What’s the best Media Center Extender?

With my CableCARD tuner coming tomorrow, I’m packing up one of my Series3 TiVos to sell, and I’m looking for a Media Center Extender. All three options are about the same price, but right now I’m leaning towards the D-Link DSM-750 even though it’s the most expensive at $315. But I’m tempted to save some money and pick up the Linksys DMA2100 for $250, but Chris L’s review has me thinking twice. The real problem is that no one has reviewed the D-Link. The Xbox 360 is $300 after you buy a remote, and although I understand it makes a great extender and also plays games, I’ve had one and the noise really bothered me. Plus I hear the IR receiver on it is troublesome.

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5 Responses to “What’s the best Media Center Extender?”

  1. Patrick Says:

    I purchased (and subsequently returned) the Linksys DMA2100 and had nothing but problems. I could never get the damn thing to join my wireless network. I have a pretty standard network security setup. I’m able to join the network with my iPhone, my laptop, my desktops, and more in seconds. The linksys just couldn’t connect. Calls to support told me I needed to change the security of my network from WPA2 (despite it being listed as fully compatible). This just isn’t acceptable to me. The techs I spoke to had no concept of how to configure any router but a Linksys, and kept telling me to go get a Linksys router, etc. What a nightmare. I now use an Xbox 360 without any problems (aside from having to use Transcode360 to watch Divx movies).

  2. Ben Drawbaugh Says:

    Patrick,
    Thanks for the tip, I jumped the gun and ordered the D-link from eCost for $283.

    I’m going to try to contact Linksys and get a DMA2100 in for review so I can do a heads up comparison on Engadget. If they’ll send me one, I’ll try to use WPA2 and report on it.

  3. joseph Says:

    …Ben, enjoy your work on EngadgetHD.

    I’m getting close to pulling the trigger on the XPS 420 with a single Cable Card. Then I read the headline on your piece today (Most CableCard HDTVs Won’t Ever Support SDV)…is the Dell 420 Cable Card solution a total future-proof solution? I know enough to be dangerous…various acronyms regarding two-way communication and one-way communication sort of go over my head, though. By the way, I get the sense that our PS3 is a pretty good Media Center Extender. Finally, are you burning BluRays with your 420? Lots of q’s…thanks.

  4. Ben Drawbaugh Says:

    Thanks for the kind words.

    No the current VMC CableCARD tuners probably won’t ever work with VMC. So if SDV is a problem in your area you may want to hold off. I’m on FiOS, and they don’t use SDV, so it’s not a big deal. Of course you could always switch to DirecTV in the future if SDV becomes a problem.

    The PS3 has nice media functionality, but not in regards to being a total solution including live TV etc.

  5. Tyler Says:

    Buy the 360 for sure, and pick up call of duty 4 while your at it.

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