Mediagate MG-25

The advent of digital content has opened up new markets for devices that play them back. DVD players now support DivX, Microsoft is pushing the Media PC platform, and media extenders and wireless streaming products are appearing rapidly. These are all attempts to bridge the gap between consumer product and PC, and the Mediagate MG-25 is no exception.

At first glance you would be forgiven for thinking that it is just another external hard drive case, and indeed it is just that, and allows you to encase a 2.5” hard drive with USB2.0 providing the necessary connectivity. Closer inspection reveals more than just the usual USB and power sockets:

Rear view

These are AV connections, and allow the box to be connected to a TV and hi-fi. Coupled with the nifty Sigma 8511 MPEG4 chipset inside, it turns your hard drive into a portable media player.

Contents

Bundled with the unit is a wide selection of AV cables, a power supply (2-pin), remote control (with batteries), USB cable, and a quick start guide. Pretty much everything required to operate the unit is included. If you live in Europe and your TV only has a SCART socket, then you’ll need to get hold of an S-Video-to-SCART or Composite-to-SCART adaptor.

The unit is reasonably compact. It is the same width and length as other external casings, but it is noticeably deeper. The cause of this is mainly due to the internal Sigma video decoding board, but even with everything packed inside there is still a lot of empty space. With better design the case could have been made smaller and more compact. As it is, it is attractive, if a little chunky.

The front of the case shows the power light, infra-red control, and drive activity light. As shown above, the back has a 5V DC power socket, a mini-USB2.0 socket, and two AV sockets.

The custom cables provided within the package give access to a variety of outputs:

  • S-Video
  • Composite
  • Component
  • Analogue stereo
  • Digital coaxial out (e.g. for Dolby and DTS)

All cables except the S-Video are gold plated (or gold coloured anyway!)

Depending on the configuration of your equipment, you may need to make use of one or both of these AV sockets. Although it has not been verified, it should be possible to get a dual-display system working using both the S-Video and composite outputs.

For some reason the Composite/Stereo cable has a right-angle plug, whilst the rest of the cables are all straight. This does look odd, and causes the cable to stick out somewhat.

back plugs

110 thoughts on “Mediagate MG-25”

  1. I bought Mediagate MG-25 (Firmware 1.2.1) yesterday. As I try to play the movie (avi format) with subtitle (srt format), the subtitle cant be shown on TV. Then I try to upgrade the firmware to version 1.3.1, but it also cant be work. Could anybody help me to solve the problem. Thank you very much!!!!!

  2. John,

    It’s possible that the subtitles for that movie are causing problems on the MG25. Maybe you can find some other subtitles from the internet that might work better? Also, double-check that you havent disabled the subtitles, or moved them off the edge of the screen.

  3. Hi, thank for your help first. I try to fix the problem according your advise, but it isn’t work. As I play the movie in my computer, the subtitle is work normally. And I also press the capation key on remote control to choose the subtitle which is shown by right file name. As a result, the subtitle cant shown on TV. Finally, I also try to use the function that to decide subtitle shown on which position on screen. So, may be there is problem caused by MG-25. However, thanks again for somebody who is good guy.

  4. John,

    I found something that the english subtitle (SRT format) can be shown and chinese big5 can’t. May be the product can only support subtitle file with ANSI code, but not for Unicode. I hope that new firmware will solve this problem. Thanks!!

  5. My customer is looking for Mediagate MG-25, Please tell me where can i purchase in Malaysia ?

    Thanks,

    K.S.Chua

  6. Be wary of the MG-35 as it can get extremely hot, whilst watching a DVD rip on it the unit packed in. When i took the hard drive out it was literally red hot.

