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Actiontec Media Player

Wireless devices in the home are becoming more and more mainstream everyday. Actiontec has created a media player that allows media on your PC to be played on your television or stereo equipment with the convenience of wireless technology. Thus today we take a look at Actiontec’s Wireless Digital Media Player.

Actiontec Box

Package Contents:

Actiontec Digital Media Player
Power Cord
RCA Cable
S-Video Cable
11 Mbps Wireless PC Card
Installation CD (includes User Manual)
Quick start guide
Remote control

Actiontec Bundle


-Model Number: DMP011000-01 (Wireless Digital Media Player)
-Standards: IEEE 802.11b (2.4 Ghz-DSSS) IEEE802.3 (10 BASE-T Ethernet)
-IEEE 802.3u (100 BASE-T Fast Ethernet)
-Certifications: FCC; CE; UL; WiFi
-Security: 40/64 bit & 128 bit WEP Encryption
-LAN: 10/100 Mbps (auto-sensing and auto-crossover) Ethernet (RJ-45) port
-Audio: S/P DIF Port (RCA and Optical) Left and Right Channel RCA Output Ports
-Video: Composite Video Port, S-Video Port, Component Video Port
-Other Input/Output: DVI (Digital Visual Interface), Infrared Remote, Wireless PC Card slot
-Visual Indicators: Power LED, Ethernet (10/100) LED, Link/Activity LED
-Wireless Operating Range: Up to 100 meters indoors, Up to 400 meters outdoors
-Data Rates: 11, 5.5, 2, and 1 Mbps

Minimum System Requirements:

Television with composite video input
Stereo or A/C receiver with RCA audio input
Computer equipped with 300 Mhz Pentium II or higher (700 Mhz or higher for video playback), TCP/IP installed
60 Mb of hard drive space available
Windows 98 Second Edition (SE), Millennium Edition (Me), 2000, or XP

Actiontec Stuff


Supports MP3, AC3, AAC, WAV, WMA and Ogg Vorbis audio formats
Supports JPEG, GIF, animated GIF, TIF, BMP, and PNG image formats
Digital audio: 18-bit stereo and S/PDIF
Supports the following video formats
MPEG1/2/4, Xivd, RMP4
RCA connectors for stereo audio output and composite video output for Dolby 5.1, DTS, MTS, Surround Sound
Digital Optical Output available for true sound fidelity without the need for RCA Cabling
Support for HDTV
Utility on PC to manage music and picture folders
Support for Internet Radio
Surf the web using favorite bookmarks or enter the website URL
Keep updated with the latest news


Setup and installation was very easy. The quick start guide walked me through the install without a single problem. I was up and running in around 20 minutes. The install CD also has the Actiontec Installation Buddy, which gives a visual guide to setting up the player.

Actiontec Box

The install steps entail installing the software on a PC (I was using WinXP), configuring the software to locate your media files, hooking up the Media Player to your TV, and configuring the advanced wireless settings. The front of the Media Player has 3 LEDs

Power – when plugged in to a power receptacle
10/100 – when hooked up to an Ethernet cable
Lnk/Act – when the connection is active

Actiontec Rear

The Media Player also has 12 ports on the rear panel:

DVI – to connect a DVI compatible HDTV (I did not use)
Y,Pb,Pr – to connect to monitors or TV’s with component video
S-Video – to connect to TV with S-Video cable
COMP – to connect to TV with composite input with RCA video cable
Audio Out L & R – to connect to TV or Stereo auto with RCA audio cable
S/P Dif – to connect to compatible audio receiver with optical cable
Ethernet – to connect to a computer or hub/router via Ethernet cable
Power – to connect to a standard electrical outlet

Actiontec Rear

The side panel has a PC card slot which is where the wireless pc included with the kit is installed. However, when the card is installed, it seems as if it is not inserted completely leaving a rather large portion of the card sticking out the side of the casing.

After the Player is connected to the tv/stereo, the wireless connection must be set up to share the digital media from the computer. Since I already have a wireless network in my house I needed the MAC address from the media player wireless card to enter into my mac address filter on my WAP. Most MAC addresses are stamped on the outside of the card. However this was not the case. Since I had a laptop I just installed the card on my laptop with the drivers I found on Actiontec’s website. As I was later reviewing the instruction manual, I found the MAC address can be found using the setup options. Doh! Anyway, I entered the MAC Address into my MAC filter of my WAP so the Media Player could get an ip address lease from my DHCP server. Next I had to configure the Media Player with my WEP encryption key so it could communicate with my WAP. Once that was done I was connected to my home network.

Next I configured the Media Buddy software to locate the Audio, Video and Picture files that I wanted to display via the Media Player.

