2007-06-28, 04:51 PM
Does anyone have any experience with this product?
You can add your own hard-drive to make it a media server rather than just a streaming player. It's sold in Canada under a different name, but I can't remember who is selling it! There are also a couple of standard-definition versions offered here but this HD version would be the one to get, I would think.
2007-06-29, 09:48 AM
I think it's a rebranded mediagate ...
2007-06-29, 11:00 AM
Sure looks like it. Thank you. It turns out that OnlyBestRated is the web site I couldn't remember where I first saw it.
It's interesting that they also sell a number of other similar products, all a bit different, as well as standard-definition models. I know I could put together a comparable performance HTPC CPU for not too much more (maybe not more at all!), but these products are strangely compelling. One of them is even based on linux, so there's the _potential_ for some customization (for those willing and knowledgeable enough about such things).
2007-06-29, 11:53 AM
Well, they most certainly almost ALL run embedded Linux. A vast majotiry of them run Syabas middle ware so UI/functionality look a lot alike. Same for the chip used in them. Depending on either manufacturer or community support, features and UI's are more or less well implemented.
I would recommend the TViX which is highly praised for HD, for SD, the Mediagate is amongst the best of them.
2007-06-29, 05:11 PM
I tried the MG-35 and was not impressed. IMHO, the video quality is terrible and the sound quality is not much better. The user interface is very weak as well, consisting of little more than a primitive file browser (think MD-DOS style interface not Windows or Linux.) There are other problems with this unit such as an extremely slow TCP/IP interface. The HD version, such as the MG-350 should be better.
There are lots of options in this type of media player. Most consist of a small box that accepts a 3.5" hard drive. They also usually have TCP/IP and USB interfaces. The better ones offer an HDMI interface and NAS functionality. Some differentiate themselves by offering things like high quality video or audio decoders and an FM transmitter/12v power adapter for use in the car.
Almost all of these media players use the same chipset so buy on features and interface and check lots of reviews. The HD chipset is necessary to get even decent video and audio quality but don't expect that to be as good as a HTPC.
Some of the best media players are made by Zensonic, now renamed to Ziova (http://www.ziova.com/). I almost purchased the Zensonic Z500 but decided to wait for the Z505, now the CS505 (http://www.ziova.com/cs505.php). Both also play many DVD formats. In the meantime, I decided to build a HTPC instead.