Moxi HD DVR, In The Flesh


Hot on the heels of Digeo’s net-centric content additions announcement, I’ve finally gotten my hands on a Moxi HD DVR ($800, no fees). I know you’ve got a lot of questions. As do I. Drop your queries in the comments and, over the next few weeks, we’ll dig into TiVo’s first legit retail competitor in years. For now, you may want to review my CES briefings with Digeo and check out this initial pic of the multistream CableCARD review unit.

20 thoughts on “Moxi HD DVR, In The Flesh”

  1. Is it true there is no antenna in? If so it’s a non-starter as TiVo comp as many are buying a DVR to ditch cable and receive HD OTA.

  2. Did your incessant bugging finally break Digeo down and they sent you a review unit? Or did you have to pony up for one of these bad boys?

    The PlayOn addition after just a few months on the market makes the Moxi look a lot more attractive…if they’re already adding significant features this soon, they could catch up to TiVo in service offerings pretty quickly…

  3. 1. How is the UI? Is it intuitive or is there a large learning curve?

    2. Does it record what it’s supposed to record? How easy/hard is it to adjust recording priority?

    3. How is it networked? Both wired and wireless?

    4. What do you think of the remote?

  4. 1. Does this thing have multi-room viewing yet between boxes? The $800 MSRP is bad enough, but if I bought three of these things and they cannot even do MRV between them, then it is a deal breaker.

    2. Do you have FiOS? I’d love to know if this thing works with FiOS TV or not.

  5. Cool. Now Digeo is getting back on track and competing versus bashing. I agree that the playOn has a tenuous hold on Hulu and thus is tenuous for MOXI. Hulu on the TV though is a good thing for those times you just don’t have the show in a better medium but want to watch it. Now I finally want MOXI to cacth on so that TiVo starts thinking it needs to add play on and DLNA support as well.
    SO that will be a watch item for me.

    That and how cable card install goes and then recording two of the higher resoultion HD streams at the same time to work the box hard.

  6. Tom, Digital cable only. However, I wonder what your “many” translates into. As it’s my understanding that the vast majority of TiVo’s stand-alone customers are cable subscribers. And I imagine most folks willing to plunk down $800 on a newcomer (sort of) do indeed pay for premium television. Having said that, I would prefer the flexibility of an OTA option, especially given the insignificant cost. So those looking OTA support should focus on TiVo and the DISH DTVPal DVR.

    RandomRage, We’ve reached an understanding ;) and they provided this review unit. Regarding PlayOn, I’m expecting my license shortly. However, I’ve got a jam-packed weekend and then 8 days away for work. So it’s going to be awhile before I can give an educated verdict on much of this. As I mentioned on the TCF or somewhere, PlayOn’s increased public exposure may hasten Hulu to take action against them. We shall see…

    Brian, The menu UI is quite different from TiVo’s folder/page structure. It’s more like a PSP or PS3 crossbar. I’ve used it many times before but once I get back I’ll spend some time living with it before passing judgment. The UI while watching TV is intuitive – you can bring up the channel banner, extended info, etc like on a TiVo though with a richer look. It’s wired only as far as I know. I recently tore down some of my Powerline networking gear, so I slapped my ASUS wireless bridge on this and it was sufficient for the initial setup and Superticker info – haven’t tried streaming Rhapsody or PlayOn yet. The remote doesn’t look very attractive from afar, but up close it looks decent – better than I remember, in fact. Kind of a shiny black front and a matte back that reminds me of the old T-Mobile Dash. The weight feels good and basic navigation/control was fine. We’ll see how I feel in a few weeks. Although I’ve got to disclose that I love TiVo’s Glo remote.

    exdishguy, No multi-room viewing yet. There’s a “Moxi Mate” extender that will supposedly be available this year to serve exactly that purpose. But neither timing nor pricing info has been revealed. I don’t have FiOS and run Comcast. For a period of time, Verizon only provided single stream CableCARDs. Not sure if they provide M-Cards or not at this time. Ben Drawbaugh of EngadgetHD is also getting a Moxi to review and he’s in a FiOS TV area, so maybe he’ll be able to tell us.

    Zeo, I had no problem getting an M-Card to work. When I moved about a year ago, I ended up in a different Comcast neighborhood which required new CableCARDs. Whatever they brought here didn’t require the typical pairing BS, it’s almost like they’re unlocked/open. I popped one in, rebooted the Moxi, and had my entire lineup.

