Welland MediaBank ME-747AP review

As I mentioned in my IGDA Perth Chapter social night writeup, I’m now the fortunate owner of a Welland 3.5″ MediaBank HDD Media Player.

ME-747AP box

It’s a neat piece of kit, but has a few flaws and irritations. On the software side of things, there’s nothing wrong that can’t be fixed by a firmware upgrade. However, it seems that no such upgrade exists yet! I’ve included a quick one-line conclusion below, but keep reading for many more pictures and my full review.

Conclusion: Gingerly Recommended (if you need heaps of portable storage and it doesn’t cost you much more than a standard external case).

The Welland MediaBank ME-747AP is an external hard disk drive (HDD) enclosure that you can connect to your computer (using the provided USB2 cable) to use as external storage. You can also connect it to your television (using the provided audio and video cables) and watch videos, listen to music, or look at pictures stored on the HDD.

This will mainly be a visual review of what’s involved in putting the MediaBank together, followed by a text review the MediaBank’s capabilities and user interface (Unfortunately, I have a CRT television so I can’t really take photos of the user interface).

The contents of the MediaBank box include the enclosure itself, all necessary cables, a CD with user software, a small external power supply, and a remote control (with batteries):

MediaBank box content

You don’t really need to use the CD because the drive presents as a USB mass storage device (which is recognised automatically by most computers) . It includes a manual, firmwares for different languages, and also some “one touch backup” (OTB) software if you are running Windows.

The MediaBank is just an enclosure, so you will need to buy a Parallel ATA (PATA) HDD to use with it. Here you can see the tray with data and power cables ready for installatio of a HDD:

MediaBank HDD tray

I picked up a 250GB Western Ditigal HDD for AU$92 from NetPlus in Osborne Park. After fixing it to the tray, I realised that one corner wasn’t flush (and this prevented me from sliding the tray back into the enclosure):

MediaBank has too much plastic on the power cable connector

Upon closer inspection, it turns out that the plastic on the power cable connector was preventing the HDD from sitting flush (it was pressing against the edge of the tray). I don’t know if this is a general design fault, or just a problem when using this enclosure with this model HDD.

Closeup of MediaBank power cable connector

I took the MediaBank to the chopping board and trimmed the power connector. Problem solved:

Taking the MediaBank power cable connector to the chopping board

With that done, the tray slid easily into the enclosure and installation was complete! All things considered, the entire process was relatively painless.

MediaBank after installation of HDD

Now onto the user review. Connecting the MediaBank to my computer (running Ubuntu Linux) was completely painless; I just had to plug in the power and connect it using the USB2 cable. I created a FAT32 (the required format for multimedia operation) partition using the Gnome Partition Editor (GParted) and then mounted the new filesystem. For testing, I copied a few videos, photos, and music files over. As an external mass-storage device, this enclosure works exactly how you would expect it to.

After copying a few files onto the HDD, I moved the MediaBank next to my television. The video cable offers composite or s-video output. I used composite since my television doesn’t support s-video. The audio cable is stereo only (no surround and no digital). When I turned on the MediaBank, an image appeared on the television with the message “Optimize your system…” written across the top. It stayed like that for 15 seconds or so and I thought I must have to do something to the files on the HDD before I could watch anything on the television. This was not the case.

I think the message was meant to read “Optimising your system… (please wait)” because after a (fairly long) bootup time (which happens everytime I turn on the system), the main menu appeared. It consists of four categories: Photos, Music, Video, and Files. You need to choose the correct category for what you want to do before browsing for file. For example, nothing will happen if you are in “video mode” and select a music file. This seemed a bit odd.

There are a number of odd and irritating things about the interface. When you fast forward a video, you can’t stop fast forwarding by pressing the “play” button. You have to press “pause” and then “play”. The thing that irritates me the most is that the filenames are cropped so that you can only ever see the first dozen or so characters. This means that files in a series all look exactly the same (eg. “some_show_episode_1” and “some_show_episode_2” both come up as something like “some_show_ep”). The names should scroll automatically or at there should at least be some function to check the full filename.

The MediaBank is meant to be able to output in 720p mode when using the s-video connection. I wasn’t able to test this functionality, but I’m not sure I see the point for anything aside from photo viewing. To the best of my knowledge it can’t play 720p videos (I tried playing a few; the video didn’t play and the menu screen became corrupted) so it would just be scaling videos up anyhow. (That said, it might be worthwhile if it improves the menu system so that you can actually read full filenames.)

If you are after a media player and you already have a home network, I’d recommend buying a cheap XBOX (they’re discontinued) and installing XBOX Media Center. The user interface is miles ahead of the MediaBank and you can stream most videos over your network. On the other hand, if you are in need of a mass storage device and want to take videos to friends’ houses (who may not have home computers), I would recommend getting the MediaBank if you need a lot of storage and you can find one for not much more than a standard enclosure. If you don’t required much storage, maybe a smaller (battery powered) device is a better investment.

131 thoughts on “Welland MediaBank ME-747AP review”

  1. Ah looks interesting. Yeah i don’t know if i mentioned it to you last year but i do have a Rowa DivX DVD player, and i don’t think there’s been any firmware updates for it. Have you experimented with playing your videos yet as you could post your findings here if no one has posted about the unit yet:


    What i would like though is something that could play H.264 1920×1080 videos(Le Chevalier D’eon, if you’re interested), my comp can’t handle it and i paid for CoreAVC before(supposedly to be most efficient decoder available) but i couldn’t install it for some reason and got a refund. Never heard from them about what the issue was and if they could fix it either…

  2. Has anyone had problems in accessing files added AFTER the first 130gb of the hdd is full?

    I’ve tried creating 2 FAT32 partitions but no luck.

  3. I have ran in to the same problem. I integrated a 320 Gb drive into the mediabank. However, when hooked to the TV, I don’t have access to any videos that are saved beyond the 150Gb. the mediabank either shows the folders as empty or corrupt. Also, it goes all funky when I do more than one partition on the hard drive. any suggestions?

  4. Hello

    You wrote:

    think the message was meant to read “Optimising your system… (please wait)” because after a (fairly long) bootup time (which happens everytime I turn on the system), the main menu appeared

    I have similar problem. It shows “optimize your system…” and after 60 seconds TV screen become dark and once again “optimize your system…” and forever. Menu did not apperar

    Do you know why?

  5. I am really struggling with this unit (ME-747AP) called a “Lifebox” in the UK where I bought it. Since I was struggling to play one or two of my videos I thought I would download the firmware (for languages) that came on the CD with the unit to see if there was some latest firmware that might make a difference. This is precisely what the (poor) instructions that came with the unit suggested.
    I followed the instructions and whilst attached to the TV flushed the BIOS. All seemed to be going according to plan and then the screen went Blue. I waited a long while and no response. I eventually re-booted hoping that the process had stopped. I have never been able to get a menu since!

    I can see the unit via PC connect USB. I cannot seem to work out how to “re-flush the Firmware” in PC-attach mode or even where to get the firmware. The web-site does not seem to have firmware for this specific unit.

    Help please anybody!

