Those of us no longer blessed with studio apartments or dorm rooms tend to have the heavy-lifting desktop computers stationed a few rooms over from the widescreen TV set-up. The forward-looking Trekstor MovieStation maxi t.u stores audio and video files in the A/V rack without the need for a companion computer. The 250-gigabyte model packs in about 60 movies’ worth of content. It goes for about $220. Needless to say, we’ll be checking out its 500 GB big brother with a $360 knock.
Before long, the civilized world will be using full-blown media servers, but this reasonably priced set-up will do for now — it’s simply a tricked-out external hard drive. Users upload files via USB port then browse and select their movies via an on-screen menu. A remote keeps couch potatoes happy. Audio outputs are optical and analog; video connects via composite cable, basically like any decent DVD player. The MovieStation puts out 1080i high-def, but expect storage issues with more than a few of those files.
Other applications include MP3s, standard and HD camcorders and JPEG images.