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Emtec Movie Cube P800 Media Recorder review

Ardjuna Seghers

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Reviewed:

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Emtec Movie Cube P800 Media Recorder
  • Emtec Movie Cube P800 Media Recorder
  • Emtec Movie Cube P800 Media Recorder
  • Emtec Movie Cube P800 Media Recorder
  • Emtec Movie Cube P800 Media Recorder
  • Emtec Movie Cube P800 Media Recorder
  • Emtec Movie Cube P800 Media Recorder
  • Emtec Movie Cube P800 Media Recorder
  • Emtec Movie Cube P800 Media Recorder
  • Emtec Movie Cube P800 Media Recorder

Summary

Our Score:

7

Though it offered networking and a TV tuner to elevate it above the original WD TV Media Player, due mainly to its lack of format support we weren't too impressed with Emtec's Movie Cube S800. With its focus on digital TV and recording to a docked 2.5in drive, can the P800 make a better impression?

Emtec refers to the P800 main unit as a Docking Station because instead of an internal storage option, it features a slot in the top meant to hold the included Emtec 2.5in hard drive, which does rather limit the unit's orientation options.

We like the Docking Station's two-tone black-and-white finish, which is more rugged than that found on the S800. Though the white finish is glossy it doesn't pick up fingerprints, and the black part of the unit is sensibly matt and textured. On the front is a nicely-integrated set of blue-backlit icons that show power, recording and music-playing states.

Connectivity is truly excellent. Aside from the external 2.5in hard drive slot at its top, this Movie Cube has a USB port and unusually, a memory card reader on its side which accepts SD/SDHC, MMC and MS-Pro. At the back we find a second USB port, 10/100 Ethernet, HDMI, optical and coaxial digital audio, composite in and out, component out and finally the tuner's aerial socket.

However, all is not rosy. The hard drive slot has a proprietary connector that only works with Emtec's Gdium-branded 2.5in drives (though you can plug other brands in using the USB connections on the back), and the HDMI port is only version 1.1. Build quality is also unimpressive, with the flap covering the drive slot showing obvious signs of wear after only a few insertions. The plastics for the casing also creak noticeably, and the small chromed power button on the side occasionally gets stuck after being pressed, requiring you to coax it back into its standard position.

Similarly the provided remote looks impressive but in use there are a few niggles. While layout is fairly logical, some of the main controls are a tad stiff and its thin body isn't exactly comfortable in the hand. Worse are the twin CR2032 cell batteries it uses, which are difficult to obtain and more expensive than the AAs or AAAs found in most remotes, and also eliminate the possibility of using rechargeable ones.

timple

September 23, 2009, 4:50 pm

Yawn, waiting for one of the nettop manufacturers to add freeview+ and a remote as standard to the package.... then all this sort of stuff will get blown out of the water.





TR staff - can't you try and encourage LG, Acer, Asus and the like to put such a package together for the UK market?

BBD99

September 23, 2009, 7:42 pm

I am confused.... Just seen this at £100 on Cdiscount.co.uk which makes it good value.





But confused by Timple comment :


Is DVB-T not mean it is freeview +?


and there is a remote in the box?

TechVegan

September 24, 2009, 3:09 pm

@timple:


Indeed, good comment. Dedicated media players can only be justified as long as they significantly undercut the prices of nettops which can handle Full HD, like Acer's excellent Aspire Revo (http://www.trustedreviews.com/....





As to the remote, if you're not happy with the one that comes with the more expensive Revo models or have a cheaper one, you can always add a Windows Media or Universal remote with a USB IR dongle.





@BBD99:


As far as I can see it's £130 on Cdiscount.co.uk, and that's for the 160GB version rather than the 320GB one reviewed here.





DVB-T plus recording does not necessarily mean it's Freeview+, as the latter has a set of strict guidelines a recorder has to adhere to before it can receive this certification.

J Sebastine

January 17, 2015, 2:00 pm

I own an EMTEC Movie Cube P800 Multimedia Recorder. While playing movies accessing from Pen-drives, the movie appears on-screen on the right side in a small box (as shown in the "photo" above). I don't know how to switch onto the full-screen mode. Pls advise. Thanks.

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