Verbatim MediaShare Wireless – The Ideal Device for Long Car Journeys
Here we have for review at We Try Anything is the MediaShare Wireless portable streaming device from Verbatim.
We purchased this device a while ago from Amazon, which you can find via this link, and the main reason for our purchase was to help entertain our bored kids on long car journeys up and down the country. As most parents have experienced on these journeys, there are only so many times that you can play “I spy” with an eight and ten-year-old.
With this in mind, the review will mainly look at the device in this capacity as a streaming device.
What do you get in the box?
When opening the packaging, which was fairly easy to do, you are greeted with the MediaShare Wireless device itself, a USB to micro USB cable which is about 470mm long, warranty details and a Quick Start Guide and that is it.
About the Verbatim MediaShare Device itself
Concentrating on the Verbatim 98243 MediaShare device itself, it’s made up of what we would see as a fairly hard-wearing matt black plastic front and a greyish underside which is no design classic but looks good and feels sturdy.
The device measures approximately 78mm wide x 112mm tall and has a thickness of only 14mm so it is a fairly pocketable item and could be easily stored in a bag or say a glove box of a car and the like.
On the front-facing side of the MediaShare Wireless, you will find other than the Verbatim logo are four LED light indicators of which each has an icon sitting above them. From left to right the LEDs indicate the following: Battery Level and whether the device is on or not, Read/Write LED which is on while the device is in Wi-Fi disk mode, a Wi-Fi- LED indicating the device’s connection status and finally a WAN LED which indicates whether the device is connected to the internet via a bridged connection – something we haven’t really looked into for this review.
The left side of the device features a power button and a micro USB data and charging port. Finally, on the adjacent side of the MediaShare device, you will find the following ports from left to right:
• SD Card slot – which is suitable for SD card and Micro SD cards using the appropriate adapter.
• Reset button – where you can reset the device to factory settings.
• USB Host port – where you can insert a USB flash drive or USB hard drive for Wi-Fi access
And that is really it.
The device contains a 3000ma lithium battery which is good for a manufacturer specified 9 hours of wireless action, which we found in use was quite close and to charge the device to 100% only took about three hours, give or take a little.
What’s the Verbatim MediaShare Wireless like to use?
Powering up the device is an easy press of the power button found on the side of the device. Once powered up you will see the Battery Level LED light up and as long as you have an SD card or USB connected device like a USB hard drive or flash drive inserted into the MediaShare Wireless then the Wi-Fi disk mode and Wi-Fi LED will be lit also.
Next, you will have to make sure that you have installed Verbatim’s MediaShare Wireless app, which allows you to see the file structure of either the SD card or USB hard drive that is connected to the MediaShare Wireless device. The reason why we mention this now is that once you have you connected via Wi-Fi to the MediaShare device you will not be able to access the internet on your smartphone or tablet while you are connected to the MediaShare in this way.
Now the only problem we did experience with setting up this device was when we were trying to install the app on an Android device. As the Android operating system can be different from device to device, you may find that the actual MediaShare app may not be listed as compatible for your device on Google Play.
There are ways around this by side-loading the app onto your device, which you can find out how to do via a quick Google or YouTube search but it can be problematic as you will have to download the app from a non-trusted source that could be embedded with malware. We took our chances and followed a few tutorials and eventually got it installed on our Lenovo tablet but please be careful if you are looking to do this yourself. iOS is a completely different experience and we had absolutely no problem finding the app and installing it which is how we feel the Android experience should have been.
Connecting to the device’s Wi-Fi connection was a breeze via an iOS-enabled device such as an iPhone 8 with iOS 12 installed. You just simply navigated to the Wi-Fi setting in iOS and chosen the Verbatim-8F38 SSID displayed on your device, tap on it and then enter in the Verbatim’s Wi-Fi connection password that can be found on the reverse side of the device. Using an Android-powered device it was pretty much the same way of connecting to this device also.
Once connected via Wi-Fi to the MediaShare then all we had to do was to fire up the MediaShare app, once installed, and we were off!
After the title screen of the app had disappeared you are greeted with the app’s interface. At the bottom right you will see that it will mention if your device is connected to the MediaShare and once you are connected you simply have to tap on the File/Folder icon option that is featured above it in an orange circle to reveal what is enclosed within the SD Card or USB Hardrive/Flash Drive connected to the device. We found the presentation of the list of files easy to understand and didn’t have any problems navigating the MediaShare’s file structure as it was displayed via the app.
Once we had tapped on one of the MP4s that we had loaded onto the SD card (what are films that we own and used Handbrake to convert them to 1080p MP4 files) it loaded up quite quickly and started playing without much fuss at all. As it was a 1080p MP4 video file it played no problem, there were no glitches or hiccups in the flow of the file playing but we did notice that as you move the MediaShare Wireless device further away from the tablet or smartphone you were watching the MP4 on it did start to play up a little. Saying that though we mainly used this device in the car on a few long trips with the kids and had absolutely no problems with the streaming of different MP4 files to different devices.
From what we have read you can stream up to five devices using the MediaShare Wireless from Verbatim but as we only had three devices to hand that we could stream to we will have to take Verbatim’s word for it but saying that we had no problems at all with the three devices we had streamed to, which were an iPad and two Android tablets, and we found that it worked really well.
Battery life was good and lasted the six hours that we were travelling for and it only took up to three hours to charge our unit to 100%. It does have a claimed battery life of nine hours which I would say is pretty close to real-life use.
What’s our verdict of the Verbatim MediaShare Wireless?
Overall we found this device a very useful addition to keeping our kids more than entertained on long car journeys. Once you got past the fun of installing the app on an Android-enabled device and connecting your device via Wi-FI, it has been pretty painless in its use.
The streaming worked well within the confines of the car and its battery life was more than adequate for what we needed it for and if you have a car USB adapter you can charge it on the go via its micro USB port.
It does have more uses than just as a streaming device to keep our kids entertained and has been used by the likes of photographers as a way of viewing their USB stored files via Wi-Fi but you can find out more about that feature if you search on YouTube about the device.
We wouldn’t hesitate in recommending this device to anyone who is looking for a device to stream files via Wi-Fi and for the price point that it sits at, £39.99 at the time of the review, it doesn’t break the bank. The way we see it if it can keep your kids happy and quiet while you are concentrating on driving then it is a small price to pay for that peace and quiet.
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*Please note that the films listed in the images are films that have been purchased on DVD and ripped to 1080p MP4 files then copied to one SD card that is only been used for non-public consumption.