Actiontec Media Buddy

The general folder settings for the media buddy to use are the My Pictures, My Music and My Videos folders. If this is not the place you store your media, you can redirect the Media Buddy to the correct folders.

Actiontec Folders

I have some mixed emotions about the Media Buddy software, but over all it worked fine. Since I have a home network domain, I have a server that houses all my media. That server has a public share that anyone in my house can use to share pictures, video or music. So naturally I tried to get the media buddy to connect to my server share but nothing would happen. Each time I tried to connect, no media files would show up. This was frustrating, but I finally figured out that the Media Buddy would only connect to a local drive. So I mapped a drive on my computer to the server share and all was good, although it did take a while to refresh each time I made any changes to my media files. I did find one annoying issue, I could use windows explorer to add or delete media files, but those changes did not reflect on the player unless I manually refreshed the media files using the media buddy software.

I found that I had to be logged into the machine for the software to work. Since I have a domain at home, this means that each person that logs into my machine can set up the media buddy for a different location of media files. But only the logged in person’s media files are available to the Media Player. The media buddy was designed so that multiple users can access their own music selections. The assumption is that the individual users would have their own PC where they organize their own media files.


Well, what about security? Other than the standard wireless security of WEP encryption and MAC filtering, the security feature prevents access to the media by an optional password. If enabled, the media player requires the password before access is granted to any media files. The Media Buddy allows only those who know the password to access the content via the Media Player. The media player uses port 8000 in order to communicate with the pc. Firewalls blocking port 8000 will need to be adjusted in order for communication to take place.


At first use I was rather annoyed with the slowness of the player. I had media that would play a few seconds and then pause as if waiting on data. I later found I have several neighbors with wireless devices with caused interference. I used some of my network tools from work and found 4 WAPs that I can actually connect to from my house. I was finally able to use a channel that helped with latency issues after several tries. I also found that WEP encryption worked fine, but I did get less media latency when not using it. After I played with the wireless for a while, I checked out the wired connection on the back of the Media Player. The speed difference was astounding. As a matter of fact, I never removed the wired connection.

Playing music files while watching a digital picture slide show or vice versa is a nice feature that can be setup on the preferences menu. I watched different folders of digital pictures slide across the TV while listening to the music I thought was appropriate for the theme of the pictures.

Web Surfing and Remote:

Surfing the web from a TV is not my idea of fun. I have done it on a laptop that was hooked up to a TV and it just left something to be desired. The internet surfing seemed slow over the wireless, but was much improved when I switched to the wired connection. Even though most websites do not fully display, casual surfing for the weather or basic news is worthwhile. Keep in mind that all web surfing must be done from the remote, meaning only right, left, up and down. So surfing is a tedious task, not to mention the absolute slowness of the remote.


Some file formats are not supported. I found some newer quicktime movie previews that did not work as well as some of my home videos converted by Microsoft codecs. Actiontec says this: “We do not currently support Quicktime and the new Microsoft codecs. We do not have plans to support them in this media player.” Some DIVX movies showed an Unsupported Codec message which was fixed by a convert button that allowed the files to be converted to a format that media buddy could show.

Raw DVD movies can not be shown on the player. Currently, the media player cannot decrypt regional codes from the raw DVD files, so playing it directly from a DVDROM or the hard drive is not possible. However, "ripping" the DVD files (.VOB) to a hard drive using software like DVDXCopy strips the region codes, and can be played by the played by the media player.

Any files encrypted with DRM software will not play on the player. MP3 playlists are not supported. If a playlist is found by the media player, the error displayed in the file is empty. When playing an audio file, there is no way to queue up another file. There is a 4 or 5 second delay in moving from one song to the next unless you are playing all songs consecutively that are in your music folder.


That is fine, but I would rather the media buddy run as a service on the computer allowing each person to personalize their settings, then the Player should ask you which user you want to connect as. Run a wireless G card instead of the B card to help with big media transfers, ie DVD and home movies.


Overall I was pleased with the Actiontec Wireless Digital Media Player. I wish it offered more supported media types, but it did do a large majority of my collection of media files. The wireless was nice, but I really enjoyed the speed of the 10/100 network connection and actually only use the wired network after I finished testing. This unit sells for 199 usd direct.


  • Multi Media (Audio/Video/Picture) display to TV
  • Connection options
  • Remote control
  • Included wireless card
  • 10/100 Ethernet connection


  • PC card sticks out too far
  • Weak remote signal
  • Lack of video format support

Added: August 3rd 2004
Reviewer: KingKash
Score: 8  
Related Link: Actiontec
Hits: 8732
Language: english


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