  6. Miguel’s problem. Exactly same thing happened to me. I found it would play about 95% of avi’s downloaded from divx newsgroup. It would not recognise any of my my own movies – I rendered clips with every codec known to man and beast – I just got a question mark by every one. Also, mp3’s in folders reported as EMPTY when at root level some of them would play and others not. It’s great as a movie jukebox for 95% of avi’s downloaded from divx newsgroup. Otherwise it’s a complete pain.

    Now it’s dead as a result of my installing the rom file on the installation CD according to the simple instructions in the manual pdf and being returned to Maplins forthwith.

  7. i also have loads of problems with the lifebox/ welland
    wont show photos or videos!
    wont allow me to add new content later folders show up empty or
    full of chinese characters – Maplin have no answers or firmware
    any ideas anyone

  8. I have been using the UK version, lifebox for about 4 weeks now. It is the 160GB version and I am very pleased with it. I have encountered the chineese characters that others have mentioned and the HDD seems to freeze quite often but I am confident that thhese issues will/can be fixed with a firmware update.. Maybe we can put pressure on Maplin (UK distibuter) to chase up a firmware update for us.

  9. hi again
    There is a new firmware version available from welland, but it also “kills” the box when you upgrade!!! I have had to return 3 units to maplin already – they have no ideas whatsoever. They only advice is use the old firmware and put any more than 80g on the drive
    no matter how big it is!!

  10. Hi all, I have the Media Player/Network Hard Drive Enclosure from maplins, presently I have an 80GB hard disk installed, this is now full so I’m wanting to upgrade it to a 320GB HD. I’m slightly worried after all the posts above stating that only the 1st 150GB is recognised. I have notice that the life box from maplins comes with 500GB, 320GB, 250GB & 160GB options. Does anyone know if these are the same firmware (box) as the one I have? I can only guess that it must support higher than 150GB or why would they sell the larger hard drive versions of the life box. Does anyone know the make of hard drive in these life box’s? Might pay the local maplins a visit, but I feel as though I would probably be wasting my time. thanks for any help given.

  11. Great device with some key limitations. I have the Maplin Lifebox, 250GB it does not after around 100-130GB further data folders appear empty.

    Surely this now renders the entire product range as faulty products? How could a problem like this not be spotted ? Jamie have you tried loading 100-130GB ? If you do not have enough video and music just try copying the same batches to additional folders to test it ?

    I have been advised there will not be firmware upgrades. Although the instore rep who advised had not seen the product yet.

    The navigation and software is to say the least very basic, some key limitations and obvious features you would expect are absent:
    1. Chapter search, other feacility other than fast forward to navigate films
    2. Remote has a tolerance of 1degree, point it directly at the box and pray
    3. Play list of any kind
    4. Useable time remaining/track length display, etc

    Its a big shame its just not polished round the edges it has the potential to fill a huge gap. I will be watching for other devices any strong contenders to have a look at need a few extra touches but could clear up.

    Does anyone know of the best options, not including self set uptypes like the freecom (where own HDD have to be installed)?

  12. in reply to ZEPO
    The last time i replaced the lifebox they gave me a 320g version
    same old problem o only recognises the first 100g after that empty folders!!
    And you cannot add folders after the initial set up they show up empty!!
    Welland e mailed me upgraded firmware version 3.2 but this killed two different boxes
    Waste of time talking to maplin, they have no solution

  13. wow, thanks for the input guys. I was just about to purchase the 250g version, and thought id look at some review beforehand. Knowing this, ill be looking for another 3.5 media player.

    Anyone know of some decent 3.5 media players?

    Im looking for one with a nice interface, and a sleek design.

  14. I’ve been using the Welland MediaBank ME-747AP for about 4 months with a 300GB drive. A recent firmware upgrade I found online fixed the issue with fast forwarding and pressing play. It’s basic but for the money not a bad bit of kit.

  15. I bought this for a simple interface for playing songs on a commercial sound system.

    Although this works fine. The remote will not pause any song. Most remote commands work but the one I wanted the most was the pause button.

    I installed a 40Gb HDD which is plenty for what I want it to do.

    Any ideas about the pause button on the remote?

    Col 🙂

  16. hey Dan,

    can you send the link to that firmware update that you have, half my videos are recognised and the other half are not. very weird.

  17. i have MediaBank ME-747AP
    i upgrad it with bank30.rom from cd but now
    it black in tv.

    italian : ho un MediaBank ME-747AP de 400G andava a bastanza bene perche no vedevo tutti tipi di file video ,ho provato ad aggiornarlo
    con il firmware dal cd in dotazione ma adesso non vedo piu un c****o

  18. Yes indeed there is still a problem with passing the lifebox 100-150gb mark! The firmware “upgrades” on the cd that is bundled with the box, are absolutely useless. Applying one of these upgrades results in the box still being useable as a hard drive but unable to play anything videos music or pictures on a tv screen. Where is the upgrade that people are finding online? Ive looked on the welland website, and there doesnt seem to be anything on there that fixes the problem. An email to the support team at welland also didn’t get through, and maplins are useless too. It is very frustrating. Is There anyone out there who can solve this issue?! You deserve a medal if you can!!!!!!!!!

  19. hi guys !

    I think that we have imported this same … in France and I’m one of the “lucky” french buyers of the 500Go model !

    But now I would say “120Go model” as I can’t read any file passed this size….

    Unfortunately, it seems that nobody has a THE answer from this side of the sea

    salut !

  20. why did i buy this! and why didn’t i find these reviews earlier!! it wont even turn on! and the manual is useless!

  21. hi guys,

    i sent the following email to welland, and this is the response i got…not very helpful. but i think if everyone emails this guys with their problems, maybe it will wake them up to do something about it. since the product doesnt deliver what its supposed to do.


    On 08/06/07, Jing wrote:
    Dear Alex,

    Thanks for your mail.

    Please make sure the dpi of video file, due to ME747AP support 480p (720 x 480 dpi) below.

    Here is support format list for ref.
    Supported Format Movie : MPEG1/2/4 (AVI,MPG,DAT,VOB,Divx,Xvid V5.0 below)
    Music : MP3
    Photo : JPG/Motion JPG

    Any questions, please contact with the shop, which you bought from, thanks!

    See us at Computex Tapiei show Hall 1, B333, 335, 337

    Thanks & Best regards,

    Jing Lee / Sales department
    Welland Industrial Co., Ltd
    Tel: 886-2-8285-2345 ext. 18
    Fax: 886-2-8282-5000, 8282-7000
    E-mail: jing@welland.com.tw
    Web: http://www.welland.com.tw
    —–Original Message—–
    From: xxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:xxxxxxxxx]
    Sent: Friday, June 08, 2007 12:18 AM
    To: sales@welland.com.tw
    Subject: Spam(PTR): Buyer Inquiry — from Contact Us-Q4321.com

    There is a message from contact us of your WELLAND INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD. portfolio.

