Reviews Review of the Xtreamer Media Server and Streamer

Review of the Xtreamer Media Server and Streamer

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A few weeks ago we reported the impending UK release of the Xtreamer device – which is a small device used for playing back digital content and also streaming digital content and earlier in the week we got our hands on one and showed you the unboxing.

Well we have been playing with it for a few days now and figured it was time to post a review, but this time we are going to do something different. Rather than try and describe the interface or how it works, we figured that along with the normal specifications and pictures that we would actually show you what it looked like in a couple of videos. So let us know if you like the video idea and we will do more of them.

THE XTREAMER

So let’s just remind ourselves what the Xtreamer is and what it does.

The Xtreamer player will play and stream HD (MKV H.264) movies or user-generated videos, listen to high-quality digital music and show high-resolution slideshows of your family photos on your TV.

Simply put, this tiny box, approximately the size of a small book, or a 3.5″ Hard Disk, will play back almost all Media Files, up to 1080 HD !

  • Play back of Network stored files, ie from a Windows Home Server or NAS
  • Playback of local Hard Disk files (the unit can hold a 2.5″ Hard Disk)
  • Playback of local files from USB sticks
  • Serving of local files to other players (it’s a server too)
  • Internet file experience (ie Youtube, weather, themed sites, ie cooking)
  • Simple to connect to HDMI or SCART TV
  • Wired or wireless operation (WiFi network and active antenna required)
  • Simple operation

IMG_1593 IMG_1596 IMG_1597

BOX CONTENTS

In the small box comes the Xtreamer unit itself, a power supply and UK adaptor (yeah, not impressed here but I will come on to that in a minute), a quick guide, some cables, a stand for the Xtreamer and a remote. If you have ordered it earlier enough you will also get the WiFi USB adaptor for free, otherwise you will need to buy that seperately.

IMG_1595 IMG_1602 IMG_1603

SPECIFICATIONS

This is taken directly from the manual:

Xtreamer specs

USING THE XTREAMER AND THE VIDEO

Connecting up the Xtreamer to my HD TV was a breeze, just a couple of moments to plug in a few cables. One of the things I really liked was the inclusion of an HDMI port for both digital video and audio through a single cable. No more additional cables for audio thank you very much. There are lots of different connections available to suit everyone’s needs.

IMG_1600

Powering the Xtreamer on takes a few seconds, and the main menu will appear. Its a very simple affair with just 4 menu options, so it’s not going to take long to find what you want.

Setting up the wireless network only took a few moments as well.

Setting up the Xtreamer on my HD TV was a little different – on one HD TV I plugged it in and it was perfect, crystal clear images and no problems at all, on another HD TV (which I have to admit isn’t “full” HD) the picture was a little blurry and the menu items were not that clear. No problems though as a few seconds changing the picture settings cured this.

There is also a setting for the fan speed – it is set to MEDIUM by default and to be honest, this is pretty noisy, you would certainly notice it! Changing it down to LOW to be honest didn’t warrant any real difference to my ears (there probably is, but when it’s hard to tell does it make a difference)? Setting it to OFF made it quiet, however is it really a good idea to have it switched off, even without the hard drive plugged in? Also, personally I wasn’t very impressed with the fan being on the underside of the unit, but that’s just me!

You can watch content from a USB device, an internal hard drive if you have fitted one, from your network or even over the Internet. Results do vary but that is based on your individual home setups, including whether you are wired or wireless and what your wireless kit is. You can even stream content directly from your Windows Home Server, which is nice 🙂

Rather than trying to explain any more, lets take a look at the videos. There are two due to the length of them. Are you sitting comfortably?

FINAL THOUGHTS AND CONCLUSIONS

Frankly for £99 this is a steal and I cannot recommend it enough. Ok, its not whisper quiet (but it is certainly quieter than an Xbox 360) and the menu is a big fiddly and frankly a little unimpressive but so what? The simple fact of the matter is that it works, and it works well. Most of the time! I found a rather annoying thing that kept happening to me with the menus. Sometimes if I was doing multiple presses of say the down button, and then I pressed the up button, it would sometimes continuing going down. It was almost as though it got locked into an action and the only way to ensure changing the action was to wait a second or two before doing something different.

Watching digital content from either a connected hard drive or USB device was simple and had no problems at all. So if you want to carry your content around rather than streaming it you can, and its just a few seconds to plug it in.

