So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Mediagate MG-M2TV media streamer
This slimline media streamer will display files from USB and SD cards on your Full HD TV
- Good codec support, simple to set up, can copy from SD cards to USB drives
- No networking, no internal hard drive
If you carry your movies, music and photos around on a flash drive the Mediagate MG-M2TV is a great little device to keep by your television to view content. It doesn’t have any network access or an internal hard drive to store content, but if you don’t require these features the Mediagate MG-M2TV will serve your needs well.
Price$ 200.00 (AUD)
The Mediagate MG-M2TV is a small and unobtrusive media streamer that can play content off USB drives and memory cards. We like its simplicity and support for a wide range of file formats, though its lack of networking and any built-in storage may annoy some people.
The Mediagate MG-M2TV reminds us of the Noontec V8 with its simple, squat body and gloss black finish. It’s not particularly pretty, but since it’s so small you can easily hide it away next to your television. Flipping down the front panel reveals two USB host ports, and a combination SD/MS/MMC card slot can be found on the player’s right side. We would have liked support for CompactFlash cards as well, but these aren’t common.
Set up is simple: plug the media streamer into your television using the HDMI cable (or composite or component), plug in the power-pack and flick the switch to turn the unit on. A clean on-screen menu greets you and from here you can view a list of video, photo or audio files. When you find what you want, simply hit the OK button on the credit-card-style remote and playback begins after a few seconds.
The Mediagate MG-M2TV outputs in Full HD 1080p and supports a good range of file formats. The majority of compressed video formats are covered, ranging from MPEG2 to AVI to h.264 and MKV, as well as several niche formats. Music file support is also diverse, with OGG, RealAudio, AAC and FLAC as well as the usual MP3, WMA and WAV formats. There is support for displaying JPEG photos, as well as GIF and PNG files.
There are no networking ports, so you can’t stream content from your laptop or media centre PC. There is also no internal hard drive. You can plug an external 2.5in hard drive into either of the USB ports — they both supply enough power — and the option to copy content back and forth between the card reader and a connected USB drive is available, making the Mediagate MG-M2TV good for backing up photos.
If you're happy storing your media files on a USB drive then the Mediagate MG-M2TV will be a useful device. It will also let you quickly show off snaps you take with your digital camera.
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