Moxi HD DVR First Look 
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Written by Mike Flacy   
Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Haven red Carpet

Ensconced in a multitude of luxurious homes, we got a chance to visit the Haven event on a private estate last week.  Haven is a pre-Oscar, three day event for celebrities and media that included entertainment, charitable activities and a variety of companies offering a glimpse at their product lines.  We made the trek through the maze of finely manicured streets of Beverly Hills and popped into the event on Friday afternoon.

We wandered into the estate and took a quick tour of the grounds.  The photographers around the red carpet appeared pensively waiting for the next group of celebrities to roll in.  Lining the house, an oasis-themed swimming pool framed the open area and lead up to an expansive, overlook view of Los Angeles.  Inside the house, waiters and waitresses scurried around with little plates of appetizers and the throng of guests made their way around the room to peruse the various displays.

pool

Specifically, we were excited to get our hands on Digeo’s Moxi HD DVR.  The Moxi HD DVR is being marketed as a replacement for your cable box with the capabilities of a Tivo included.  As a dual tuner DVR, it comes with 500GB of space capable of holding about 75 hours of high-def content.  It also ties into your home network to act as a streaming music server or a photo library.  The Moxi HD DVR is supported without the rental fee of a cable box / satellite box or the monthly fee that Tivo requires, but it is priced at $799 to compensate.    

We watched a brief demo for another group of guests and got a chance to speak with Simone, a rep for the company.  She navigated through the blue-tinted user interface which is completely in a high definition format.  The menu breaks up content in a variety of categories, all found on the horizontal slider at the bottom of the screen.  The menu also incorporates a vertical scroller to navigate content within categories.  Navigation was simple and the organizational structure is more impressive than our recent time with Tivo.

menu

The ticker function at the bottom of the screen was fairly intuitive.  Similar to a ticker on a news network, blurbs appear at the bottom of the screen.  The difference in this case is that the user can choose the filtering keywords to modify the content in the stream.  For instance if you only want to view NCAA basketball scores rather than the entire sports stream, a couple clicks will filter out the rest of the sports news.  

The Moxi HD DVR also acts at a media server if you have a Windows PC on your network.  You have the ability to stream music from your PC through the Moxi, basically reading out of folders.  It also sorts music by artist, album or genre.  Moxi utilizes Finetune to provide internet streaming music and, on the photo side, integrates your Flikr feed for viewing online photo streams.  There’s also some arcade style games included in the U.I., but I can’t see the Moxi competing successfully against the arcade offerings of next generation consoles.

flickr menu

At the moment, Digeo doesn’t use a streaming video or on-demand service to provide movie or television downloads.  We’d imagine that’s something on the horizon, especially since it doesn’t work with your existing service provider’s on-demand service.  The TV Guide function is more polished than any other device we have used to this point.  The menu is snappy and doesn’t pause to load the video being played in the top right hand corner of the screen (the current channel).  The 14 day channel listings load quickly due to the internet based source and are vastly faster than a Time Warner cable box.  

The casing of the Moxi is somewhat boxy, but the simplicity of the front panel is appreciated.  The rear panel contains the standard array of connections; HDMI, component, S-Video, Ethernet, etc…  Interestingly, there’s no physical solution for transferring video off the Moxi.  As we understand it, there’s no type of sharing function built into the U.I., something similar to Tivo’s peer to peer sharing function.  Over the course of the demo, we were most impressed with the picturesque quality of the user interface and the ease of the navigation.  It’s also priced about $200 less than what a Tivo HD XL with lifetime membership would run you.  Based on our time with the Moxi HD DVR, we can't wait to get our hands on a unit soon and put that dual-recording tuner to the test.

Model Moxi HD DVR





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