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

Summary:
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☆

Kitten
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31 Responses to “Review: Myvu Personal Media Viewer”

  1. On November 13th, 2007,Thor Schrock Says:

    Hey Trisha, thanks for the tips on my new iMac. I posted a video for you on my blog that you might enjoy. 100% produced on my iMac BEFORE I had a right click button on my mighty mouse.

  2. 1 On November 13th, 2007,Kitten Says:

    And a very cute video it is! Thanks for sharing it!

  3. 2 On November 27th, 2007,Dano Says:

    This info was exactly what I needed. Thank you. I received my new MyVu solo plus edition yesterday and could not get it to work with my iPhone so I thought it was not compatible. As you state above, it is so I tried playing youtube thru it today and was pleasantly surprised. Everything works great.

  4. 3 On November 27th, 2007,Kitten Says:

    Hi Dano – glad you got it worked out! I love mine – I’m just heading out on a trip and stocked my iPhone with 3 movies and a few TV shows – SO glad I have the Myvu now!

  5. 4 On December 26th, 2007,Patsy Says:

    Thanks so much for your review. Did you need to use a special cable to hook into the video glasses? We got one also and it works great with the video ipod. Only had a few seconds to try it with the iPhone before I had to leave for work so will try again to night. We had to use a cable for the video ipod. Does the same cable work with the iPhone?

  6. 5 On December 26th, 2007,Kitten Says:

    Hi Patsy – I suppose that depends on when you purchased the Myvu. The latest edition comes with a cable that works with the iPhone as well as the iPod, and connects to the same spot as the charger/sync cable. If you have an older model and purchased a separate cable for your iPod, it should work just fine with your iPhone. Just be sure your iPhone software is up-to-date, as the support for the Video Out came with one of the earlier software updates.

    When you connect to the iPhone, it *may* tell you the device is not compatible – just ignore that, it works just fine. When you select a video, it will ask you if you want to use the TV/Out function – say “yes” and voila! The video plays just fine! Be sure to press the “power” button on the Myvu – I keep forgetting that step, but not for long :)

  7. 6 On March 25th, 2008,usbguy Says:

    hey ! just got the myvu fully loaded ipod edition, i connected it to my iphone in airplane mode, tv out option on NTSC. when i play one of my movies, i just have the sound but not the video. did i make something wrong ? where is the power button on the myvu ?

  8. 7 On March 25th, 2008,Kitten Says:

    Hi usbguy! Thanks for stopping by!

    Yes, there is a power button on the oval-shaped control that hangs on the cord – the power button is in the center, and then you have a couple of brightness/contrast controls. Also be sure you click “OK” on your iPhone when it asks if you want to use the TV function. That should do it – enjoy!

    I’m heading out for WordCamp Dallas this weekend and have my iPhone stocked with a few movies and TV shows to keep me entertained while I’m traveling – I absolutely love my MyVu…….

  9. 8 On March 25th, 2008,usbguy Says:

    my iphone does not ask me anything about video out. i don’t have any power button. i just have this : http://images.amazon.com/images/G/01/electronics/detail-page/myvu-pendant-functions.gif

  10. 9 On March 25th, 2008,usbguy Says:

    is there a difference between ” solo plus edition ” and ” fully loaded edition for ipod” , because i got the fully loaded and i can’t see anything in the myvu, just ear.

  11. 10 On March 25th, 2008,Kitten Says:

    Thanks for the image link – yours does look different than mine. I have a “power” button where your volume control is. I believe that there is a distinct difference in the two – the good folks at MyVu told me that the “SOLO Plus Edition” is the only one that is certified to work with the iPhone.

    I’d suggest contacting MyVu to verify this, but I believe you’ll need to exchange yours. Good luck and let me know how it turns out!

  12. 11 On March 25th, 2008,usbguy Says:

    ok, thanks, i’ll return it where i buy it tomorrow, but i’m not sure that i can find the solo plus edition ( because i’m in France ), i find the fully loaded on ebay for a cool price ( 115$ ), but i can’t find anyone who is selling it and shipping it in France. i’ll tell you in few days how it turns.
    thanks

  13. 12 On March 25th, 2008,Kitten Says:

    You might try the MyVu website…..http://www.myvu.com/Buy/…..that is where I bought mine and they shipped very quickly – although you may want to check to be sure they will ship to France. Be sure to get the Solo Plus Edition, not the Universal Edition. Good luck!

  14. 13 On May 6th, 2008,Bumperhill Says:

    will the myvu work while on safari?

  15. 14 On May 6th, 2008,Kitten Says:

    Yes! It draws power from your iPod or iPhone, so as long as that’s fully charged, the Myvu will work anywhere that your iPod or iPhone will work (remember that even when you don’t have a “cell phone” signal, you’ll still be able to use your iPhone’s iPod features – listening to music and watching videos. Enjoy your Safari! Just be sure to pay attention to what’s going on around you, so you don’t get run over by a Water Buffalo while watching a movie :)

  16. 15 On August 13th, 2008,Mark Says:

    Hello all hi Kitten. I just received my Solo Plus and was disspaointed to find out that I can not use it just to listen
    to music only videos. I see you said you enjoy listening to music and watching videos.
    I called Myvu and was told it will not work for just music. Am I missing something here? Thanks.

