Vivadi MM200 Media Server - Vivadi MM200 Media Server

John Archer

By John Archer



Our Score:


The fact that the MM200 is also a fully functioning PC is, of course, vastly significant, too. For if you close down the gloriously simple and slick Vista front end - which is designed to make managing and accessing your AV sources as easy as possible - you get to a normal PC desktop from where you can do most things you would on a normal PC, including accessing the Internet and sending emails. In other words, the MM200 finally turns your TV into the true multimedia gateway that the more geeky of you (where geeky is intended as a compliment!) have always wanted it to be.

The only rider here would be that the MM200 isn't really powerful enough as a PC to handle today's demanding PC games. For that you're advised to hold off for the Blu-ray packing MM300 model due next year.

Obviously if you've got a PC in the MM200, you need a way to access that PC functionality. And so it is that as well as a reasonably standard remote control most people will use for day to day use of the Vista front end, you get a wireless keypad for when you're playing around with the PC desktop ‘back end'.

This keypad is not, truth be told, as well built or attractive as the MM200 probably deserves it to be, but it does the job well enough. In fact, if I have any issue regarding the MM200's interface, it's with the remote control. For this uses three separate circles of buttons, one directly above the other, and in doing so makes it too easy to use the buttons in once circle when you meant to use the buttons in another. For instance, I lost count of how many times I meant to choose the ‘OK' button from the centre of the middle circle of buttons but instead accidentally chose the ‘back to the main Windows screen' button at the centre of the lowest circle of buttons.

While I'm on the subject of operating foibles, I also have to say I wasn't too chuffed to find the power button on the MM200's remote control also turning on and off my Xbox 360! And finally, I found the system's approach to aspect ratios a bit weird, having to fiddle around with the aspect ratio buttons on both the MM200 and the screens I tried the system with before I got a satisfactory result. And even then little black bars were visible down the side of widescreen presentations on our reference Pioneer TV.

These tiny black bars, I should stress, aren't actually anything like as annoying as you might think; in fact I didn't even notice them at all initially. But anyway, they don't seem much of a price to pay for the addition of full PC functionality to your AV experience. Converting a PC desktop environment into an AV signal format such as 1080p is never as easy as you'd think it would be.


January 12, 2009, 4:32 pm

Blimey, this is so *nearly there*... but what it needs is that little push to make it worth more than the sum of its parts. Can you put a price on reducing the number of boxes and remotes?


January 12, 2009, 4:44 pm

It looks fantastic - you didn't mention anything about fan noise though. How hot/ noisy does it get?

Will Apple now wake up and put a freeview PVR on to the Mac Mini?


January 12, 2009, 5:20 pm

Can you provide the full PC specs in the feature table (processor, memory, graphics card) etc so we can compare value with a standard media pc?


January 12, 2009, 7:02 pm

Seeing as this is called a media server, why does the review not even mention how well it streams audio/media?


January 12, 2009, 7:58 pm

Nice review, but like mentioned above does seem to be missing some basic specs. eg. How many Tuners does this have, if it was just a single then that would be a real shame. Whats the GFX card, if its a Gefore 8 series and above, the purevideo decoder gives some really nice up-scaling.

Jay Werfalli

January 12, 2009, 10:14 pm

To answer your questions, John has asked Vivadi for more details on the processor and graphics card so we'll update the spec table as soon as it arrives.

John also states in the review that the MM200 is 'nothing short of exemplary when it comes to accessing, storing and playing back multimedia files' - a comment intended to cover its streaming capabilities. Apologies if this wasn't obvious enough.

It has two Freeview tuners.

And finally, regarding fan noise, while the MM200 runs very noisily for a few seconds when you first turn it on, it calms down to ultimately not being substantially noisier than a Sky HD receiver. It's certainly no Xbox 360, at any rate...


January 13, 2009, 12:09 am

Hmmm, looks like one of Hiper's HTPC cases, but rebranded. Oh wait, it is!

I built an earlier model for a friend, and would do it again in a second if I had the cash to replace my old shuttle system. Beware of that top vent though, the one I built died after whisky seeped through and met with the motherboard.

Incredibly cramped and tricky to put together, so a ready-built unit is ideal!

Great review, I think this is the closest any chassis has come to fitting into the living room alongside dvd players.


January 13, 2009, 2:17 am

Strange - was only saying to a mate yesterday that I thought we'd be seeing dvd player sized (well, ish....) computer/media player/freeview box/pvr/everything soon.

I reckon these will be very popular, very quickly. Now if windows 7 media center ups the ante, then could be on a winner. (Wonder how well the new windows version of XBMC would work on this...)


January 13, 2009, 1:52 pm

"John also states in the review that the MM200 is 'nothing short of exemplary when it comes to accessing, storing and playing back multimedia files' - a comment intended to cover its streaming capabilities. Apologies if this wasn't obvious enough."

Not so much a case of how obvious the statement was, more that it wasn't very meaningful. It'd have been useful to know for instance what media was streamed (audio, video, hd?) and how (wifi or wired, what receiver was used, etc).

This may well be a fantastic piece of kit you could use as a media server to provide content to your whole house, or it might just be a reasonably nice windows Media Centre box like a number of others. Right now, I've not got a scooby which it is.


January 13, 2009, 3:44 pm


I've had the same feeling too - but it may not be windows pcs under the tellys - many of the top end PVRs just need iplayer, web function and they are there as well.

Alternatively Sony will do the obvious (or smart) thing and incorporate the PVR function they currently sell as an add-on for the PS3 into the next hardware revision of the PS3 (and hopefully make it look more like a DVD player but with the build quality of the current ps3).

Also Apple could do something more bold with the Mac Mini.

2009 will be the year of the integrated box!


January 13, 2009, 7:00 pm

Yep, definately a Hiper Media Centre. I should know I have one under my TV. I built it for about 𧹈 18 months ago using cheapish components with a 250Gb HD. Works great, was quite tricky to build but I managed it even with my sausage fingers! Nice looking, nobody ever guesses its a PC and its not much louder than my Sky HD Box as mentioned above.

Jay Werfalli

January 14, 2009, 4:58 pm


The processor used in this case is a dual core AMD 4850e (2 x 2.5GHz). In other models, a 5050e (2 x 2.6GHz).

The graphics sub system is based on an ATI Radeon X1250.

alex novotny

January 15, 2009, 3:50 pm

If I bought this unit in the UK could I use it in Spain? Here we have TDT. Can someone help please?

Moko Donovan

March 30, 2009, 6:22 pm

can i use this in nigeria? how many tvs can i connect this unit to, or how many vivadi mm 200 can serve over a hundred tvs

eduardo alvarado

October 9, 2009, 8:07 pm

where can I buy this in USA preferable??? And if not possible I understand, please let me know wherever anyway.

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