Thankfully, the Black MAX works better as a media server. There are a number of options for playing your digital media files. You can connect a PC – but not a Mac – directly to the Black MAX with USB, and then use the ‘Sharing’ option in Windows Media Player to make your music, videos and photos available to the Black MAX.
Twonky software is supplied for streaming media, but there's no Bit Torrent client
You can also plug in an external USB storage device, and Mac users can use Mac-formatted disks even though they can’t connect an actual Mac using USB. Alternatively, you can stream media files from a networked computer using the bundled TwonkyMediaServer software. This software supports both the UPnP and DLNA networking standards, and there are versions provided for both Macs and PCs.
The good news is that the Black MAX coped well with the various photos, music and video files that we tested on it, including a selection of AAC and MP3 music files, WMV and MP4 videos, and even full HD (1080p) video in H.264 format.
Video quality was crisp and clear, and the Black MAX also makes a respectable stab at upscaling standard-definition video. It can’t stream iTunes copy-protected video, but that’s down to Apple rather than LaCie, and there’s no Bit Torrent client, which will certainly disappoint some potential buyers.
Be sure to organise folders first, for best results when browsing media
The browser interface could be a little more elegant – there’s no option to view album artwork, for instance. Also, if you’re copying a large music collection onto the hard disk you’ll need to make sure that the songs are organised into artist and album folders first. If not, you’ll just be presented with a long list of song titles that you have to scroll through in alphabetical order.
Why include a Hard Drive
A couple days ago i installed a cheap ($119 US) ATSC tuner with composite, S-video, and RGB component connectors.
The RGB connectors went to a legacy DVR, and thence to RGB inputs of our TV. The only downside of this arrangement is the DVR/DVD combo limits resolution to 720X480i.
Interestingly, however, the tuner also features ethernet and USB connectors, so a simple software revision would make the perfect product, a tuner that lets you record onto your own external hard drives. Building a hard drive inside a product almost guarantees that it will cost too much because Hard drive prices are falling so rapidly. Consumers can then fill up hard drives with shows they believe they will watch again someday, and put them on a shelf instead of tediously choosing what shows to erase to clear space for the next recording.
You could even plug in one hard drive for a specific series or repurpose all those old 120G harddrives that are laying around.
On the other hand, COX Cable, the provider here in Las Vegas, provides virtual DVR service, recording EVERY network programme and making it available for playback on demand the day after airing.
Paris because her sister is coming to vegas for my Halloween party.
including a digital TV tuner. However, at this price you might have expected two separate tuners, so that you could record one programme while watching another.
Surely you watch via the TV's Freeview Tuner while the Box Records? iasn't that how video recorders have worked for the last erm years... (admitedly no pause while recording)
Personnaly I'd stick to the Foxsat HDR.. way cheaper it works and its HD!
What, no DTS input?
And for those of us who choose not to pay Murdoch a monthly fee, what about FreeSat integration?
Oh, what a missed opportunity for HD.
To be fair, you can get a Freeview tuner for £30, but not a DVR with 500Gb hard disk....
The Popcorn Hour AT-110 can stream video from NFS or Samba shares (or its own HD) with no need for Twonky or whatever and it costs £175.
Given that you can also buy a Freeview DVR with way more features than the LaCinema provides for about £30 it seems LaCie is charging around £200 extra for the luxury of having inferior versions of both products in one box.