8th November 2007

Review: Myvu Personal Media Viewer

If you read my previous post about the Myvu Personal Media Viewer, you’ll know how excited I was to order them since they announced an iPhone-compatible version (the Myvu Solo Plus Edition for iPod).

Myvu Personal Media ViewerWell they finally arrived yesterday, and I’ve been testing them thoroughly since then. And yes, they do work with my iPhone. There are definite pros and cons, so read on for my full review…..

First the Pros:

  • Disregard the message that pops up on the iPhone claiming that you’ve plugged in an accessory not made for the iPhone – Myvu works just fine, and very, very simply. Just plug and play, literally;
  • They are very lightweight and comfortable. Out of the box they fit my face and ears fine – both the nose piece and earpieces – but they do come with a few extra ear- and nose-pieces in differing sizes so that you can customize the fit to your liking;
  • Not having to look down to my lap (causing neck strain) or hold my iPhone up (causing arm fatigue) is a HUGE benefit – I can literally sit back and relax and watch my video/movie at whatever angle is comfortable for me;
  • The size of the virtual screen, and the distance it appears to be, is very comfortable also – very much like watching my 32″ television from my couch
  • I didn’t have any trouble with the apparent brightness (a common complaint of competing products), but the Myvu Personal Media Viewer has a brightness control as well as a contrast control;
  • The Viewer itself does not block all vision – you can see above, below, and around the screen on which you are watching your video content – a good safety feature, especially if you are in a public place – like an airport for example, where you’d want to be able to keep an eye on your bags as well, or a train where you’d need to keep track of the stops;

Now for the Cons:

  • The video resolution is good, but not great. Not bad enough to be distracting, but given that the iPhone is capable of putting out better resolution, it would be nice to have that translated to the viewer screen. However, to be fair, the Myvu Personal Media Viewer is a fraction of the cost (yes, even at $199) of much more expensive competitors that promise higher resolution;
  • The aspect ratio is the same as the iPod, with no adjustment for the iPhone’s wider aspect ratio. Since movies and TV shows loaded on the iPhone are automatically shown in landscape mode, there is not an option to use a “letterbox effect” (black band at top and bottom that preserves the wide aspect) but instead the video is cut off on the sides to “square up” what is displayed to the aspect ratio of the Media Viewer. I know, it’s nit-picking, but it would be nice if the Myvu screen could accommodate wide aspect ratio video content. All that being said, it did not distract, nor detract, from my enjoyment of watching a movie;
  • The Viewer itself does not block all vision – okay I know I listed that above as a “Pro”, and it is, but if there is a lot of activity going on around you, you’ll be aware of it, which can be distracting, particularly if you suffer from Shiny Object Syndrome**

**Also known as Attention Deficit Disorder

In my opinion, what’s good about the Myvu Personal Media Viewer outweighs the bad, so I give it three and a half paws.
Rating: ★★★½☆

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posted in iPhone Tips, Reviews | 31 Comments