JOIN YOUR PC TO YOUR TV
Nov 4, 2004 (Updated Nov 17, 2004)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:MPEG 1,2 Decoder, Stereo, S-Video, Video, JPEG, GIF, MP3, WMA, WMV, DivX, Xvid, Web Radio
Cons:No Dolby Digital Outputs for: Optical or Digital Coax Sound
The Bottom Line: Tired of burning DVDRWs, but have PC TV capture card or just want to stream your audio and video to the living TV then Media MVP is the answer!
Media MVP (Music, Video, Pictures and now Web Radio)
Recommend this product?
Access your PC audio and video media on your home TV by Albert Ashton
I personally use Media MVP daily; really the fact is I always wanted to get my audio, video and pictures to my living room TV without having to install another PC to it. But now with the Media MVP you dont have to anymore.
My personal thoughts are, after purchasing one for my living room and decided to get another one for my master bed room. This is really a fantastic device and not only low cost but it saves you the time and trouble to keep on burning blank DVD RW to bring down to your home DVD player to watch. Now with the MVP you dont have too anymore.
What you need on the PC
Windows XP SP1 or SP2, Windows 2000 SP3 or SP4
AMD 1.8 XP or P4 2.4 GHz or better (I would recommend)
512MB will work, but with 1GB of RAM youll have better results
Install the MVP Server Software (configuring music, picture, video and internet radio)
PCI TV Audio & Video Capture Card for your PC (optional for recording Cable/TV)
DVR (Digital Video Recorder) software for your PC (optional for recording TV signal)
Titan TV (Cable TV or SAT TV Guide Schedule Web Site) (optional for TV scheduling)
60 to 120GB Hard Drive (more is better)
Router or Switch (wired or wireless) or (crossover cable for direct PC to MVP hookup)
Shoutcast (Internet Radio Web Site)
What you need on the TV
Stereo Audio L/R (inputs) (Mono In can also be used)
Once all of the above is available, you can sit back and enjoy watching all your pictures, video and listening to all your music files mp3, wma favorite internet radio stations.
Whats in the Box
Media MVP Player with IBM PowerPC 405 CPU, 32MB of RAM
Wired SMsC 10/100
MPEG 1 and 2 Decoder
LINUX GUI (Graphic User Interface)
Firmware D1, D2, D3, D4, E1 an etc E1 comes with Media MVP 2.2
5 FT Ethernet Cat 5e Cable
Analog Video and Stereo Audio L/R cable
Media MVP Player Stand
Media MVP Remote Control with 2 AA batteries
The CD MVP or the web site update software has to be installed first
Just pop in the CD or check the Hauppuage web site for the update software
Configure the MVP Server for Music, Video, Pictures, Radio (See below Tip)
If youre on a home network you have to configure MVP Services to allow access to each PC on your network so you could access your audio and video media or else youll get an error saying no files where found on your MVP Player under Music, Pictures or Radio
From PC - Connect Ethernet cable to your MVP
From TV - Connect S-Video or Video cable to your MVP
From TV or Stereo Receiver - Connect L/R Audio cable to your MVP
Connect the power supply
Install the batteries into the remote control
The remote control of the MVP is very basic looks like most DVD players remotes except for the MVP its the same remote used with there WinTV PVR audio and video capture cards for the PC. The remote is small but you will get use to it very quickly even in the dark. The main buttons are left --- right side, up----down and GO is in the center. There are also VCR type of buttons Play, Pause, Stop, FF, REW and Skip Back and Skip FWD, The main power button is a green button to the far left side of the remote to the top. Still it very easy to operate and use daily
Begin to use MVP
Turn on your MVP player using the remote control green button
The player should read connecting to DHCP boot server (D1 firmware version)
The player should read connecting to servers (E1 firmware version)
Next screen should appear if all goes well: GO
[VIDEO] [PICTURES] [MUSIC] [RADIO] [SETUP]
Video here you can place the videos on any PC on your network, you can play all AVI, DIVX, XVID, WMV, MPEG 1, MPEG 2 all movies and stuff you made using your video camcorder and PCTV audio and video capture card. Note when you play a video the MVP remembers where you left off just in case you wanted to resume or restart again. You can pause, FF, RR, Play, Stop, Adjust Volume, and Mute sound using the remote control.
Pictures should be pointed to youre MY DOCUMENTS\MY PICTURES folder for the best results, could point to other directories instead. The picture features also has slideshow feature for JPEG and GIF(animated GIFs also) or you can do it manually instead. Plus best of all you can also use the Music feature of MVP to play music in the background while you are viewing your pictures from your PC to your TV.
Music again the best place is going to be MY DOCUMENTS\MY MUSIC folder works the best. Here you can play all MP3, WMA (Windows Media Player 9 is needed on the PC that acts as your MVP Server or it wont work. There is a shuffle feature where you can play all the songs in a folder and more.
