Dvico TViX HD N1

The Dvico TViX HD N1 is the sourest and weakest cup of "digital media coffee" we've ever tasted.


2.3
CNET Rating
7.0
User Rating

About The Author

CNET Editor

Ty is a journalist with 15 years experience in writing for IT and entertainment publications. He is in charge of the home theatre category for CNET Australia and is also a PC enthusiast. He likes indie music and plays several instruments. Twitter: @tpendlebury


Design

The HD N1 is a media streaming box, but it's also a cup of coffee. Or, in the words of Dvico's own media notes, a "Cup of Digital Media Time", whatever that actually means.

Not a literal cup of coffee, however. That could be messy, what with the crema interfering with the delicate electronics inside, and the surging electricity messing up the delicate flavour of the beans. Instead, the N1's more "inspired" by a cup of coffee, or more realistically a mug. Dvico's been down the road of whacky round media streaming designs previously with the Dvico TViX 5130 PVR, a design that looked to our eyes like a home-brewing kit.

The N1's mug shape would certainly stand out next to your TV in a way that an ordinary black box wouldn't, but whether that's a good or bad thing is a matter of personal taste. The "handle" of the mug is where the N1's output controls are located, with a single light on the front indicating whether the N1's powered up or on standby. The top of the unit bears a TViX logo, but beyond that it also hides a USB port and SD/MS/MMC card reader underneath a flap. Clicking down on the flap also acts as a power switch. Again, an odd design decision that some will love for being quirky, and others will hate.

The N1's remote control is the exact same model we've seen in other Dvico products. It's not flashy, it's not backlit, but it does cover the major features of the N1. Naturally, as there's no buttons beyond power on the N1 itself, if you lose or break the remote you're in for a world of hurt.

Features

The N1's primary function is media streaming. It'll handle video at up to 1080p in AVI, MPEG-1/2/4(XviD), IFO, ISO, VOB, DAT, WMV, ASF TP, MKV with H.264/VC-1/WMV-9, RMVB-HD and FLV formats and music in MP3, OGG, WMA, AAC, WAV (PCM) and FLAC (Lossless) formats. You can either directly connect your media via USB or SD/MS/MMC, or from a network connection via the 10/100 Ethernet port on the back.

In terms of output, the N1 supports composite, component, HDMI and optical audio output. Internet video is supported, but like previous TViX models, you're limited to the in-built video sources, which in the N1's case comprise YouTube, YouKu, PPS, Gougou, ThunderVOD, Sina TV and CNN podcasts.

Performance

For a system that doesn't boast any internal storage that it has to fire up, the N1 certainly takes a while to boot. Once it does, it presents the same semi-slick interface that we saw on the M-6600N, with plenty of gloss on the main carousel display, but a much more primitive menu system underneath that.

Media streaming from a UPnP/DLNA server worked quite well in terms of pure video quality, but we were constantly struck by exactly the same problem we've had with previous TViX units. They like to crash. A whole lot. We had crashes while streaming video. We had crashes while browsing folders on a shared drive. About one in every three remote control button presses simply did nothing. The whole point of a media streaming box is to simplify your couch potato time and allow you to relax, but the N1's performance woes meant we spent more time stressing and a lot less time relaxing.

In terms of internet streaming, the N1 certainly promises a lot, but fails to deliver in several key areas. Most streaming boxes support YouTube, but the N1 is the only box we've hit that has YouTube support but no function for searching within the YouTube application itself. Instead you've got to exit from YouTube and use a separate — and very ugly — search application. Then, if our experience is any guide, half the videos will refuse to play. The other half of the time, the N1's too busy crashing to notice.

Outside YouTube and CNN you may not be familiar with the other services the N1 offers. We certainly weren't. Our ad-hoc testing was admittedly done with no knowledge of the underlying language, instead using the tried and tested method of clicking on things to see if they'd work. Mostly they didn't, and the majority of the time the N1's response to being asked to play back video from other sources was quite predictable. If you guessed "it crashed", award yourself a gold star.

Conclusion

The N1 promises a big steamy cup of digital media in a pleasant shape, but beyond the whacky design, it fails to deliver on every possible level. Imagine a cup of coffee. Not a good cup of coffee, mind you. A bad cup. A cup that's gone cold. And had salt rather than sugar added to it. Also something that you fervently hope is only vinegar. Trying to get the N1 to work is that cup of coffee.

