Mede8er MED500X2 Media Player Review

We’ve had a good month or two using the media player from Mede8er, the MED500X2. It handily replaced all my other media players at home (Apple TV, HDX 1000 and Popcorn Hour) and not really missing them a lot as the MED500X2 basically does almost 99% of the job.

I have to admit, with the half a dozen or so media players that I’ve tried and used, the Mede8ter brand is something really unfamiliar to me.

The media player was developed/originated in South Africa though the manufacturing and assembly are all done in China (not a big surprise there).

The MED500X2 is the very latest model of their line-up and one of the very few media players in the market that’s able to support and handle hard disk drives with capacities of up to 3TB.

The fist time they gave me the media player, there wasn’t any HDD inside so I plugged it to an external drive. When they sent me a 1TB HDD, I opened the box and screwed in the HDD inside the cover. I also tried the 1TB WD for laptops and the only way to put it in place was to stick it into the inside of the back-plate with a 3M sticker.

Most of the ports are found at the back — S-video, HDMI, USB Host, Coaxial, and Optical. On the right side, there’s also an additional USB Host and USB 3.0 Slave port as well as an SD card reader.

There’s also a LAN port you can connect the player to the internet and run services on your TV. The built-in browser is simple but usable. You can stream videos, podcasts and even watch YouTube. An optional USB WiFi dongle can be bought if you want to connect it to a wireless network. You can also get an additional wireless keyboard so it’s easier to navigate when browsing the web.

Aside from the usual/standard file formats, Mede8er can also play the latest codecs like MKV-H264, BDMV, BDISO and M2TS.

Mede8er MED500X2:
Realtek RTD1185
256MB SPI Flash
HDMI 1.3
Component Video
Composite Video
Stereo RCA audio for analogue audio connection
SD / Sony Pro Duo Card Slot
SPDIF Optical
Co-Ax Digital Audio Outputs
2 x USB 2.0 Host port
1 x USB 3.0 Slave port
3.5″ SATA 2 HHD up to 3TB
Remote Control

Support for GigaBit LAN is available via firmware update (have not done this on my unit yet).

    Video Formats Supported: AVI, BDMV Light, BDISO Light, MKV, TS, TP, TRP, M2TS, MPG, MP4, MOV, M4V, VOB, ISO, IFO, DAT, WMV, ASF, RM, RMVB, FLV

    Video Codecs Supported: MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 SP, ASP, AVC (H.264), XviD, DivX, WMV9 (VC-1), RealVideo 8/9/10 (up to 720P)

    Audio Codec Supported: MP3, MP2, OGG Vorbis, APE – APE Cue, PCM, LPCM, AAC, RA, Dolby True HD – DTS MA Passthrough on HDMI Dolby AC3 Downmix & Passthrough, DTS Downmix & Passthrough , FLAC up to 24bit 192Khz (HDMI & Co-Ax Digital only) Flac Cue, WAV, WMA Standard (DRM, & Advanced Profile not supported)

    Photo format Supported: JPEG, BMP, PNG

    File System Supported: FAT32 (up to 2TB), NTFS (up to 3TB), MAC HFS+ (USB Drives only)

Movies and other files can be transferred from the player to a PC (and vice-versa) via the USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 port (just have to make sure you use the USB cable that came with the player).

It’s great that this player also comes with a built-in torrent client (accessible via browser over the network) so you can download files and movies straight into the internal storage.

The user interface (UI) is simple, easy to understand and intuitive. Nothing too fancy and really easy to use. Here’s how the UI should look like although mine didn’t have all those movie thumbnails to go with (I got the tutorial on how to create the cover art but did not have time to do it).

What I really liked about it is that the player has physical navigation and menu controls right into the device, aside from the remote control. It was very useful when I misplaced the remote and was still able to use the player for a week before I found it again.

There’s a JukeBox function for managing the files (sorting and filtering) in the player. You will nee some additional work to be done if you want to use this feature but I reckon it should really be useful when you have hundreds of movies, music and photos downloaded into the player.

I hooked it up to the 47-inch LG LED 3D TV that was loaned to me last month and it worked great. Since then, it sits in the corner of my bedroom and plugged to the 42-inch LCD TV from American Home (they haven’t picked up the units for months now so I’m not complaining). It was pretty easy to use, almost plug and play, boots up really quick and plays almost any imaginable video formats. The size is a little bulky but that’s because it was made to accommodate an internal 3.5″ HDD.