Radio version of the software found in firmware E1 or software version 2.2.x uses Shoutcast web site to save radio stations as *.mvp that you pick using internet explorer drop down right click menu. Very easy to do but you have to save the Radio files in youre MY DOCUMENTS\MY RADIO folder for the best results or else it wont play or work. Also the default directory for the internet Radio
Setup this feature allows you to setup the MVP player for PAL or NSTC format, S-VIDEO or VIDEO output, it also has a Flicker control Low, Med (default), High Thumbnails ON or OFF in the new firmware E1 it is set to off. The older firmware it was set to ON which makes accessing the video files a very slow process, so best to have it set to off. You can set the TV to 4x3 or 16x9 viewing.
You might be wondering how the Media MVP player output quality is? Well for very good MPEG 1 and MPEG 2 it looks the same as you would see it on your PC or just as good as pre-recorded VHS tapes. The better the quality the better the output picture will be on your TV. If you have grainy images then they will be grainy on the TV. MVP player has a MPEG Decoder for 1 and 2 formats and 32MB of RAM. DivX and Xvid looks as good as it does on your PC through S-Video on your TV Monitor. Scanning FWD or REW is clean without any snow like you would get from a VCR.
Sound from the MVP player is very good, no hiss in the music, but if your video TV or movies have a hiss to them youll hear it in the MVP through your TV or stereo receiver.
But over haul the sound is very good for analog stereo, since most PC TV are either stereo or mono and a lot of them dont do Dolby Digital. The MVP doesnt have any optical or digital coax outputs only analog L/R audio.
Is very good, but I make sure that my router (LINKSYS) is set for multi-cast enable, all PCs that have media are set to NIC (network card to 100 Full Duplex (Auto Sense can be used, but might be slower on some PCs).
Each Media MVP comes with a MAC address identifier for your network. If you use Sygate Personal Firewall you can add Media MVP MAC address to your software firewall.
One important issue you must make sure that your Media MVP shows up in your router DHCP client list (host name will not be present) IP and MAC address will be or else your router will drop the connection while you view movies, TV shows an etc.
If you find that streaming media is a bit on the slow side, you might want to tweak your network for each PC using Speed Optimizer found on speedguide.net under tools. Easy to use program that doesnt need to be installed and most of all its free!
Also under Windows XP (Pro and Home) and Windows 2000 the Network buffers are set very low by default 16K. This is way to slow for most home networks. I recommend going has high as 64K. Check your Network Adapter card first for transmit and recieve buffers and make sure it's set to 64K. Windows has buffers settings also, but the easiest way to change them is go on Speedguide, download and use there registry files add-ons.
There is another setting that mostly gets overlook which is the network adapter card processor, by default Windows XP doesn't have this on it's off. If on frees up your CPU from network processing and makes your network card handle much better.
To read more and learn how get better network performance go to: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/itsolutions/interop/sfu/perfnfs.mspx
Using the Media MVP on the road
Since the device is portable you can travel with the unit. Take your laptop PC with you on the road for business or just for fun, and also take along the MVP player. Right now as I am writing this update, I have a DELL D600 with P-M wireless and wired 10/100/1000 notebook (laptop) where I just can attach a CAT 5e Ethernet Cross-Over cable or better yet bring a small HUB or Switch connecting with just two Ethernet Cat 5e cables since the room where I am at has Cable Internet service better if I use the switch with the MVP to the MVP and stream all media content to my hotel room that I am staying in and use the room TV (S-Video, Video Standard, Stereo Audio L/R) to view on video input 1 or 2 selector whats on my laptop. It's just that easy bring your own stuff I say to watch when your out on the road or if you're in a business meeting and need to broadcast your stuff but don't have a Data LCD Projector around just a TV with all the necessary inputs to get your presentation done!
I do a lot of PCTV recording off the local Cable TV using WinDVR3 software with Titan TV web site for setting up daily or bi-weekly schedule recordings then save them results to a (3-60GB 120GB) =300GB Ultra DMA hard drive which gives me over 172.5 hours worth of recording. Its like having one of those home DVD RW recorders with a built-in HD, but you can turn your home PC or build it into a PVR (personal video recorder) or DVR (digital Video Recorder) using a PC TV audio and video capture card which Ill be reviewing the one made by Pinnacle called PCTV Pro Stereo.
The Media MVP is cheaper now and you can have 12 of them on your home network, only if you have enough available ports on network. I just have just the two with 6 PCs on my network with 1 router, two 5-port switches made by LINKSYS and have Cat 5e running throughout the house. Bandwidth is strong; I dont have any problems running both MVP players at the same time.
In the living room TV has MV which can be running MP3 audio or Web Radio files the other one in the master bed room can be playing TV shows, movies or a picture slideshow.
Sometimes I would edit out all the commercials in TV shows and movies using third-party software that Ill discuss in my PCTV capture card review.
If you want to have your PC media sent down to your living or family room TV then the Media MVP player is the way to go!
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