The Portable Hard Drive with direct VGA and Tv out.
I seem to be sucker for ‘it does all that!’ gadgets but only if it solves a real problem to me. This is the third portable multimedia device I owned. Of the three of a type this is the only one I’ve found myself happy with.
Essentially its a portable hard drive, in this version an IDE drive, but was available in SATA. Requiring a single 5 volt supply, around 500ma it boasts the following features:
- Mpeg4 web program
- DivX and AVI on board decoding
- Mpeg2, DVD, SVCD including MPG and VOB
- Mpeg1(CVD) including MPG and DAT
- ASF and WMA
- CD-DA music
- MP3 music
Additionally it comes with a Remote Control for all functions and has On-Screen Menu system. inbuilt VGA socket, as well as AV Tv out for interfacing straight into a normal Tv. Plus it can of course be used as a straight forward USB storage device.
Its currently housing a 40Gb drive because that’s all I had spare to hand. It cost about £16 as a bare shell less drive about 4 years ago from Ebay.
This unit attracted me because it will run a film directly from the unit into a VGA compatible display meaning I can dispense with the electrical cost of having to run a laptop just to watch a film, or listen to Mp3 music. While sailing I have a tendency to use my Creative Muvoo [see other project on this] but this does have limited capacity while this unit is only limited by the storage capacity of the drive fitted, it does facilitate much more choice.
For those of you who are ‘green’ and fancy the idea of ‘living by wind power’ which I have, I assure you, you end up having to modify your living depending on how the wind blows. If its not been terribly windy today, you check the charge in the batteries and this will determine if your going to watch a film tonight or going to the pub again because there’s not been enough wind – again.
There are several modes and few buttons on this unit, especially without the Remote Control to hand. The Remote Control will operate all the features, it has enough physical space to have a button for everything including the required ‘non green’ stand-by mode. With many features and few buttons without the Remote Control, I have been particularly anal by scanning the user manual, creating a document and putting it where I can get to it should I be traveling somewhere in the world. How organised is that? 😉
- user manual PDF user manual. Use the PDF readers ‘rotate pages clockwise’ to get the pages the correct way round.