  17. 16 On August 13th, 2008,Kitten Says:

    Hi Mark

    I apologize for my last comment not being clearer – I was simply trying to point out to Bumperhill that not having a cell signal while on a Safari would not stop him from enjoying the iPhone’s iPod features, such as listening to music and watching videos – those will still work even though the “phone” won’t. But the Myvu is just for watching video output, not music. For music just regular earbuds are all you need. With music there is nothing to watch, so you wouldn’t need the myvu.

  18. 17 On August 13th, 2008,Mark Says:

    Thanks Trisha, I was hoping maybe there was a way to do it. Oh well my point is if I am watching a video in the bed at night and want to switch to music I will not have to change the glasses for my earbuds or headphones. Thanks glad I found this site. Take care.

  19. 18 On October 18th, 2008,James Says:

    Kitten, will the MyVu display anything other than videos? What if you want to websurf or read emails, etc.? Can you use the glasses for such? Thanks

  20. 19 On October 18th, 2008,Kitten Says:

    Hi James – unfortunately no, it only works on video-out content – movies, tv shows, or music videos. It doesn’t work with the other applications like web surfing or anything else. :(

  21. 20 On November 26th, 2008,Ne2boy Says:

    Hey kitten

    Is there no way at all to use Myvu to surf the net.
    Its a must for thes glasses
    Please comment back

    Regards
    Ne2

  22. 21 On November 26th, 2008,Kitten Says:

    Nope – they only work on whatever is broadcast via the video-out channel – the iPhone (and other cell phones) do not send web surfing content to the video-out channel, so the glasses have nothing to pick up and display.

    I get more questions in my email about this than about anything else, so let me be very clear…..these only work on video content.

  23. 22 On November 29th, 2008,Ne2boy Says:

    Ok But i have good news.
    YES the glasses can be used to surf the net and read mails ect.
    But NO you can not do it on a iphone.
    If you want to have your phone to show everything on the glasses you have to use NOKIA n95.
    If you plug it in with the cables from the manufactor everything will be displayed on the glasses.

    So Kitten this means that the works fine to surf the net etc but not on iphone.
    Regards
    Ne2

  24. 23 On November 29th, 2008,Kitten Says:

    @Ne2 – thanks for returning with that update – that is good news for Nokia n95 owners! I’m a loyal Apple iPhone fanatic so I won’t be jumping ship to Nokia, but I know others who love their Nokias so I’ll pass that on to them.

  25. 24 On November 30th, 2008,Ne2boy Says:

    Thx i got to say that i am a big iphone fanatic myself so me and my freind are going to find a way to surf the web on a iphone.
    I will get back Asap with good or bad news
    Ne2

  26. 25 On November 30th, 2008,Kitten Says:

    Excellent! I’ll look forward to hearing from you again :)

  27. 26 On December 22nd, 2008,Ne2boy Says:

    Hello agin

    Iam sorry to say that you are rigth.
    There is no way to watch the internet on your iphone while connected to myvu.
    Its is only poissible with the Nokia n95

    Have a merry chistemas everybody
    Regards
    Ne2

  28. 27 On March 23rd, 2010,Brian Ellspermann Says:

    Hi,

    I’m not sure what version of Myvu glasses I have but I bought them on Woot and they said they were IPOD compatible so I assumed they would work with my IPHONE. I get the same message you mentioned about it not being a compatible accessory but I still couldn’t get anything to show up in the glasses. Is it possible to be compatible with IPOD and not the IPHONE. Maybe I just need to update my iphone….I haven’t done that in awhile.

  29. 28 On March 23rd, 2010,Kitten Says:

    Hi Brian

    Yes, it’s possible to be iPod compatible and not iPhone compatible – their earliest models came out before the iPhone. You may want to check with the folks at Myvu to make sure you have the right model. Remember, it will only work with video, so you have to be playing a tv show or movie for them to work…..if you do that and they still don’t work, you probably have a pre-iPhone model.

  30. 29 On May 26th, 2011,Mannie Says:

    Hi,

    I recently brought Myvu Personal viewer from ebay. It says it works with ipod 5th gen and has 2006 written on it. But when i connected it to my iPhone 4, an error message is displayed that this device is not compatible and there is just one option of dismissing this warning message. After that if I play any video I can’t see anything except a black screen. I tried the same thing with ipod nano video too but got the same results. I am definately doing something wrong. Can you suggest me what I am missing?

    P.S There is no power button on my myVu.

  31. 30 On June 1st, 2011,Kitten Says:

    The best thing I can suggest is that you test it with someone else’s iPhone that is prior to the iPhone 4 – however, my suspicion is that what you really received is a version of the MyVu that was made pre-iPhone, that someone wanted to get rid of, and they weren’t honest about it. Older versions of the MyVu did NOT work with iPhones or newer iPods of any type (nano, shuffle, 4th or 5th generation, etc.).

    You may be able to return it, but if not just sell it and get a newer MyVu. I understand wanting to save money by shopping eBay or Amazon, but be certain that the viewer specifically states that it will work with the iPhone, not just the iPods. Good luck!

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