Wired streaming was no problem either and worked great.

Wireless was a little hit and miss, however I should point out in all fairness that I don’t think this was the fault of the Xtreamer and more to do with my wireless setup at home, not to mention the location of the Xtreamer at the time. Sometimes it worked perfectly and other times not so much, so you really should give it the benefit of the doubt on this one. Again, for £99 what have you got to lose!

The Xtreamer ships with a 1.02 bios which should be upgradable to 1.03 in the next week or so according to the Xtreamer forums.

My biggest problem, if you can call it that, with the Xtreamer is the power supply. It’s not a UK power supply so it needs an adaptor plug (which fortunately is provided) but when connected it makes the whole plug huge! This may cause some problems for people with a limited number of power sockets because the plug is at an angle with means anything to left or right (depending on how you plugged it in) is blocked.

Anyway, that aside, this device is fantastic. It is small, cheap, and portable – you could take it with you and connect it anywhere. And as I keep saying, for £99 you cannot go wrong, it is a steal.

Go get yours now! To order one, click here. And for anyone who is interested, the Xtreamer is sold in the UK by Tranquil who have a very good reputation!

Andrew Edneyhttps://moviesgamesandtech.com
I am the owner and editor of this site. I have been interested in gadgets and tech since I was a little kid. I have also written a number of books on various tech subjects. I also blog for The Huffington Post and for FHM. And I am honoured to be a Microsoft MVP since January 2008 - again this year as an Xbox MVP.

71 COMMENTS

    • thanks Diehard. It was fun doing the videos, its a pity it seems to take about 4 hours per video to upload and process on YouTube! The 2nd video is still going…..

      Andrew

  1. Echoes my thoughts Andrew re good and bad points. It's a great piece of kit and I've a few mates already interested in one.

    • 🙂 I have to say I really like it. I know others are complaining about the the red in the menu, but who cares! Im not using the device for the menu, Im using it to watch content!

      Glad you like yours.

      Andrew

  2. Hi Andrew, thanks for the review.

    Sounds like a great gagdget. I have a few questions though.

    – if you stream a video file from windows home server, will it automatically make a bookmark and jump to that bookmark the next time you start watching that video file. Or will it alwas start streaming from the beginning?

    – what about fast forwarding/rewinding when watching from home server, does it work as expected on different formats, mpeg2, wmv, mpeg4?

    thanks!

    • Hi Fredrik

      Well I tested them.

      It will start streaming from the beginning again but it will ask you if you want to resume playback, which works.

      As for fast foward, and rewind, this appeared to work as expected as well 🙂

      Andrew

  3. Been using mine for almost a week now and I love it..!!

    I had been having a problem with an MKV file in that wirelessly it wasn't playing well at all…until I discovered my sky router was set to .11b only. A quick change to 54g setting (.11g) and the mkv played like a dream across the wirless network without a hitch or stutter (until my wife logged her laptop onto the network then it all but stopped!)

    Will need to look at a .11n router or just cable the xtreamer to the router in the future. Oh – also streamed a VOB file wireless on the .11g with no issues either.

    I have found a little issue though. On two occasions I've gone into a file to continue from where i left off and no image appears and I've had to hard reset the unit. Not sure why and i'm yet to upgrade the firmware so will see if that continues.

    Also, ran the unit with the fan off (but with no HDD installed). Case got a little warm. Tried with fan on low (acceptable noise I thought but would rather none) and case was just warm and no more. Low setting for me but could see issues if an HDD was installed as you'd need to run medium or fast which to me would be too noisy a fan.

    Still a sweet little unit and so far I'm a big fan. I'd echo Andrew and recommend one. I can see my DVD player becoming alot less used.

    • thanks Rhymemaker – I'm glad you like it as well. I have found that with the Xtreamer wired up rather than wireless I obviously get a better streaming performance, and Im using a powerline adaptor to connect it.

      Andrew

    • Could you please tell me how did you hard reset it? I’ve put a wrong skin and now it’s not booting!

      Thanks!!

      • If it’s not booting I dont know how you can do the reset as the reset is performed when the unit it operating. I would suggest you try contacting xtreamer and asking what else you could try.

  4. but what about the service? order from 15th of july and still not arrived.. what will happen if you need RMA or any other shipment from the company??

