OSNews has reviewed a small, inexpensive uClinux-based multimedia server that adds a hard drive-equipped multimedia jukebox to TVs and other displays. The MacPower TVisto Series 3.5 houses a 3.5-inch hard drive, and features an infrared remote control, and support for a wide variety of media files.
Unlike most media jukeboxes and media adapters, the TVisto device has no Ethernet port. Instead, it offers a pair of FireWire 400 ports, and a USB 2.0 device port. The small, lightweight device is meant to be physically carried to computers, loaded, and then transported back to its monitor. Additional I/O includes an S-video port, SP/DIF digital audio out, a proprietary A/V port, and VGA and SCART ports.
The TVisto also offers an ATA-133 IDE port, and supports drives up to 500GB. Drives can be formated with FAT32, HFS+ (Apple Mac filesystem), or NTFS; reviewer Eugenia Loli-Queru notes that FAT32 does not support files over 4GB.
Loli-Queru says the TVista shines in terms of support for a variety of media formats, including many files that she says failed to work on similar devices. One weakness is an inability to downsample video such as high-definition DVD content that has been encoded at resolutions greater than the device's native WGVA (720×480) size.
The device comes with a remote control and cables, and has a street price of about $160, not including the hard drive. Additional details can be found in the complete review, here.
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