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Emtec Media Cube S800

Emtec Movie Cube S800 DVR

TiVo meets AppleTV?

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Review There are now many digital video recorders (DVRs) out there and there's also a host of digital media streaming units, but if you're trying to find a device that can do both, you're going to struggle. Until now. Enter the Emtec Movie Cube S800, a gadget that promises to deliver a delicious combination of the two.

Emtec Movie Cube S800

Emtec's Movie Cube S800: yes, it plays movies. But it's not a cube

Emtec is probably best known for its storage media. Over the last few years, Emtec has branched out a bit, staying within the broad storage arena, but looking at ways of enhancing its products with various other features.

The Movie Cube S800 is an example of this diversification. It's essentially an external hard drive, but it also includes a pair of TV tuners - one DVB-T and one UHF - giving Brits access to both Freeview and the basic selection of analogue channels. Although this should be fine for some folk, building in two DVB-T tuners would have been better, especially with the digital switchover underway.

Emtec Media Cube S800

Only one digital tuner

The S800 packs in a capacious hard drive - our review unit came with 500GB of storage space, but Emtec also offers 250GB, 750GB and 1TB versions - and if you need more space, you can connect an external drive to one of the unit's two USB ports or stream content over the network before even having to consider opening up the box to replace the drive.

Emtec Media Cube S800

The info LCD flips orientation when you rotate the box

The unit itself has a nice looking is somewhat quirky half black, half white casing. It's designed to work either lying flat or standing on its side, so it's easy to find it a home no matter what the layout of your entertainment set-up.

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