    • Eliz

      Which company and which country did you order your Xtreamer from? This particular one is for the UK from a UK company – there are many resellers in many countries.

      Certainly the UK one has only been available a few weeks so I am assuming you are not talking about having ordered it from the UK back in July and I know that all UK orders are supplied in only a few days.

      Andrew

  5. Hi Andrew

    Thanks for such a beautiful presentation abt this powerful box. Your efforts are appreciated.

    I have a question, whether Xtreamer supports movie jukebox or no?

    Secondly, the new firmware (1.0.3) say that if there is a Pic(.Jpeg) file present in the folder, that pic will be reflected once that particular folder is selected. Would you be able to some pics abt these thumbnails???

    Thanks in Advance

  6. Hello Andrew

    Thanks for your new post. Hatsoff for your amazing work.

    I have a question though, does xtreamer supports MP4 movies file with 5.1 channel (AC3) as the same is not working on WDTV.

    On WDTV there is no sound if I play MP4 movie file, however the picture is absolutely clear.

    Waiting for your reply….

    Simi

  7. I use a Buffalo Linkstation Live as my server will the Xtreamer work ok with it in the same way that my Xbox running XBMC does

  8. Thanks for your reply Andrew. I have done a bit more digging for info and I guess that as the Buffalo LinkStation uses standard windows share (SMB) I guess it will work OK.

    I am looking forward to getting an Xtreamer ordered ASAP

    Thanks

    Richard

  9. Is the Xtreamer uk website legitimate, on some forums people saying it isnt, i was thinking of ordering a unit ? Using Linksys media centre extender, not very impressed with its performance.

    • Colin – yes, it is legitimate – its run by Tranquil PC who have been around for years.

      Lots of people have already got their UK Xtreamer, so dont worry!

      Andrew

  10. Cheers Andrew for the speedy reply, you have put my mind at rest, i look forward to getting to grips with the Xtreamer.

    • My pleasure Colin – its a great bit of kit and with the new cooler coming out this month it will be hard to beat at the price!

      Andrew

  11. Andrew, I have an Xtreamer WiFid to my TranquilPC RS5 Media Server. I have a directory on the server with 2-300 hi res snaps. When I try to view these via the Xtreamer, I can select a snap to view but the slideshow does not advance and most times I have to cycle the power on the Xtreamer to be able to get back to the menu.

    Movies seem to play OK and I can skip back and forth from one movie to another.

    I just don't seem to be able to get my snaps to display in any kind of timely fashion or be able to navigate to the next or previous snap when one is on display.

    Any clues on this please?

    Many thanks

    Steve

    • Hi Steve

      are you running the latest version of the Xtreamer firmware?

      if you are, then I am not sure – you might want to leave the question in the Xtreamer forums for Xtreamer to answer.

      Andrew

  12. are you able to play MKV files though you WHS? i can copy them to the sever and find them but when i click the play it goes back to the menu.

    • Casey

      Yes, I can with no problems at all – in fact, I played MKV files on the video reviews I did above.

      Andrew

  13. i am having a problem with the net user id and password link. Every time i type it in it says Login Failed. What am i Doing wrong? Also can i stream from any other drive as i have partitioned drives which all have different things that i would like to stream. If so how do i do this?

    • Damo

      Firstly can I ask you to post your question in our forums please – this way other people will be able to help as well.

      Secondly, can you provide in the forum post some more information – what are you streaming from, how have you got it configured, etc, etc. Do you have streaming enabled on the computer you are streaming from?

      Andrew

    • In order to get this working you will need to activate the guest account in Vista, select the particular folder that you want to share and go into properties, next go to permissions, you should see a screen that says Everyone, you will need to delete this and add guest, you will be required to check the name of the new group guest and once it is highlighted you should see something similar to Reuben/pc/guest or similar. Follow the prompts and you should be ok. You may need to restart your pc and it should work. If you need any further help email me.

  14. Is anyone try to stream an MKV movie through WIFI wireless N router to the xtermer and it work from him ?

  15. Andrew,

    How does this compare to Logictechs squeezebox. I am considering buying the squeezebox but it cost a lot more than the xtreamer

    thx

    • Todd,

      Unfortunately I havent used the squeezebox so I cant comment.

      Why dont you go ask the question in our forums?

      Andrew

  16. Hi Andrew,

    I would like to use the NAS feature of the Xtreamer to stream my movies to any PC in my home. Have you tried this and does it work?

