Pivos AIOS HD Media Player Review
HardOCP readers have been building and placing PCs in their living rooms for many years now to serve up entertainment media. Manufacturers have been trying to push into this market for some time now with some success. Today we see a new media unit from Pivos and see how it works out.
While the average [H] reader would prefer to build their own custom HTPC (home theater PC), there is something to be said about an inexpensive HD media player that can fulfill most of your home entertainment needs and costs less than a low end video card. This is where Pivos Technology Group, a relatively new company based out of California, comes into the picture.
The company, comprised of a "group of industrial veteran and renown platform developers," has launched the AIOS HD Media Player described as a media center PC...minus the PC part. So who is Pivos?
According to the company's website:
Pivos Technology Group, is a firm set to challenge the curve of our conversation with technology, redefine and create new breed of devices. Our mission is to breathe innovation, performance and quality into technology products with utmost creative and human engineering.
Our products are focused on the emerging market of digital peripherals, where computing technology joins today's rich internet(sic) media contents. They all share a common goal to simplify your needs for store, deliver and playback of local, networked, or internet(sic) media data. Coupled with latest embedded technology, Pivos offers a range of consumer and commercial applications.
Founded by a group of industrial veteran and renown platform developers, Pivos's(sic) decades of industrial and product development experience formed the foundation to our ideas and believes. Infused with multi-cultural corporate infrastructure, we promote out of the box thinking and freedom of concepts. Together we create the perfect team to realize the mission to success.
The company's first product is the AIOS HD Media Player, a small set-top box that promises to play all your high definition 1080P movies, music, and photos content through your home network, USB thumb drive, SDHC card, or optional add in SATA hard drive (up to 3TB) while also offering a full set of Internet media services like YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, and more.
Let's take a look at the AIOS HD Media Player and see if indeed lives up to the claims made by the company shall we?
The box is black and orange and a features a photo of the AIOS on the front along with fifteen or so badges listing support for 3TB hard drives, USB 3.0, full 1080P video, 10/100 LAN, USB 3.0, optional wireless 802.11 b/g/n and more. The side of the box lists the contents of the box, supported video / audio CODECs, connection types as well as files types supported, languages and so on.
Normally we don't concern ourselves too much with product packaging but, in the case of the AIOS, there are a few things we'd like to point out now as they come into play later on in this review. The first thing that caught my eye was the fact that the company misspelled the word "composite" on the outside of the box. We also noticed that the box prominently features the Internet Explorer logo as the browser as well as a USB 3.0 logo, optional 802.11 b/g/n and support for up to 3TB hard drives.
What's In The Box:
The AIOS HD Media Player is held in place by thick plastic foam inserts while the accessories are packed in a separate white box. The unit itself came in a plastic bag and had protective plastic on the face of the unit to protect it from scratches as well.
AIOS HD Media Player
A/C Power Adapter
Composite Video Cable
Remote and batteries
USB 3.0 Cable
Quick Start Guide
What we didn't find in the box was a cable for high definition playback (component or HDMI) at all. The included composite cable will get you through the set up process but that's about it. You will definitely want to get yourself an HDMI or component cables.
The AIOS has a very nice black brushed aluminum housing with a high gloss plastic faceplate. The right hand side of the unit houses a USB connector and a slot for a SATA hard drive. The left hand side has a SDHC card slot.
The overall construction of the AIOS is solid and, in a day and age where most other devices of this type use plastic housings, the brushed aluminum is a very durable touch. The tray for an optional SATA hard drive is plastic and it works well with 3.5" hard drives but lacks support for smaller 2.5" drives or SSDs. Since the HDD tray is plastic, it can be easily modded to accommodate a solid state drive but we feel this is something Pivos should incorporate into future revisions of the AIOS. We'll touch on this again later in this review.
On the back of the unit you will find a your standard composite and component connectors, HDMI port, USB 3.0 data port, 2 USB 2.0 slots, optical, coaxial, DC 12v power input, power switch, and a small cooling fan. The advertised USB 3.0 support is for connection to the PC only. If you bought this device hoping to add an external USB 3.0 hard drive to the AIOS, you are out of luck.
Due to the size of the unit, you will need to select the most streamline cables and components available for use with the AIOS. Larger HDMI cables, thumb drives and WiFi dongles can block adjacent slots: