First Impressions of the Linksys Extender

Tonight I had my first play with Linksys’s DMA2100 Media Center Extender, so here are my first impressions.

I have been using an Xbox 360 as an extender for nearly two years now and am very happy with it so going to be hard for the new Extenders to match up to that. First thing you notice is how small the unit is, its about a quarter of the size of the 360 and has just a blue LED on the front to show its powered on (no fans here).

Included in the box is a Remote that is light and maybe feels a little on the cheap side but its a learning remote and worked with no problems. Also included in the box are Component cables, what is not included is a HDMI cable with is a shame as that is the best way of connecting the Extender. It also caused me a problem as they way I have mounted my TV on the wall I could not reach to get the Component cables connected, where as I can get a HDMI cable connected without to much trouble.  This meant that I could only use the standard def composite cable and not to experience it in HD. So I am off to buy a HDMI cable and will try it again.

As you will see in the video (out soon) when you power unit it it walks you through a series setup questions. Things like video output (50hz or 60hz hurray!), screen type, audio output etc. For my first test I connected it up with Ethernet, I will test wireless at a later date. Once I had completed the setup the unit gave me a code number that I could type in to my Media Center PC, just like the Xbox 360 setup. After entering the code my PC configured the Extender settings, over on the Extender it told me that my PC needed an update before it would work , it pointed me at a URL www.Microsoft.com/extender/update where there is a download for an Media Center update (32bit and 64bit). Once I installed the update I had to reboot the PC and then it connected.

The unit connected and I had the standard Media Center UI. I don’t want to judge the picture quality to much yet as it was just over the composite cable. In use as I noted at CES the transitions and animations are not as smooth as the Xbox 360 but still acceptable. When watching standard TV it looked as good as the Xbox, but in the Media Center UI the blue was a little washed out and the text didn’t look to good, but this could be the cable and I want to wait to see it with HDMI before I investigate that side of it.

I was asked about the Zoom modes, and it only has 3 zoom modes and not the 4 mode that Media Center has on the PC and the Xbox 360.

So watch the video and have a look at the unboxing, I am going to get the DMA2200 connected over the weekend and next week will have a more detailed video out. Please let me know if there are any aspects I should look at

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25 thoughts on “First Impressions of the Linksys Extender

  1. Ian, is there anyway of connecting a DMA2200 to a VGA monitor? My XBox 360 extender is connected to my projector using VGA and optical-out for sound but it is rather noisy!

  2. @Matthias2007 I don’t think so, unless there is some way to use the RGB component cable and convert that to VGA.
    I am like you I use my Xbox 360 via VGA

  3. Ian, you say it’s a learning remote. Is this the tap in code type, the point each remote head to head type or a combination of both? Many thanks.

  4. Many thanks Ian – holding off buying one (only just!) until I hear conclusively; all the US forums and blogs I’ve come across aren’t really interested (fairy nuff I s’pose) in this, to me, critical functionality.

    Can’t wait to see your unboxing video of the 2200!

  5. Ian,

    Have you had a chance to test the region code thing?

    I would like to play region 2 DVDs on the 2200…

    Thanks,
    Oliver

  6. Ian

    I’m using the DMA 2100 and although it has its limitations I think it was worth the effort and the price. I’m thinking of having a second one elsewhere in the house. Is it likely to work as well as the first?

  7. Ian

    Have you been able to animate slide show transitions on the DMA2100? The user guide clearly states that the extender has built-in slide show effects such as fades, pans and zooms. Whilst this slide show option is clear in the menu on my PC (tasks>settings>pictures>transition type) and works well, I cannot find this option in the same menu or any where else on the extender. Can you Help?

    Thanks

    Norman Hand

  8. I absolutely has to be multi-region or I won’t waste my money. Enough of the DVD region scam that is just another anti-consumer protectionist ploy.

  9. The 2200 is no different in quality. Keeping it logged on wirelessly is close to impossible. Ethernet sometimes is unrecognizable. It is a good DVD player as it improves the picture quality of the video. It does one more thing then the X-box, download KLcodecs and you will be about to play just about any video file with the 2200. I bought mine in early 2008 and it’s been a bumpy ride trying to get it to work consistantly.

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