MSI Megaview 561 Portable Multimedia Player Review
We like gadgets here at PCstats, we really, really
do... So when something comes along that excites that hidden need for all
things tiny, shiny and technologically advanced, we review it (and play with
it) as quickly as possible. Such was the case when MSI's
Megaview 561 portable Multimedia player crossed our doorstep.
Every tech company out there seems to be producing some variation of the portable video player theme. The idea
is simple. Take a hard disk MP3 player, add an LCD screen
and video decoding/playback hardware, shake well and release into the wild. In
practice, its a bit more complicated to make one of these units work and
sell well. For one thing, they are pricey. They have to be, given
the additional components required for video playback and recording.
thing, battery life becomes a huge consideration when you have the LCD screen
backlight, video decoding overhead and constant hard disk access all draining
power while the user watches a typical MPEG4 or DIVX movie. Then
there's the rat's nest of video formats to consider...
||MSI Megaview 561
Users Manual, AC Power adaptor,
tripod, cary case, remote, software, headphones, audio and
video cables, USB cable, lanyard, rechargeable
The potential of these units is tantalizing though.
Instead of dragging a bulky laptop or portable DVD player
with you on trips, encode a couple of
titles from your DVD library into DIVX format (watch that digital millenium copyright act if you are in the US),
drop them onto the MSI
Megaview 561 via USB, slip the unit into your pocket and go.
Every entertainment aspect that a laptop is capable of except games can
be easily fulfilled by one of these compact babies. After all, who wants to
take their laptop on a trip when they might be tempted to actually
on the video player comes a couple of years into the
game, so they've presumably had time to watch other companies make mistakes. The Megaview 561
sports a 3.5 inch LCD, a 20GB hard disk, TV
out and A/V recording capabilities, FM radio playback and recording, DivX and MPEG4 support, a
full featured photo viewer, USB 2.0 and much more, making it
one of the most capable multimedia video players on the market.
You can record your favourite TV shows straight onto this players hard disk,
then watch them on the road. Neat. Let's see if MSI's offering can match up to
its considerable potential.
MSI's Megaview 561 contains many, many features, so we're going to try to run
through them quickly before getting to the meat of the review.
- The Megaview 561's screen is a 3.5" LCD with adjustable
- A 20GB hard disk is used for media storage. The
Megaview 561 is a USB 2.0 capable device which appears as a removable drive to
Windows XP and 2000, meaning it can also be used as a portable drive, though
MSI cautions against formatting the unit through Windows.
- Video playback supports the following video formats:
MPEG-4, DivX 3.11/4.x/5.x, Motion JPEG and WMV-9. Video files are limited to
2GB in size per file.
- Video recording (via composite cable) is supported
directly from TV or other video sources. Maximum video capture quality is
320x240 at 2000kbps with 129kbps audio.
- Voice recording can be accomplished via the built in
microphone, creating MP3 files of up to 192Kbps sample rate. Recordings are
limited to the maximum file size of 2GB.
playback supports the following formats: MP3, MPEG1 Layer 2, LPCM, ADPCM and
WMA-9 Layer 2. maximum sample rate for MP3 and WMA is 320. No OGG Vorbis here
- The photo viewing feature of the Megaview 561 supports JPEG, GIF, BMP and
- The FM radio playback and recording function allows users to tune in radio
stations, store favourites and create MP3 files.
- An infrared credit card remote is included which can
perform all control functions.
- The unit possesses a built in mono speaker and a stereo headphone jack.
The speaker makes sounds audible, and that's about it. For music playback,
it's best to use the headphones.
Advertised battery life is 3 hours for video playback, 8 hours for audio playback (with screen off) and 7 hours for photo
viewing. The Megaview 561 uses a Lithium Ion rechargeable battery
pack rate at 3.7V, 2200mAh. You can also run
the device from the included AC adaptor, which is highly recommended when recording
audio or video.