  7. My Mediagate M-35 has shipped from Globalcomputer.com
    Thanks Bob
    Call Bob Szafranek, 800-835-2585 x2237 for special orders

    Note: There is a new smaller version of the Mediagate M-35 called the Mediashare which uses a 2.5 laptop size hard drive which is a downscaled version of the Mediagate M-35. The Mediashare is made by Ximeta. See link: http://www.ximeta.com/products/media/media_share/specifications.php

    These are other related links to network mediadrives.

    http://www.gennetworks.com/product/default.asp?TMenu=product&SMenu=IP_01
    http://www.logitec.co.jp/products/converter/ldcrgb2.html
    http://www.rokulabs.com/
    http://www.ruttertech.com/
    http://www.enwiser.com/english/product/secuwiser.html
    http://www.linudix.com/eng/product/lws700_s1.html

    Note2: You can still get the Mediagate M-25 for $129.00 at: Cooldrives.com
    http://search.store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/nsearch?follow-pro=1&vwcatalog=cooldrives&catalog=cooldrives&query=mediagate

    Note3: The Mediagate M-25 from Airlink and Mediashare from Ximeta are basically the same product, the Mediashare has been re-released with ethernet etc… like the Mediagate M-35

    Try Globalcomputer too for the M-25 and M-35: Call Bob Szafranek, 800-835-2585 x2237

  8. Globalcomputer now has 1000 Mediagate M-35 in stock in the US.
    I already recieved 2 Mediagates M-35 today.

    Special order only- not advertised on site:Call Bob Szafranek, 800-835-2585 x2237

    Look out for the Mediashare mini smaller version of Mediagate M-35

  9. Hi, i’m unable to listen to AC3 5.1 Audio in my avi files after I convert them from Xvid to DivX due to GMC not being recognised by the mediagate. However, when I play the new avi file in my PC, the 5.1 ch audio works fine. Even when I convert the whole XviD avi file to DVD (.VOB), i’m unable to listen to 5.1 ch AC3 on my mediagate, but it works fine in my PC. What could be causing this?

  10. It sounds like a problem with your conversion problem. To get AC3 AVI with GMC playing on the mediagate I use VirtualDub. First I open the AVI file, then I set audio to Direct stream copy (very important otherwise you won’t keep the AC3). The video is set to Full processing mode, with whatever compression you wish (I find DivX works best with AC3). Then save the new AVI and it should play fine.

  11. I am unable to set up the device as a player. All I see onscreen is a banner “Mobile Multimedia Player”. No amount of f1 pressing works. The remote seems OK as it does switch the device on, but not off.
    I would be grateful for any help.

    Thanks

    Mike

  12. Its firmware problem. For mg-25 if you use LG firmware its woking fine.if any one know about mg-35 please pass the commnets

  13. I’m having some serious transfer speed issues, its taking like 5 minutes to copy one 350 file to my mg-25
    I’m copying from, a 120gb ide 7200rpm to a 5400rpm 80gb, over a usb 2.0 port.

    Any suggestions?

    Also the usb cable that came with my unit doesn’t actually fit my mg-25 there is like 1mm of extra plastic on the inside of the connector that won’t let it fit in, I have been using the usb cable from my brand new olympus IR-300, so maybe its the cable?

  14. Does the USB socket on the MG25 look like a normal USB socket? If the cable doesnt fit then it sounds like there could be a manufacturing fault there (my USB cable has 1mm of plastic on the inside of the connector and it fits fine). Try plugging the MG25 cable into your camera.

  15. I fixed the problem, turns out my usb ports weren’t showing up as ‘enhanced’ in my device manager, I selected update driver and kept my motherboard driver cd in the drive and it has fixed it up.

    RE: cable I eventually got it in with a little force, but it fits fine in my camera and psp. However my camera cable fits perfect in my mg-25 so I’m just using that.

    thanks for the reply.

    does anyone else get any audio sync problems?

  16. I had a problem with audio sync on many movies that played just fine on the computer. I installed the LG firmware and all works like a champ now. Lose some features, but the biggest feature, I think, is being able to watch a movie. Also fixed a problem where some .DAT files would not play (ripped from VCD). They play like a dream now.

  17. I have a bunch of DivX movies and some will play from the beginning and most start playing from the almost the end. All were created with the same software. I can’t seem to be able to rewind the movies either. Sound quality on mp3’s seems distorted. So far I am not impressed. Perhaps the firmware upgrade will fix it.

  18. I’ve just grabbed the mg-35 and whilst I find much of the video performance quite suitable sounds quality of mp3 audio seems to be really quite poor… I imagine the mg-25 would have the same issue?

