TVIX Multi Media player – review

submission by Paul Freeman – “I have been hunting around for a while now, on the Internet, searching for a small form element Multi Media service so I could store my media (DVDs, DivX, MP3s etc) to play rapidly and easily from a hard drive at home or even mobile in the Car. now I know I have found just exactly what I needed, in the form of the “TIVX Multi Media Player”.

Basically it’s a USB 2 hard drive enclosure that takes a conventional 3.5 inch hdd, with a media player built in. They are provided in various flavours, with drives already installed, an formatted so that you can just attach it straight to your PC, and load your media, or you can, as I did, purchase an empty enclosure, so that you can just install your own hdd (in my case a Western digital 300gig).

The TVIX will read a drive formatted with either NTFS or Fat 32. I Installed the drive (after formatting it with NTFS and pre-loaded it with loads of test media before my unit arrived) in I would say less than 30 seconds, open Enclosure, pop in hdd, attach IDE, an power connector, close case, all done !!

The particular unit I went for was the C-3000U , Car/Home unit (this comes with the extra automobile kit which has – automobile Power cord, extra smaller Remote control which can stay in the automobile (Nice Touch) an Audio cable television and a IR Extender Unit, allowing TIVX main unit to live , under the seat or in the boot etc).

It also has the external home power supply brick, a remote control, all the audio/video leads, user manual, and a good carry bag, for carrying the unit on trips.

Once the hdd was installed, power and A/V connections made, hit the power button, waited for a few seconds and then the user interface pops straight up. As I said I had pre-loaded the hdd with various test media, while it was in the PC, so all I had to do was scroll down the folders, I made (Movies, Music, photos etc) and click ok , then pick the Movie/Song or photo I wanted to see an hello presto, It appears on the TV Screen!

Audio files supported

Video files supported
DivX 3X/4X/5X, XviD , AVI, MPG ,DAT, VOB ,IFO ,ISO

Image files supported

After playing with the TIVX for a few hours, it can only be described as a delight to use. It does exactly what it says on the Tin.

Yes there are things that could, an may well, be changed in the user interface by firmware updates, small little annoyances, but overall, I’m incredibly pleased with the unit (which seems to run a flavour of embedded Linux as its OS).

Connections on the back are fairly comprehensive; many things are there, even an optical audio out.

So far I have played nearly all the forms of Media, I have, mp3 to AVI, and the little unit seems to have coped with anything I’ve thrown at it. I tried a few things, Making an ISO of a DVD with DVD Shrink 3.2, and saving the result back to the Tivx , connected to a TV, an again, No Problem, Plays fine including all the menus, extras, and scene selection!

The downside of all this , is that the unit is not exactly low-cost , I paid around $219 us plus delivery without the hdd , but considering the alternatives, XBOX Chipped and a Power Inverter or a proper automobile Based PC unit , its really not all that bad IMHO

Conclusion – for what I wanted, films on long trips in the car, mp3 collection on tap home or away, it’s superb. plus the added ability to act as a data store , you can easily carry your personal data around with you to share or work in another location.

Reading some of the official forums about the TIVX , seems there is a new model due out this year at some stage, with some good features such as WiFi, and an Ethernet Port.

I,ll be taking a look at one of those as soon as its out as well.”


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