    Subject : Welland MediaBank ME-747AP

    Message : Hello, i have purchased this product, and have found there are alot of bugs with this product. i.e. not all video files play, and seems to be inconsistent. the video files are fine and have worked before. i was wandering what is the latest firmware update, and if you could send me the URL or link, and if not will there be any firmware updates on this product. regards alex

    Contact information:
    Company Name :
    Contact Person :
    Job Title :
    Contact Email :
    Business Type :
    Tel : 44–
    Fax : 44–

    Best Regards,
    Q4321.com Service Center

    New markets are looking for new players.
    Register with http://www.Q4321.com and tap into new emerging markets.

  22. I returned mine to Maplin after trying everything else. They refused to acknowledge any contact at the head offices. Local branch admitted there is a problem. But when asked if they are aware there is a problem and no solution is available is it not breaching Trade Descriptions act by continuing to sell them. They went quite and would not answer.

    I have now lost all faith in purchasing from Maplin, simply due to head office not reponding to any contact.

    If anyone is considering Lifebox http://www.maplin.co.uk/Search.aspx?criteria=A42GN&DOY=15m6 you should read the threads and be aware of the issues.

    If anyone knows any threads/forums for discussion about good alternatives please let me know.

  23. Thanks for review Nick.

    I experienced most of the problems other guys had/have. Solution: This device will only work with smaller partitions(less then 32GB). It is annoying to go through partitions, but it works fine now.
    DO NOT try to upgrade firmware.

  24. OK I see what u guys mean now about the data being useless pasat the 150gb mark, its not a major issue for me at the moment but I’ll be gutted if they dont fix it. IIt seems like it would be an easy issue to solve, there is just something wrong with their FAT32 implementation. Mike Kenny, what was wellands response to their firmware upgrade killing yoru boxes?

  25. i tried emailing welland technical team in taiwan or wherever it is they are based, and despite a very diplomatically worded request for help, there was, surprise surprise………. no response!

  26. Hello folks, I recently purchased a media player the a50fw enclosure which is nice and contains a card reader that can download onto hdd. Had a hell of a problem setting it up and getting windows to recognise it but eventually suceeded. However same problem when I came to download more pictures. So pretty gutted and will possibly be returning it. One last thing the software provided is meant to completely format hard drive to fat 32 for total capacity. Which appears to work, however if you go to you hdd manufacturer they will probably tell you you need an additional jumper setting along with the master setting and to format it using the manufacturers software which is going to be my last attempt before I return the product, so this maybe what is needed if this is of any help. I will be contacting technical (number listed on catalogue) who are usually the people to ask! to advise of these problems and hopefully have some update that is usable!

  27. Thanks for thread it seems the most up to date site on the web on this subject.

    I’m not sure what to do, I haven’t had the problem of passing the 100gb mark yet, but it won’t be long…. is this issue affecting every box?

    So should I apply the patch, looking at the warnings above I’m not sure?

    If I don’t apply the patch then the box is worthless, so anyone got an opinion on this?

    Apply the patch or return the box, there seems to be no middle ground?

    Cheers guys


  28. I am a bit confused by all this. Everyone is stating no response from maplins etc but i have had lengthy discussions via email with their technical team about my issues and they added a firmware on their site to fix issues with the unit so i can’t see what people are moaning about what else could they do?

    I have tried it on my 500 gig lifebox and it updated fine. Once i had done this i was able to add up to 200 gigs worth of files and counting with no missing files and questions marks that i had before (very frustrating before i figured out about the firmware!) After speaking to one of Maplins technical team they recommended backing up any files applying the patch and if it fails return the unit for a refund or replacment if it doesn’t work. So it seems that you should get the best of both worlds hopefully even if it does fail 🙂

  29. I assume that people are downloading the bank30.rom for the lifebox as sold by maplin? This appears identical to the original Welland ME-747AK product that was on offer (I own one).
    They direct you to the language update that they are hosting themselves.
    If anyone does want to apply this rom upgrade, check out these instructions, they may help.
    As for the drive size issue, I used the tool provided by welland when formatting the drive, this seems to be ok, but I only have an 80GB drive in mine.
    I am applying this firmware patch today, I’ll let you all know how I get on.

  30. Ah the difference is that the MediaLAN has the network storage (NDAS) option inlcuded, otherwise it appears the same. Hopefully the firmware update applies only to the media-player mode, as you have to boot specifically to this, i.e. it’s one or the other.

  31. I am considering this unit – http://www.welland.com.tw/html/multimedia/747aps.html
    Check out their support page http://www.welland.com.tw/html/support.html for the “Format Transfer Tool” – http://www.welland.com.tw/html/support/Format_Eng_v3.3.1.1_070130.rar – it may help to format your hdd to any partition size @ FAT32.
    I have just bought a 500GB SATA WD CAVIAR 16MB Cache unit, and I am hoping it would work with 747APS.

    Please write back whether that format tool works. If it doesn’t try one of the tools that your hdd manufacturer should have on their website.

    Take care, good luck,

  32. take your lifebox back to maplins and exchange it- NOT for another lifebox because it too will gothe same way, but for the 320gb model manufactured by atmt at this link

    http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=219444&C=Maplin&U=SearchTop&T=MEDIA PLAYER&doy=8m7

    code A85HB

    This has a few more options in terms of menus and stuff, and more importantly does not seem to have problems after passing the all important 130gb mark. I did this last week and am quite happy- maybe if more people do this and complain maplins will cease to sell the shitty lifebox from their product list.

    hope this helps

  33. I have one of these units from Anyware Computer Accessories (Australia) – I am from Victoria , Australia. There is definately a problem when the drive exceeds 128Gb of files – they appear as corrupted or empty folders on the television, but appear fine on a PC & play ok on the PC. Interestingly, this same 128 gig limit existed on win2000 before service pack updates fixed it. I have used Format_Eng_v3.3.1.1_070130.rar and it didnt fix it. Splitting the drive (mine is 250gb) into 2 partitions of 120gb then formating with Fat32 utility doesnt work properly either. The problem must be with the firmware reading the disk format in order to play video, not the format utility specifically since a pc doesnt see any problem at all. I will see what Anyware Tech has to say about this tomorrow.


  34. Well , this box of tricks is the perfect answer to my needs, or so I thought.
    I have The ME-747AK I had emptied the drive & reformated thinking there was something wrong before I found this “rant” ( because there are no answers here) , I just hope that Maplin will listen & refund after all they sold me something which is “not fit for purpose”.

    Max hard drive size 500 Gb – ‘O’ but you can only use 1/4 of it …..

    Shame cos like you said should be fixable with an update.
    Dave where is this firmware update you write of?

    Next port of call maybe the freecom 35 network media player- any comments pls

  35. Dear Friends:
    There is any solution for the dead Lifebox (ME-747AK )after update the firmware ? I am too far from Maplin (Caribbean) for return the box, so there is some I can do for make my Lifebox work again ?

  36. Hi peeps

    I bought the lifebox BEFORE reading these reviews, and once I got it home had ALL of the problems above – empty files, not reading movies, question marks by every 3rd file.

    I was ready to return it, but tried to install the flash BIOS “bank30.rom” as a last ditch. Followed the instruction in the PDF higher up this page, and got a black screen. Thought, “yep, what I expected” but tried one last reboot.