    Comments anyone???

  19. Yes, since writing the review I have also noticed that the MP3 quality is terrible. I don’t recall it being like this when I first received the MG25, so I’m thinking that one of the firmware updates has improved the video but destroyed MP3 playback. Another firmware update is definatley needed.

  20. Does anybody know if the MG-25 will work with a Universal remote? If so, could you point me in the right direction to find out how to go about setting that up?

  21. I have a slight problem with the MG-25, majority of video files work well, but a couple, seem to be in the same format as other which play fine, have audio sync problems. Why is this and can it be fixed? By the way they work fine when played on my PC

  22. I don’t think there is an answer for this, Richard. It’s just how the MG-25 works! Like yourself, the majority of the videos I’ve tried work perfectly. Occasionally one will be jerky, and I’ve not figured out what it is the cause of the problem. It’s likely that that particular video has a video and audio CPU requirement that is too high for the MG-25, and so something suffers (it jerks, or the audio is behind).

  23. slight problem with the mg-25. It DIED!!!. I can power it on. nothing after that. no startup menu. Had been working for a week. Is there any reset button on this thing? the manufact. website has nothing on this. The manual has no troubleshooting tips or section. time to return?

  24. issue resolved. The darn thing had overheated prolly. left it off for an hour. works now. 🙂

    Now here’s another puzzle. ripped DVD’s work fine with picture and sound. Ripped some fight sequences from a DVD as Vobs. Vobs play back fine in powerdvd, media player (just doubleclicking works). Copy them to the MG-25 and I see picture no sound. File Information shows nothing for audio. Now here’s the crazy part. I took one of the VOBs and checked to see that it has only 1 audio stream (and thats the AC-3 one). I use TMPGenc to demux the ac3 stream. Copy the ac3 stream to MG-25 as track.ac3 and the darn thing plays fine. Does my VOB need to be adjusted in some way to get sound or is this a bad sync problem? I have the latest firmware 1.4.6 and also tried LG 1.3.3. SOL. thanks in advance for any help.

  25. found an interim solution. create a dvd from all the VOBs using TMPGenc DVD Author 1.5. Works like a charm. only issue is I don’t know if I can create a random playlist spanning chapters from different dvd’s. Any ideas folks?

  26. Just wondering has the current product or firmware been able to display the idx/sub format subtitles? It was mentioned before that it only recognised the srt format subs.

  27. It definatley does not play sub/idx files I’m afraid. These are basically ripped images taken directly from the DVD. Fortunatley it’s pretty easy to convert them to .srt, although time consuming and tedious. You can run them through SubRip and it will try to optically recognize the text in the images. Then you can save it as a .srt and dump the .sub/.idx.

    There is another format that ends in .sub, but without the .idx, and the MG25 kind of plays these… just 100 times faster than the video! So far I’ve found that only srt files play without any problems.

  28. Thanks John, I will try to use that app to convert my idx/sub into srt format. Because the sub is so critical when I watching a Korean or French movie, particularly now the Korean movie is so popular in Asian (you will notice that if you are still in GZ).

    Just curious can the MG25 display Chinese subs (in srt format), or it only can display English?

  29. Hi John
    Do you know if the MG-25 support Hebrew font for the srt files.
    can i send you a srt file so you can check if it is running it ok
    thanks

  30. Geoffrey: Not sure, I’ve never tried it with Chinese subtitles.

    Sure Ran, send a message through the ‘Contact’ form and I’ll send you an address to send the SRT file.

  31. Help!!! Does anyone know where i can find the external Infra red component for either the MG-25 or MG-35?

    Cheers,
    Adam

  32. A decent universal remote control should be able to handle it. Check out a previous comment by IKnowNothing who is using a Harmony Universal Remote.

  33. Plesss Help problem with the mg-25. It DIED!!!. I can power it on. nothing after that. no startup menu.Is there any reset button on this thing?
    Thanks Robby

  34. Hi all
    I have the same problem , I power on the mg-25 I saw a movie but from yesterday I dont see anything even the menu not display on the TV but the device is on.

