However, if I was Moore Innovations I would dump the nVidia codec completely and go with Cyberlink PowerDVD instead. When I told ShowShifter to use PowerDVD as it’s DVD decoder, it played 5.1-channel sound without the need for any kind of registry changes. Also, using the nVidia codec caused severe audio breakup when outputting a DTS stream, while using PowerDVD caused no DTS issues at all.
Another problem with the DVD playback is that ShowShifter had an annoying habit of locking up when I tried to access the disc menu. Moore Innovations assured me that this is a known problem and has now been addressed.
There were also issues with the music section of ShowShifter. Now, call me picky, but when I click a button labeled “find all music”, I expect it to find all the music on the computer, but no. In the world of ShowShifter, “find all music” means find all the music in the ShowShifter Music folder – not much use at all really. You can of course point ShowShifter to a specific folder on the PC, but that’s a long winded solution to a very simple problem.
To be fair, once you make it past these problems and niggles, ShowShifter does a reasonable job of providing a media environment. Unfortunately it’s just not as slick or smooth as Windows XP Media Center Edition, and a machine like this needs an interface that looks and feels great.
But issues with ShowShifter and the user interface aside, there’s one thing that really holds the Medio back from mass adoption, and that’s the price. At £2,000 without a screen or the lovely speaker set that came with the review unit, the Medio is a very expensive proposition indeed. Now, Moore innovations would argue that it’s not looking for mass adoption, and is instead targeting the high-end home cinema user – a user that will be bundling a 50in plasma screen or projector with the unit, and that’s a pretty good angle to go for. However, I’m not convinced that the overly large form factor of the Medio would fit in with a stylish high-end AV setup.
I like seeing small companies trying to break into new markets, but I don’t think the Medio quite cuts the mustard as a high-end media PC. I like where Moore Innovations is trying to go though, and I know that it has a couple of other products in the pipeline which I’m looking forward to getting my hands on. Ultimately though, I think that a £2,000 media PC should be pretty close to perfect, and unfortunately the Medio isn’t.
A brave attempt at a high-end media PC from newcomer Moore Innovations, the Medio has some strong plus points. The design is good and bundled peripherals like the Gyration keyboard and mouse are excellent. Unfortunately the form factor is too large, the interface has problems and the price is way too high.
Score in detail