    This box works like a charm – plays everything back beautifully and I can see all folders and play all files. Give the bios a go, and then if it doesn’t work, give the box back to Maplin within 14 days.

    Order of bios flash

    1) Connect to mains and TV (video only should be OK)
    2) Turn on box (Menu on screen)
    3) Connect to USB on Mac (TV display turns off)
    4) Copy “Bank30.rom” to root
    5) Unplug USB – (remember to “eject drive” via software) do not press buttons on box or touch power!
    6) Menu should appear on TV
    7) Find “bank30.rom” and select
    10) Connect back to MAC via USB
    11) Delete “Bank30.rom”
    12) Unplug USB (remember to software “eject” drive)
    13) Screen should display “Optimise your system”
    14) Main menu appears after 20 seconds.

    That worked for me, who knows, may have been lucky.
    Hope that helps

  37. So far so good with the freecom 35 network media player
    I took out the drive from the ME-747AK and put it inside the freecom box and everything (except the network) workrd well ,, the Remote is better and so is the menu system..

    The network seems a bit slower, and there were problems with a software switch for the NDAS being off by default,and for some reason the box will not work with the newer version of the ndas drivers supplied with the me-747ak and of course it wont let you install an older version,,

    Just waiting for the refund from Maplin, their customer service did not question my request for a refund, just told me to send it back.

  38. …. bought the LifeBox from Maplins in April, reasonably content, played most movies and it doubled up as a portable hard disk.

    Some films were not compatible, so I thought ‘I know, I’ll see if there is any Firmware out there to overcome codec issues, etc’.

    Went to the maplin site, instructions were kind of p1$$ poor, but nevertheless, copied over the *.rom file and executed the update via the lifebox – there were lots of copies and erases happening in the background.

    I was thinking, right this rom is 2meg, should be too long, keeping my eye peeled on the screen – message popped up ‘Done’ for a millisecond and then the screen went black. I wait for a minute or so, and thought… right, I guess this is sorted. Rebooted, totally DEAD!!

    I guess that there is no way to reflash, little annoyed to be honest cause I found this site and the instructions were a little better, like ‘Dom’t switch off, this will auto power off, etc’ – agggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!

    Updating the chip with the rom will be 2nd to impossible without the proper kit. I should just have gone on bought WinMCE, whacked in a decent graphics card, install the NVidia drivers and bobs yr uncle. At least you would have been able to watch every film, etc, etc. Altho this method does have it’s ups and downs.

    FOr those chaps who are thinking about updating their bios!!! BEWARE!!! Judging from the above comments it looks as though this screws up the lifebox thingy ma jig anyway!

  39. I have the ME-747AK thats the medialan version.
    Can’t find a bios upgrade for it on the CD and got nowhere with the technical support people at welland.
    I see that someone above mentions bank30.rom.
    Am wondering if that would work with it…

    Its only playing some of my .avi files..

    Anyone else find its really loud? The sound of the HD spinning it it makes it almost useless for watching movies..

    I also have a MVisto player… its brilliant.. tiny, quiet.. plays pretty much everything…
    Keep getting delayed write errors when copying files to it tho..


  40. Purchased my unit (a MediaLAN ME-747AK) today. It looks strikingly similiar to the Welland MediaBank ME-747AP however I havent found all that many flaws with it.

    All divx films/series seem to play,I can’t comment on partition sizes as I have only stuck a 20gb in it for testing but the streaming video over my lan is excellent with no dropouts or stutters even via wireless !.

    The version on the video menu is maybe the unit has already had its bios update ?

    The fast forward not accepting play until you press pause still exists but its a minor irritant.

    At £41 (excluding hdd) delivered from ebay i’m pretty pleased with it.

    I’ve yet to test the partition limitation (if there is one) but fingers crossed.

  41. Update …. the included fat32 format tool works fine .. formatted a 200gb drive as fat32 added files read and played fine even copied a video_ts folder over it played the DVD as if it were an original full menu’s etc so thumbs up for a net HDD player with so many good functions !

  42. Hi,

    the same problem as many people- dead device in player mode – “optimising your system” screen only after firmware upgrade. USB and LAN connections work properly.
    If anybody has solution, please help.

  43. Hi Guys

    Exactly the same thing happened to myself, was told by a member of staff from maplin to download the firmware update from their site and install it.

    Once i had done this poof, it no longer works while hooked up to my TV, but still works as a HDD.

    Nighmare, dont suppose anyone has a solution other than ramming it back down maplins throat?

  44. Man, I have re-formatted my HD 3 times now using a variety of FAT32 Format programs and still can not get passed the spot when the TV display states “No Media Detected”

    I put files in folders, I put files in the root drive no luck. I have One AVI, MP3 and JPG. How can it not find the files? The manual was of no help on this topic, at first I assumed each file type required a Directory with a specific name for each mode.

    Anyhow when I got it i spent an hour trying to get a picture on the TV, turns out the cable was loose in the socket, then it snapped off the board. Had to solder it back on. But now I just want it to work!!!!!


  45. My last post has not shown yet but mine would go to one screen after that and state “No media device” and it was all because I left the jumpers on slave. Where was that in the manual! 🙁 And yes I also had to chop the side of the power molex.


  46. I live in the UK and had bought the Lifebox 250Gb from Maplin.

    The moment I reached 118Gb, all DiVX and XvID files added can neither be read (files display Chinese characters), nor able add my personal videos (files display a question ‘?’ mark).

    I have read the threads in the forum.

    Has anyone tried to reformat the hdd with NTFS?

    NTFS should support large disk partitions.

    Please let me know before I attempt to erase 118Gb of media.

  47. NTFS supports large partitions but the box will not – you should be able to acccess the files from you computer . So dont delete them back them up on your pc……….. & get your money back..

  48. OK I read the threads and then called Maplin because my LifeBox just does not work – similar problems to everyone else. So I bought the new ATMT 320GB box, copied all my media to it from the LifeBox, reformatted the LifeBox and returned it for a refund. Maplin was very helpful once I explained that I just wanted a device that did the stuff that the LifeBox said it did…helpful people all round actually…so don’t mess about guys return the stupid thing and get an ATMT (it does work with NTFS and I’ve put 200Gb on it and it runs like greased lightening – no boot up time whatsoever and no need to select an application (Music, Video, etc.) before you browse. Also the remote works from a much longer distance too – very pleased – Cosmic

  49. Exactly the same problem. I bought the unit in the US (ME-747AP). It plays many file formats alright. After so many MB, the browser is not capable of displaying the files (false empty folders, corrupt characters, doesn’t work).

    I tried to upgrade the firmware with the one they had in the manufacturer site (they now took it out), but only left me with a bricked (non-working) unit.

    The replacement does the same thing, so they haven’t fixed it yet.

    Frustrating to say the least.

    Class suit action against anywhere? I’m signing. Have the receipts, paid $70 for it.

    What kills me is that it’s pbbly very easy for them to fix with a firmware upgrade … but oh no, it’s easier just to keep the money and run.

