The Philips Streamium NP1100 bridges the gap between the music on your laptop and your dedicated Hi-Fi.

Using your wireless LAN network, it can be hooked up to the internet to offer even more music choices.

The design is a simple black and silver box, but the finish is more high-end, with a perspex trim and high-gloss shine.

Simple menu

On the back of the device you'll find a comprehensive set of connections, so aside from the Wi-Fi connection, you can hardwire the Streamium to your network using the standard Ethernet cable. There are also left and right audio ports, digital out and a 3.5mm headphone socket.

The screen display isn't as clear as we'd have hoped, but as long as you're looking straight on at the device, it can be read from the other side of the average living room. The menu system is basic, offering Music, Internet Radio, Settings and details of the song currently playing.

In order to set it up with your home network, you'll need to use the supplied remote control, which is rather large and chunky, but the buttons themselves are rather fiddly to use.

You select your network from those located by the device and then enter your security password as you would any other laptop on the network. This gives you access to any other music severs on your network, as well as internet radio.

Serious streaming

At least, this is the theory, as finding music shared around your network can be rather difficult. You need to make sure you have the latest version of Windows Media Player 11 and that sharing functions are switch on at all points across the network.

Once set up correctly, we found the navigation system worked well and you can control your music in the standard way.

There are cheaper and easier ways to wirelessly send music from your laptop to external speakers, but for sharing music around your home the Philips Streamium NP1100 is a serious piece of kit for the serious audio enthusiast, making it a worthwhile investment.