You know the story; you’ve found an internet radio station online based in California. Trouble is you can’t get it on any other device than your desktop machine when connected to broadband. Rather than set up your PC on a trolley and wheel it around the house, BT has come up with the one solution: The BT Voyager Digital Media Player.
The unit and idea is a simple one, design and create a radio that will happily sit in any kitchen and give it wireless capabilities. The unit comes in two parts; a base station that plugs into your desktop PC via a USB connection and the radio itself.
Installation and setup was simple and you won’t need to be running a wireless network or have any technical savvy to understand how it all works. The radio itself has been designed to be as consumer-friendly as possible and looks like a portable radio. Powered by either a power pack or eight C cell batteries, the unit also includes two large speakers, a large backlit LCD display enabling users to see information such as radio station names and CD track information.
The Digital Media Player allows you to stream media from your PC as long as you are within the signal area - roughly 50m - and you can stream either internet radio, MP3s or CDs (as long the CD is in your CD drive in your Desktop PC). The unit also includes a terrestrial radio tuner if you just want to listen to Radio Four and even has an alarm clock if you feel like you might want to be woken up by it.
The BT Voyager Digital Media Player is the first of a wave of devices that are planning to make use of the growing number of households that have a broadband connection. Where other manufacturers, such as Netgear have gone for a more hi-fi separates style, BT has gone for the more traditional trannie radio approach and overall it has worked.
Nothing's perfect and you will have to have the base unit (ie the desktop PC) switched on all the time for this to work, but then the majority of devices that uses broadband require the same. If you really can't live without your MP3 music or favourite internet radio station elsewhere in the house then this is certainly one good way of sharing the love. Good but slightly pricey for most.