The MediaMatchBox is capable of delivering some gorgeous picture quality. An MKV movie trailer, containing video encoded in H.264 at 1080p and 5.1-channel DTS audio, looked sensationally sharp and vibrant, with all the detail and subtle colour nuances brought to the screen intact.
Hi-def WMV and DivX HD clips also look smooth and pristine, likewise AVCHD footage shot on a HD camcorder. Even lower quality SD sources, like AVIs of sitcom episodes and ropey old MPEG-1 videos, are upscaled with the sort of crispness and artefact suppression you might not expect from such a small and unassuming device. It has absolutely no trouble handling any of the file types we threw its way.
And when partnered with an AV receiver, connected via HDMI or the analogue output, sound quality is clean and open. FLAC files play with no trouble, which will be music to the ears of digital audiophiles.
The MediaMatchBox is a superb option if you’ve got loads of digital content but your TV and other AV kit are too dumb to play it themselves.
And even if you do own a Smart TV with USB media playback, there’s a good chance it won’t support half as many formats as the MediaMatchBox, which could still make it a useful add-on for those with large and varied media collections.
This all-encompassing format support (including Blu-ray ISO and HD audio) puts it in a league of its own at this price, plus its compact size makes it easy to transport and hi-def picture performance is dazzling. The lack of networking and HDD may deter some buyers, but with it the MediaMatchBox would become a different and much more expensive animal.
We also love the onscreen displays, but it’s a shame that the ill-conceived remote makes them tricky to navigate, plus the compromised build quality and disappearing content lists are also blots on the copybook. But these foibles aside, the MediaMatchBox is a very impressive media player.