Saturday, November 19, 2011

Verbatim MediaStation HD DVR


Today I'm gonna review my latest purchase which is the Verbatim MediaStation HD DVR. DVD movies are obsolete to me now since I download all the TV series and movies that I like. The thing is, I can only watch them on my laptop which lessens the experience of a good movie. I needed a device that could read my external drive so that I could watch my media files on the TV.

I've been searching for a good media player for some time now but my main concern is if it can play 720p quality videos without lagging or skipping at some point. While walking around SM, I found this and it was for sale for around 2000php but I was hesitant at first.

By the way, this is for sale at CD-R King, thus the hesitation, but I find it strange that now they carry other brands aside from theirs. Though, they don't have this listed on their website. But I digress. I'm glad they had this.

So on to the review.



The player comes in a big-ass box and in it you can find the player, manual, a CD for something, remote, and several cables. This supports HDMI by the way.

I was lucky enough to have my external hard disk drive with me the day I bought this because I was able to test it in the shop. The first thing I did was run a blu-ray copy of Avatar. Damn I was impressed.

The quality was amazing, loading time was about 2 or 3 seconds and playback was smoother than a face full of botox.

The Verbatim MediaStation can read an SD card, and it has 2 usb ports, one in the front and the other in the back. Aside from that, it has an ethernet plug for online streaming and if you lift the case, it shows you a space inside the box where you can install a 3.5in HDD up to 1TB for internal storage. Fancy.

But the best part of the Verbatim MediaStation is it's DVR function. You can set it to record your favorite shows and it saves it directly to the internal drive. It's like TiVo. It comes with a remote but the built feels cheap. It's too flimsy for me.

File support is extensive though I am not sure if it can play .mkv files. The only complaint I have I have is that the GUI is a bit primitive. Aside from that, I'm very happy with it.

So far I had the Verbatim MediaStation switched on the whole night playing reruns of Will & Grace. Playback quality is amazing. Overall I was very happy I purchased this. Now, I no longer have to watch on my laptop, I watch movies in high-definition on my TV.

I must say, this was well worth the price. Two thumbs up.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Adam,

I would like to ask what is the movie format of your Blu-ray copy of Avatar?

Adam said...

AVI I think. Im not sure what file type it is but its a 5gig file.

CoreDuo said...

nice review. did you get your verbatim media player from cdr king? i saw this in cdr king alabang and i'm thinking of getting one as well.

Adam said...

Yeah I did. I use it everyday and it runs a minimum of 6 hours per day. So far no problems. If you'll be using it for the same purpose I do, I'd say go for it. :D

Anonymous said...

Adam,

I am browsing the net for this player and I came across this blog. I am looking to find how to make this player works with my CableTV.

The player can almost play all format for movies and music; although when scanning the tv for channels, i am bit disappointed. I dont know if the cable tv needs to be DTV or HD, but I find it not worth to be a TiVo...

Anonymous said...

Adam,

figure it out, I have to use Argentina country input to make it work. Then now, you can use it as TiVo! have a nice day! No so disappointing after all!

Anonymous said...

Hi Adam,

Thank`s for this great review. I`m also interested to buy this HD DVR and I`m currently using a KAIBOER H1055 plus Media player. But based on your experienced, May we know if this is capable of displaying 1080p resolution output? Because according to the specification, It can only displayed 1080i of resolution which is the down-scaled resolution of 1080p Full HD. Please clarify.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Adam,

does this mean there is no built in HDD, we have to purchase it first? another thing, if there is an existing HDD, will it work if we install a 2nd external HDD via USB?

thanks

Adam said...

@Anonymous 1: I've never used mine for recording. I just have my external drive plugged in. Although thanks for the heads up, might help other users if they experience the same problem :D

@Anonymous 2: It can only display up to 1080i.

@Anonymous 3: The one from CDRKING doesn't come with a built in drive so you'd have to buy one. Even if there's a built in drive, you can still use an external drive as long as it's plugged through the USB port.

mmc said...

while reording a tv progras, can the tv be turned off? or on while you are doing the recording? cdrking doesnt know thee answer

mmc said...

ok i bought this just today. cheap and nice. enugh for my recording needs

Anonymous said...

Hi Adam,
can it play MKV files?
have you tried playing some 720p MKV files with your Verbatim Media Station?
thanks,
CoreDuo

Jove Francisco said...

What a relief that I stumbled upon your blog! Been up all night trying to figure out this gadget. Bought it yesterday due to my cameraman's prodding. He told me my VHS-DVR combo should go. I agree. It wants to retire anyway. So I bought the Verbatim MSHDDVR.

