sites.
It's a small and simple unit without any physical buttons, and it doesn't have fancy functions such as wireless networking. You have to stream your media files either through a wired Ethernet network, or play them off an attached USB drive. It has an HDMI output that can be used to connect it to a new TV, or you can connect it to an old TV by using the supplied analog audio and composite video RCA cable. The quality of the composite video connection will be relatively poor; it will exhibit noticeable flickering, especially on the menu screens, so it's best to avoid using this connection where possible.
The main menu is simple and easy to navigate.
As the EVA2000 is designed to be connected to your TV, running an Ethernet cable from it to your router might not be an option unless your home is already wired with Ethernet outlets in each room. If you're not set up for Ethernet, the USB drive option is the best way to go, or you could use a pair of Ethernet over power line adapters. We tested the EVA2000 using both of these methods.
We plugged in an NTFS-format 500GB Samsung S2 portable hard drive, which the EVA2000 recognised straight away. We were able to browse the contents of the drive reasonably swiftly. The EVA2000 didn't have to scan the entire drive before we could browse its contents: file scanning is conducted on-the-fly as you enter each folder or move to the next page of a file listing, which can sometimes add a few seconds of lag while you browse. Once you select the file you want, it will play almost instantaneously — even if it's over 1GB.
It's easy to play files off a USB 2.0 hard drive, and the video quality will be good on a standard-definition TV.
The video quality of a standard-definition, Xvid-encoded TV show playing off a USB hard drive was good on a standard-definition TV, but it looked blocky on a high-definition screen. When you watch video over a network connection, the quality of the link will also determine the video quality. We used a set of Belkin Ethernet over power line adapters to connect to our router. With a reported 2 megabits per second connection to the router, the same videos we'd played off the USB drive looked noticeably pixelated when played over the network, and the frame rate was not as smooth. When connected directly to a router, the quality was slightly improved, but still not as good as it was when watching from a hard drive.
You could also use an optional wireless adapter (Netgear's EVA111 can be purchased from around $40) to get the EVA2000 onto your network. There are two USB 2.0 ports on the rear of the unit to accommodate this, so you can leave a USB drive plugged in even while you use the wireless adapter.
The EVA2000 supports all popular video file formats and containers, and it even has support for mkv files. It uses the VuNow service so that you can also watch streaming video from a selection of Web sites — Reuters, NBA.com, ESPN, Discovery, just to name a few — and there is even a list of live Internet streaming channels. All of these worked well during our tests.
Internet video includes YouTube, as well as clips from other popular sites.
The PlayOn service is supported by the EVA2000 too. The PlayOn media server can work in conjunction with the EVA2000 to allow you to view streaming Internet video on your TV. It's a subscription-based service though (free for 14 days), and you have to install plug-ins to make it work. Currently, there are plug-ins available for Sky News, ABC, SBS, Nine and Ten, which allow you to view content off those sites. It's a fiddly process to get these to work, and you really have to look hard on Netgear's Web site to find links to these plug-ins (they are in the Support section). Once they're installed, you'll have to click your way down a lengthy tree structure on the EVA2000's menu system before you are finally able to view the PlayOn services. These services include Hulu, Netflix, Comedy Central and other stations that aren't viewable in Australia, so there really isn't much to watch.
Unfortunately, this is a common message when viewing PlayOn content.
We installed one of the Australian plug-ins (Sky News), and while it worked, it didn't strike us as an efficient way to view the day's news — you can only play one news item at a time. Furthermore, the video doesn't scale properly on a wide screen so it looks awful.
The hassle involved in setting up PlayOn is not worth the end result.
To stream content off a Windows 7-based PC, you have to share that content through your media library in Windows Media Player. You also have to remember to allow media streaming to the EVA2000, otherwise a message will appear on its menu telling you that you don't have the authority to access content on the computer. The EVA2000 is a UPnP device, so it will show up in your network device list and all you have to do is right-click on it and enable media sharing. Overall, it's not super-easy to set it up and you will have to know your way around a computer, so the EVA2000, even though it's a low-end device, is not for newbies.
If you like the idea of streaming media (including YouTube) to your TV over a wired network (or a wireless network via an optional USB dongle), then the EVA2000 is an economical option (it can be purchased for around $100 if you shop around, even though it has a suggested retail price of $179). Just don't expect it to give you excellent video quality if you pair it with a big-screen TV.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide's Gear Daily newsletters
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel 3a review: Less is more
- 2 Moto G7 review: The new gold standard for budget buyers
- 3 Huawei P30 Pro review: A photography powerhouse that leans into and elevates its natural strengths
- 4 Panasonic Lumix S1 review: Pushing your limits
- 5 Dell G7 review: Growing pains
Latest News Articles
- Remember that JBL Link soundbar? It's now for sale
- Hisense's first soundbars get a price
- LG claps back at Panasonic with transparent OLED
- Sonos see voice control as 'additive' and are open to bringing it to a future IKEA collab
- Australian Sonos One and Beam owners can finally use the Google Assistant on them
PCW Evaluation Team
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
- Save The Date: The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 is being announced on August 7
- Oppo Reno 5G review: Big Deal
- Panasonic Lumix S1 review: Hands-On Australian review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies