The Software / OS
I was happy to see once I powered on the EM7280 it had the sites latest firmware already installed and it looks like things are ready to get under way. The main screen boots and you are greeted with this mini-menu to get you to your photos, movies, music, manager, setup, and the apps. The remote has a keypad with a center key to accept what is highlighted, so selecting which function to go to and verifying that action is very simple. At certain times in the menus there will be additional options of features to that section and they are displayed along with the button on the remote to make it function, accelerating the learning curve.
The setup menu is where most of the initial time is spent to be sure to take full advantage of what Eminent offers in this little unit. Under the system tab, you want to set it for your region, set the time, give it a name to see on the network and things like that. The Audio section gives setting options for different codec types and whether or not to enable them. The video section is exactly that, it allows you to set the resolution of the output along with a few other settings for video codecs. Under the network tab you can set the username and password to the local network, or even set up a file sharing network to limit the access. Under the misc. tab it is basically the software version running, the firmware installed and where to go for any help.
You would think putting in a used disc and booting the EM7280 might cause some issues, but even with a drive with Windows installed on it, it gave me no issues up to this point. This point is where I used the one step feature that Eminent added to format the installed drive as a storage device ready to accept any form of media you may want to play through this device. The drive I chose was a 320GB drive, and once I clicked on the Format button, it took all of 20-30 seconds for it to recalibrate the drive for use.
Getting on with some of what is offered outside of the streaming from your PC, the NZBget application that will download files from your favorite news group for you, you get into the included apps. Here Eminent offers things like YouTube, Picassa, Flickr, Sky.fm, and all sorts of others. There is even a buddy app where you can register and talk to other Eminent owners. These services are said to be added to and taken away without notice, so there may be some discrepancies from what you see here, to what may be available when you buy yours.