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AlanK3 Facebook
1
Rating
 

"That bad cup of coffee"

AlanK3 posted a review   
Denmark

The Good:Design, Filetypes

The Bad:Crashing,

The system all in all is nice. a nead design and great connection features! This, along with the many different filetypes it allows you to play, should all be a well brewed cup of starbucks finest.

However! there is allways a however.. The system keeps crashing. I watch alot of tv series on there, and i like that it automaically plays the next episode when done with the prior, i also like that it remembers where i left off on each and every one of the episodes or movies. The problem tho, is that after an average of 20-25 minutes it crashes, and there is no way around it. It has nothing to do with the videofile, since it plays fine on my computer on your standard issue windows media player. Its not the beans, its the coffee grinder.

Its very simple: A media player has to do one thing, play media. Only being able to watch 20-25 minutes of a show.. thats just not right.
Mind you, this doesnt happen everytime, but it is just about every other or 3rd.

This then, is like that last cup of coffee, when the server doesnt really feel like making a whole new batch. All you get is the leftover, sloppy bits of an idea, that in theory was great, but in practicality, absolutely horrible.

 

VincentR posted a reply   

have you tried a firmware update ?

Marker
8
Rating
 

Marker posted a review   

The Good:Everything

The Bad:Remote

Initially I was **** as it kept crasing on me, called the supplier who send me a new firmware and swish! work like a charm. So make sure that the first you do is to update the firmware and then it works and will be your friend forever.

Okay, Okay I have loved Twix ever since I got a unit from Japan a few years back, then changed to this model because of the fan noise. Am now going to install it in all rooms, so the kids can see their shows whenever they feel a need to it as well.

Vietnam
1
Rating
 

Vietnam posted a review   

The Good:price

The Bad:crashing

I read local Vietnamese review of this N1. Bought the cub. It's crashing all the time... through it into floor ;/ go to read international review. this is!!

JamesF
9
Rating
 

JamesF posted a review   

Was really worried about review but could not go pass price @$129. Got device home plugged it in and have now replaced my HTPC. This thing is awesome if you play high res MKV files.

Babak
9
Rating
 

Babak posted a review   

The Good:Everything

The Bad:Remote control reach

I bought TViX N1 without seeing this review. I was worried after I read it. But,I just love it. Hasn't crashed one single time for me.

 

Captain_Kook posted a comment   

The Good:Web-Remote Function.

The Bad:Remote control reach

I bought TViX N1 without seeing this review. I was worried after I read it. But, no more worry because I'm now using remote control with my iPhone. And I like TViX now. APE/CUE music file format support and web-remote feature.

Katsura
10
Rating
 

Katsura posted a review   

The Good:Everything

The Bad:Remote control reach

Well i've used mine for a couple of weeks and watched numerous animes and movies with subtitles. Hasn't crashed one single time for me. Using a 1.5 TB HDD to store.

Katsura
10
Rating
 

Katsura posted a review   

The Good:Everything

The Bad:Remote control reach

Well i've used mine for a couple of weeks and watched numerous animes and movies with subtitles. Hasn't crashed one single time for me. Using a 1.5 TB HDD to store.

 

Mark posted a comment   

The Good:Nup none

The Bad:everything else

This device does nothing but crash. i cant think of a service that it dont crash on. the place i bought it from online seems to have washed their hands of me alkso, they just dont reply. 1 piece of advice, dont buy this item!!

 

LA posted a comment   

I'm trying this unit as a write this. Remote reacts very poorly either it doesn't until you point exactly and when it does it repeats immediately causing it to jump to other items before you can select the one you want. Very frustrating. On my receiver s/pdif does not work. It flashes "MPEG 2/00" and no sound. No idea what is coming over s/pdif.
Trying to play a FLAC it crasht.
Network drives it refuses to connect to. Only uPnP working. So this things goes back for sure. What a disappointment. (running latest firmware 1.9.9)


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User Reviews / Comments  Dvico TViX HD N1

  • AlanK3

    AlanK3

    Rating1

    "The system all in all is nice. a nead design and great connection features! This, along with the many different filetypes it allows you to play, should all be a well brewed cup of starbucks finest...."

  • Marker

    Marker

    Rating8

    "Initially I was **** as it kept crasing on me, called the supplier who send me a new firmware and swish! work like a charm. So make sure that the first you do is to update the firmware and then it ..."

  • Vietnam

    Vietnam

    Rating1

    "I read local Vietnamese review of this N1. Bought the cub. It's crashing all the time... through it into floor ;/ go to read international review. this is!!"

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