Medion MD8828 desktop PC
If you're still undecided about which format to go for when it comes to watching your movies on high-def then Medion has just made the job a little harder with the launch of a media-focused PC complete with the LG Super Multi Blue combi drive. But is this really the answer to your format needs? We get watching movies to find out.
Priced at £629, the Medion MD8828 is only available at Aldi supermarkets across the country, but that hasn't stopped it packing in plenty of tech specs to make even the most geeky of geeks get excited.
Core specs include an Intel 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo E6750 processor, an NVIDIA GeForce 8600GS DirectX 10 graphics card with DVI-I connector and HDMI port (with HDCP support), 2GB of RAM, 500GB of SATA hard disk space and Medion's triple TV tuner, incorporating Freeview DVB-T, DVB-S Satellite and analogue TV tuner card with MCE0 remote control alongside high definition eight channel audio.
Get into the multimedia side of things and you've got that Super Multi Blue player from LG.
Giving you the ability to play both HD DVD and Blu-ray movies the device is considerably faster than the standalone player and even if you're not including the PC and everything that goes with it, still cheaper than buying the standalone.
HD output is full 1080p although will depend on your monitor or television supporting this resolution. We tested it with an LG HD-ready monitor both with DVI and HDMI connections and the results were crystal clear. We also tested it with an older Samsung 1080i screen and again where very pleased with the results.
To help you get the most out of the drive software is included and the Medion MD8828 comes pre-installed with the Medion Home Cinema Suite featuring PowerDirector 6, PowerProducer4, PowerDVD 7 Ultra and MediaShow 3SE; Nero 8 including Nero Burning ROM 8 Essentials, Nero Recode 2SE Essentials, Nero Express Essentials and Nero Vision Express Essentials.
Non multimedia software includes Microsoft Works 9.0; Microsoft Office Home and Student Edition (60-day test version); AOL preinstalled and BullGuard Internet Security Package.
Without a screen you've got to make sure you've got a HD-ready monitor or TV to watch it on, but with the graphics card sporting both DVI and HDMI connections this shouldn't be a problem when it comes to connection.
A big beast, the gloss back shell is unlikely to hide under your TV and when running the sound is acceptable, it's certainly not as loud as an Xbox 360, but by no means quiet.
To help you integrate this into the living room even further you get a wireless keyboard and wireless mouse. Both are very flimsy and both should be upgraded straight away.
VerdictWith Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium zipping along nicely the Medion MD8828 should serve you nicely for your multimedia requirements. The LG drive is clearly the piece de resistance here for the movie fan.
As a Toshiba executive told Pocket-lint recently: "The HD DVD Blu-ray battle is like petrol versus diesel at the pumps, [with] both probably exist[ing] together rather than a single format wining out".
With that being the case, this PC will appeal to those who want to enjoy the quality but without tying themselves to a single format while getting a fully blown multimedia PC at the same time.