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Monueal iMon Ultra Bay Media Center Controller Review

Monueal iMon Ultra Bay Media Center Controller Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The Monueal Imon Ultra Bay is an entry into the market to add functionality into your PC. It turns your PC into a workable appliance that would sit nicely next to your CD player and your receiver.
Filed under: Home Theatre Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Monueal Oct 01 2007   A. Yong  
Home > Reviews > Home Theatre > Monueal iMon Ultra Bay

Imedian Media PC Software

Upon installing the software, the Monueal IMedian wizard guides you in setting things up. Initial scan performed by the wizard was able to find all the media on my local PC including music, videos and DVD drives:

I chose the default TV settings, as recommended, and it was able to scan all my available channels coming in through my video capture card.

Monueal IMedian - use and navigation

The bundled remote is the weakest link in the package. Unfortunately, I found the remote to function poorly in navigating both the IMedian software and Windows MCE. There is significant lag to confuse you into thinking that the batteries might be dead.

The navigation pad buttons are mirrored on the Monueal IMON LCD display. If you hit up, the LCD display would indicate "Cursor up". I can see that the navigation pad wasn't working properly because when I hit "UP", the LCD would display "CURSOR LEFT" indicating a "misfiring". Sometimes, hitting the navigation pad would give you no response at all. It seems to cache the commands or have some sort of lag because it would move two to three steps at once.

In addition, the remote's layout can be confusing and sometimes, I'm a bit lost for how to navigate back into the main menu. I keep forgetting to hit the "Backspace" button - reminiscent of a keyboard command.

The Monueal IMedian visual interface allows you many features such as video, music, DVD, news and weather and TV. Unfortunately, many of it's features are nested in a PC folder menu style system which can hide what you are looking for. It can look rather busy and lacks the visual simplicity when compared to the Windows MCE interface.

Nested inside the LOCAL MEDIA menu is your choice of MUSIC, MOVIES and PHOTOS. The title MOVIES can be confusing for the consumer as there might be a tendency to associate MOVIES with DVD - which is another menu selection in the main title screen. While it was able to find all my music, I found navigating my albums confusing as you had to scroll right instead of up and down to see additional albums. If you look at the screen, the arrows are pointing up and down to indicate additional albums - not left and right. Also, scrolling one album at a time can be time consuming and frustrating. It would have been nice if they had a PAGE UP or PAGE UP feature.

Additionally, the lack of "random play" to play all your MP3's randomly is disappointing. The best you can do is randomize all the songs in an album but this feature is nested in a settings menu - not outright displayed so you can easily select that as a choice. The lack of a "search" feature is also disappointing as this is necessary to navigate and find your music in our current age of mass music consumption. The good news is, playing music in IMedian will show a nice Graphical EQ on the LCD display unit after the song information has finished scrolling across.

The MOVIE section, where one would store all their videos, can also be a little confusing. I would prefer it if it were organized in folders as I've created them instead of title or tags embedded in the videos. The nice feature about viewing videos in Monueal IMedian is the ability to move to the next video in line with the remote control. In Windows MCE, you would have to keep loading video after video since the fast forward button is designed to skip a few seconds ahead. In addition, when the video ends in IMedian, it automatically loads the next video coming up in comparison with Windows MCE which would just stop the video.

Another quirk that I noticed was watching DVD's - there seems to be a trailing or slow display affect. I watched the same DVD in both IMedian and Windows MCE and can definitely notice some visual lag. However, to its credit, I was able to navigate the DVD menus with the bundled remote in Monueal IMedian. I haven't been able to navigate a DVD's menu in Windows MCE using a Cyberlink MCE remote.

Additional features that are nice are the weather and news feed options. You can setup your IMedian to display the weather of the cities of your choice and edit the order in which they are displayed. The main weather screen provides a quick overview of 9 cities and their respective current weather conditions as you'll see next.....

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Contents of Article: Monueal iMon Ultra Bay
 Pg 1.  Monueal iMon Ultra Bay Media Center Controller Review
 Pg 2.  Imon Ultra Bay in Detail
 Pg 3.  — Imedian Media PC Software
 Pg 4.  Internet Driven Content for the Media PC

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   11 / 18 / 2018 | 3:57PM
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