  35. It’s possible the MG25 is outputting the video in a different format than your TV supports. You can fix this if you keep pressing F1 when the device is switched on. This cycles through all the display modes and hopefully one of them will activate your TV, allowing you to then use the menu.

  36. I have recently fitted my WD Scorpio 80gb 2.5 hdd into the mg-25 formatted it and everything. I transferred mpegs and avis into the mg-25 and it works smoothly (I need both power adapter and usb connected).

    Heres the problem: When it is plugged into a power point (no usb connection) with just the 5v dc power adapter it turns on and u hear the whirring of the hdd for like 5 seconds and then bang it dies just like that… no remote control response – nothing.

    What do I do? It’s so wrong and I havn’t been able to find any answers anywhere please please please help!

  37. Update: I have recently discovered I do not need the power adapter to transfer data on my pc.

    But if I wanted to view it on tv there is a power issue that when you turn the switch on the power point on while it is connected to the mg25 or when you connect the power adapter when power point is turned on, the mg25 jus dies in a matter of seconds

    Serious help needed

  38. I dont think its the HDD as it is working smoothly and its formatted to NTFS not FAT32.

    The problem may also be the PCB itself failing to boot with the adapter… but then does that mean there has to be firmware in the device like do i have to install (not upgrade) firmware first before it will function? Or should the mg25 already have firmware/software to be able to boot up?

    In dire need of a solution I dont want to bring this back to the retailer.

  39. Ok ive also figured out that the power output is ok but the amps is way off to what is expected. It should be 2amps but when i tested it and measured it, it gave me a 2.99/3amp reading. Would the solution be just to buy another power adapter?

    The mg-25 only accepts 5v 2a power output right?

  40. Does a little red light come on at the front when you plug it into the power and switch on with the remote?

    The unit does have firmware, but it will already have that installed.

  41. no the power does not turn on using the remote

    alas I have discovered that the pcb has a very loose protection diode on the pcb.. it is the component that controls the volt output or something right? well the diode is really loose only touching half way.. is the solution to solder it back on? (btw it came off.. lol)

    a technician at my local electronic store has told me that 99% that is the problem and that soldering it on will fix it definitely..

    anyone care to disagree becoz im going to start soldering??

  42. sorry i dont think my post got posted as i dont see it hehe..

    but the protection diode is really loose thus not giving enough power to the hdd

    and maybe soldering it will fix it what do u think?

  43. Well I stuck it back on! But guess what. Yep it still dies.. Its rare to see the PCB being the one at fault. What do you reckon John? Its faulty yeh? Bringing it back to the supplier is probably the best idea since i still have warranty (hopefully me sticking the diode back on doesnt void it) thanks anyway for the responses.

  44. Just got my MG-35 and have several issues I did not find answer to:

    1. Is there a way to creat multiple playlist?
    2. Can I play a music folder randomly (substiute to playlist) or do i have to copy the files one by one to the “playlist” feature?
    3. Anyone managed to play Hebrew subtitles?

  45. People having problems with the Mg-35 video playing back and other issues , please report it here at their NEW US support forum:

    http://mediagateusa.s10.forumsplace.com/index.php

    As we are trying to Pressure al tech into issuing some REAL firmware update that fix the many issues this unit has..

    Other Forums that are trying to Fix the firmware issues are here , please post if you can be of help..

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mg-35_firmware_mods/?yguid=10889628

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=8142744#post8142744

  46. Problem with my MG25 🙁 I can power it on using the remote but cannot power it off. I don’t see anything on my TV when the MG25 is on. It used to work fine and the HDD still works when connected to the PC. I have tried the F1-sequence to change output format but with no luck. Any ideas?

  47. Xvid AVI files with AC3 audio play without sound on MG-25 with 1.4.6 firmware. Is there a way to change just the audio of a xvid from ac3 to mp3, so that MG-25 can output the required sound ?

  48. I’ve not had any problems playing AC3 audio so I’d check your equipment and configuration first. You can configure the MG25 to output stereo from AC3, so that should always work.

  49. I upgraded the firmware to 1.4.6. The upgrade went fine. At the last step, the instruction said ‘pull the power plug off’. Then I followed it and pull it power cable out.

