I being 17 years old am constantly short of money. Hence I came up with the idea of getting rid of all my CDs and DVDs and just have raw data on my computer which can be downloaded for free. However, I had a major problem. I had to play everything on my laptop and it doesn't have the best quality picture or sound. I love music and movies. They are both a big part of my life so not having a good unit to experience both was a problem.
When I found the Cylcone micro I thought it wouldn't work. It's so small and how can it play videos when windows xp can't play videos without codecs. I don't know how, but by some sort of wizardry it plays a lot of my files.
I say "a lot" and not "all" because some AVIs cannot be played but this seldom happens. and even if it can't read it, they can be converted quite easily in under 10 minutes to a format it can play.
I have everything media and data related on a Western Digital 500 gb hard drive. Plug in and go.
Some people have been complaining about the remote but I find it ok to use, the only problem being you have to point at the tiny cyclone in the corner and not the TV, no big deal though.
I have heard of it totally formatting other customer's hard drives. I think this might be down to poor choice of hard drive. With something as fragile as an HDD holding 500gb of space it's best to not settle for less. I researched WD and they seem to be one of the biggest companies in external hard drive technology and it hasn't let me down at all, even when using it with the cyclone.
I Love how it can be played through HDMI and AV. HDMI is as you would probably guess, a lot better, but the AV is only a composite at the end of the day. I'm not a quality monger though, I just love movies, I don't care about how good quality it is. To those who do, make sure you own an HD TV. The AV is watchable but not spectacular. The sound is good no matter what! in my house theres an HD TV in the living room which is usually occupied and a regular TV in my room so I have to use AV.
Some people were also complaining about it not being able to recognise sub folders. I thought when I heard this it would be like a PS3 where it would show you how smart it is by being able to find all files without browsing them, and then fail. The cyclone micro for me recognise all my folders. Sure, it is quite windows 95 but once it plays a file you don't care, and it allows you to be creative with your organisation of files.
Also recognises my small Toshiba 40gb external HDD and a 4gb SD card I use for my camera.
Why you should buy this : Play all movies you have on a USB device, View pictures and play MP3 and other formatted files, Never have to trail a cable from computer to TV again, Aren't movies always better on the sofa than on the office chair? It's only 20 quid!
Why you shouldn't buy this : If you are picky about AV quality, Are not patient enough to convert files when needed to, If you have a cheapo HDD that won't work well, The micro can glitch and have to restart if you browse large files to quickly or files far away from each other, (e.g. Play a song by America then immediately follow it up with one from ZZ Top), the small remote if you have fat hands, if you are expecting this to be the best viewing experience ever (it is not, but I still love it!)
Alternatives : Maplin have some DVDs with upscalers built in, they might work a bit better, but doubt they will have HDMI, Watch movies on your computer and end up destroying your keyboard with your XL Pepsi, Trail a big cable from computer to TV, and deciding what cable actually works, Actually buy the movies...
In short, this thing is a great product, if I had bought everything I have ran through this it should have 100s of pounds, but instead for more convenient use it has only costed around £20. I love this product!
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