D-Link DSM-310 MovieNite
I have a big screen HDTV in my living room which is my pride and joy and I often watch movies on it through my Xbox and Netflix, but I also realize that by the time I pay for the Xbox Gold Membership and the Netflix subscription fee, I’m paying too much. That is why I was interested when I heard about the DSM-310 MovieNite from D-Link. When released, it will allow me to access some of my favorite web services and even check to see what’s going on around my house, all with my broadband internet connection. And for a fraction of the cost. Now they are talking my language.
Rather than a monthly fee for Xbox Gold, I can buy the thing for $60 and then just have to pay the monthly fee for the services I would have paid anyway for on the Xbox 360. Now the thing doesn’t have as many services supported as one might like, but they were able to hook up the internet’s best content sources. There is Netflix (which does require a subscription fee), YouTube (which requires a monthly eye bleaching sometimes), Pandora (the streaming music service and delight for the ears) and Google’s Picasa (so I can show everyone the boring pictures of my last vacation to Yeehaw Junction in Florida). The only one that I really wish they’d also supported was Hulu, but perhaps that will be in the future. Oh and while the box will do 1080p as a maximum, I’m sure that some videos will wind up being upscaled, especially those on YouTube that aren’t that high, which will no doubt cause a bit grainier picture on large screen TV’s. But that’s true even on the PCs with HD monitors.
A great feature of this service though is access to VUDU’s MovieNite service. If your family is like mine and can’t wait to see the latest on DVD and don’t want to wait while Netflix bows down to the DVD retailers, this one is for you. It will let you get movies the same day as they are released to DVD and will bring them to you in 1080p with Dolby Digital 5.1. You do have to pay a small rental fee, just as you would pay-per-view, but that’s pretty much to be expected.
And if you are worried about that baby in the crib in the other room or you want to know who is creeping outside on the lawn at 3am? Wondering if it’s just Cousin Orville off his meds again? Well the DSM-310 also does this through mydlink which can hook up to properly configured D-Link wireless network cameras. These cameras can be placed on mounts wherever you need them and then fed back into your TV seamlessly with the rest of the services.
The whole thing works through your broadband internet connection. It will work with either an Ethernet cable or through 802.11n Wi-Fi, the latter requiring a router if it’s not already built into your modem. While it will work with an analog standard TV at 480i with two channel stereo sound, you will definitely want to consider a 1080p HDTV with HDMI 1.4 (includes audio) connections to get the best picture and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.
The surprisingly small 4.8”x4.6”x1.1” box also comes with a remote or it can be controlled through an iDevice or Android phone app (both of which are free from their respective stores).
You can get the DSM-310 MovieNite for $60 when its released at Wal-Mart later this year.