Long Island, New York-based Hauppauge first entered the digital media receiver category in 2003 with its MediaMVP, which streams audio, video, and image files over a wired Ethernet connection from your PC to your TV and stereo system. The company recently expanded the product line with an 802.11g wireless version of the device, appropriately dubbed the Wireless MediaMVP.
Measuring approximately 1 by 6.5 by 5.5 inches (HWD), the diminutive Wireless MediaMVP is devoid of front-panel controls and buttons, and it doesn't have an integrated display, which means you'll have to rely on the remote and a connected TV to interface with the unit. The front panel is punctuated by only a swiveling Wi-Fi antenna and a status-indicator light that shines through the translucent plastic. Around back, you'll find an Ethernet jack for wired networks, composite-video and S-Video outputs, and analog stereo (red and white) RCA jacks, as well as a coaxial digital audio output. The unit doesn't have component-video or HDMI jacks. That's because, unlike the HD-capable D-Link DSM-520, the Hauppauge is strictly limited to standard-definition video streaming.
The Wireless MediaMVP's main menu is spartan but easy to navigate. Click one of the five big onscreen buttons--videos, pictures, music, radio, and settings--and you'll get appropriate submenus where you can navigate the respective media files, Internet radio stations, or system settings. You access media files through the directories and subdirectories in which they're stored on your networked PC. Although that's standard practice for video and still-image files, it's a shame that the unit doesn't let you more conveniently navigate music by ID3-based categories, such as artist, title, genre, and album.
The full-size, 43-button remote control includes a four-way keypad. It's used in conjunction with the center-mounted select button and the Back button to intuitively navigate lists and menu levels. The remote also has videos, music, radio, and pictures buttons that shortcut directly to the main navigation screens. Play, pause, track skip, track scan, and stop buttons provide DVD-player-like control of video.