Published on October 12th,2004 at 3:58 AM
By >Daimaou - G.G-B

MG-25 MediaGate The DivX BOX

And there it is, the MG-25 MediaGate, built by the Korean company AL Tech! So, before I start to rave about this new product, here’s a brief description of the background…

AL Tech has a whole range of MediaGate products, and nowadays, 3 of them show up on their website: a car MP3 player that can accommodate a USB key, a DVD/DivX player with networking capabilities (but according to AL Tech this product was never sold because of the high cost) and our MG-25, a casing for a 2.5” HDD with video playback functionalities.

Vidéo 1 (5Mo)
Vidéo 2 (35Mo)


My first big surprise was the very nice box. I have some reservations when it comes to Korean products (it’s not always a guarantee for quality), but the box is very nice, both on the in- and outside, and the MG-25 is very well protected.





These are some pictures and diagrams of the MG-25. The design is pretty cool, and the materials used, like the aluminium, inspire confidence.






This is the MG-25 compared to a bare 2.5” HDD and another plain USB2 2.5” HDD case. As you can see, the MG-25 is a lot bigger than the 2.5” HDD but also longer and wider than the black case.
This is absolutely normal though, as the case incorporates a motherboard an video connectors. It’s not TOO big either, and it’s “transportable” in any case.





Let’s move on to the mounting of a 2.5” disc inside the case (a 60Gb 4200rpm here). Being a geek, I never read any manuals, and just start screwing and unscrewing the whole thing. After two minutes, I give up (geek and lazy, a deadly combination) and reach for the manual. The system to open it is elegantly hidden… but the re-assembly is not that obvious…



Once opened, you have to unscrew the motherboard before being able to hook up the HDD. While doing this, you see the RealMagic chipset for the video, which makes this MC-25 so much more than a regular and plain USB2 case.




For stability purposes, ALTech recommends to screw the HDD to the motherboard.



Everything fits and slots into place, so it’s time to close up the whole thing, and hook it up to the USB port… yes, in most cases, ONLY the USB port, as no external power supply is needed. Depending on the capacity and rotation speed, you might need one though, but in this case not.




Connection-wise, no problems here, and also note that this beast is even HD TV (1080i), 5.1 and DTS compatible. The remote control is practical and well designed.






“So, I hear you, what about the video eh ?

Once again, a very nice surprise here, the menu is really nice, comprehensible and well designed. The videos play very nicely, the colours are vivid, no remarks! Of all the DivX movies we tested, only one did not play correctly (the sound did not come through), but it was an Xvid encoded movie.
A video in 640×480 at 1438kbps and 29.9fps played without a single glitch.

As you can see in the videos, the MG-25 is also an MP3 and OGG player, as well as an image viewer.










Pros:
Dimesions for a all-in-one device
Good concept and excellent finishing
Good packaging and includes everything to start immediately
SUPERB videos

Cons:
No Ethernet port
Impossible to use as a video recorder (ok this is really searching for minuses here)

Conclusion:
This product is very cool, I loved it ! Hooked up to a projector, this is a dream machine. Make sure to include this in your shortlist when looking for a portable video/photo/MP3-OGG player.

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