Like the Linksys system, the MVP offers users the chance to view images and music files from your PC on your television. There are two main differences between the two products however, one is the MVP's ability to stream MPEG1 and MPEG2 video files and the second is a question of wires.
On start-up you are presented with a basic user interface that looks like it was created in ten seconds by the teaboy, rather than a professional designer. Unfortunately this approach seems to have been carried across the rest of the product. This as you can imagine gives the impression of a very rough and ready feel.
The other major issue with the MVP is its dependence on wires. The whole purpose of the device is to allow you to view and listen to files on your television that are stored on your computer. If you have to either have that computer in the same room or fill the house with lots of lengthy cable, then that defeats the object of the product in the first place.
In an age where everything from printers to mice are going wireless it is strange that Hauppauge has failed to include wireless connectivity within the MVP. Of course you can add a wireless adapter to the unit, but then that takes away the attractive £99 price point.
Other bugbears are a reluctance to read any other media files other than .mp3, .jpg or .gif and once again compared to the Linksys system, this comes across as a pretty poor show.
The one good thing going for this system is its ability to play MPEG1 and MPEG2 video and if you like to edit films on your PC you can now view them on the TV. In addition to this, it effectively turns your PC into a PVR system if you have a TV tuner installed.
While on the surface this device purports to offer a lot, in reality and practice it just doesn't live up to its claim. The media adapter concept is still a relatively new development and this product shows that.
When Hauppauge started making TV Cards the products suffered from the same rough and ready approach. After refinement and customer feedback its line of TV Cards are now very good. Our prediction is the same will be the case for the MVP. The question is whether or not the public will be patient. This is certainly a product to watch, but for now, however, it just doesn't cut the mustard.