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Nixeus Fusion HD 1080p Media Player Review Print E-mail
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
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Nixeus Fusion HD 1080p Media Player Review
Movie and Music Performance

ImageIt's just about impossible to find a digital media player that does everything, but if you look hard enough you'll find one that does everything you need.  The Fusion HD from Nixeus won't satisfy those looking for a Boxee Box like device – it's not built around streaming.  If you're looking for something that will handle your digital media collection with ease though, you'll find it in the Fusion HD.

You may be surprised at the size of the Fusion HD when you pull it out of the box.  It's eight inches long, four and a half inches deep and two inches high, making it compact but surprisingly tall for a device of its kind.  That extra inch of height is there for a good reason though.  It gives you a much needed space to add an internal hard drive, rather than relying on external storage like most players.

Looking at the back of the device, you'll find an HDMI output for video and both optical and coaxial outputs for audio.  There's also an A/V jack that can be used with the included component output if you feel the need.  The Nixeus Fusion HD has a single USB port on the back that's designed to be used with an included wireless antenna.  On the front you'll find one standard and one mini USB port alongside a hookup for eSATA devices.  Another two USB ports in the front would have been a nice touch.  After attaching the wireless antenna to the back and a keyboard to the front, I was all out of room for the USB drive I wanted to attach.

Back of the Fusion HD

Setting up the Fusion HD can be as simple as setting up a new Blu-ray player.  Plug it in, turn it on and go.  It gets a little more complex if you're using the more advanced features like wireless internet or installing the internal hard drive, but even then it doesn't take more than a few minutes.  Since I didn't have an extra SATA drive lying around, I popped the HDD out of my computer to try with the Fusion HD.  After removing the four external screws, I was able to pop the top of the unit right off and hook my hard drive up.

Nixeus provides four screws for securing your hard drive in place, and everything goes together very smoothly.  There's a small fan on the inside that keeps things cool, and plenty of room for you to move around in.  Unlike some other media players, I wasn't required to format the drive before using it.  The fan can't be much more than an inch high, and makes almost no noise.  The unit gets a little louder when there's a hard drive installed, but just how much louder depends on your drive.  All in all, the Fusion HD is as close to silent running as you could expect and kept nice and cool during the review process. 

Fusion Menu

One thing that might throw you off initially is how long the Nixeus Fusion HD takes to turn on.  When you power the unit on, the indicator light will turn from red to orange and will stay orange for around 15 seconds until the Fusion HD starts up. Once it's on, you can change your video and audio settings to best suit your setup, including PAL formats if need be.  It's all pretty standard stuff.  There are some options for configuring the picture as well.  I initially tried out the Fusion HD with a wired internet connection, which required absolutely no configuration.  I plugged it in, turned the device on, and it was all set to play files from my network.  I then gave it a go with the included USB dongle and found it to be quite friendly.  All I had to do was go into the setup menu, enter my WPA2 code and it was ready to go.

One of the biggest problems with the Fusion HD is the menu system.  Navigating is a bit of a chore.  It's nowhere near as responsive as I'd like it to be, and it's not nice to look at either.  It would be great to have nice, fast, good looking menus to go along with this powerful player.


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