MyVu Personal Media Viewer review: MyVu Personal Media Viewer

2.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The MyVu Personal Media Viewer gives the illusion of watching your PVP's videos on a large screen from several feet away, and it lets you enjoy visual content in complete privacy. The Universal Edition works with a wide variety of video devices.

The Bad The MyVu Personal Media Viewer's design isn't very ergonomic or attractive, and it's expensive for an accessory.

The Bottom Line The Universal Edition of MyVu's Personal Media Viewer is an interesting PVP accessory that will let you enjoy content on a "larger screen" and in relative privacy, but the design and video quality could use some tweaking.

5.7 Overall
  • Design 5.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 5.0

The future hath arrived. Tech enthusiasts have long theorized that video players in the form of glasses were imminent, and it was only a year ago that some of the first models started to hit the market. Now, the category is in full swing, with plenty of versions made to piggyback on standalone portable video players (PVPs). One of them is the Universal Edition of the MyVu Personal Media Viewer (PMV), a $199.95 accessory that takes the video on your portable device and creates the illusion that you're watching it on a large screen from several feet away.

An attractive design is not one of the MyVu's selling points--the PMV is guaranteed to make you look like Geordi La Forge from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Frankly, I just don't think it's a very good look (especially on me), but looks aren't everything. Comfort, in this case, is very important because you would likely use the PMV to watch movies. The glasses themselves weigh about 2.5 ounces, which is noticeably heavier than most sunglasses, but they don't feel all that heavy when worn. However--as with the iPod version, which features a nearly identical design--the thickness and the shape of the arms put pressure on the cartilage of my ear, making it unbearable for me to wear the device for more than 10 to 15 minutes. Those with less sensitive (and stronger) ears may not have an issue, but the PMV would definitely benefit from some ergonomic tweaking of the arms. On the plus side, the rubber nose piece (there are three from which to choose) fits well and is texturized to help keep the glasses from sliding off.

Two earbuds dangle from cords on each arm of the PMV, and you get three sets of silicone eartips in varying sizes to ensure a proper fit. Coming off the end of the left arm of the glasses is a 22-inch cable terminating in a basic remote, which includes power, brightness, and contrast controls for the glasses. A mini USB port on the side of the egg-shaped remote lets you charge the glasses, which are rated with the included cable. There are also various cables that plug into the exposed 3.5mm jack on the end of the remote. You get a standard DVD cable (with LG/Zenith/Audiovox, Philips/Insignia, and Dynex/Toshiba adapters); an iPod/Zune AV cable; and an Archos AV cable, which doesn't work with the latest (fifth generation) as it is minijack based, and Archos no longer outputs video via the headphone jack. MyVu also includes a soft pouch for storing the unit.

It's a little weird viewing video with the MyVu PMV, mostly because the glasses are quite thin, and there's nothing to block your view above and below the edges. Personally, I find it a bit distracting--some clip-on blinders may have made the glasses a little more ridiculous-looking but still would be a welcome addition to the package. As far as quality is concerned, the PMV is passable, but far from crystal clear. Video looks just somewhat washed out, and there was an irritating flickering of the image at the center of the "screen" during some videos that was not present when viewed on the device itself. Sometimes the videos had a slightly grainy quality as well. Sound quality was just fine, and the buds do a decent job of isolating sound.

So is the MyVu Personal Media Player a worthwhile accessory at nearly $200? Not for me. Until MyVu refines the design and tweaks the video quality, I'd prefer to stick to watching videos on the device itself--especially if it's the relatively large screen of a portable DVD player. But if you absolutely must enjoy your videos in "private"--with no over-the-shoulder onlookers--the PMV could suit you fine.

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