Viewsonic has been getting its hands dirty in the media streaming arena recently, and has just announced the NexTV VMP75, a slim and sleek alternative to portable rivals such as the Western Digital WDTV Live and the Apple TV.

Despite its diminutive nature and low price, which in this market typically signifies a rather basic device that simply ports media across a network, Viewsonic has done a nice job of offering additional services as well as this key support.

The VMP75 allows you to stream content directly from popular online services such as YouTube, Live365, ShoutCast and Flickr, and even offers direct access to the Netflix streaming platform, provided you have a subscription set up. This means entire catalogs of movies and TV shows can be viewed directly on an HDTV without any further equipment, and should be a boon for those who are just getting into the service.

The device also features an integrated web browser for surfing and social networking, and comes with a full-sized remote control. What's more, it can support wireless keyboards and mice, so users needn’t fumble around with clumsy on-screen controls.

In addition to everything else, Viewsonic hasn’t scrimped on support for locally stored media. It offers access to all the latest formats and codecs as well as DTS and Dolby sound, which can be streamed over a wired network using the built-in Ethernet port (though those who prefer wireless will need an additional adapter).

A range of connectivity includes HDMI 1.3 for up to 1080p playback and USB/eSATA for attaching devices directly, along with optical audio and a composite connection for older screens.

The VMP75 should be available from July with a sticker price of US$150, but is currently available for pre-order at Amazon for US$129.99 – which makes it a bargain to boot.

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