  50. hi guys i just flash my box with this f…..g firmware and now doesn t work.In tv mode boots up but there is no response from remote control neither from the buttons on it.is there anyone that can help me?is there any way to bring it to life?

    Hi everyone. I’d the same problems as you with my 747AK. After firmware upgrade I got only USB HDD. I’m very busy so I left the problem for a few months, until yesterday evening. I found this forum and realise that I’m not the one and the only way is to find a new firmware… and I found:


    I’ve put it on HDD and with the words “eat this…” I’ve pressed OK button. Gusess what happends? 747AK works again! Moreover, better: directories on HDD which hangs 747AK before, now plays fine, ‘play’ button stops fast forwarding, and so on (try yourself).
    Here’s some hints:
    1. If your 747AK “optimising the system” permamently – mount another, small (

    Note: Fixed link (Nick)

  52. Peter, will the firmware upgrade you found work for the 747ap also? I have had the same problem as everyone above with files not working past the 100-150gb mark. Thanks.

  53. Continued post from aug,1-st (something has cut it)
    1. If your 747AK “optimising the system” permamently – mount another, small eg. 80Gb HDD; I did it with almost empty one – only few jpg’s and bank30.rom file.
    2. If it displays “no files detected” try another jumper configuration on HDD or remove it at all (HDD should act as single master)
    3. Flash it this way:
    – connect your 747AK both to TV and PC as NDAS
    – copy rom file to HDD
    – swith to TV, choose file mode, choose bank30.rom, say “eat this” and press OK
    – box display flash/erase for about 30sec, then “DONE” and IT SWITCHES TO NDAS MODE BY ITSELF
    – delete bank30.rom file and smile: now you can do whatever you want

  54. What I did was to take CosmicGorilla’s advice 6 comments above. I took my LifeBox (250 Gb) that I bought from Maplin (UK), back to them. I was given a replacement with an ATMT Mobile Media HDD Player, and it has a 320Gb hard drive (sweet) and refunded £20.

    When I bought the Lifebox (250Gb) back in April 2007, it was selling for £120, today the ATMT (320Gb) sells for £100. The ATMT is a much more superior player compared to the LifeBox (trust me). Don’t waste your time if you still have the warranty on the LifeBox – Go to Maplin and get a replacement immediately.

  55. What is the maximum size of Fat32 partition this device can operate ? 32GB ? Is the firmware update from polish site solving problem with using files stored above 130GB ?

  56. Usually firmware for one model would NOT work on another, so I wouldn’t try (at all) flashing firmware for the AK onto the AP. 99% sure it will stop working altogether.

    I’m gonna risk flashing the F*cking firmware again on the replacement unit. If it breaks again, then I guess that’s it and I’ll return it again for a refund.

  57. Guys,
    in the ftp location that Peter provided there is a version of the firmware for the AP as well as the AK

    Just go to

    ftp://fen.pl/sterowniki/Welland/Welland PME

    which is the directory above the one that Peter told us about.

    You’ll see subdirectories for the AK, AP etc…

    Haven’t tried the upgrade yet but will try it tonight and let you know how it went.

    Also, the question above (Kayu) about the FAT limit… we’ll to format FAT32 for bigger devices the manual with the AK give a URL to go and download the SwissKnife utility which does FAT format for large drives… I used it on my 500 GB and worked fine. I mean the disk worked fine.. but the media playing went bad once I got above the 160Gb limit..

    Anyone find the AK very loud? I put a 500gb Barracuda disk in it and its really loud.. dunno if its the disk or the little fan on the box…


  58. Evening all

    Recently purchased the A50FW from Maplins with the intention of playing all my music through my frout room tv.

    Have had no problems with puting music onto the device and playing it back through my PC. However when i come to play the music through my tv then arount 80% of the mucic can’t be found. The albums labled up A-B can be played but all other music can’t.

    Can any of you help with this problem?


  59. I’ve had a MediaLan player since March, and I love it!
    I installed a Seagate 400GB Drive (ripped out of an external drive) and had to format it as 2 partitions – 198GB and 180 GB (where did the other 20GB go?)
    Anyway – I don’t have the 120GB limit – my first drive (198GB) has about 3GB free and nearly everything plays OK (I have one AVI file which won’t play, and WMV files won’t play either).
    I always load files onto it using the ethernet interface, and think this feature is really cool (much quicker than USB since my PC only has USB v1.1)
    I agree with the comments about short file names (rename them) and the inconvenience of stepping down folder lists one item at a time, but I guess I’ve got used to it.
    I have one gripe – sound quality. Plugging the audio out into my hifi, the quality is OK but plugging it into the TV it is very distorted. I might be imagining it, but this seems worse after using the player with an NTSC TV for a month, then switching back to PAL (it distorted on the NTSC TV too).
    I was looking for a firmware upgrade to see if it helps with the sound, but I’m too scared to try it now (unless someone can reassure me).

  60. Has anyone had a problem switching to NDAS on the 747AK.
    The reason I ask is that following a hdd going belly up, I’m trying to get a 500GB WD drive to work. I initially put two partitions in, which worked fine in USB mode. But could not get it to switch to NDAS, so I’ve removed one partition, leaving 193Gb one, but still no joy.
    I’ve just upgraded the firmware, again nothing.

    Any ideas?



  61. Fixed it, turned out that partition magic doesn’t automatically make the first partition active. Without an active partition, the USB worked fine, but NDAS wasn’t happy.

  62. Hello colleagues,
    I have 747ak welland, and I had the same problem, when I upgrated the firmware from CD I received only “optimize your system….” and nothing has happend. I have download the firmware from the link above (Peter’s one), I have put it on the HDD (becouse only USB mode is working) and still the same. Peter it seems like you have the same situation, and you say it works. It is still processing, but I have almost full FAT32 patrition (full of movies), should it be empty only with new firmware? please let me know, this item makes me crazy 🙂

  63. Well, I just successfully upgraded two Mediabank me-747ap units after some previous failures, so let me tell you what I did. Similar procedures before resulted in the unit not being able to display the TV functions anymore (i.e. “broken”), so I wouldn’t recomend skipping any steps just in case.

    First. Most important. If you have a lot of files in your hardrive, your unit “messes up” and doesn’t read it properly. Therefore, if you put the new upgrade flash file on your hard drive, your unit is going to flash it with “garbage” and will break. Therefore, step one is to use a hard drive freshly formatted or with very little use and definetly less than about 100MB used.


    1) I formatted a hard drive as FAT32 (250gb, one partition) and put a couple of jpg files on it. Turned on the unit hooked to the TV (both audio and video cables were hooked). Chose from the setup menu my preferences (english language, PAL TV, etc). Went to the menu->phots and checked out the jpg pictures I had in the drive. They were reading fine. I turned the unit off pressing the front switch for over a second.

    2) Turned the unit back on (front switch). After the brief “optimize your system” messaged showed up, the main menu appeared on the TV.

    3) I plugged in the USB cable from my computer to the unit. The main menu dissapeared from the TV screen and my computer recognized the drive. I copied the bank30.rom file to the root directory of the drive (next to the couple of .jpg picture files I had in there to test). Unplugged the USB cable (after choosing the probably option “safetly remove hardware” procedure in Windows XP) and the TV “optimize your system” message showed up again. After a few seconds, got the main menu back on the TV.