I knew "Don't care" was not a good choice for Country/region settings. So yeah, I must have scanned for channels ten times before I read one of the posts here and suggested ARGENTINA. it worked so, THANKS, stranger!

My first recording's succesful.

But I have lots of questions.

1) can i turn off the TV while recording? can i leave home, with the feeling of security that it will work?

2) why does the thingy ask for on screen confirmation before it records? what if i'm not home and the recording's scheduled? will it record anyway?

3) can i watch another channel while the thingy records another channel?


I hope your readers/followers will sahre their own experience about this gadget.

Thanks!!!

JOVE FRANCISCO - TV5

Adam said...

@Anonymous: No it can't play MKV files. I've tried but it doesn't work. I don't know why. Must be a codec issue or something.

@MMC and Jove: I read the manual of the thing but it doesn't say anything about that. But since you could record it, have you tried scheduling something then just leave the tv off? Check it after the schedule to see if it recorded. That's how I'd do it.

To be honest I haven't tried recording anything since I download everything I wanna watch through torrents. Bad I know. =)

Although the manual says something that if you switch the media player itself off through the switch at the back, it wont record. If the Verbatim mediastation works the same way as any other tv recording devices, it should be able to record even when the TV is off since the cable is connected directly to the device. Don't take my word for it though, it's better to test it.

Let me know what happens so my other readers would also know what to do.

Thanks for reading by the way =)

Adam said...

Oh by the way, here's a copy of the manual in case anyone needs it:

http://www.verbatim-europe.com/mediastation/manuals/MediaStation_HD_DVR_User_Guide_ENGLISH.pdf

Jove Francisco said...

Thanks, Adam!

Anonymous said...

MKV format can be played as stated in the manual:
Transcode Server
Hi definition files such as H.264 files can be played back using Transcode Server on your PC or Notebook via your network or wireless
network
Other file types can also be played in the same way including RM, RMVB, and WMV

Anonymous said...

HI Adam,

I have some movies that are not in HD format.

does the unit convert files to HD?

Anonymous said...

hi adam

what is the technical specs for this?
and what is the system? ex android?

thanks

Anonymous said...

For the Channel Scan, aside from Argentina you can also use Taiwan and the Auto Scan will work.

For recording, the unit will record with the TV off and the Mediastation turned-off (but the button on the back of the unit MUST BE ON).

No luck though on MKV playback. Will try the transcode server pc setup to see if that works... looks like a hassle though instead of enabling direct playback from the unit.

- sma

mce said...

hey, do you play directly via usb? and can it handle 720p vids w/o being sluggish or laggy?

I read somewhere you need the included transcoder program (CD) for a wide video playback support

Anton Fabico said...

Yeah I play them directly via usb. 720p vids are fine. No lags or anything. You only need the software if you'll be playing an mp4 file.

Anonymous said...

Hi adam, how can i initial setup my verbatim media station bought at cdr king. when all cables are setup and attached to tv and tuned on the unit it displayed verbatim then small digital time. that's all . help!

Anonymous said...

hi! can you connect this on a desktop or laptop so you could watch TV on it?

Paul said...

Hi, nice review! I just bought this, but I'm having problems with it reading subtitles. It can't read the subtitles(.srt,.sub). Are you having problems like this too?

Anonymous said...

hi adam! im having a hard time connecting my verbatim media player in my tv!
1. the manual says to press source to select DTV, ATV or AV-in. however, it is not changing to AV-in!
2. also, the videos willplay only on a small screen. whenever i wanted to make it in a wide screen it will go blank & screen will display a no signal.
HELP!

Anonymous said...

how do you play mp4 and which software did you use?

Anonymous said...

Adam, do you think MediaStation HD DVR can record PS3 Gameplays? or even Xbox 360 gameplays?

Anonymous said...

Adam, can MediaStation HD DVR record PS3 or Xbox 360 Gameplays?

Anonymous said...

Adam, do you think MediaStation HD DVR can record both PS3 and Xbox 360 gameplays? or even, can it record the PC? Yea, sorry for triple posting. And nice review, I give it an 8/10. -Maine

alabangbum said...

Hi, I've been meaning to buy this for recording the news. Would you know how much mb it takes up for an hour of recording?

Anonymous said...

Adam, may I know where and which store you bought this DVR?

And for how much?

I can't find it on any electronics shop nearby. Thanks.

nappy said...

Hi Adam,

Where and which store did you buy this DVR?

