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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

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. The great thing is that you can use your existing PC O/S and run the IMedian software to transform your PC into a media centre. Windows MCE requires a complete O/S reinstall.

The knobs and buttons are functional and allow a touch interface to your PC w/o using a remote. It comes with its proprietary software designed to interface with its bundled remote and offers the consumer an alternative to using Windows Media Center edition O/S.

The Monueal IMON Ultra Bay slides into one free 5.25" slot, but takes up the space of two 5.25" drive bays because the control panel occupies extra space out front. This is to compensate for the large LCD display and functional knobs and buttons. This is going to be an issue if you are using a smaller media center type case. Unfortunately for me, my PC only has two 5.25" drive bay slots so I had to remove my DVD drive to install the Monueal IMON Ultra Bay. This might be a problem if you intend to watch DVD's through your PC. Luckily for me, I mount DVD movie images via Daemon Tools so I might be able to live w/o being able to load a DVD - for now.

Moneual's IMON Ultra Bay is powered by plugging a pass through connecter from your power supply's ATX cable. It was a bit confusing at first since you have to match the hole-orientation from your ATX cable to the adapter to ensure that you have it in right. Then you're left with extra space on the pass through connector, 4 holes to be precise, to plug in the P4 processor from your PSU. I found that I was able to get away with not plugging this in.

Monueal iMon Ultra Bay

Remote control, Batteries, Power cable, USB jumper, instructions.

The other thing that is cool is that you are able to plug the Monueal IMON Ultra Bay into your case power switch on the motherboard. This means that you can actually turn on your PC with the remote control - a feat not yet mastered by Windows MCE. However, unfortunately for me, my IBM PC had bundled a proprietary plug for the case power switch on the motherboard so I wasn't able to take advantage of this feature.

The Monueal IMON Ultra Bay interfaces with your motherboard via USB. Once again, my IBM motherboard had a proprietary USB plug so I wasn't able to connect it to the motherboard internally. As a workaround, I used a spare PCI slot, removed the cover, and routed the USB cable through it and plugged it into the motherboard that way.

My overall impression of the installation is that it's not really quiet for beginners. You have to know what you're looking for to plug in the pass through ATX adapter, case power switch, and USB plugs. Another thing that I had to do was re-route my cables in my case. I'm using a full desktop case and found the wiring to be tricky in terms of space.

Once again, if you are using a small media centre type case, you might run into some trouble since the ATX pass through adapter adds quite a bit of length to the cable so try to arrange it in a neat order to allow your case to close - let alone making sure that you don't interrupt the CPU fan rotation with all the clutter in there.

Next up PCSTATS takes a closer look at the iMon Ultra Bay and Monueal software for controlling and managing your media.

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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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