Mvix Wireless HD MX-760HD Media Center
At a Glance
Mvix Wireless HD Media Center MX-760 HD
This player handles many formats but calls for plenty of tech savvy. You can also add your own hard drive.
Mvix's player boasts some very nice capabilities. Besides supporting mainstream video formats like .mp4, DivX, and Xvid, it plays unusual formats such as .iso DVD images, DVD files (including .vob and .ifo), VCD files (.dat), .ts (streaming MPEG-2 DVD) files, plus .tp and .trp (used by some PVR/DVR devices). You can upgrade it with an internal 3.5-inch IDE hard drive. And it supports full, 1080p high-def video.
Unfortunately, it's an absurdly difficult device to set up and use. Nothing will help you with initial setup--not the on-screen menus; not the dense, overly complex documentation printed in a tiny, eyestrain-inducing typeface; and not the software on the CD (there isn't any).
The documentation can be unreliable; at one point it tells you to turn a screw clockwise when you should do the opposite. This is followed by information for Windows XP--but not Vista--setup. Vista instructions on Mvix's site either do not work in Vista Home Premium or involve editing the Registry.
If you're sharing your media folders with plain-old Windows networking, the Mvix will find them. But it lacks support for UPnP servers, which mars otherwise good format support and exacerbates already poor usability. Without UPnP support, the streamer can't use Windows Media Player to play any type of protected music files. And without the organizing capabilities of a server, you must drill through folders to find the videos and songs that you want to play--all identified exclusively by file name.
If you can't bring an ethernet cable into your home theater, you'll have to configure the MX-760HD for Wi-Fi, which entails entering your network ID manually and your WEP password in hex.
Menus are functional but the text they contain is presented in an ugly, monospaced font. Thankfully, video output looked good, though standard-definition files suffered from some blockiness (HD content showed practically none). Sound had a very slight harshness. The Mvix is one of only three players in this review that supports full 1080p high definition.
The MX-760HD comes with a four-line LCD screen that displays scrolling text, menu data, and song details. This screen is aligned for reading when the unit is standing upright; but I found the device unstable in this orientation, except when I propped it up with something heavy.
I liked being able to install my own hard drive, however. You can transfer, edit, rename, or delete files on the Mvix's drive from your PC, over the network. By copying files to it, you can avoid network problems and free up space on your PC's hard drive. But in the end, despite the MX-760HD's very good picture and audio quality, wide format support, and hard drive option, design issues make it an iffy proposition for anyone but a true geek.