MEDIA bridge is a boring term for what is essentially a fully kitted-out streamer and storage device that’s capable of uncompressed 24-bit/192kHz audio playback. The McIntosh MB100 allows you to connect to the Internet, and access and manage web-based and hard-drive stored digital music files, allowing you to build up an extensive online library.
It’s a digital hub as well – on board are a 1TB hard drive, four USB ports, an eSata port (for additional drives), and one optical and coaxial digital input each to plug in other digital devices. A high-speed Ethernet port connects to the Internet for access to a variety of streaming services and Internet stations.
A set each of single-ended and balanced outputs are provided, along with two digital ones to hook up the MB100 to your hi-fi system, and there’s also AirPlay to extended its reach.
Content can be backed up to the Amazon Cloud Drive or Apple iCloud, with synchronisation across multiple zones. Any new purchase from cloud services is automatically added to your music library.
The MB100’s heart is the “highly regarded 8 channel, 32-bit, 192kHz DAC with wide dynamic range and extremely low distortion as our D100 digital preamp” (read Sabre ESS). Inside the unit, the DAC section is isolated from the motherboard, while the operating system and music player are housed on a state-of-the-art solid state hard drive for fast response times, quiet operation and durability.
Control of the MB100 is via an iOS or Android app, web browser, or a remote control. If you’re already building up a McIntosh-based system, here’s one to take you into modern times.
Oh, as for what’s written on the display… we have no idea!