Review Price free/subscription
Vivadi MediaMaster MM320 Media Server
The MM320 is the latest media centre PC from UK-based Vivadi, which continues its tradition of offering multi-room clients and servers for much lower prices than the likes of Imerge and Kaleidescape. Apart from the no holds barred, top-end MediaMaster Pro (which costs between £2,000 and £3,000) the MM320 is the best-specified model in the range, conveniently combining all of your home entertainment and PC needs into one smart living-room friendly box.
The MM320 comes equipped with a Blu-ray player with full 1080/24p picture quality, plus a 1TB hard-disk drive that can hold around 200 movies, 1,600 uncompressed CDs, 200,000 MP3s or 800 hours of TV recordings from the built-in twin Freeview tuners.
Unlike previous Vivadi units, which have taken a more industrial approach to external design, this model is a real beauty, sporting a gloss-black finish with a bright blue strip of light dashing across the middle. Apart from the depth measurement of 423mm, which could make it a real pain to squeeze onto a shallow shelf, the MM320 could be mistaken for a high-end DVD or Blu-ray player, while its lack of buttons and fascia clutter makes it look suitably esoteric.
On the rear panel is a decent selection of PC-style sockets – four USB ports, DVI output, 15-pin VGA, printer serial port and line in/outputs for speakers and a mic. But these are joined by a couple of home cinema-oriented sockets, namely HDMI and coaxial digital audio outputs. There’s also Ethernet port, which is essential for multi-room networking or for hooking up to the internet for BD Live access. The MM320 also ships with a Wi-Fi dongle for wireless web connection and networking.
Spec-wise, the M320 boasts a dual-core, 3GHz processor with 2GB of memory. Naturally the operating system is Windows 7, and your music, movies, photos and TV are all accessed using Media Center, which as we’ve established before is a slick, easy-to-use system. To anyone not familiar with it, the main menu uses gorgeous graphics and jazzy animations, splitting up your content into ‘My Movies’, ‘Music’ and so forth. Under the TV menu, you get access to the Recorded TV menu, a 14-day EPG and a Live TV option. If you’re browsing the menu while surfing around the menu system, the live TV picture plays in the background.