Mvix: An Apple TV Alternative

20 Comments

MvixThe people over at Mvix, makers of the Mvix MX-760HD (a Linux-based wireless media center), have done a comparison of their product and the gadget of the moment, the Apple TV.

For those of you looking for a media center or media center extender device, the Mvix is a great alternative to the Apple TV. I tested out the Mvix MX-760HD a couple of weeks ago. The Mvix is about the size of a large external hard drive. It does not ship with an hard drive, but you can install one if you choose. Installation requires removing thumbscrews, and popping in the drive. The fit is a little tight, but it works.

Regardless of whether you install a hard drive, the device can stream many kinds of data from your network. The Mvix handled every type of file I tried, including VOB files. However, it cannot play protected content. I did experience some stutter in video playback with large, DVD-sized files while streaming video wirelessly. For the most part, video playback was quite good.

If you do chose to install a hard drive, you can hook up the drive to your computer and drag and drop files. If you are sharing video from a Mac, you will want to use something like SharePoints to allow the Mvix to access the files. If you choose to get the Mvix, take a look over at OReillyNet.com for an excellent article about how to hook up an Mvix to your Mac network.

Hooking the Mvix up to a television was a snap. The Mvix has composite out (for older televisions), S-Video out, component out, and DVI out. It supports resolutions up to 1080P (the Apple TV tops out at 720P).

The device itself is not as stylish as an Apple TV, but it is far from ugly. The interface is not as snazzy as an Apple TV, but if you can live without the flashiness, the Mvix is a quite capable machine. It costs $299 over at ThinkGeek.

20 Comments

love_tech

I still chose mvix Ultio over the Apple TV mainly because Ultio offers more unique faetures. Ultio supports numerous formats unlike the apple TV. It’s capability to use wireless connection and with UPnP, I enjoy my favorite music videos from You tube and watch over my Plasma. It is easy to use and easy to set up.

techno_buddy

Just got my Ultio yesterday and discovered amazing features. Simple set up – takes 2 minutes to hook up a ac power, HDMI cable (included in package), and it’s ready to play. It supports all codec you might have even ISO, MKV and 1080 videos in RM/RMVB formats. Audio-philes is also good but visual quality is much great.

Mvix Ultio

MvixUSA is about to roll out a brand new successor to the MX-760/780HD media center units. The new player will support many more formats than the old units and the code will be open-sourced!

doug b

This thing is kinda dumb. For a few dollars more you can get a sony ps3 that wirelessly streams audio, video and photos from your pc, has a built-in HD and you can plug a usb HD directly in also along with various types of memory cards, has a blu-ray player and is a state of the art game console. Why would anyone waste money on this (by comparison) very limited & pricy MVIX?

Brian C

It streams media ok but how well does it do photos? Of interest to me since I have soooo many photos.

1. Did the pictures display in HD?
2. Were the pictures clear/crisp/clean/good quality (assuming a good source)?
3. Do they scale gracefully? (eg. assuming they’re 6MegaPixel on a 1080p set)
4. Can you create a ‘slideshow’ or view pictures in a folder in slideshow format?
5. Can you switch quickly between pictures or is there a significant lag?
6. Is lag due to processing the file or network speed? (network speed might be solved by faster (non-wireless) network or putting things on the harddrive)

Bamboozled

Undoubtedly the best Media Center Around…

From the minute we plugged this sucker in we knew that there was more to this then just your run of the mill device. We had been reading up on and writing about the 760 for awhile now so we had a basic understanding of what it should be able to do, but we were excited to see how well it actually did them.

ED

Actually there is no difference between video quality from dvi and hdmi. The only difference between the two is that hdmi carries audio signals as well. So all your really gaining from it is some cleaner cabling. Most people don’t use my tv to play music instead they use their stereo hence why bother with hdmi.

The network play stuttering is a limitation of the wirless g network. There are more alternatives over these two why not check out the tvix players (lacks wireless support), or dueple 350d (with a dvd player). http://www.mpcclub.com is a good place to start looking at.

xenlab

the apple tv will do resolutions up to 1080i, and will support any file that iTunes does (including MP3s). Yes not all your favorite open source formats are supported yet, as this is a mainstream consumer product. Most consumers don’t know the difference between a mov and an avi.

But like the poster said above, if it doesn’t have HDMI or a Hard drive at shipping, its not in the same league yet, regardless if it can support more formats… right now. you forget, apple gear can be just as hackable.

KJH

I’m a bit biased here, but a side by side comparison of the Apple TV to the MX-760HD reallly points to the Mvix device being a winner in a lot of categories particularly the file format one.

Interested in disussing it some more? Wander over to MvixCommunity.com.

idanno

Oh, but it does compute.
I have just to much content from other sources that are not compatible with Apple TV.
Apple TV is a good product, but I will not consider it until I can use it to replace my old DVD player and it plays other formats. With Mvix I can still enjoy all my content, not just that from Apple.
Come-on, even the iPod plays mp3’s.

Quix

So let me get this straight: the Mvix costs exactly the same as the Apple TV but doesn’t come with a hard drive or HDMI, sputters when playing wireless streaming video, doesn’t have as good an interface, and doesn’t look as good, yet is “a great alternative to the Apple TV???”

Does not compute.

seth

Honza, that’s a good question, but I think the thing is that this product is ready to go, meaning you don’t have to worry with getting an xbox, adding the mod (or even doing a softmod), doing the setup of *nix, install xmbc, setup the hd, and all of the other random things it takes to get it done on an xbox. i’ll admit i haven’t modded an xbox for xmbc use in quite some time so the process maybe MUCH easier now.

One could argue that the purchase of a cheapy dell/gateway pc may be just as worthwhile ofa purchase over a product like this. Heck, i’d rather have a mac mini than an apple tv, i don’t NEED the hdmi that the apple-tv offers, however a mac-mini will most certainly give me more video formats than the apple-tv natively gives.

Honza

Hmm, it’s white I guess. I still don’t get it though – what do these things do that my 5 year old XBOX running XBMC can’t do?

At 300 bucks for an AppleTV/MVIX thats a serious question.

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