    BR Johan

    • Hi Johan

      No, I havent tried it yet, but it is on my list of things to try, along with doing a post about fitting a hard drive 🙂

      Watch this space…..

      Andrew

  17. Hi Andrew

    I have just ordered the Xtreamer with Free Antenna kit. I read few and very positive reviews on this media streamer, one common problem/drawback mentioned is the very noisy fan. Did they come up by now with a less noisier fan? what firmware version is it shipped now? how will it work with an internal SATA 2.5

    • Hi Biran

      The fan is not too bad, but you can buy the silent cooler: see the review I did:

      http://usingwindowshomeserver.com/2009/10/27/revi

      I havent put a HDD in mine yet, its on the list of things to do.

      As for firmware version, I would guess its the last but one firmware, but again, look at the various posts I have done here on Using Windows Home Server about how to upgrade the firmware.

      And let me know what you think of it when it comes!

      Andrew

  18. I ordered the Xtreamer from the European website on the 18th of November as a Christmas gift and I am still waiting for it. It's making me wonder if the whole thing is a scam. Either way, I don't recommend it, even without trying it.

    • When you say "European" website, are you referring to the site in the UK or somewhere else?

      There are MANY places selling the Xtreamer all around the world, so if you have ordered it from somewhere and havent got it you should take it up with them.

      The UK company that is selling it is 100% real and has been in operation for many years selling all sorts of it.

      The device itself is fantastic so I am not sure how you can not recommend it without trying it.

      Andrew

  19. what is better to connect – an internal or external hard disk?

    Is there anything specific I have to ask for when buying either?

    • Gil

      The choice is yours and will depend on whether or not you want to use the drive elsewhere.

      If you do, or you want to connect it to another computer to copy files on to it then external is probably the way to go.

      If you dont, then internal is fine – but will be more expensive.

      Andrew

  20. looks way too difficult to actually find anything or start a movie. Looks like using DOS or some rudimentary computer system, not friednly at all. Is there anyting on the market that is more intuitive or consumer-friendly?

    • Gregory

      Which country and which company did you buy the Xtreamer from as each country has a different company selling them, who are not Xtreamer themselves. This is the problem that one company may have poor customer service but that doesnt meant every one does.

      I have had no problems with the company in the UK, Tranquil PC.

      Personally I would contact my credit card company and complain…..

      Andrew
      Andrew

  21. I would like to store my DVD library in the Xstreamer and also be able to download from Youtube & save it it.

    Any tips as how it can be done?

    Thanks

    • Randy

      If you fit a hard drive (either internally or via USB) then you can store files that way.

      I dont believe you can use the Xtreamer to download and save content, so you would need to download whatever you want to your computer and copy it to the hard drive on the Xtreamer after you have fitted one.

      Andrew

  22. Nice review Andrew. I see there's been no activity here for 3 months but thought I'd try anyway. I already have another media player but want a second for one of my other TV's. The main hassle is training other users (wife) to work their way through drives, folder and files to find content. Under Media Library on the Xtreamer is Playlist and UPNP. Do either of these present all media in a more user friendly format?

  23. Hi Administrator, I am living in America and have ordered the new ‘Xtreamer Prodigy ‘ for $209.48 from Xtreamer.net which comes out Sept 2011. I think it will be shipped from Seoul Korea but the strange thing is that I have gotten an email which said:
    ” Thank you for your order and payment.
    Your order status was change to Pending.
    ●Kindly provide 4 last digits of your Credit Card and credit card type for our verification.
    ●Please provide Scanned photo ID of credit card owner to [email protected]

    Unbo b/d 226-16, sukchon-dong, songpa-gu, Seoul, Korea
    Tel: 82 2 420 2713 (202) / Fax: 82 2 420 2723″
    My question is if I have already ordered using my card, why are they asking for the last for or my credit card and also a photo id of myself. In all my years of buying online I have never been asked to show picture id and other things, this looks very strange to me. I also went to talk to someone on Xtreamer.net Live Chat but it is offline and can only send messages of which I did. The 2 replies I got said the same message as above. What should I do, Give them what they ask for or cancel my order? …
    I really need some advice on this one..Thanks

  24. Expect no after sales support at all , the company behind this product hides in china .Issues will go unanswered , and support is non existent . Speaking from bitter experience

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