With all the hub-bub around the new iPods and Zunes, I had been searching for something to make my older 60GB 5G iPod Video new and exciting again. I wanted something that would be fun, and bring some zip back to the device, and be way cool, especially since I wasn’t going to be buying a new iPod any time soon. My 5G player is in decent shape and since I’ve been watching a lot of vide on it lately (more on that in a minute), I was looking for something that would make that experience a little better. Enter the myvu Solo Edition for iPod. Let’s see if it gave me the better experience I was looking for…
The myvu personal media viewer is a big screen viewer for your 5th Generation iPod Video. You connect the dongle to the connector port on your iPod, set your iPod’s video out setting to “on,” and then find your video on your iPod and play it. The video then shows up in the glasses. I’ve been looking all over the web site for a screen size equivalence; but I can’t find one. The device also doesn’t come with any real documentation other than a getting started guide showing you how to connect the device and to get the video to show through it. However, I would put the virtual screen size close to 25-27″ It also appears to be a 4:3 screen size ratio and not a 16:9 wide screen (While the box says, “big screen viewing,” it also doesn’t specify viewing aspect ratios, nor does the web site…)
Using the Device
Over the last 6 or so weeks, I’ve been making a lot of trips back and forth to Denver for work. The flight is 2.5 hours one way, and I’ve been flying United. They have the best offering of non-stops to Denver out of O’Hare. My trips usually start at 3am for a 6am flight going out to Denver, so the only thing I watch the trip out is the inside of my eyelids. The trip back, however, is a different story, and where the myvu comes in.
The device is a special set of “glasses” that plug into your iPod. The device requires that you set your iPod’s video out feature to on so it can pump the content to its screen, and through its earbuds. You can see pictures of me modeling the myvu, below.
I just figured out who I look like – Gilbert from Revenge of the Nerds… Near the end of the flick, when they do that big musical number and finally kick Alpha Beta’s butt…Sad, but true…
The right side of the myvu with the noise reduction ear buds in my ears.
The lefts side of the myvu… that long cable, is what connects the myvu to your iPod. The picture of the full device, above, is very misleading. That cable stretches to my knees, and I’m 5′ 11″ tall!
For those of you that wear glasses and need them to see something that sits fairly close to your face, the myvu also sports a prescription lens snap-in. The lenses are $99US, and come with a protective case. I made due without the lenses…
The cable has this control pad in the middle. The D-Pad at the top has brightness controls at the top and bottom and contrast controls at the left and right. The bottom button allows you to turn the volume up and down.
I have watched about 3 full movies and a couple of episodes of Star Trek Voyager through these things. The overall experience is pretty good. The movie fills your field of vision and the sound is good enough to bring you right there. I had two problems with the device:
- The power for the device I reviewed is pulled from your iPod. This means that given your average movie lasts 90-120 minutes, and battery life on the 5th Generation iPod is short enough without adding to the power drain, you may have trouble given the current state of your iPod’s battery. I was able to get through the entire Transformers movie, however, and its near 2.5 hours long. This wasn’t a show stopper for me, however, because the only other option is to put a battery in either the glasses or in the D-Pad, adding bulk to either or both. Looking at myvu’s web site, now indicates that they have solved this problem and have a version of the solo that includes a batter that lasts for 4 hours.
- The earbuds become painful to wear after a while. The earbuds are noise reducing, which means that they fit tightly in your ears. myvu does give you the option to change the earbuds out; but I couldn’t find any that really fit my ears well. After a while (like about 60 minutes into a movie), they started to become painful to wear.
The myvu solo is a decent product. The version with the rechargeable battery should be even better. If you watch a lot of video, you might like these things. Despite the problem with the earbuds, I know this is going to continue to be a huge winner for me. No more boring flights back from Denver!! (and I don’t have to deal with any screaming babies while I watch my movie, either!) The $199.95 price tag may be a bit high for some; but they will make a truly awesome Holiday gift!
What I liked: Big screen viewing of my movies on my iPod. Noise reducing sound.
What needs improvement: The earbuds got painful to wear after about 60 minutes. The viewer’s arms also tended to grip my head a little too hard and those became painful after about 120 minutes.