    4) I chose the FILES option and moved the menu bar over the bank30.rom file (that had a question mark next to it) and pressed “enter” on the remote control. Several “flashing” erasing messages showed up together with a warning to NOT turn the unit off. Then the TV screen went black.

    5) I waited about 1 minute and then plugged the USB cable back into the unit. I erased the bank30.rom file from the hard drive.

    6) When I unplugged the USB cable (again after choosing the Windows XP “safely remove hardware” option), the “optimize your system” messaged re-appeared on the TV screen and little after the main menu.


    Two units were upgraded this way.

    I chose the bank30.rom file in the POLISH/ENGLISH language because of the report up there that it worked and because I compared different versions and decided that of the “known to work” ones, that one was the one with fewer “important bytes” to write to the flash memory (i.e. less likely to provoke a “bad flash”).

    You can get it from:
    ftp://fen.pl/sterowniki/Welland/Welland PME/ME-747AP/bank30-V3.2.1.1.zip

    or from the manufacture’s site:


    (it’s the Polish_Englihs one inside that zip file)

    Of course, other language versions might work, but I didn’t want to risk it since I had another unit “break” (bad flash-black TV screen) when trying to update with the tradicional chinese/english version.

    I have no idea if the new firmware fixes the issues since I still have to test it, but according to some reports, it’s definetly better, so unless you hear from me again, it means it all seems to be working fine (at least better than the fricking 100MB limit etc).

    Thanks for the forum and help.

  64. Hi guys,

    Wonder if you can help me out.

    I tried flashing my ME-747AK, everything went well with the flash, using the firmware which i got from the link on this webpage.

    The unit got flashed, and it switched on to the NDAS mode. I thought everything was working perfectly.

    However, it never go back to TV mode.

    Can anybody help me on this one?

    Cheers and much appreciated.

  65. Hi

    I have a ME-747AP box, but only have a black screen in my tv, dont have menu to upgrade or flash the box. What can I do to upgrade the box, only if only have my USB port.
    Thanks, sorry for my english

  66. I have ME-747AP box, I flah it a few month ago, and only saw a black screen on my tv. Now I have the new bank30.bin, but I cant flah the box, because I dont have any menu in my screen, and the TV mode dosen’t work. My question is how can i flash my box, anay usb mode?,remember no TV mode posible, i realy need your help.


  67. Hi – Back in July Jack said the following (see below). I followed exactly and it has worked PERFECTLY for me and I have filled my 260GB Lifebox to the brim!


    “Jack Jul 14th, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    Hi peeps

    I bought the lifebox BEFORE reading these reviews, and once I got it home had ALL of the problems above – empty files, not reading movies, question marks by every 3rd file.

    I was ready to return it, but tried to install the flash BIOS “bank30.rom” as a last ditch. Followed the instruction in the PDF higher up this page, and got a black screen. Thought, “yep, what I expected” but tried one last reboot.

    This box works like a charm – plays everything back beautifully and I can see all folders and play all files. Give the bios a go, and then if it doesn’t work, give the box back to Maplin within 14 days.

    Order of bios flash

    1) Connect to mains and TV (video only should be OK)
    2) Turn on box (Menu on screen)
    3) Connect to USB on Mac (TV display turns off)
    4) Copy “Bank30.rom” to root
    5) Unplug USB – (remember to “eject drive” via software) do not press buttons on box or touch power!
    6) Menu should appear on TV
    7) Find “bank30.rom” and select
    10) Connect back to MAC via USB
    11) Delete “Bank30.rom”
    12) Unplug USB (remember to software “eject” drive)
    13) Screen should display “Optimise your system”
    14) Main menu appears after 20 seconds.

    That worked for me, who knows, may have been lucky.
    Hope that helps

  68. Well, here to report again that although it definetly works much better with the upgraded firmware, it still doesn’t quite read all the files on the 250gb drive and still messes up some (perfectly fine) directories and “skips” misteriously some files, etc.

    But at least it “mostly works” now. Not as bad as before.

    I contacted the factory and they told me there was no “bad flash recover function”, so I’m afraid those with the black screen from a failed attempt to upgrade have no option but to return the unit for repair/exchange.

    Also, please note the difference between the me-747ap and the me-747ak models. They are different and require different firmware files. Do no flash one with the bank30.rom upgrade file from the other. There are different firmware files for each. It will probably break if you try to upgrade it with the wrong one.

    If I had a “black tv screen broken unit”, I would try once the following to see if it works by any chance, but probably not:

    1-Format a hard drive as FAT32.
    2-Turn unit completely off (push front switch for over one second).
    3-Turn unit on. Wait about 2 full minutes.
    4-Plug the USB cable to the computer.
    5-Put the APPROPIATE bank30.rom file on the root directory.
    6-Unplug the USB cable. Wait about 2 full minutes.
    7-Press “ok” in the remote control.
    8-Wait about 2 full minutes.
    8-Plug the USB cable back to the computer.
    9-Delete de bank30.rom file.
    10-Unplug the USB cable.
    11-Cross your fingers. Wait another 2 full minutes and turn the unit off.

    If it doesn’t work, you may try starting again from the first step but this time changing step number 7 for: “Press the up arrow once and then press “ok” on the remote”.

    Again, I was told by Welland that the unit doesn’t have a recovery mode, but I guess it’s worth a try in case it works. Let us know.

  69. Hello guys

    I’ve just try to update my firmware according to the above detailled procedure and now… BLACK SCREEN !

    I have even tried the proposed solution of “Another one” but nothing seems to works

    I think hat now i have to send the box for maintenance

    Am I alone to face this problem now ?

  70. Definetly not alone, but I’m afraid it’s something many of us had had to do 🙁

    It’s a pretty bad dilemma. The unit works quite badly with the included firmware but seems VERY finicky about the upgrade procedure. So you either get stuck with the 100GB limit or risk the upgrade and may end up with the TV functions no longer working.

    Regarless, I can not stress enough the importance to read the whole thread, choose the appropiate actions for the appropiate model and follow all the steps to the letter, given the strange behaviour that even something that logically would seem unnecessary to do, may indeed be needed.

    I’ve upgraded (and even written myself) MANY firmwares in all kinds of machines, from motherboards to optical units to digital/satellite tv equipment, smartcards, etc. I have external interfaces for many flash/eeprom memory chips. I read the instructions before and understood the logic behind them (i.e. thought some steps were not necessary for some versions). Etc. But still got f*cked with this piece of crap.

    So, again, don’t skip any steps just in case. And it seems that even then you may get a bad flash sometimes and end up with a “broken” unit. 🙁

    Sorry for my bad english and the typos. Also, in step 8 above, make that a full 3 minutes instead of 2 and sometimes I was saying 100MB when I meant 100GB.

    Best wishes.

