Philips NP1100/37 Streamium Network Music Player Review

Intro:

Hickory Dickory Dock, the mouse ran up the clock…except the Philips NP1100/37 is not merely a clock even if it looks like one. And if the mouse keeps running away, we’ll conclude that he’s a low-tech mouse with no love for gadgets (and for some weird reason, I remembered that the French translate all the tech words including mouse)

Well, before I bought the Aluratek internet radio for my bedroom, I actually got my appetite opened up by Philips NP1100/37. The long, pompous and official title is “Philips NP1100/37 Streamium Network Music Player with 3.0″ B&W Display” and it is exactly that. It streams music from the internet via the included Rhapsody music service (subscription required). It also streams music from any DLNA server on your network (Windows Media Player is one example, PS3 media server is another one). It also does a glorious job at streaming internet radio stations (over 10,000 at the last count). All these might features come with a puny little remote control. But we’ll talk later about that. Let’s get into some details.

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Setup

The setup is very easy and self explanatory. In my case it was something like “plug it in and it goes”. I turned it on and it detected my wireless network and after I input my security key it was only. It found immediately a firmware update, download it (a step forward from the USB stick process that Aluratek requests) and applied it. Unfortunately I had to input all the data again via the remote control and my WPA2 security key is loooooong!

Talking about wireless, I hate to use wireless with my media streaming devices. Fortunately I have a 16 ports Gigabit switch (almost full now!!!)  behind my Home Theater System so I plugged it in immediately.

Functionality:

DLNA client – I mentioned that NP1100can stream from DLNA servers. Windows Media Player 11 is such a client, although with a half-assed implementation. So you can share your media library from your PC and access it immediately. WMP11 however does not let you share folder structures, but other DLNA servers do, so since I already had PS3 media Server installed to use with my PS3, I was curious to see if it works. It did, and it also allows you to navigate your music folder structure. The music formats supported are MP3, AAC, PCM and WMA.

Internet Radio – Can access a huge number of radio stations from many countries. Included are NPR stations, BBC and many other offering every available genres. You can also set your favorites list so you won’t have to search for them every time. if a certain station is not in the list, you can add it by using the “registration” menu from the device. It will eventually direct you to the Philips website where you can add new stations. After a reboot, the new added stations should appear on the device.

Remote Control – looks like you bought it from 99c store. Fortunately Logitech Harmony 880 has the proper codes for it, so you can integrate it with the rest of the actions.

Screen Рblack-and white display, but good size and bright. I can easily see it from across  the room. While the device is off, it displays the current time.

Sound quality – very good, I am currently using the coax output to connect it to my Pioneer Elite receiver.

Issues:

Nothing is perfect, of course. NP1100 has its own quirks, but none of them are a deal breaker for me. For example it lacks a speaker, so it would be problematic to use it in your bedroom (that’s why I bought the Aluratek). I am using it in conjunction with my receiver, so that’s not an issue for me. The remote control is pure garbage but a universal remote will fix that.

Conclusion:

The NP1100 does a really good job at conveniently delivering your music/radio stations. It is very easy to setup and integrate into your existing systems and its big display makes it easy to navigate from across the room.

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Specifications

Sound
Volume Control Volume Control up/down
Audio Playback
Compression format MP3, PCM, WMA, non DRM AAC (m4A)
ID3-tag support Yes
PC Link playback mode MP3 streaming via network, Wi-Fi wireless connection
Internet Radio Yes
MP3 bit rates 8-320 kbps and VBR
WMA bit rates up to 192kbps, CBR/VBR
On-line music service Rhapsody
Connectivity
Headphone 3.5 mm
LAN wired Ethernet (RJ 45) 1x
LAN wireless Wireless LAN (IEEE802.11b)
Wireless connections Wireless LAN(802.11g)
Wireless Universal Plug & Play Enabled
Audio Connections Analogue Audio Out (L/R)
Encryption / security WEP 128 bit, WEP 64 bit, WPA, WPA2
Power 120V, 60Hz
Other connections Digital coaxial out

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