Top critical review
82 people found this helpful
You get what you pay for!
on 10 January 2010
When recently considering my media player/streamer options I opted for a Seagate FreeAgent 500gb portable drive and the Sumvision Cyclone Micro. At first I was pleased, it offered me the same functionality as my Philips DVD player but without the hassle of burning files to DVD/CD. Then I started to notice a few problems which have become increasingly annoying and will probably lead me to replace this device.
The first wasn't too bad, but is annoying. It seems an NTFS formatted hard drive will contain both the short filename (I.Am.L~1.avi) and a long filename (I.Am.Legend.avi). Although the device will display the long filename, it will SORT by the short filename. Therefore, if you have a series of shows in the format "30 Rock S04E01" they will not be sorted because the device only sees "30 Roc~1.avi".
The second problem which is quite serious is that the device freezes on me if I pause more than a minute or two. This is a killer on the "wife approval factor" that we can't stop for a cup of tea without a major hassle. I suspect the Seagate Freeagent drive has some energy saving feature so when the device is paused for a couple minutes the drive probably spins down. Then when we return and press play, the Sumvision is incapable of spinning the drive back up and resuming play. The only workaround I've found is to take note of where we are (35 minutes) and take advantage of the GOTO feature which allows you to restart the movie and jump to any point. Interestingly if I leave for 5 minutes and press play again, sometimes I get a message saying "Can not read device. Do you want to format?". Other times the device just becomes nonresponsive and I need to press and hold the power button on the remote for 10 seconds to get it to restart.
In relation to the second problem, you can't press the stop button and then press the play button and resume where you left off. Instead you will start again from the beginning.
In addition, be aware that the device won't support any exotic files so don't expect playback of wmv or mp4 files. There seems to be no way to upgrade the firmware, so don't hold your breath that an update may improve this.
Last, I wanted to contact Sumvision support regarding the problems above. There isn't even a support area or contact link on their web site. If you have problems, you are on your own. Still, at this price if you can stand some annoyances maybe you can live with it. But there is no doubt you get what you pay for.