Review: Haupaugge MediaMVP

If you’ve never had the technical nous or hardware to create a home network, this device is aimed at you.

The MediaMVP (Music, Video, Pictures) links the PC with the TV, converting digital media to analog so you can play files through the TV.

For this review, we easily set up the network using a direct cable connection from PC to MediaMVP to TV. The device may also connect to the PC (server) via a hub, router or switch, which allows more MediaMVPs to be added for more client TVs.

Both PC and TV can be used to find and save media directories to the TV menu. The PC has the Search for Media application, and the MediaMVP/TV remote control lets the user navigate the PC drives on the TV.

Available media consists of MP3 music, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 videos, and JPEG, BMP and GIF pictures. Playlists are available, too. Haupaugge has provided online updates to strengthen the device’s MPEG compatibility, but a couple more supported formats wouldn’t go astray.

TV menu operation is as simple as selecting the desired media type to show a list of available folders/files. The menu’s presentation can be customised by editing the HTML pages on the PC.

Files can then be sorted to play in order of name or date, or randomly. Users can also play slideshows and music simultaneously.

Best suited to those with a bank of multimedia (heavy downloaders), the MediaMVP might require additional cable expense to link a PC and TV over some distance. However, more-expensive wireless offerings might not provide the same data transfer speeds.

Price: $299
Australian distributor: New Magic Australia