DVICO TViX-M3000U review

Price when reviewed

If you want to enjoy your digital music and movies in the comfort of your living room, plugging a PC into your home entertainment system is the simplest option. But there are other ways. You can go the whole hog and use your PC as a PVR (personal video recorder), or you could use media-streaming devices – as long as you have a wireless network and a PC that’s left on all the time. Or, you could use the TViX-M3000U.

DVICO TViX-M3000U review

This device has none of these drawbacks, because it’s a simple media-serving product. And you can even take your media collection your travels, so you’ll never need to pay for an in-hotel movie again.

In essence, the TViX-M3000U is an external hard disk enclosure with some added electronics that turn it into a self-contained media player. It’s available with a drive pre-fitted or as a bare unit for slotting in your own 3.5in IDE drive. With it plugged into the mains and a spare USB 2 port on a PC, the TViX works just like an external hard disk too, leaving you to fill it with all of the movies, music and photos you want.

Once populated with media, unplug the TViX from your PC and plug it into your TV. You’ll need to use something other than scart though, as this is the one video output that the TViX lacks. Using either the supplied remote control or the buttons on the TViX itself, you can then browse through your media collection using a simple Explorer-like interface.

So far, so simple, and the good news is that the TViX has the same uncomplicated approach when it comes to handling media. It supports a comprehensive set of video and audio codecs, although its lack of metadata support can make large MP3 collections unwieldy and it can only handle JPEG images. Of course, you can’t simply install a new codec when you find a file type that it won’t play, but the TViX only came unstuck with some of the more rarefied video codecs; future firmware upgrades should take care of any major issues.

If you’re looking for a fuss-free way to shift media from a PC and onto a TV, the TViX is the answer. Yes, it’s a pain to have to carry it back and forth when you want to fill it with new files, but this is a trivial inconvenience compared to the alternatives. And besides, the exercise is good for you.

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