    Then after I plug the power cable back in, the red power light flashes a few seconds, then power is off. Tried a few times with the same results.

    I can still access via USB.

    I doubt that the firmware is damaged. I should have pressed the power button to turn it off. However, I guess i just followed the wrong instruction.

    Any ideas how I can fix it?

    Thanks!

  50. I just got MG-25 from xpcgear. Firmware was 1.3.4 so I flashed 1.4.7 and power down ( I unplug AC side because easier for me) without any problem. I am running 1.4.7 now.(link is in last page of this review).

    I have problem running 1280×720 divx files.
    How high resolution can I run with MG-25?
    720 x 480 works fine.

  51. The product description states it can output 1280x720p files (it says it can output 1920x1080i too) so it may be a problem of encoding (certain encoding options are not supported, such as quarter pixel and GMC)

  52. Thanks John I will re-encode the file and try it again.
    Have you tried higher resolution?

    My MG-25 is Freecom brand and I noticed I got new hardware that has 3 output ports.
    1. IR/5.1 for digital audio.
    2. SD/HD for component video.
    3. A/V for composite video and stereo analog audio.

    I think little nicer arrangement then old one.

  53. Glad I found this thread. Thanks for the tips and comments about the product. Its selling here for around USD98 only. Not sure if it already comes with the drive. http://www.villman.com/products/specs/altech/mg-25.asp?code=mg-25&ref=altech/mg-25.asp

    These are my questions about the product:

    1. How good is the quality of video playback? Does it cover the edge of the screen? Some low quality players dont.

    2. Can it play divx movies well? If yes, what’s the preferred resolution in relation to having the smallest size possible?

    3. Is it any good as a normal removable hard drive?

    4. Does the drive speed matter or is it ok to use 4200 80g Toshiba?

    5. Can it read dvd or vcd iso? How about mpeg2 or mpeg1, how’s the performance?

    6. With the latest update, did it fix mp3 playback? What else did you guys notice?

  54. Mark,

    http://www.xpcgear.com/altechmg25.html has $70 shipping.
    But case is not aluminum.

    1.Quality is subjective but I think slightly less then DVD quality and I don’t have problem with edge with my CRT rear projection TV.

    2.Divx play ok up to 480P except certain encoding options are not supported, such as quarter pixel and GMC.
    I have problem with divx 720P file.

    3.Yes.

    4.Don’t know. I use 5400rpm.

    5.Can read DVD MPEG2 from .ifo file with disk menu support.

    6.Don’t know.

    Jim,

    I still can see 1.4.7 from last page of this review. Subject say 1.4.6 but content is 1.4.7.

  55. Suggestions are
    1.Upgrade firmware to 1.4.7.
    2.Make sure file is not encoded by quarter pixel and GMC option with Divx.
    3.Try low bit rate low resolution AVI file.
    4.Replace hard drive.

  56. Hello,
    I have un MG 25 which doesn’t have video out and audio out cables.
    Please send me the schemas for construction of the cables.In MG25 pdf files you have three cables for video out and audio out.
    For the remote control I have un universale remote but I don’t have all the comandes.Tell me please all about the remote control for un MG25.
    Thanck you!

  57. Sheldon, the LMG-100 firmware worked on the MG-25 so I would assume the MG-25 firmware will work on the LMG-100 (however I’m not willing to guarantee that!).

  58. Hi Costa,

    There are two version of MG25 for audio video output.
    Old one is picture in top of this page.(2 mini plugs)
    New one has 3 mini plugs.

    I have new type.
    All 3 cables have 3 signal mini plug.
    I use DVM to check the connection.

    1.IR/5.1
    Tip NC (No connection)
    Middle NC
    Bottom Coax digital audio.

    2.SD/HD
    Tip Blue connector of component cable
    Middle Red
    Bottom Green

    3.A/V
    Tip Composit Video
    Middle Analog Audio red.
    Bottom Analog audio white.

