The MVix MX-760HD arrived today, so I spent a geeky half hour lovingly unpacking and photographing it.
My initial reaction is extremely positive; but bear in mind that this is the first media gadget I’ve ever put my hands on. I know folks have been running MythTV on their XBoxes for an eternity, but I’m just now catching up.
The unit is small, and seems well constructed. Included in the box are:
I’m moderately unhappy with the stand. It has a small bump that fits a small groove in the base of the unit, plus two padded bits on either side of said bump. The unit rests on the bump, but isn’t really secured in any way: even a small amount of pressure will move the unit along the stand. I might invest in some double-sided tape for this.
I was a little underprepared for the delivery today, so I didn’t have a spare hard drive to put in it, nor did I have any movies ripped to MP4 format. I did have an external USB drive with some DVDs backed up via dvdbackup, though, so I did get a chance to take the MVix-760HD for a test drive.
There’s a small fan on the back, the same kind on most external USB cases. I imagine that heat and noise from this device are largely dependent on the hard drive you install. I didn’t notice any sound at all from it while I had it on without a hard drive.
It takes about 10 seconds from power on until I can use the interface. The first thing shown is an MVix splash screen, then a display of the current firmware revision. After that the interface is ready to use, and the “Movies” menu item is highlighted. Navigating the menus is a wee bit sluggish, but not entirely unbearable. The menus are uncluttered, and easy to figure out without the use of the manual.
I didn’t have to fiddle with the settings much (but then, I still have a low definition tube television, rather than some fancy HD rig). The only gritch I had with the settings menu was that there was no obvious “Back” button when selecting a background to use for the menus. I didn’t yet have my USB drive connected, so when I selected the background menu item, I was presented with a blank box listing no media, with no obvious way to return. Ultimately I discovered the “return” button on the remote.
I connected my USB drive (vfat formatted in GNU/Linux) to the device. The drive was recognized, and I was able to scroll through the directories from inside the MVix “Movies” menu. I had raw .vob files on there, which the device played just fine. Picture quality was perfect, sound was great, and I experienced no sluggishness or hiccups for the few minutes I watched. The “Info” button on the remote displays an overlay summary of the current video. Navigation controls worked as expected. I had no problems at all here. Pressing “stop” fades the display quickly to greyscale before returning to the menu.
It was trivial to set up the wireless networking on the MVix MX-760HD. The on-screen keyboard is extremely easy to use to enter the ESSID. Assigning a static IP was easy. It takes a few long seconds to apply the settings, but once that was done I was able to ping the unit from my laptop. No web service is enabled; and I could neither ssh nor telnet into it. According to the manual, the MX-760HD should be able to play videos from network shares. I don’t currently have a server providing any network shares so I was unable to test this.
I’ll post follow-up reports as I bang on this in the days ahead. I plan to test MP3 and Ogg audio, MP4 movies, and photo slideshows. Feel free to ask questions in the comments, and I’ll answer them as best I can.
Update #1: I was disappointed that I couldn’t find a way to do single frame advance or rewind when I had paused playback. I don’t need to do it often, but on occasion I have found single frame navigation to be useful. To make up for it, though, the MX-760HD offers fast-forward and rewind at 2x, 4x, 8x, 16x, and 32x speeds, which is pretty impressive. I also discovered the “Sleep” function last night, which turns off power to the device after a specified interval, or at the end of the current program.