Mvix Unveils the MvixPVR with iPod Docking Support

I just got tipped off that Mvix has a new product set to release that not many people in the States are aware of. The device is called the MvixPVR and it essentially combines a PVR, HDD media player, and an iPod dock all into one device. The MvixPVR is capable of outputting 720p/1080i/1080p video with 5.1 Digital Surround Sound, HDMI, 802.11g connectivity, USB host functionality to stream media files from external drives, and can be used as a NAS server / UPnP media server / BitTorrent downloader. Interestingly, the device can record “digitally from any source, your set-top box, satellite receiver or camcorder.” Like other Mvix products, one has to bring their own hard drive to the game for on-board storage. Mivx documentation states that it can support up to a 1TB SATA hard drive (the YouTube video below hints that Mvix may be releasing configurations with an included hard drive). Lastly, the MvixPVR is cross-platform compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux PCs – in case you want to share files with the device via the network or plugged in as an external USB drive. [via]


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Filed in: Digital Media Servers, Streaming Media Devices

17 Reactions to “Mvix Unveils the MvixPVR with iPod Docking Support”

  1. GadgetHeat says:

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  4. Greg Wishart says:

    Ordered a MVIX PVR! They’re $299 + $50 for shipping to USA because they come from Asia. Why can’t they ship 1000 units to USA for a lot cheaper and save us some shipping costs?

    See for updated specs.

  5. Greg Wishart says:

    MVix PVR arrived!

    I want to clear up some confusion about the inputs and outputs first. The composite port is input only. The component ports are output only.

    The audio pins are either colored wrong or labeled wrong (the red ports are labeled “L” which is usually for right-channel audio), so I’m not sure if my right/left inputs and outputs are backwards or not.

    There is a blank space for a SATA hard drive. All I have are IDEs, so I will go out and get one tomorrow. In the meantime, I hooked up an external HD formatted with FAT16. All my videos are in the “VIDEO” folder so it works great with my Sony PS3. It hasn’t been able to play any of my files yet. I’ve tried several QuickTime movies, .WMV movies, and some AVIs but I just get a message that I need to convert them to MVixFTS using some software provided on a CD. I haven’t tried that yet. I also wish to test it with .VOB files and .ISO files of DVDs.

    The setup menu is clear and simple, and I’m glad the video setup supports my 1080i plasma at 50hz or 60hz.

    When I went through the network setup via a wired cable, it got an IP address from my router but keeps forgetting it. Every time I go back to the network setup area, it says I’m not connected.

    It supports wireless networks, but a tiny wireless circuit board in my box is loose and disconnected! This could be due to a poor UPS shipping from Korea, but I have the box opened right now to re-connect it.

    The english-only manual is 60 pages long. The power cord is for the European market but includes a US adapter. More later as I put my box back together, test .ISO files, .VOB files, and try out the software.

  6. Greg Wishart says:

    Re-attaching the loose network circuit board in the box fixed the wireless issue. I’m now able to connect to my router wirelessly. There’s no way to get the MAC ID of the MVix PVR (it’s not in the menus or printed on the bottom of the unit), so it was hard to add it to the Wireless Access List of my router. I had to turn off security, connect to it, get the MAC ID from the log, add that to the access list, and turn security back on.

    Great news! It DOES support .ISO files from ripped DVDs. I have a Western Digital MyBook on my network with a shared folder using the SMB protocol full of .ISO files, and it’s easy to browse through them with the MVixPVR. It plays a thumbnail of the DVD right in the menu as you scroll through the list it found. The thumbnail appears to be the first video track of the .ISO (not the main menu), and it displays the duration and size of the file. If you have your DVDs extracted into the various .IFO and .VOB files, that works too! It seems to support DVD menus, but not perfectly. I had a hard time displaying the DVD menu for 2 DVDs.

    It’s also able to play various AVI’s I have which are 576×432, and use MPEG4 and MPEG audio.

    It’s not able to play some .MKV files I have (says I need to convert them to Mvix FTS)

    .OGM files won’t even show up in the library.

    You can zoom videos up to 8X but you cannot adjust the aspect ratio (which I would like to do because I have an old plasma and am afraid of burn-in). I don’t care if people look fat… I want my screen filled at all times. I just noticed, however, that the TVOut button the remote rotates between various output frequencies which will let me adjust the aspect ratio on my plasma between full, movie1, movie2, 4:3, etc. so I’m all set.

    The ‘Go’ button is cool while playing video. I can tell it to go to any title, any chapter, or any time in the movie such as 01:02:03

    I need a hard drive installed to use the MVix Live feature which plays YouTube videos, etc.

    There’s a file manager, but I was unable to copy anything from a external hard drive to a networked hard drive, and vice-versa. Maybe it only works from/to an internal hard drive which I don’t have yet.

    It has a timer function to record TV shows from the VideoIn port but it looks like I can only record from VideoIn to an internal hard drive which I don’t have yet.

