Sumvision Cyclone MKV2 HD £70
24th Dec 2010 | 09:30
The Sumvision Cyclone MKV2 Adaptor offers a no-frills approach to media
About the size of an external hard drive, but with no internal storage (it's easy to add some), the MKV2 – not to be confused with the earlier MKV v2 – sports logos for everything from Dolby Digital and HDMI to Real HD and Matroska.
The latter suggests that the MKV2 is merely for playing that container format on a TV, but it offers more than that.
Although it's sharply presented, the UI is baffling at first and uncomfortable to read. Still, the MKV2 makes the necessary connections quickly and is streaming files in seconds.
The experience lacks polish though – the 'browser' is a simple list of sources, and the software is slow to react when you press a button on the small remote. We did like the MKV2's presentation of a thumbnail of each video file, complete with sound.
Streamed over UPnP, the MKV2 plays video files of almost every format, only stuttering with some MOV files and older WMVs. Video is handled well, loading quickly and playing smoothly.
There's plenty of detail on show in a DivX HD file, and little picture noise. We also tried a MOV file filmed on a phone and the result was excellent, even on a big TV.
As far as the internet options go, you get basic access to weather, Picasa, Flickr and RSS news feeds, the latter containing shortcuts to CNN, NPR and BBC, though your own feeds can be added manually.
The only other feature provided on the home screen is an option to transfer files between various sources, including an HDD.
Still, it's cheap, and despite its decidedly low-rent feel, the MKV fulfils its brief for less than the others here.
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