  71. Purchased Media Bank ME-747AK from Maplin Yesterday
    Have so far used a 120GB HB I used the program on the CD
    Format Transfer after putting in XP PC and use disk Manager to create
    and format to NTFS then I put drive in Media bank and connected USB
    Format Transfer recognized available device and converted NTFS to FAT32
    Tried a MP4 Movie , Picture OK no Sound, Tried MP3 Music all Ok
    Converted DVD to different MP4 formats still no sound ( think its because MP4 files use AAC sound encoding, Box only supports MP3 and AAC ????). Then tried a VOB file (around 3GB in lenght, tried a 4.2Gb would not copy to device said HD full ????, had read some where about 3.2GB limit on FAT32 )
    VOB file plays perfect, Have also been able to use DIVX with no problem although sound level is lower than VOB
    Upgraded Firmware to V3.2.1.1.an_070205 ( from maplin site from the Lifebox info pages at the bottom of the overview section ) from V3.1.5.0an Every thing working fine So far. Dont yet know whether a larger drive will have problem with full capacity.
    Hope this is of some help to any one, Incidently have also got the network NDAS working ok aswell.

  72. RAFAL,
    Hi, I was on holidays for last 3 weeks so I was unavailable. I can’t answer for all querys: I’ve got olny one unit and after flashing it still works.
    BUT: I had (before flashing) “Optimising your system” message on 320GB 50% full HDD disk. Optimising process loops: after a few dozen seconds it stops for 3-5sec and starts again. When I’ve changed it for old WD80GB almost empty HDD, problem was gone (only with this disk of course). I did flashing using this small HDD, sucessfully, and after that, even 320G disk works fine. You should also remember that larger amount of data on HDD – longer “optimising” time, but if it loops: flash it away 😉

  73. Peter thank youuuuuuuuuuu,
    I own you a couple of beers :))) now everything is working fine again 🙂 I used differet hard drive to flash the firmware, and when I connected my 320 WG drive it is perfect!
    Guys do not worry, all problems can be solved using infos on this page,
    thank you very much again and best greetings from Lodz, Poland 🙂

  74. Hi, I have the same problem taht everybody else, the black screen, “another one” said on the last paragraph:

    Again, I was told by Welland that the unit doesn’t have a recovery mode, but I guess it’s worth a try in case it works. Let us know.

    They told you that doesn´t have a recovery mode?, for that particular problem with the firmware upgrade? or what do they mean.

    Thanks for all the information, I´ll still trying to make it work

  75. Hey guys, I’m having exactly the same problem after upgrading F/W. I have upgraded firmware on many MP3 players and computers before but none of them have done this to me. I upgraded using the supplied F/W on the CD (that was before I read this page) and now all I get is a blue screen. This cost me $300 (Australian) and has already been to the supplier (DSE) once because the HD was dodgy.

    Any help with the firmware upgrade would be appreciated. I like things to work and hate it when they don’t. I have sent an email to Welland but, no reply.

  76. hi guys, just wanted to say that i had the problem where my optimising screen would just stay on my screen for ever, i did what peter suggested (even though my model is the 747ap and it worked.

    thanks to everyone for this info. saved me alot of hassle.


  77. hey guys….does anoyone know how to the change the crappy GUI ? The user interface is so crap you can’t see the full name of shows. It is really annoying… Wish you could download and install a clone of the apple tv interface…

  78. I bought MediaBank ME-747AP and I have now all the problems related. The HD works fine in PC mode but the screen “optimize system” rules over the TV mode.

    best advice: don’t buy this multimedia HD

  79. Hi

    I have a ME-747AK, and have the same problems with the firmware upgrade. Just a black screen.
    I have tried alle the steps “Another One” came with, But all the same. I have used the firmware that was one the cd, as i could not find any updates on the web.

    Does any one have the slightes ide what to do???

    PLZ help me:)

  80. hi,

    were do you get the bank30.rom file? mine was all sweet but now its just keeps have questions marks besides my avi files. any clues in fixing it? besides that it works fine. I have a ME-747AP.

    PLEASE Help Me

  81. Thanks for the page – my only salvation for this device on the Internet!
    DJLINK’s guide worked perfectly for me on my ME-747AK purchased from Maplins early in 2007; messed directories have been fixed (for now, at least).
    Thank you!

  82. hi everyone,

    can someone please help me. I’ve just loaded bank30.rom file and its made my media not work on my tv.its all sweet though through laptop.

  83. Hi,
    someone can help me?
    i have a ME-747AK but when i press the power button the light on the front should switch from Net to MP but nothing happens,i think is frozeen…any idead to put the box start working??? Thanks

  84. hi all, i have an ME-747AP-SI that works perfect from the box, no updates to firmware and the pause/play problem does not exist i have loaded only 50gb of data to the 160gb SATA drive at this time (the other 110gb is used for programs and diagnostic tools for computer fault checking and setups as i am a system administrator of an IT firm) and would like to see if it has any of the file read problems that others in this forum have discribed. if you are having probs with the other models try to get this model and see if it will run all your movies and music. the only major prob i have had is it is supposed to be VISTA compliant but have had no joy in trying to connect it to my machine, keep getting driver errors – “Can’t run driver software” so have had to connect it to my notebook (win XP) to load the data. i have contacted the welland people to see if they can help but as of yet they have not replied to my queries. as for the firmware i think i will leave well enough alone in case it dumps a log and becomes useless.

  85. Oh boy,
    I have been pulling my hair out for over a week with this thing, I just upgraded the drive to a 320 seagate and got no movies after 140g or so, thought it was the codecs so have re encoded over a dozen times, I actually managed a firmware upgrade, the one that comes with the Australian unit, before stumbling across this thread, it didnt brick it but didnt fix it either.

    So thanks for the info on this “issue”, won’t bother with it any more, had it too long to take it back so the drive is going to come out and go in a mediagate instead.

  86. Hi guys, I’ve got the MediaLan one from Maplin with a 320gig Hitchai drive in it. Had all the problems with not playin files and dissappearin directorys etc. I repartitioned the drive, re-formatted it, no luck. Then I found this thread, and all I can say is, THANKS GUYS IT WORKS!!!! I used the followin bits.

    Jul 4th, 2007 at 10:28 pm
    I assume that people are downloading the bank30.rom for the lifebox as sold by maplin? This appears identical to the original Welland ME-747AK product that was on offer (I own one).
    They direct you to the language update that they are hosting themselves

    The File is the right one, and these instructions:

    Order of bios flash

    1) Connect to mains and TV (video only should be OK)
    2) Turn on box (Menu on screen)
    3) Connect to USB on Mac (TV display turns off)
    4) Copy “Bank30.rom” to root
    5) Unplug USB – (remember to “eject drive” via software) do not press buttons on box or touch power!
    6) Menu should appear on TV
    7) Find “bank30.rom” and select
    10) Connect back to MAC via USB
    11) Delete “Bank30.rom”
    12) Unplug USB (remember to software “eject” drive)
    13) Screen should display “Optimise your system”
    14) Main menu appears after 20 seconds.