    I plugged in my iPod Nano (first generation) and my iPod Touch to the port on the top, but I don’t see my iPod anywhere in the menus. Maybe it’s just a charger? Maybe I need a hard drive installed?

    Well, that’s my quick review after about an hour or two of playing without (and not reading the manual). I’ll get a hard drive and try the UPnP server and other stuff later…

  7. Great review Greg! You’re providing fantastic information. It sounds like the MvixPVR is still a bit rough around the edges. I’m surprised it’s not as user friendly as one would think. In one of your future comments, consider posting a Pros and Cons list of the device for quick reference.

  8. GregW says:

    I haven’t had it long enough to make a list of pros and cons, but here’s some more info:

    I know the MVixPVR supports .m3u playlists because I have seen them while browsing through my list of files, but haven’t tried it yet. I will try them in the next day or two.

    I put a 500 GB SATA hard drive in the box yesterday and formatted it. The first option is to set the amount of space to reserve for time-shifting (4 GB per hour). The second is to specify how much is to be used for recording, and how much is to be used for media. I still haven’t read the manual, but I think the “recording” partition is for what it records via the composite input and “media” is .MPG files, etc. The next question is what % of the “media” partition is to be FAT32 and what % is to be NTFS. I don’t know yet what the point of this is but I did figure out that in order to copy something the PVR recorded to an external HD, you have to copy it to the media partition. I did it once, but can’t figure out how I did it!

    The video that I recorded showed up as a .MPG file but I had some difficulty copying it to a networked drive or my external USB drive. Will try again later. I tried copying the opposite direction (some .ISO files from a networked HD to the internal HD), but got a message that you can’t copy onto an NTFS partition which makes NO sense.

    One thing I REALLY wanted to try was the UPnP server functionality. I turned on my PS3 and the MVix PVR magically showed up under music, video, and pictures. Hopes were high! When I went to see the videos available, I saw the sole .MPG file on the MVix PVR but when I tried to play it I got an error message that the file was not compatible. :-( I was very disappointed.

    I played with the timer functionality last night and this morning. You can’t schedule a timing event more than a month from now but you can say “record every day from to and repeat daily, weekly, etc”. The remote control has a Power button that seems to put the unit in sleep mode (hard drive and fan turn off, and power light blinks) but the timer doesn’t seem to record anything! It doesn’t seem to wake up to record anything! I only tried it once though. The power button really seems to turn it off, because when I turn it back on I see the logo for about 10 seconds as if it’s booting. Please tell me I don’t have the leave the unit on 24/7 for the timer to work…

    I played with the Mvix Live feature too for a little bit. It appears to be some kind of live video downloading service. There are a dozen categories but I only tried 3 of them and they’re not working yet. They’re mostly labeled ‘coming soon’. I need to look into this a lot further, but there is another section that looks like you can watch and download YouTube videos. You can read news and weather of the world, but only the weather Asia and Europe :-)

    This PVR has tons of little features, but most of them are letting me down so far. I’ve got many more things to try, so this morning I tried the iPod dock. I have an iPod mini, a nano, and a touch. As soon as you plug it in, the volume of any live TV you’re watching goes down about 90%. Remove the iPod and the volume goes back to normal. There’s a button on the remote that toggles between normal mode and iPod mode. When in iPod mode, you use the arrow keys on the remote to control the iPod as if you’re controlling the wheel on the classic iPods, the nano, the mini, etc. The remote control basically just controls the iPod as if you’re holding it but the TV doesn’t display anything. You can’t tell where you are in the iPod menu unless you know the menu structure or you’re close enough to read it. I have an iPod touch, but can’t imagine that it works. Apparently you can play videos in the iPod on your TV but I my nano can’t play video, so I can’t try that.

  9. Greg Wishart says:

    A few more notes on the Mvix PVR:

    The timer function works OK but you cannot play and record at the same time. If the unit is in sleep mode, the timer function will operate normally and record shows for you but the fan is on 100% of the time even in sleep mode. If you are watching something, and the timer wants to record something, you are given a 15-second warning to continue recording or cancel. If you choose to continue recording, whatever you are watching will stop because you cannot do both.

    I still cannot figure out how (without reading the manual) to copy something I recorded to a .MPG file then copy that to an external hard drive or a networked drive.

    The Mvix Online feature is very rough around the edges. It looks like it’s only about 50% done but I was able to read some BBC news headlines, etc.

    I have been able to copy files from an external HD or networked HD to the internal HD but only to the FAT partition. It will not allow me to copy to the NTFS partition (I have NO idea why). The insane part, is that you can only copy 8 files or folders at a time! When done, you get a message that the files are finished copying and can press either “OK” or “No”. This is another example of being rough around the edges, as both buttons take you to the main menu.

  10. Billy says:

    Greg, great information. Thank you. Mvix release new firmware for the MvixPVR 1/23/09. Please test and let us know.

