The future hath arrived. Tech enthusiasts have long theorized that video players in the form of glasses were imminent, and it was only a year ago that some of the first models started to hit the market. Now, the category is in full swing, with plenty of versions of the device made specifically for the video iPod. One of them is the MyVu Personal Media Viewer (PMV), a $299.95 accessory that creates the illusion that you're watching video on a large screen from several feet away.
An attractive design is not one of the MyVu's selling points--the PMV is guaranteed to make you look like Geordi La Forge from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Frankly, I just don't think it's a very good look (especially on me), but looks aren't everything. Comfort, in this case, is very important because you would likely use the PMV to watch movies. The glasses themselves weigh about 2.5 ounces, which is noticeably heavier than most sunglasses, but they don't feel all that heavy when worn. However, the thickness and the shape of the arms put pressure on the cartilage of my ear, making it unbearable for me to wear the device for more than 10 to 15 minutes. Those with less sensitive (and stronger) ears may not have an issue. On the plus side, the nose piece (there are three from which to choose) fits well and is texturized to help keep the glasses from sliding off.
Two earbuds dangle from cords on each arm of the PMV, and you get three sets of silicone eartips in varying sizes to ensure a proper fit. Coming off the end of the left arm of the glasses is a 4-foot cable bisected by a clip-on remote, which includes volume, playback, and screen brightness controls for the iPod. This cord terminates in a 30-pin connector, which in turn connects to the second half of the MyVu: a battery pack-cum-iPod dock. This segment is about the size of the video iPod itself, with raised edges to guide the player in and a flexible 30-pin connector that attaches to the iPod. The battery offers eight hours of video viewing time and can also be used to extend the audio life of the iPod by 20 hours. The PMV also includes a protective case, which snaps onto the battery pack to keep the iPod in place and offers minimal protection (the screen is left open to the elements).
Rounding out the MyVu Personal Media Viewer package is a variety of useful accessories. There's a protective hard case that fits the glasses, battery pack, and iPod. You also get two chargers: one standard "wall wart" power adapter for use at home, and one cigarette lighter adapter for the car.
It's a little weird viewing video with the MyVu PMV, mostly because the glasses are quite thin, and there's nothing to block your view above and below the edges. Personally, I find it a bit distracting--some clip-on blinders may have made the glasses a little more ridiculous-looking but still would be a welcome addition to the package. As far as quality is concerned, the PMV is passable, but not crystal clear. Video looks just somewhat washed out, and there are some light vertical lines visible across the "screen." Sometimes, the videos had a slightly grainy quality as well.
So is the MyVu Personal Media Player a worthwhile accessory at nearly $300? Not for me. Until MyVu refines the design, tweaks the video quality, and lowers the price a bit, I'd prefer to stick with something like the Sonic Impact Video 55 or the Philips DCP850. But if you absolutely must enjoy your videos in "private"--with no over-the-shoulder onlookers--the PMV could suit you fine.