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GalaXy TVistoU2F GalaXy TVistoU2F HDD Enclosure: An MPEG4 Capable Hard Drive Enclosure/Portable Multimedia Player without the need for a PC for playback.
Date: August 29, 2007
Manufacturer:
Written By: Brook Moore
Price:

While HTPC's (Home Theater PC's) are all the rage, there have been a few blips about small multi-media center boxes popping up here and there. We have all seen the D-Link and Netgear versions of these, not to mention the price tags that come with them.

On the table Viperlair gets to test out another alternative to the desired solution, the . While discussing our next review object from , this little bugger caught my eye and were more then happy to accommodate my desire.

Within 2 days had this tasty little morsel in my hands, and from there I went to work (well OK, some of it was work).

The is a small unit, the size of your typical 3.5” External Hard Drive Case, this one however allows you to play movies from a Hard Drive onto your TV without the need for a PC. Let's look over the specifications and features.

Specifications

Model No. TvistoU2F
Color
Silver and Black
Case Material
Brushed aluminum panels with plastic body
Application
Any brand of 3.5" IDE Parallel ATA Hard Drive up to 1000GB
Playback Media Formats
  • Video:
    MPEG-1 (AVI, MPG)
    MPEG-2 (AVI, VOB), ISO *
    MPEG-4 (AVI, DivX, DivX VOD, XviD) ***
     
  • DivX Subtitle:
    SUB (MicroDVD format), SRT (SubRIP format), SMI (SAMI format), Embedded Multiple Subtitle support
  • Audio:
    WAV, MP3, MPEG-4 (AAC) ****, WMA, AC3, OGG Vorbis
     
  • Photo:
    JPG baseline and progressive up to 8 mega pixel 
Supported Filesystem
  • NTFS
  • FAT32
  • HFS+
Operating System
Embedded Linux (v2.4 ucLinux)
Bus Interface
  • USB 2.0 High Speed (USB1.1 backwards compatible)
  • Firewire 400 (IEEE 1394a)
Output Interfaces
  • Video: NTSC/PAL Composite Video, S-Video, Analog YPbPr Video, SCART RGB, VGA (1024x768), HDTV (480p, 720p, 1080i) 
  • Audio: Dual Stereo Analog Audio supporting compressed Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS pass through
System Requirements
  • Windows 98SE, Win2000, WinME, WinXP, VISTA
  • Mac OS 9.2 or higher
  • Your hardware device must have proper port or PCI card
Power Supply
  • External Power Adapter universal auto-switching (UL, cUL)
  • Input: AC 100-240V, 1.2A, 50-60Hz
  • Output: DC +5V/2A, +12V/2A
Enclosure Size
22.2cm x 15.2cm x 4.8cm
Packing Contents
  • TVisto External Multimedia Enclosure kit (no HDD included)
  • USB 2.0 cable, AV cable, SPDIF Coaxial Cable
  • Infrared Remote Control
  • Power Adapter 
  • Manual, screw package, driver CD
  • **
Remark
*  ISO = One image file backup of the complete DVD. 'Mvisto' will play the ".ISO" file exactly the same as if it was running from the original DVD!

** Plays DivX® 5, DivX® 4, DivX® 3 and DivX® VOD video content (in compliance with DivX Cerfitied™ technical requirements)

*** AAC stands for "Adaptive Audio Coding" and does not support AAC files created by iTunes!

# Does not support High Definition content (DivX HD/WMV9)

 

First glance at the specifications is impressive, to say the least; let's see how everything looks once we get her open. Brushed aluminum sides with ventilation holes, black accents and plenty of extras to go through in the box.

The TVisto does not come with a hard drive installed, you must install your own. While this does take some of the market place away from a possible purchase, I feel, as obviously GalaXy feels, this was minimal at most. The obvious advantage is that GalaXy does not date their device by having a 120GB hard drive installed when the norm has come to 500GB (not to mention the price drops as time goes by), this affords GalaXy the flexibility to charge for their product and not WD or Seagate or Samsung etc. The only disadvantage that I can see, is that it needs to be an ATA hard drive; while I have a few of those around, none of them are of the “larger” variety and they are becoming more and more scarce in the marketplace as well. The TVisto, as of this writing, supports up to a 1TB hard drive even though the box it was delivered in stated 500GB. You can see the silver Power and Control buttons on the front of the unit, however the unit does feature a comprehensive remote control. The rear has plenty of ports for connection including two FireWire ports, USB port, SPDIF port, power port, and the HDMI alike plugin for the audio and video connections.

Looking inside the TVisto we see the empty shell left for the Hard Drive, and a small circuit board that runs the inherent OS, a variant of Linux (v2.4 ucLinux).

Let's go over what is included in the packaging sent by Geeks.com.

GalaXy TVisto External Multimedia Enclosure kit

Power Adapter 110/240V auto switching, +5V/2A, +12V/2A

Infrared remote control

Composite AV cable (Composite RCA, S-Video mini DIN, left audio RCA, right audio RCA)

Coaxial audio cable (RCA to mini jack)

USB 2.0 High Speed cable

Firewire 400 (IEEE 1394a), 6 to 6-pin cable

USB Driver CD (only required for Win98/SE)

Quick Install Guide, User Guide and Manual

Universal Power Adapter

*Glaringly missing is the HD portion of the scenario, the YPbPr cable. Available separately.

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