Computers, Gadgets and Beyond!

Wireless HD Media Player

April 03, 2007 By: webmaster Category: Audio, Technology, Video

Note that I have a whole set of useful information about the Mvix collected under the Mvix-link on the Pages menu to the right. 

My new toy is a Mvix MX-760HD Media Player. Like the Apple TV and so many other similar devices out these days, it simply lets your media collection talk to your TV in the easiest manner possible. It groks both wired and wireless, and from unpacking to viewing something from my server on my TV took all of 10 minutes. And that includes the time spent actually reading the manual to figure out how to get it to talk DVI out. Your mileage may vary depending on infrastructure and skill though, but it does seem like one of the better items in this regard.

 The good parts are plentiful. The documentation and the web site is a bit divided on whether or not it will read and display 1080p HD or just 1080i. I have only tried 720p because that is the native resolution of my TV but I will nvestigate further. It claims to understand most known formats out there, both video and audio. It even knows OGG, most likely due to the device being Linux-based.

It has space for a normal ide hard-disk inside, and installing one is as easy as installing one in your desktop PC. You can’t upload stuff to the hard disk over the net though, for that you have to disconnect the device from your TV and use an USB cable to connect it to your PC. The hard drive will then show up as a drive on your PC and you can dump stuff on it that way. A bit cumbersome, but once you’ve loaded up a couple of films it makes an ideal device to take with you to a remote place that has a TV but little more. You can also attach an USB drive to the device if you don’t want an internal hard drive making noise all the time. Or you can stream all the content from your server. The only time you really need local storage on the device is when/if you need to perform firmware upgrades.

The menu system is quick and easy, and traversing even very large directories take refreshingly little time. Output options are excellent, the only thing missing is a HDMI port. But DVI+audio works almost as well. And in addition to this, it has component, composite, svideo and digital audio. Not bad for a tiny box like this.

 So what’s keeping it from being the best media player in the world? Well, quite a few things really. The two major ones are incomplete codecs and sub-par picture manipulation. Even though the glossy brochures claim support for DivX 3/4/5, Xvid, WMV, WMV-9 and a whole host of other formats including VOB, it’s a hit and miss on what videos it will play and which will just give you an "unknown format" error. Even though they’re all technically supported. As for picture manipulation, no matter how much I tell the player to stay away from scaling the picture it will still stretch and crop the video as it sees fit. And that generally means you’re missing an inch or two of picture on one or more sides when it’s satisfied.

I’ve filed both those as bugs, along with about 10-15 other smaller problems or request for enhancements. Everything else feels quite raw, and it doesn’t take a lot of fiddling about with the remote before the device just plain stops working. There is a "jukebox"-feature for playing songs in various manners, but it’s not very good. What the device is good at is really just playing one thing at the time and then go on to the next, be it video or audio. Firmware updates seem to be frequent however, so hopefully they are eager and willing to improve this otherwise rather impressive product.

 All in all, it’s actually not bad. Once the firmware stabilises and the codecs improve slightly I think we have a real winner, at least for a little while until the next generation of players come out.

It’s being sold by MvixUSA and a few other select sites. Or you can help me out and purchase it on Amazon by clicking on the picture of the Mvix above. But if you’re not in the US, then eBay is your friend in need.

 For lots and lots of additional information, see my Mvix Page.

0 Comments to “Wireless HD Media Player”

  1. Ah, botherit. I’ve fixed the link on the firmware page now. sorry for the inconvenience. 

  2. The Ximeta utility will not work, the Mvix iss not a NetDisk. I’ve tried putting the disk in standby mode using the appropriate linux commands (hdparm) but it does not appear to be working. It may be something in the Mvix firmware that access the disk at regular intervals or simply the OS/kernel used in the firmware being too old (it’s ancient). So I’m afraid you’re out of luck. I have the same problem, and keep it switched off most of the time.




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