Media Servers

ISTAR Mini Network Media Tank

ARTICLE INDEX
ISTAR Media Tank Remote Control

What is not to like?

Nothing is perfect.  As mentioned above, the unit isn't as fast as I would like.  The current firmware only allows me to fast-forward at 8x(this may be fixed by the time this has been published), and as I mentioned before, it isn't pretty.  The remote is not as friendly as others but a universal remote like a Harmony will take care of that.   Overall a minor set of gripes.

Conclusions

At $169, the ISTAR is a steal.  There is a $215 dollar version that support HDMI 1.3 (and sending TrueHD and DTS-MA over HDMI), if you need those functions.   I am sure the interface will get prettier and faster as new firmware is released.  For now I would say this is one of the simplest most complete media extenders on the market.

If you are thinking about trying one, just go order it.  The re-sale value of these units on eBay is almost the same as the retail price, and whether you buy the ISTAR or the Popcorn Hour, I am sure you would be able to sell them if for some reason you were not happy.  The Popcorn Hour unit is a little prettier so if you care about looks, that might be the way to go.