What really shocks you when you get it out of the box is how plasticky it is. Cheap materials have been used and this is noticeable, even on the remote, which isn’t as well finished as the one used on Dvico products.
Moreover, there was a random link-up between this remote and our test TV, the LG 32LW4500. Some users may even find it impossible to use this media streamer with some TVs!
There was also an issue with standby. When you press on the appropriate button on the remote, the centre goes into sleep mode sure enough, but if a USB peripheral is connected to it, it will still receive charge and continue to run, which is obviously a problem.
No care taken with the interfaceThere’s a very old school feel with this interface which is, let’s be frank, exceptionally ugly! What’s more it’s far from fluid.
Files are displayed in list form, with a preview option in a box to the right. This box is actually still there when the preview feature is turned off!
The interface with and without preview...
Under average for media playbackAfter a fairly sorry tale with respect to the interface, we come to media compatibility. The MediaGate doesn't do any better here. Medium or high throughput videos are jumpy, at least for those that can be played at all.
There's no support for DTS decoding and this format therefore can’t be played on, for example, TV speakers. You have to send the signal to an external audio amp, but then you’ll have an issue with the DTS HD MA/HR and Dolby TrueHD tracks, which aren’t transferred (no sound, not even the core).
The TV interface and programme guide
Otherwise, note WMV, MTS, ISO backups and some MOV files can't be played. Once again, then, this product takes us back a few years!
- Good reception on digital HD tuner
- Medieval interface
- Slowdowns and a few bugs
- Limited media compatibility
- Poor overall finish
- No DTS decoding
The final rating is severe but makes sense: this product is sold as a media centre with a digital TV tuner. It's certainly a good tuner but the MediaGate handles media very poorly and its interface needs a total overhaul. Unless it’s going really cheap, we can only recommend it to record TV programmes and nothing more.