Discgo – Media Bank review

different solution for media management in the home
Photo of Discgo – Media Bank
£169.99 (for 500GB)

Disgo’s Media Bank is a storage solution designed to send your digital media files to an external source like a television or stereo. It’s a pretty compact device, offering basic connectivity in the form of composite inputs and outputs, a USB port to connect to a PC and a multi-card reader slot. You won’t find a network connection here so this is designed for local storage only, and in the light of the capabilities of many media streamers around today it’s a disappointing start.

Setup is obviously quite straightforward as all you need to do to get the thing up and running is connect the supplied composite output cable to your television. Aside from digital media playback the Discgo can also record from an external source such as a set-top box or DVD player, but for this you’ll need to set it up as a pass-through device by connecting the relevant Scart output to the composite input.

When you fire it up for the first time you’ll see a rather basic interface that offers you access to video, photos, music, files and the record functionality. If you want to get files onto the device you can use one of the card readers or connect it directly to a PC and drag and drop content across. Rather shockingly there’s not a full-sized USB port on the exterior of the unit, so you won’t be able to hook up external hard drives or USB storage directly.

After copying a range of media content onto the player we found file format support to be very good, alongside responsive enough controls for playing back media. Unfortunately the latter is rather basic both in terms of the interface and the range of options you have available to customise playback.

There’s a simple graphic equalizer for audio but very little in terms of video control and photo viewing is limited to a handful of options for timing slideshows. You can control the range of rather basic features with the supplied remote, but this too is frustrating to use, adopting a poorly conceived design that often leaves you wondering exactly what each of the buttons does until you try them out.

When recording content from a source device you have access to settings such as brightness and contrast, along with a scheduler that allows you to enter a time to start and stop a recording. We weren’t overly impressed by the results, though. While video was passable, audio quality was disappointing and despite tweaking some of the options we couldn’t eliminate a faint crackle that threatened to ruin the experience.

Overall we found the Disgo to be rather uninspiring and its only redeeming feature is the high capacity storage of the internal drive. Considering you have to lug it to within range of a computer to copy content across, even this isn’t utilised to the full, and the basic menu structure can make large collections of files awkward to browse.

This is the sort of device that, if released two years ago, would have proven a big hit. As it stands the Discgo finds itself up against players like the Archos TV+ and Neuros OSD, and while it has capacity on its side, both of these rivals offer more features, better usability and better performance in almost every way.

Company: Discgo

Contact: +353 94 9374100


Verdict
Disgo has turned up too late with its MediaBank. While the basics work well enough, there's nothing particularly redeeming about the features available here and, despite offering plenty of storage for your files, you're likely to be uninspired by the poor range of control, basic connectivity and limited access.