And for how much?

I want to buy one but I can't find it in any shops near me. Thanks.

Adam said...

I bought it from CDRKING although Im not sure if they're still selling it. Im actually planning of buying a new one. I have a lot of MP4 and MKV files eh this player doesn't play them without the transcode server thingy.

nappy said...

Thanks, but what branch of CDRking? I asked CDrking here in P'que but they said they don't have it anymore. And how much did you pay for it?

Adam said...

I bought it at SM North Edsa. I think I paid 1800 or 1900. Not sure. You can check sulit, Im sure there are sellers there for the same reason why Im buying a new one.

Anonymous said...

Having trouble with ours recently. Up until now it's been fine but now I can't select any other option for region except the default "don't care" and it doesn't pick up any channels at all. it was working perfect till a couple days ago. Can anyone help?

Peter Magnusson said...

I bought one today at CDRKING @ SM Olongapo City...(they have four more)
Have not installed it yet though.

Anonymous said...

Dear Guys,
Same also with you, i'm still putting on stress with my new Mediastation HD DVR purchased from CDRking.

These are the function I tested with this player:
1. With built-in analog TV tuner NTSC-M (for South American Standard adapted for Philippine standard) please choose Argentina before you scan the channels. You can also use it as cable box for your local cable (analog cable signal only) choose Cable mode before you can channels.
2. With built in DTV Tuner but it is a European standard DVB-T, so we cannot use it for ISDB-T reception for Philippines
3. Cannot be use as NAS (network attached storage) This thingy cannot be seen on your network, it doesn't support web browsing or network browsing, but this thingy can see your shared files and play it directly over the network of any movie file types as long as you install the transcode service came with the CD.

4. It supports 3.5" Sata HDD, mine is 500gb with no problem seen.

5. It supports WIFI lan, but I'm still looking for a compatible USB wifi dongle

6. This thingy is like an old school VHS player with TV tuner & recording function.

7. It can record movies by schedule, after configuring your schedule leave it ON it will record for you.

8. Guys, it can pirate movies too, by connecting your DVD player to the composite input of this player and record it while playing.

9. You can dump your files here as back-up by connecting the USB cable, like HDD enclosure.

10. Video quality is almost satisfactory with 1080i its pretty fine.

Thanks!
Fernan Castaneda
fcastaneda@omni.com.ph

Stacy said...

Hey Adam! I've tried setting up my Verbatim media station as said in the comments above but when I set it to Argentina and did the channel scan I didn't find any channels.

Do I need to set this up before I can schedule recording of my favorite shows?

Anonymous said...

hey adam, i have one problem regarding this device, during my first couple of weeks using it, i had no trouble whatsoever with file sharing on my network, but lately it can't detect any of my shared folders! anything you can help me with? is there anyone having the same issue as mine?

Morten said...

Hello Adam,

I have just gotten a digibox from Skycable.

Would you know how I should connect the Verbatim media station now?

Do I connect it before or after the digibox? I would like to use it for recording tv shows.

With the digibox I can now see the schedule of programs for most channels. Will I be able to still see that through the Media Station and then schedule a recording of a certain show?

I find this blog very helpful and am almost persuaded to buy one.

Su30FlankerC said...

@All:

A few points to note about Verbatim's Mediastation.

1. Kaya mura ito sa CD-R King eh dahil wala itong HDD. The ones being sold by Verbatim either have a 500GB or a 1TB HDD included.

2. Mas OK na walang kasamang HDD at least you can choose the brand, make, model, capacity you want to put in.

3. May firmware update ito. This should probably update your GUI as well pero pwede ring hindi. Basta ang alam ko it updates the number of playable formats.

Anonymous said...

does this really support mp4, mov, mkv, avi? ive read the manual - what i did was bring a FAT32 USB drive to cdrking and inside were some videos each with a different format. i am surprised that none actually worked. is there a special formatting of the drive required?

Anonymous said...

I bought this unit on a whim and I have regretted it ever since.
1. Does not play most mp4 that are usually downloaded in the net, no mkv. For these two, you either need to use nero Move it or use the transcode software which I have not yet been able to do.

2. I bought a 500GB hard drive for P2,500 and installed it in the mediastation, no problem with that, and now, as I said I have to actually use Nero Move it to convert mp4 to mp4 format that it can play (has to do with the compression I think) and nero move it is really slow!

3. With how much I paid for the media station plus the 500gb drive, I should have just bought a Goflex TV or similar, my brother got one for P4,500 and works with ALL formats!

So please think twice before buying.