  59. i have the MG-25 and when i play videos on my computer they work fine but when i put them on the MG-25 some of them play fine but others play in frames. the sound is continous but the picture is not. any suggestions

  60. Hi all. I am having major headaches with my mg-25. On startup, to view it on my television, I keep getting a message “disk detection error, please make sure the disk is connected and try again” I know it’s connected because I can mount the unit on my computer. I have formatted the unit (drive) as ntfs and fat32. I hae also changed the pin configurations used another hard drive. Still getting the disk detection error. Am i missing something here? I am just about fed-up with this unit and ready to return it to the store for something other than this. BTW the support on thier webpage is totally useless as is their manual. – garman

  61. I have a mg-25 I use in my car & was wondering is there a way to make it boot up it gets power. Also are there any extra accessories available like a dc-dc power supply

  62. Did anyone find another link to download the LMG-100 firmware. The manufacturers website has been down for weeks now. Or could someone send me a copy. Thanks

  63. Does anyone know is the Ximeta “mediashare mini” the same as the mg-25 ?
    It is very odd that Ximeta sells the product thru Fry’s but Ximeta web site does not have any (support/product) info of their own product. I called Ximeta tech support and they don’t have any answer.
    When I inserted my drive, I saw there is a chip made by “Sigma Designs”. When connected to the TV, I saw the firmware version is 1.4.3.
    From the appearance of mg-25 and it’s accessories, it looks identical to the Ximeta MediaShare mini.
    Since mg-25 has firmware 1.4.7 available, I am tempted to install this firmware to my Ximeta Mediashare mini.
    Any comment/advice is appreciated.

  64. Can anyone help me with my MG25? I am transferring .avi files from my PC to the MG25 and when I try to play these on my LCD TV, the movies skip frames. This happens all the way through the movie, and whilst it is only skipping a frame at a time, maybe once every 10-15 seconds it’s annoying! I have tried removing all files from the mg25 and then transferring again one by one but the result is the same. The movies do not skip when played on the PC. I have the lastest firmware, and have tried playing around re NTSC and PAL but still no luck.
    Please help.
    thanks

  65. Is it every movie, or just some? I have noticed that certain movies always skip, and the only way to stop it is to re-encode the movie using different settings – there is some combination of video and audio settings that overloads the MG-25, making it not able to keep up.

    If the skipping is occurring on every movie then it’s possible the hard-drive may be too slow

  66. It appears to be every movie, John. And a mate of mine transferred certain files off the MG25 and onto his media player and they do not skip. So – I am guessing it’s the player itself or the hard-drive. I didn’t eve realise there were different speeds of hard drive. The one I am using is a Samsung 120GB IDE 5400RPM 2.5″ Notebook Hard Drive.

  67. Your drive should be more than fast enough so I can only assume that there is a problem with the player itself. Do you have the latest firmware?

  68. Hi. I own a recently purchased LMG-100 and want to upgrade the firmware. I have read the posts on this site (thanks) and understand that the firmware for the MediaGate 25 (MG-25) should work with my LG. I notice that the most recent upgrade on the download site http://www.airlinktek.com/ is for the MG-25 N.Can I use this ‘N’ version firmware on my LMG-100 ?
    Thanks

  69. Thanks. Do you know if the MG-25N differs from the MG25 in any way that could effect the updating of the ones firmware with the other?

  70. I just bought a Mediagate unit to hook up to my Navigation System in my Bimmer.
    I purchased a PSP car charger because it was recommended for the Avox on
    another review site Its 5V-2Amps But the plug a little longer so it dosent seat quite right…
    Does anyone have any recommendations for a car charger for the mediagate MG-25?

    TIA

  71. Hi all, I own an MG-25, and I would like to share what happened after a hard disk upgrade, from my old Toshiba 40Gb 4200 RPM to my new Samsung 160 GB 5400 RPM. I upgraded firmware to 1.5.0 from 1.4.0 and ALL my divx or xvid files freezed for a moment every 10 or 12 seconds, then went on. I tried to revert to the firmware I have been using until the upgrade, the 1.4.0, and now everything is ok again. When I have some time I’ll try the other firmware between 1.4.0 and 1.5.0, 4.6, 4.7, 4.8 and 4.9, to see when freeezing starts. So be cautious with the upgrading…

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