Sumvision Cyclone Micro review

Seth Barton
21 Sep 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

This media-player only plays standard-definition video, but it's cheap and incredibly compact.



High-definition video playback is now a common feature for media players, whether they stream content from a PC or play it directly from storage devices.

The Sumvision Cyclone Micro doesn't stream media, and it's the first playback device we've seen for ages that can't play HD video.

The chipset inside its tiny metal case supports only standard-definition video - up to the PAL resolution of 720x576 pixels. Although initially disappointing, this is understandable for the price, and many people still use only standard-definition files from the internet or camcorders. There's good support for common video formats, including MPEG2 (with support for VOB files from DVDs) and MPEG4-based formats such as DivX and XviD.

It may not support HD video, but the Cyclone Micro has an HDMI output. This supports all the usual HD resolutions, up to and including 1080p. Video is automatically upscaled to the output resolution, although the results were no more impressive than our test TV could manage on its own, with no effort made to remove compression artefacts. You can fast-forward and rewind videos at a respectable 20x speed, though.

As well as HDMI, there's a mini-jack output for stereo phono and composite video, but the lack of a high-quality analogue output, such as S-video, is disappointing. The memory card reader on the front supports SDHC cards, and there's a USB port for flash drives and USB hard disks. There are no controls on the unit, so you'll have to use the mini remote control.

We dislike this sort of compact remote: they're uncomfortable to hold, the buttons provide little feedback and their regular rows make it hard to find the button you want. Here, at least, the controls are clearly labelled and do what you'd expect. The garish onscreen menus react quickly to your inputs, but provide little more than basic folder browsing.

The high resolution of the HDMI output is handy for displaying photos, although many new digital cameras have such outputs built in. You can see only a single preview image at a time when scrolling through your photos, so looking through hundreds of photos to find the one you want can take a painfully long time. The scaling and display of photos looked fine, and rotating them onscreen is easy. Music playback is even more basic, with only folder-based browsing, and no album or artist options or support for playlists.

The Cyclone Micro looks basic next to our favourite non-streaming media player, the Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player, which supports the latest HD video formats and has a slicker and more powerful interface. However, at £70 it's also considerably more expensive. The Cyclone Micro may be a little out of date, but it works just fine and at this price it's a reasonable buy if you need to play only standard-definition files.

Basic Specifications

Media Streamer typestreaming multimedia receiver

Audio Compatibility

Audio MP3 playbackYes
Audio WMA playbackYes
Audio WMA-DRM playbackNo
Audio AAC playbackNo
Audio Protected AAC playbackNo
Audio OGG playbackYes
Audio WAV playbackNo
Audio Audible playbackNo
Other audio formatsnone
Internet radio stream compatibnone

Video Compatibility

Video MPEG-1 playbackYes
Video MPEG-2 playbackYes
Video MPEG-2 VOB playbackYes
Video MPEG-4 AVI playbackYes
Video MPEG-4 MP4 playbackYes
Video MPEG-4 DivX/XviD supportYes
Video H.264 supportNo
Video MPEG-4 MP3 audio supportYes
Video MPEG-4 AAC audio supportNo
Video WMV playbackNo
Video WMV-HD supportNo
Other video formatsnone
Internet video stream compatibnone

Image Compatibility

Image BMP supportYes
Image JPEG supportYes
Image TIFF supportNo

Network Interfaces

Wired network portsnone
Wireless networking supportNo
128-bit WEPNo
256-bit WEPNo

AV Interfaces

Minijack line outputs0
Minijack headphone outputs0
Stereo phono outputs1
Coaxial S/PDIF outputs0
Optical S/PDIF outputs0
Total SCART sockets0
HDMI outputs1
Component outputs0
S-video output0
Composite outputs1
Other connectorsUSB, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, MMC, SDHC


Internal/external antennasN/A
Upgradeable antennaNo
Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption on3W

Server Compatibility

Software includednone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB

Read more