Vivadi Multi-Room Media Server System - Vivadi Multi-Room System

By Danny Phillips



Our Score:


If none of these models quite satisfy your needs, then Vivadi also offers the MediaMaster Pro, a high-end model with a choice of hard-disk capacities from 1 to 6TB and a Blu-ray drive with full support for HD audio formats. Naturally it also boasts far superior build quality to the cheaper models, and is dressed in a gorgeous brushed aluminium black or silver enclosure, although at 170mm tall you’ll have to clear some space in your AV rack. If you’re putting together a multi-room system, this unit might be overkill given its whopping price tag (between £2k and £4k, depending on HDD size) and the huge capacity inside the MediaServer, but as a standalone unit it’s a pretty formidable proposition.

Vivadi's MediaMaster Pro

TrustedReviews was invited to Vivadi Swindon HQ to check out a multi-room demo system it had rigged up. The system comprised one MS104 server and MediaMaster clients in two different rooms, all connected using standard CAT5 cables (you can connect up to 20 MediaMasters).

The rear of the MediaMaster Pro

We’re pleased to report that it’s a speedy system that works without any glitches, as far as we could tell. All of your content is accessed through the well-known Windows Media Center software, which not only looks good but also makes everything easy to find. If you’re not already familiar with this software, it allows you to access all of your content (live and recorded TV, ripped music and movies, photos) from its commendable menu system that uses bright, easy to follow graphics and smooth animations.

When watching TV, the 14-day EPG is superbly laid out into a grid format and shows seven channels at a time. The Recorded TV menu is also simple to follow and displays your programmes in a clever horizontal bar that shows a still thumbnail for each recording, plus a short synopsis below each one.

The rest of the onscreen layout is generally intuitive, apart from one or two brief moments of confusion where we couldn’t work out how to get back to the previous menu. But in operational terms, the remote poses the biggest problem – it sports three different circles of controls, which makes it very easy to press the wrong button. On several occasions we hit the key that takes you back to the main Media Center menu instead of 'OK’, which became highly frustrating.


December 4, 2009, 6:46 pm

Hmmn - seems like an awful lot of money for what seems to be a windows media centre and free software you get with a £100 bluray drive. Also £700 for 2TB of storage is Dick Turpin rates...

Costs aside... I’d challenge their claim that the MediaMaster Pro offers “full support for HD audio formats”

I cannot see a discrete sound card on the rear of the box. I thought the Asus Xonar HDMI and Auzentech HD sound cards were the ONLY way to bitstream proprietary HD audio on a pc.

The HDMI port on the motherboard can output 5.1PCM but that’s not the same thing...


December 4, 2009, 7:09 pm

Am I right in thinking this is basically a file server with some network attached media centre PC's?

Danny P

December 4, 2009, 7:14 pm

To be fair that is a prototype version pictured so the finished product may well have one of the sound cards you mentioned. As for costs, it might still sound expensive but I was putting it in the context of other AV multiroom systems.


December 4, 2009, 7:42 pm

Cant the newer Radeon Cards do 7.1 LPCM, which is far as I know is the best sound format. I suppose they would support everything else as well so maybe the sound is through the graphics card?


December 4, 2009, 8:56 pm

Alan - my apologies you are correct. The latest 59XX series does do HD bitstreaming.

Which is good news for me as I need a good soundcard and getting a 59XX series may end up cheaper than buying a Xonar...


December 4, 2009, 9:16 pm

..."allowing you to take that unwieldy disc collection to the charity shop."

Sorry to be a bit of a pedant here, but as I understand it, you're only allowed to make 'backup copies' of copyrighted media if you own the original? I imagine that would preclude giving the original discs to the charity shop! Unless TR are condoning software piracy? ;o)


December 4, 2009, 9:51 pm

I guess one of these makes it easy to rip all your DVDs and blurays (put in and click rip) easily whereas if you were to build your own it's pretty complex going through all the file formats and codecs


December 4, 2009, 11:44 pm

Probably just me, but I can't see the point.

A 4TB media PC in a stunning case, whisper quiet, etc with Windows 7 Media Centre and My Movies (free) costs a fraction of a fraction of the price here.

So is this really that much better?

Somehow I doubt it.

Please prove me wrong.


December 5, 2009, 4:41 am


As the author stated, this is in the context of multi-room AV systems which are extortionately expensive. Sure you can build your own but if you have the money, this is an easy option imho. Saying that, I use my old xbox + XBMC and/or my Xbox360 for my streaming needs...convenience > quality.

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