Archive for the ‘Gadgets’ category

Mvix MX-780HD Media Center With Built-in Torrent Client

February 7, 2008

This is one of those little know devices that I am a huge fan of. I own and did a review on one of the first Mvix media centers a while ago, the MV-5000U. Aside from its crude interface, I thought it was a fantastic device being able to play many different formats along with DVD ISOs turning it to a true DVD jukebox. It is still one of my most used devices to this day. So you can see why I am excited to see this third gen Mvix.

The newest version, the Mvix MX-780, adds HDMI out for resolutions of to 1080p (in addition to other outputs, see after the jump). There are many different ways you can play media on the box: stream it from your computer (Wi-Fi or Ethernet), transfer it via USB as a standard MSC drive, connect an MSC drive to the USB host on the back, set it up as a NDAS network drive and drop files on, and of course add an internal IDE or SATA drive. Additionally, you are able to tune into free internet radio for music content.

 

Now onto what I found to be the more interesting feature of this media center is the soon to be built in torrent client. This feature will likely be coming later on, so don’t expect it to be included at the time or release (although it might). When I spoke with a Mvix rep he told me that the firmware programmer was finishing up the torrent client on the way over to CES on the plane, so it’s still probably beta. I also found out that they are still planning on adding more codecs with future firmware updates.

 

The 780 is not up on the Mvix site yet, but below are the specs I copied from the press release. I know the above sounds a bit like a sales pitch, but I really am a fan and think more people should know about this gem- so spread the word. I will try to get my hands on one soon for a review.

 

  • Video Formats: DivX, XviD, DVD (ISO/VOB/IFO), MPEG, VCD(DAT), WMV(WMV-9), ASF(WMV-9), TP, TS, TRP
  • Audio Formats: MP3, WMA, AAC, OGG, PMC, AC3, M4A, DTS decoding (down-mixing / Pass though)
  • Image Formats: BMP, JPG, PNG
  • Subtitle Support: SMO, SRT, SUB
  • Video Out: HDMI, Composite, S-Video, Component
  • Audio Out: RCA, Digital Coaxial, Optical
  • TV System: NTSC, PAL, Auto
  • HD Support: 720p, 1080i, 1080p
  • Networking: 802.11b/g (WEP/WPA), 10/100 Ethernet, NDAS
  • Internal Disk: 3.5” IDE or SATA

USB: Slave (for connecting to computer) and Host (for additional storage)

Advertisements

An all-in-one media hub that will turn heads

February 7, 2008

As impressive as the “ITC One” media system may be, some have observed that its design doesn’t live up to its extensive functions. It’s understandable that appearance wasn’t a priority, though, given that it’s one of the few compact all-in-one systems of its kind. 

All that will change, however, if they catch on–and a company called DVico is trying to get ahead of the pack with a multimedia hub of its own. “TViX,” as it’s known, is an HD multimedia system that plays 1080p video, DVDs, and MPs while storing files on its internal hard drive, according to GadgetGrid. 

It doesn’t have a built-in Xbox and other high-end features found in the ITC One, but TViX does have a handsome cylindrical design that could easily be displayed without shame. And there’s one other important difference between the two systems–price. As in $546 vs. $25,000. That alone may make it worth a look

 

Introducing the multimedia waterbed

February 7, 2008

 

OK, so maybe $50,000 is a wee bit much for a bed, even if it does help stop snoring. Thriftier Cravers might be more inclined to go with something like a stripped-down “TV-Bed” from Gustarle, which comes with a built-in 26-inch Samsung LCD and a Sony DVD player. And it’s a waterbed.

 All this for the bargain price of $13,577, according to BornRich. Sure, it doesn’t have all that fancy sleep technology featured in the “Starry Night Bed,” but it has all the basics. After all, as everyone knows, a bed’s only as good as its TV.

Futuristic watch concepts via Kanye West (?!)

February 7, 2008

In case you weren’t up on your blogsphere knowledge, ultra suave rapper Kanye West has a blog that’ll drop some knowledge on y’all (his words, not mine.) He occasionally posts one or two sentence posts about fashion, music and the latest in tech he finds appealing. That’s where we find these two interesting watch concepts.

