The TViX HD SlimS1 is one of the latest HD media players to hit the Indian market recently. Media players have been around for some time now with features ranging from massive built-in storage capacity to ones having Ethernet ports for network connectivity. The TViX SlimS1 as well comes loaded with a multitude of capabilities like support for an internal hard drive, Internet playback capabilities and support for pretty much every video format amongst others. With a tagline of 'Be Slimmer, Be Smarter', let’s see how this HD media player fares in comparison to products from some of the better known brands.

Remote control has range issues

Remote control has range issues

Design and Build Quality
The TViX HD SlimS1 comes in just one design with a brushed metal top and all black glossy front and sides. Like DVD or Blu-ray players, the SlimS1 has a digital display in the front which shows you the different functions you are in. The display has a digital clock as well. On the top of the media player are eight buttons for basic functions like power, menu, play/ ok, stop, up, down, left and right.

The TViX HD SlimS1 comes with various connectivity options. The main one is the the ability to fit in a hard disk drive in the player by merely inserting it in a tray in the player.  On the right side of the HD media player is a flap that enables one to open the tray. The design of the flap is a bit cheap looking but is very sturdy. The tray in the player is made out of metal and if not handled properly, it’s possible to accidentally get cut. The advantage of this tray is that one does not require any screws to seat the HDD. It can just sit in place, inserted in the media player and is good to go. On the left of the player is a USB port and an eSATA port. Next to these ports on the side is a fan that can be set to different speeds in the system settings menu.

Multiple connectivity options at the back

Multiple connectivity options at the back

The back of the media player features a whole lot of connectivity options as well. The power connector, coaxial port, optical port, component and composite ports, HDMI, Ethernet as well as another USB port. Also at the back is another USB port which can fit a standard USB B plug, which is meant to connect the player to a PC.

The remote control that came bundled with this HD media player is a simple black controller with a silver rim with fluoroscent yellow rubber buttons. The remote isn’t the easiest to use. Some of the buttons have two features mapped to them. Also one has to point directly at the player to navigate through the functions making it slightly inconvenient.

Overall the TViX HD SlimS1 is a pretty average looking media player with its simple and minimalistic design. The build quality of this device is however quite good with it having a very sturdy feel to it. The HD media player weighs in at 1.11 Kg.

Features
The selling point of media players are features and the more loaded they are, the more consumers are willing to pay for them. The TViX HD SlimS1 has a fair amount of features as well with the ability to house a hard drive, 3 USB ports, an eSATA port and Internet capabilities. This media player can also stream Internet content via Wi-Fi, however one has to purchase a separate Wi-Fi USB dongle. The TViX HD SlimS1 is powered by an RTD1283DD+ 400Mhz processor and has a flash memory of 128 MB, which should be sufficient for media playback.

Super quiet fan

Super quiet fan

The user interface of the HD SlimS1 is simple and pretty easy to navigate around. On the home screen we are greeted with five main options – movie, music, photo, Internet and setup. The design of the default home screen is simple with a grey wallpaper at the back with large icons in the front. The wallpaper in the home screen is customizable though.

In the setup menu there are various options you can customize. These options include settings for the system, A/V, HDTV, PVR and Network. Updating of the firmware can done through the player itself.
Features Contd.
The Internet feature on this HD media player is flooded with online streams. In the Internet hub feature, we see five widgets, which are Internet Channel, Internet TV, Podcasts, Weather and News. In the Internet Channel we see services ranging from YouTube and Picasa to Discovery and many others. In the Podcasts feature we see podcasts from CNN, NBC and Yahoo. The Weather feature enables users to check the weather according to their location. The database of locations available in the weather widget is quite impressive. The news section has news RSS feeds like CNN, BBC and NPR.

Can house an internal hard drive

Can house an internal hard drive

Performance
Playback of videos is smooth and we fast forwarded HD videos at 32x speed and no lag was noticed. The video quality was tested over a number of formats, the performance remained consistent throughout. There were some audio sync issues noticed while viewing some video files. This can be a bit annoying while watching movies.The remote control was buggy and behaved erratically with problems regarding range and the remote control had to be aimed directly at the HD media player.

The TViX HD SlimS1 tends to hang at times and another issue noticed was with its start up time. It takes nearly a minute to start this media player. On the other hand, while switching it off, the response time is quick. The Internet playback was smooth with all channels that we tried streamed well. Overall the performance of the videos were over shadowed by the glitches.

Slim simple design

Slim simple design

Verdict
The TViX HD SlimS1 is priced at Rs. 19,999 – a bit on the pricier side. For features that are equal to this you would be able to get a better model from a different manufacturer at a better price. For this kind of money, one can rather buy a gaming console such as a PS3 which would provide the same features and performances as well as offer many more features like a Blu-ray playback and gaming capabilities.

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