    This MvixPVR seemed to replace what was being called Mvix800HD. Is that your understanding? Also, on the website mvix lists the chipset used as the RTL126X, not the anticipated SMP8635. Can you confirm this?

    Thanks, cheers.
    Current Mvix760HD owner.

  11. Paul Smulders says:

    Dear Greg,
    Thanks for your excellent review. I am considering buying this machine as well but for me two features are important and I would like to know whether these requirements are met:

    1. Can you browse throught your media while it is playing an MP3 file? My current Sweex mediaplayer can’t do anything when it is playing and that is a terrible “feature”. Could you for instance run a photo show of pictures while it is playing MP3 music?

    2. Is there a way to store a playlist (MP3) on the internal hard disk or USB disk or network, and if not, does it remember the last playlist when switched on again?

    I am looking forward to your comment on this.
    Thanks a lot.
    Paul Smulders

  12. Greg Wishart says:

    Ok, I’ll do the upgrade today and play with it.

    Billy: I don’t know about chipsets. I opened it up but the biggest chip has a heatsink on it, so I don’t know. I did take a 12MP photo that I can email you…

    Paul: I’m not sure how to make a playlist. They’re .M3U files? I couldn’t find a way to play all the files in a folder, but was able to start a single .MP3 file and display a .JPG at the same time. I can also browse around my media library while the MP3 is playing. There is a lame screen saver of just the company logo moving around the screen (nothing like iTunes, etc).

    Here’s some more info about how the hard drive partitioning works:

    1) You have to allocate some space for time-shifting (4 GB per hour) with a minimum of 1 hour.
    2) You then allocate a partition for “Live Recordings” which is for anything it records via the composite in port. You cannot access this partition from any devices or the network. See “Edit Title” below for more info
    3) You then allocate the rest of your hard drive between FAT16 and NTFS partitions. The FAT16 partition is what they call your “Media Library” and it is where you put your AVI, MP3, VOB, and DVD .ISO files. The NTFS partition is rather useless because the PVR cannot play any of the files in there (it can’t even see the files in there). The NTFS partition seems only useful when the PVR is in slave mode (acting as a regular external HD).

    I finally read the manual and discovered that “Edit Title” is the way you copy from your Live Recordings partition to the Media Library partition. It lets you split the recordings, do some basic erasing, renaming, etc. There’s a command to copy to the Media Library which gives you a .MPG file. It automatically splits your .MPG file into 2GB slices but beware: only the first slice of my .MPG file had any sound!

    Erasing parts of a Live Recording works ok but here’s another bug: Suppose you have a 1-hour recording but only want the first 30 minutes. You start the editing process, go to the 30-minute mark, select that, and fast-forward to the 1-hour mark. You would think the PVR would stop at the 1-hour mark, but NO! It starts at the beginning again which makes it very difficult to delete right up to the end.

    Note that you cannot put a file over 4GB into Media Library partition because it’s FAT16. This means several of my DVD .ISO files will have to live on an external drive.

    You can hook 2 external hard drives to the PVR and they seem to work fine but you can also use the PVR as an external hard drive for your computer. They call it “Slave mode” which gives you drive letter on your computer for the FAT16 partition and another drive letter for the NTFS partition (if any). You cannot use the PVR for anything else while in this mode.

    PS: Don’t have an iPod connected all the time, because if it’s set to record anything, the volume will only be at about 10% if there’s an iPod in the dock.

  13. juto says:

    Hello: I to Have an mvixpvr and i read Greg’s post and I don’t know how he partition but i Have a 1 terabite drive
    and gave the FAT16 partition 250 gig and the NTFS partition
    the rest and i put all my move iso’s that most are larger
    then 4 gig’s and it works just fine. From what i understand is that the FAT16 is for recordings and net content storage.ntfs is for storage of all kinds including
    reguler files ,transportable by wifi or not.

  14. juto says:

    Hello: Edit, it,s Fat32 when reference to Fat16.

  15. Jae says:

    Please help guys .

    Just bought the PVR and am having massive probs copying folders to the Internal hard disk.

    I have a 500 gig external hard disk (ntfs) connected to the USB port on the PVR.

    I can play directly from the external hard disk no problem,but want to copy all my films phtos and music to the internal hard disk from the the external hard disk, for some strange reason in file copy it seems not possible to do this.

    also having aproblems connecting to the pvr via the wirless network (its very slow)and not stable.and it seems that i can only copy files and no folders.

    I am pretty sure that there is a little display on the PVR but cant get it to work.

    when i try to play a wav file the systen crashes

    its driving me nuts.

    please help.

    thanx jae

  16. juto says:

    hello Jae: Go to this forum for the proper help

  17. Greg Wishart says:

    You might have better luck using the FAT partition. I wasn’t able to use an NTFS partition for anything other than an external drive in slave mode.