Plug and play, PC to TV! TViX

If you've ever spent a weekend wrestling with a recalcitrant media server, you'll be relieved to hear that there's a much simpler alternative.

Essentially a hard drive enclosure with video firmware, Dvico's new TViX connects to your PC's USB port and acts as a mass storage device. The capacity depends upon the hard drive in the unit itself - our review sample came with an 80GB drive, but you can buy the bare unit for $359 and easily add your own.

Copying your media files across is as simple as dragging and dropping them into the corresponding folder on the TViX. You can then carry it over to your TV - or someone else's - hook it up to the comprehensive A/V ports at the rear and play them back. The majority of media files are supported (including DivX and Xvid), but Windows Media Video (WMV) isn't supported - a limitation of the Sigma EM8510 chipset - nor will it play ISO image files or .TS digital TV recordings like the Mvisto. However, if you've created your own DVD movies, these can be copied across and played back, complete with menus. The same can also be said of illegally copied commercial DVDs, which will make it extremely attractive to BitTorrent and DVDdecrypter users. Upscaling of standard definition content for HD displays (1080i) is also supported.

But the TViX's most important asset is its simplicity. It does what it does with the minimum of fuss, with no network expertise required. Shady uses aside, the TViX is an excellent product, though we'd like to see more extensive file support in future versions.

In brief: Dvico TViX

A simple way to get your movies, music and stills from your PC and onto your TV without having to set up a network or media server to do it.

PRICE: $350 on its own, $499 with 80GB hard disk; VENDOR: LakoPacific; PHONE: 1800 657 601; URL: www.lakopacific.com.au; www.tvix.co.kr/eng

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