Published on October 30th,2008 at 4:04 PM
By >Daimaou - G.G-B

The Ultimate DivX Box Killer: Dell Studio Hybrid Hands-on and Quick Review

For years I spent an amazing amount of money and time looking for the ultimate DivX box to plug into my TV. While most were made in Korea, I got tired of buying a new one every time a new codec was released.

Having a PC in the living room would have been the perfect choice. Hardware can be upgraded when needed, and with CCCP codec or VLC you can watch virtually anything from crappy SD to fantastic HD videos. My other problem was convincing my wife that NO, a huge white desktop in the living room isn’t strange… After several attempts I gave up and removed it.

Then some months ago the Dell Studio Hybrid arrived… Nice design, Blu-ray, decent CPU, amount of RAM, with HDD, HDMI, optical output, and Windows Media Center.

At first I was skeptical. Yes, Dell Studio specs are nice, even with the integrated Intel video card, but will my MKV files, DVD, and Blu-ray render as well on my DivX box or PS3? Will it be as simple to use as the previously mentioned product?

Believe it or not, but YES, HELL YES! Plugged into my Sharp Aquos LCD TV via HDMI, the picture was perfect. Thanks to my Vista Ultimate MCE (media center) I was capable of playing all my files, even MKV, in a blast of color and a gorgeous 5.1 sound (Dell Studio plugged to my home-theater amp). 
Blu-rays and DVD rendered pretty well too, and I was finally able to enjoy a real multimedia experience. 



Dell Studio alone isn’t perfect. If you really want the ultimate setting, go and buy Logitech’s diNovo Mini. This keyboard is made for people who want the best of MCE while having a real keyboard for Net surfing.

Even though I’m perfectly happy with the Dell Studio, and I’ll never spend money on a dedicated DivX box again, there are still some flaws that I’d like Dell to fix in the future.

PowerDVD 8 is the best PC DVD / Blu-ray player available, but it’s even better on a GeForce video card. Unfortunately the Dell Studio is stuck with an Intel. Also, it would be perfect if Dell sold the studio with an optional TV tuner. Even if one can be plugged in through a USB, it’s way more convenient to have it on the desktop rather than out.

If you’re like me and don’t really care about a TV tuner thingy, and want to rid yourself of the burden of purchasing a new DviX box each time a new codec comes out, the Dell Studio is the perfect solution. Elegant and affordable, I highly recommend it to anyone who’s fed-up with all the crappy DivX boxes with firmware updates that never come.

8% DivX Box Guy?
50% MCE (PC) Guy?
42% Mac Mini, Apple TV Guy?


(24 votes)

Via Dell
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The Ultimate DivX Box Killer:  Dell Studio Hybrid Hands-on and Quick ReviewThe Ultimate DivX Box Killer:  Dell Studio Hybrid Hands-on and Quick ReviewThe Ultimate DivX Box Killer:  Dell Studio Hybrid Hands-on and Quick ReviewThe Ultimate DivX Box Killer:  Dell Studio Hybrid Hands-on and Quick ReviewThe Ultimate DivX Box Killer:  Dell Studio Hybrid Hands-on and Quick ReviewThe Ultimate DivX Box Killer:  Dell Studio Hybrid Hands-on and Quick Review
The Ultimate DivX Box Killer:  Dell Studio Hybrid Hands-on and Quick ReviewThe Ultimate DivX Box Killer:  Dell Studio Hybrid Hands-on and Quick ReviewThe Ultimate DivX Box Killer:  Dell Studio Hybrid Hands-on and Quick ReviewThe Ultimate DivX Box Killer:  Dell Studio Hybrid Hands-on and Quick Review
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Comments
 

  • EdG

    It’s too loud. Buy a Mac Mini instead. Or if you need a Windows computer, just build one yourself, or go with a Shuttle if looks are a concern.

  • http://www.splitgames.com PhilippeC

    Is it noisy ?

  • http://www.akihabaranews.com Daimaou

    I did not find it noisy, and as for the Mini, Yes I agree I tried it, tried it too, but.

    1) No HDMI
    2) No Optical Out
    3) Difficult to change the Hardware (RAM & HDD)
    4) 2GB RAM limitation
    5) DiNovo Mini has no drivers for OSX
    6) The Mac Remote is Crap.
    7) Windows MCE support (once CCCP installed) DivX, MKV and so on…

  • http://www.zaurus.org.uk speculatrix

    you can now use a nokia tablet to emulate a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, so it might be a more interesting alternative to a dinovo mini!

  • xlaap

    How were you able to play BluRay on MCE?

  • JayZee

    - So that tiny fan is not noisy?
    - Can it playback 1080p mkvs or only 720p? – what CPU does it have?
    - Did it have the optional Broadcom bluray decoder card? Is this needed for blu-ray playback or will a strong CPU be enough?

  • ceril

    I just bought one a few weks ago. The box is ery quiet, even when the fan does kick in when it needs it for extra cooling you can not hear it over the tv.
    It plays both 1080 and 720 p mkv files, i do not have the blueray disc add on but I do know when you buy tha oprion it comes with a blueray decoder, is t needed? i am not certain.. Just another take on it

 

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