The Mede8er is being distributed by Sanji Electronics in the Philippines and the MED500X2 is currently selling for under Php9,000 in stores (internal HDD not included).

Huawei E5 “Pocket Mifi” Review

There was a time when mobile Internet was considered a luxury service. It was only limited to corporate executives who needs mobile Internet to access Outlook emails and SharePoint files. Globe’s Visibility and Smart WeRoam were still uber expensive and you’re locked with a contract. Prepaid 3G or even EDGE connection is non-existent.

Then 3G USB dongles came and swept the world by storm. 3G services are now more accessible to everyone. Students can now have mobile Internet on their laptops to do their research, thesis and homework almost anytime and everywhere as long as you have a 3G connection. Prepaid data is cheaper and unlimited postpaid data plans are now starting to catch up.

The only caveat with 3G USB dongles is that you’re only limited to one computer at a time and that’s assuming you have an extra USB port to use. “Pocket Mifis” or mobile wireless modems solves that single problem and offers additional features no one ever thought they needed one(maybe it’s just me). Huawei E5 is an upgraded version of the MiFy offered for a limited quantity by Globe.

Huawei E5 “Pocket Mifi” is a mobile wireless modem. You put a 3G-enabled sim card on it and it becomes a mobile Wifi router. You can connect up to 5 different wifi devices that can input a password. It’s a 802.11b/g router. You can also send text messages. It also act as a normal 3G USB dongle when connected to a computer via the included mini USB connector. So technically, you can connect 6 devices in total, the computer its connected to and 5 more WiFi devices.

The main difference of the E5 to the one sold by Globe is that the E5 now has a LED screen to see the signal, if you’re connected, the remaining battery life and how many devices are connected. I find this feature worth the upgrade.

I used my postpaid Globe Tattoo SIM on the E5. I was getting a good 1MBPS down speed here in Manila. I never had an issue connecting 5 devices at the same time. Just keep in mind that the speed you will get is dependent to your 3G speed connection. I tried using the unit while inside a moving car along EDSA. My iPad and iPhone 4 are connected to the E5. I never lost the connection while moving. I was able to browse the web and download apps at the same time.

What I like about the E5 is its size. It’s so pocketable — it can easily fit in your jeans’ pocket. It is half the size of a regular phone. The unit is also unlocked so you can use it with any network. Since it’s unlocked, I was able to use it on my trip to Hong Kong. I used a One2Free SIM and I was getting a download speed from 2MBPS to 3MBPS down. While riding the MTR (HK’s version of our MRT), moving and underground, I was getting 2MBPS speed! The unit can get speed up to 7.2MBPS.

If you have an iPhone 4 or iPod Touch 4G, you’ll know that FaceTime is only possible over a WiFi. And because I was using the WiFi router, I was FaceTime-ing while walking the street of Mongkok. How awesome is that? During my stay there, I was confronted to download a 650MB Snow Leopard OS update. I was able to download it using the E5 in a coffee shop in just under 30 mins. This is important note because E5 has its own battery that can last 5-10 hours of use. If you use it continuously with a 3G connection, it can last up to 5 hours. But if you walk around and use it occasionally, let say with an iPod Touch, it can last for half a day. To maximize the battery, you need to power it off when not in use.

If you use the E5 as a normal 3G USB dongle and connect to a laptop, it will charge the unit and can still be used as a wifi router at the same time. It’s very convenient if you’re in a coffee shop with your classmates or officemates doing some research or reports. You wont be needing 5 different 3G USB dongles.

Setting up the unit is pretty straightforward. You just need the APN setting from your internet provider. The unit, when connected to a computer for the first time, will install a management software. You can send and receive text messages using the software. You will need this if you want to get load updates from your network. Another feature of the device is the “connect” button. This is ideal if you’re using a prepaid SIM. You can connect or disconnect whenever you want.

If you love your Globe Tattoo or SmartBro dongle, you’ll love the Huawei E5 even more. I seriously don’t know how to live without it anymore. The Php5,995 price tag is worth every peso. If you own more than 1 WiFi-capable devices, Huawei E5 is a must-have gadget.

The unit is now available in the Philippines. You can contact your favorite gadget stores.