By David Ponce
Having recently purchased a 37 inch HDTV, I’m in the market for the best way to bring higher definition content to it. I’m about to buy the Ziova CS-505, but now that I’ve seen the TrekStor MovieStation, I’m reconsidering. It’s basically just a hard drive, with media player hardware thrown in. You plug it into your PC and fill the drive up with whatever video content you’ve got, then plug it to your TV and watch it. It handles a variety of formats (MPEG-1 (VCD), MPEG-2 (SVCD, KVCD, DVD), IFO, VOB, DivX3, DivX5, XviD), and it can upscale them up to 1080i. Sadly there is no HDMI output, so you have to use component cables and either Digital optic (Toslink), analog stereo (Cinch) audio connection. And it’s not networkable, so you have to shuttle back and forth between TV and PC. The drive comes in sizes ranging from 250GB up to 500GB, and prices $300 and $400.
Of course, this device alone is inferior to the Ziova CS-505 (which does all this, and more, but streaming over your network), but I own an Xbox 360. Used in conjunction with the MovieStation, I may just be able to cover all my bases (since the Xbox 360 upscales DVDs over the VGA connection). Well… except for true HD content, but that’s easily solved with the inexpensive HD-DVD drive for the 360.
If anyone wants to suggest a better hardware combination, let’s hear it in the comments.