Mediagate MG-350HD media streamer reviewed

6 May 2007 No Comment Mike Evans

Mediagate MG-350HD
The Mediagate MG-350HD media streamer has been comprehensively reviewed by PCMag, who aren’t entirely sure whether they like it or not.

The Mediagate streamer is designed to stream media (tunes and videos) form your PC to your TV or Hi-Fi, and so competes with the Apple TV and Netgear’s Digital Entertainer. However, as with the majority of media streamers currently on the market, it has some extremely good features, and some extremely annoying habits, too.

Read more on the Mediagate MG-350HD review after the jump.

The Mediagate MG-350HD Media Streamer

The Mediagate MG-350HD Media streamer is a box that sits between your PC and your home entertainment setup, streaming media from your PC to TV or whatever when you want it. Naturally it comes with Wi-Fi, so your PC doesn’t have to be in the same room as your TV.

It comes complete with a variety of connectors for hooking up to TV s and Hi-Fis, including USB device/host ports, DVI out, S-Video out, digital coaxial out, component-video out, Ethernet, optical out for 5.1 audio, composite-video out, and stereo RCA audio outs (although HDMI is conspicuous by its absence). It also comes with a remote control, which apparently is quite useful for setting the whole thing up.

One of the most important aspects of a media streamer is the different types of media format it supports, and the Mediagate certainly delivers. It supports MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, WMV9, and XviD for video; MP3, Ogg Vorbis, and WMA for audio; and JPG, BMP, GIF, and PNG for photos. However, it doesn’t support Apple’s DRM-protected tunes, whereas the Netgear EVA8000 Digital Entertainer does.

The Mediagate also comes with an Internet Radio feature, letting you tune into the SHOUTcast and Ice Cast Internet Radio servers, which is a nice addition.

On the whole, it does a good job as a media streamer, but it does have some problems that might put some people off. Firstly, it has no internal hard disk- you have to buy one of those separately and install it yourself. Secondly, according to PCMag, installation is a royal pain, and its Wi-Fi connectivity in particular, is only suitable with some prior knowledge of configuring Wi-Fi networks. This is in stark contrast to the Apple TV, where you switch it on, and it sorts out the Wi-Fi connectivity all by itself. Clever Apple!

It’s biggest problem, though, must surely be the fact that it can’t actually stream video all that well. It will stream video wirelessly, but not without synchronization problems and constant pausing. Given that it’s meant to be a media streamer, the fact that it can’t stream video very well is a serious shortcoming.

PCMag conclude that “for the patient, Wi-Fi-adept consumer, MediaGate has created an affordable, solid product.” Just be aware of its limitations before you buy one (and maybe choose the Netgear Digital Entertainer instead!)

[Source: PCMag]


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