    Who knows, maybe I was one of the lucky ones. Here’s hopin this will help someone else

  87. i’ve just bought a lifebox directmedia-storage centre 500gb from planetmicro.co.uk, but it came without an official user manual. have tried to use the one that comes with the installation disc but it seems to be in java script or something. any1 knows where i can get intructions for it??

  88. just tried to update the firmware and the player has stopped communicating with the television altogether. has there been any progress made with this problem? i have tried wiping the drive and reformatting, but it still won’t see anything on the tv. do i need to take the thing apart or something?

  89. Just upgraded my firmware from the maplins website to V3.2.1.1 from V3.1, All went well just followed the pdf instructions line by line (WellandFW.pdf). This has now fixed the annoying pause play issue when searching media. I was quite nervous upgrading after all the bad press the firmware process seems to of caused. I just wanted to say it worked for me, just take your time and follow the intructions letter by letter. Perhaps not deleting the firmware or stopping the usb services/ejecting after upgrade causes a fatal error? Good Luck.

  90. Its curious to see the difficulties that people are having with this unit.

    I bought one in October 2007 as a Christmas present for my parents, installed a 320GB SATA hard disk and just kept the original firmware.

    Although its a little selective as to what video files it plays, it plays all the TV shows I want it to (anime files seem to use a couple of extra features like QPEL that aren’t supported yet).

    Question – all the people having trouble reading files past the 120/130GB mark, are you using an IDE or SATA drive? I’m wondering if the IDE controller doesn’t support drives larger than 137GB properly. I put around 230GB of data on this unit and it seems to be able to access all the files without problem.

    Although I have niggles regarding the long startup time and delay when changing directories, my parents have been using this little beast for over four weeks now and it hasn’t skipped a beat.

    Ultimately, its a matter of getting what you pay for – this is the cheapest unit I’ve seen in Australia. I’ve had good reports on the MediaGate series (around twice the price) and the Dvico Tvix (closer to the $AUD600 mark) seems to be well supported. I’m nervous about how frequently Dvico revise the hardware though.

    Your best solution is still a media PC.


  91. have been having the same problems already mentioned, crossed files, files not showing up etc, so decidede to upgrade the firmware from Maplins site
    Followed instrutions , and now cannot see anything in TV mode, just a blank screen, when connected via usb to computer all is fine
    Apart from throw it away, is there anything that can be done

  92. hi all…
    i’ve just ordered an ME-747AK from maplin – imagine how much i’m looking forward to getting it now i’ve read the above threads! NOT!

  93. I think I’ve been lucky with mine! I managed the firmware upgrade and all is well so far, its not a bad little box actually! Touch wood! I’ll probably flick it on later and it will blow up in my face! 🙂

  94. mediabank me-747ap

    had to get a replacement player, but it’s been hell getting the same hard drive to work in the new player. i formatted two 32 gb partitions and one 85 gb partition fine, but when i tried to format the rest of the drive, the player wouldn’t recognize anything in tv mode. i don’t get it at all. the only way i’ve gotten it to work is to format the entire drive as one ntfs partition with xp and then convert it with the cd software. but, its like i’ve hit a wall with 90 gb left on a 250 gb drive where the player refuses to recognize any file that i add above this limit. which sounds like the 160 gb limit spoken about above. has anyone heard of any progress made on this problem.

    also, does anyone know what exactly the firmware upgrade is supposed to fix/upgrade?

  95. Thank You ISHY!!! You information about keeping HDD as slave was very helpful…It was the poin of my few hours faith with my MediaBank 747 Ak-SI…Greetings

  96. Just purchased the 320g maplins one had the headache read this forum and thought omg what have i bought and followed Another one
    Aug 25th, 2007 at 11:49 pm advice and spot on thank you, only loaded 50 gig so will wait to see if goes to the 300g
    Thank you

  97. I have had the same issue with not recognising files when the drive is filled over a certain amount.

    I updated my Drive (ME-474AK) with the Rom and it broke mine as well. I work in IT so its not as if I did not do it correctly so if I can’t do it how is anyone else?!

    What can we do about this as Wellend clearly don’t care and their support sucks! 🙁

    Any ideas anyone? Or any ideas how to fix it?

  98. There’s another updated firmware on fen.pl ftp, which now enables NTFS for TV mode (vs. FAT32 previously). Hope it will fix the limitation with larger storages. Just updated, works fine, noticed that mp3 files which previously were not recognized are now fully supported. And finally there are Polish fonts in menu (at least in Polish).

  99. All,

    I have found NDAS software that works with the ME-747AK model on all versions of Windows (Inc 64bit), so far I have tried it on Windows XP, 2000 and Vista 64bit systems and it works great. The software can be found at:


    I am not ready to brick my player yet, but I really want to update the firmware, I will let you know if I change my mind.


  100. All,

    Finally, I bit the bullet and upgraded the firmware on my ME747AK, and it was completely successful, I used the instructions posted by ‘DJ Gerbil’ Nov 19th, 2007 at 9:25 pm. It went like a dream despite my concerns; I used the link above posted by’ farral (PL)’ to download the new rom.

    Good luck to all that try…..


  101. I have two questions, firstly I have recently bought one of these Mediabox things but am missing it’s power supply have you any ideas on where I might find a replacement? Secondly I also have a Freecom external CD-RW drive which I was hoping to use as an external harddrive caddy but my copy Windows XP Home won’t let me set it up. have tried every driver I can find but no luck any ideas on how to get the drive to work with windows xp home?

  102. Hi, I have been following this thread for a while now, well over a year at least. I originally attempted an upgrade on my MediaLAN ME747AK using the software supplied on the CD. This resulted in a an unusable box. I sent this back got a replacement and waited and waited until I plucked up the courage to attempt again, however this time using the link by farral (PL) as mentioned above

    I downloaded version placed it on the MediaLAN, switched to TV mode and executed the update…sat back and bit my nails…things started happening a bit more positively this time, the screen went black… I did nothing…..it switched to NDAS mode…I disconnected from NDAS and switched the unit back to TV mode…..hey presto “OPTIMISING YOUR SYSTEM” and then after a while “SEARCHING” and bingo…a unit which worked and is now able to see media beyond 250gb! (great)

    Good luck to anyone else! (a nail biting but rewarding moment, although it is a shame I still have to wait a long time for it to “optimise”!)


  103. Hi.
    I have the CMP-MOBPLAY40 portable multimedia enclosure which is the same product than the Welland ME747AK/ME747AP/ME820AP. I upgrade the firmware version bank30-V3.2.1.1 to the bank30-V3.3.3.4_a.n.N version.
    I followed the procedure well but unfortunately when restarting the device connected on TV, it doesn’t recognize any file on the hard drive… Is there an other way to flash the rom and take it back to the previous version?

  104. Hello mam question regarding the product Welland ME747AK-SI. After the firmware upgrade stopped functioning TV Network (TV black screen) runs only USB. It is possible to upload firmware other way? Or is fired facilities.

  105. LordD, i have the same problem, and i am searching a solution since one month ago. did you can solve it?.
    Kind regards.

  106. Hi Frank. Problem solved here. MediaBank sale. The service said only irretrievably damaged Welland service would fix it (swapped ROM) which is not worth it.

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