Philips Streamium MCi900 DVD and Wi-Fi Hi-Fi
Review If you're after rather more up-market multifunction home entertainment rig, then the Streamium MCi900 from Philips is aimed at you. For £999 you get combination of upscaling DVD player with a 160GB HDD along with an 802.11n wireless media streamer, RDS FM radio, 2 x 50W RMS amplifier, a 3.5in LCD screen and a couple of the funkiest bookshelf speakers you are ever likely to see.
Sound device: Philips Streamium MCi900
Expensive the MCi900 may be, but at least it looks like it cost a bob or two. The two main units and the speakers are all finished in brushed aluminum and high quality gloss plastics, which makes everything cool to the eye and solid to the touch. Yet it's the speakers that really grab the attention though, with their forward canted stance and floating tweeters.
Rather than build the hard drive into the system Philips supply it as a stand alone unit that you can easily disconnect and then attach to your PC using USB to transfer files. I, for one, have got external hard drives coming out of my kazoo and so would much rather Philips hadn't bothered with supplying a drive and bundled an iPod dock instead.
Control is achieved by a combination of a decent remote and a 3.5in colour LCD screen situated in the top of the upper of the two system units. The display sticks up in a manner similar to that of the Sony Gigajuke but without the fold down option.
If the remote is not to hand all the major navigation controls are duplicated on the deck in front of the LCD. The crisp and colourful 320 x 240 display does a good job of letting you know what's going on at any given moment and displays album art and Internet/FM radio information as appropriate.
160GB HD included, but no iPod dock
Digital file support extends to JPEG image files, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, WMA, AAC/AAC+ and Flac audio – all DRM free naturally – and DivX video. Sadly though, that last option means DivX encoded discs, not digital files held on external storage. In my book this is a major failing. After all, if you are building a system that can play video from disc, why not include the capacity to play video from file?
"....bundled an iPod dock instead."
What? You mean pay the Apple dock tax, whack the price up and make it useless to everyone who hasn't gone the proprietary and locked in route all at once? Not to mention the idiocy inherent in providing fairly comprehensive codec support and then tying it to a device that, er, doesn't.
Why would they want to do that? Is there a medical name for this particular insanity?
I fully agree that the lack of BD gives it the unmistakable stench of FAIL though. Not quite so much as the fact that for a shade more cash you could get a BD player, streaming meejah wossname and a surround system that'll hand its arse to it on a plate sonically does though.
All bark and no balls?
Looks like you're paying for looks and gimos over performance. If you buy serious audio equipment you don't get the main drive and tweeter pointing in different directions. Granted, if you're into hi-fi you only need 2 speakers but rolling in the widgets makes it look like it should be 5.1 at least, of for £1000 you should be looking at 7.1.
Suppose it's ok for rich folks that want to drop a thaasand-notes on something to swank off in front of their mates and have to replace in a couple of years because DVD had been replaced with blu-ray .... normal folk however will invest in audio equipment that will sound good and last for years to link up to a desktop which has easily upgradable parts. Then the lack of blu-ray wouldn't be an issue.
Another self-fellating toy for the ipad generation. All style, no substance.
Re : +2
I'd have to agree with the AC - although in more strident terms...
A stereo HiFi with a DVD player and a teeny, tiny hard-drive for £1,000 ? The sound coming out of it must be absolutely stunning to warrant a 70% appraisal surely... is it _really_ that impressive ?.. you didn't sound like it was...