Review: SageTV HD STXHD100 Media Extender

Our sultriest gadget fantasy? Wirelessly combining a PC chocked full of HD content with a HDTV…and then adding a deadly laser network to deter anyone brazen enough to muck with the carefully calibrated settings. It may be a dream deferred (for now), but in the meantime we’ve been watching pr0n tinkering with the next closest thing – SageTV’s STX-HD100 media extender. At its core, the STX-HD100 is a by-the-numbers extender: We installed the software on our home theater PC (turning it into a server), threw the unit onto our network, and then streamed all our landlocked content via the HD100’s high-def video outputs. With its codec support (h.264, WMV9, MPEG-2, MPEG-4.2, et al.), and file formats (AVI, MPEG, QuickTime, DivX, MP4, WMV, et al.) we had no problems watching all sorts of saved content on the big screen. Complimenting this versatility was the HD100’s responsive menu system and buttery smooth HD video playback – the latter being a bit of a rarity for extenders. We even tried to throw it a curve by outfitting our test rig with an HD tuner, but it still produced a consistently sharp 720p picture. Aside from its price and lack of fringe benefits (helloo? Wi-Fi?), the HD100 is a solid choice for bridging the gap between home theater computing and HDTVs. At least, until our HDTV/ Star Wars defense grid mashup hits the market.

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