Media Servers

ISTAR Mini Network Media Tank

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.


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.