Prodigy jack-of-all-trades media streamer announced
By Paul Ridden
February 28, 2011
As digital media streamers go, the Prodigy from Xtreamer appears to be something of a jack-of-all-trades. The budget-friendly box can store its own content in a wide variety of formats, connect to external drives or wirelessly hook up with a computer. It has a dedicated internet browser specially tweaked for TV, can play Flash media and will work with Apple's AirPlay technology. There's USB 3.0 and HDMI wired connectivity, and audiophiles will appreciate the lossless audio options, while movie buffs get treated to full 1080p high definition playback ... but it's the new Flash GUI that's said to be the real vote winner.
The Realtek-based media player has a next generation RTL 1185 processor at its heart, which is supported by 512MB DDR3 memory. Internal storage takes the form of a 3.5-inch SATA HDD EZ-Drive bay for up to 3TB storage capacity, although you will need to slot in your own hard drive. The device can support various file systems, including HFS+, NTFS and FAT32, plus you can also hook up an external storage solution via the Prodigy's USB 3.0 (for data transfer speeds of up to 4.8Gbps) or USB 2.0 ports, which can also be used to connect peripherals like a keyboard.
Dealing with the televisual side of things first, digital media files at full 1080p high definition can be sent onto a big screen TV courtesy of the included HDMI-out port/composite AV. The included Opera browser has been optimized for use on a TV and the lush Flash graphical user interface with over 32 languages included offers sound and animation to enhance the user experience.
Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11b/g/n wireless connectivity give access to a wide selection of internet feeds and applications, including YouTube XL, MLB.tv and MediaFly. Those looking to the use the device for audio will be able to connect to services like Last.FM, GrooveShark and Pandora. There's up to 7.1 channel audio with support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS Digital Surround, and the output can be sent onto a quality audio system via S/PDIF coaxial and TOSLink optical digital audio.
In addition to the usual audio and video file formats supported by Prodigy – such as MP3, WAV, FLV and MOV – there's also BD-ISO, DVD IFO/ISO, FLAC and OGG, and various subtitle formats are also supported. There's handy one-click DVD/CD backup, the ability to feed in content via a media card reader, and to access the Prodigy's digital library remotely over the internet thanks to built-in dynamic DNS functionality. With the addition of an Xtreamer USB Antenna, users can wirelessly stream digital content from a computer to the Prodigy and then onto the TV or hi-fi.
The 9.52 x 9.88 x 2.59-inch (242 x 251 x 66 mm) Xtreamer Prodigy is priced at EUR119 (US$164) with shipping expected to start in April – have a look at the company's deals page for introductory offers.