The first, from design firm Chocolate Agency, sports the “e-paper” technology we’ve all come to know and love, albeit in a futuristic form that isn’t anywhere near ready for prime-time. (C’mon, you’ve seen the Kindle’s refresh rate.) The idea is simple: Bend the e-paper into a slap-bracelet form factor and charge the low-power display using kinetic energy from walking around. They also say if you need to extend the size of the bracelet, chuck on another magnet at the end.

The second, a concept from Gucci, seems a little more ready for prime time. Kanye was a little light on the specs, information or where he actually got the design from, but the watch looks simple enough. Looks like a bangle that retracts to reveal an OLED screen encased in plastic. Again, no release date nor real information, but we wouldn’t be shocked to see that out of Gucci’s portfolio soon.

 

Nokia E90 Communicator

January 25, 2008

Many moons ago, a laptop, a cell phone, and a cinder block got together for a hot three-way love fest. The product of this freaky, sweaty, and possibly illegal union? The Nokia E90 communicator — a device with some serious identity issues, but also one with some serious talent too.

Let’s be up front about it: this monstrous device at 7.4 ounces and 5.2 x 2.24 x 0.79 inches is not attractive in the slightest. In fact, the unappealing shell and sheer physical size make it a colossal pain in the ass to lug around in public. Clearly, the E90 is made to fit in briefcases—not skinny hipster jeans. Business folks and texting junkies, though, will love the full QWERTY keyboard, a feature that makes composing legalese missives, or elaborate IMs a relatively painless process. (Ever try tapping out a Google doc on the iPhone’s touch screen? Yeesh.) But even more appealing is the impressive palette of functions Nokia manages to cram into the beast: a 3.2 megapixel camera with flash and autofocus, 640 x 480 video resolution at 30fps, 3G compatibility, Wi-Fi, infrared, and Bluetooth connectivity, a voice recorder, GPS Navigation, push-to-talk, both Flash and (scoff) Real Player

 

No, it’s not going to tuck you into bed at night, and we’re guessing it won’t get you chicks either (really though, what gadget does?) but the E90 is definitely a good choice for those who want laptop functionality dressed up in the guise of a cell phone

Tannoy i30 iPod Speaker System

January 25, 2008

Tannoy’s latest speaker system is actually kinda sexy. Well as sexy as a speaker system can get. First off, the clever packaging makes for a fascinating unboxing experience nearly on par with an Apple product — the power cords and peripherals come in two simple black boxes labeled “the kit” and “the bits.” The i30 (nestled beneath the kits and bits) is silky smooth and glossy black with a rounded behind. Five dock adapters plus a 3.5mm jack ensure that every generation of iPod is compatible with the dock. Operation is simple: and there are no buttons that you have to worry about not pushing—simply plug it into the wall, dock your iPod, and press play. Our one major beef? The remote. It’s a cheap plastic temperamental little thing that only works occasionally from a few feet away. But that’s not a deal breaker. The i30 is still a great choice for those who need a chic bedroom accessory that also happens to deliver rich, room filling audio.

$400, tannoydigital.com

Logitech diNovo Mini

January 24, 2008

The Logitech diNovo Mini is a Media Center remote control that features a full QWERTY keyboard and looks good on the coffee table

 

The big keyboard is much cooler than typing on the numeric pad of the remote, but it looks bad on the coffee table. Heck, even the MCE remote looks kind of ugly.

Then the diNovo Mini came. Closed, it looks like a pebble that looks good even in a minimalist loft… Open it and there is a full QWERTY keyboard, a directional pad and a few Media Center buttons. It is neat, comfy in the hand and functional. The directional pad has two modes (switchable via a button): directional pad for navigating menus or touch pad to emulate the mouse.

After trying it, I can say that I like it a lot, and I have no problem saying that anyone that uses a keyboard and a mouse on a semi-regular basis should take a look at the diNovo Mini.