  7. The remote looks awful. The UI looks like they just cleaned up the old moxi interface that is not extensible for hierarchical browsing by getting rid of the popup cascading menus. I guess that’s cool, because it is like their thing, but I hoped for more because the old moxi interface (much like this one) was bleeding edge when it came out like 5 yrs ago. $800? OK.. is it because of all of the royalties that these boxes cost so much? PS3 is $400 and plays games and blu-ray. Just to be sure, is this what they were boasting about that was so much better than Tivo? I’m not a Tivo fan anymore because directv is just as good without all of the arrowing around on jolly ranchers, but c’mon. The STB/DVR UI needs a quantum leap. It’s time. Do it.

  8. I have the original Moxi for many years with the Moxi mate. I have always loved the interface but have had three of these because of heating and other problems.

    The hardware has been notorously bad. I have e-mailed then about a warranty with no reply. Does their computer add on work with a MAC?

    The company has made many promises and doesn’t seem to keep them.

  9. I have seriously been thinking about dumping my two tivo hds for the moxi. One at a time of course. The reason I want to switch them is the same reason I went from xbox 360 to ps3. It just kinda irks me to pay a monthly fee AND get the advertising. Not that I am dissatisfied with my tivo at all, just the more adverts. I have fios, I can get mcards, other than transfering shows from one box to another is there essentially anything I would be giving up? I do have tivo suggestions turned off because I really dont think my tivo gets me that well ;^)

  10. @exdishguy, everyone else concerning multi-room, from the Moxi website FAQ:
    If you wanted to get started today though, you could also buy a second MOXI HD DVR and the two will work together in the same manner.
    So if you have $1600 to spend on two DVRs, then you should be able to get multi-room to work.
    @zatz – The feature I’m most intrigued about that was buried at the bottom of the press release was the ability to do basic web browsing of “favorite sites” from the box. How does that work? You should post screenshots using ZNF for reference.

  11. Hey Dave, glad to see you got your Moxi. I didn’t realize you were getting one also (as well as Ben). I guess Moxi finally realizes we need some real world reviews in order to persuade people to get these things.

    I think it looks like there’s a ton of potential. I’d like to hear from you how responsive the UI feels. Is it faster than a Tivo / Cable / Sat DVR? Hows the guide data? Does it recognize repeats and choose not to record them if you have it set up that way? Do you know who provides the guide data? IE) Tribune, TVGuide, etc…

    I’m a little hesitant to go third party DVR for loosing VOD ability. But if it really surpases the cable DVR, then I might just have to have two boxes (one cable HD for VOD and one Moxi for standard viewing).

    Does it do resolution passthrough IE) 1080i comes over at 1080i and 720p at 720p? I currently fight with the Motorola DVR for this. I know it’s petty for some, but I can tell the difference when programs are double or triple converted. I’d rather take the extra seconds to have the TV re-sync to the proper resolution, than have the video go through multiple conversion steps and possibly loosing quality.

    Did Comcast fight it tooth and nail to get the cable cards to work correctly? I hear so many horror stories with getting cable cards paired correctly.

    I’d really like to know if there would be a possibility for a home brew community to get applications or feature additions to it… ie) caller id on tv, hulu, pandora/slacker, etc…

    Looking forward to hearing your comments after you get some time with the unit. If you recomend it, quite possibly I’ll get one of these. I’m just so fed up with the bland / featurless comcast i-guide Motorola DVR.

  12. Is this a “tru-way” box ? Moxi claims support M-Cable Card & Switch Digital Video, what else is part of “tru-way” that doesn’t make the “tru-way” compitable ?

  13. M-Card gives you ‘multistream’ – meaning you can tune/record two channels at once. It’s not two-way, for VOD or SDV. SDV support on the Moxi could be enabled with a firmware update (no timing info provided) and a ‘tuning adapter’ offered by your cable provider. I highly doubt there will be a retail TiVo or Moxi tru2way DVR released in 2009. More thoughts/explanation/state-of-the-industry here:

  14. How’s the guide data and how well does Moxi handle its absence or incompleteness? My biggest gripe about Tivo is that, after a decade, it doesn’t have a “Once every 24 hours” recording option for shows like Daily Show and most news shows that carry only generic descriptions.

  15. Dave, you’ve go an HP Media Server, right?

    Does PlayOn install and work on it? Is there any issue with using it with Moxi on a WHS/Media Server?

    Thanks for asking!

  16. Yes there is multi-room viewing. Unlike tivo that requires you to transfer shows. The moxi will stream shows between moxi boxes and later there will be another moxi mate style unit released to allow you to access your tuners and recording from the main moxi.

    So you can use a moxi and a moxi mate or just buy 2 full moxis, it works either way.

  17. I love the fact that you can map Clear QAM channels… really with all my TiVo’s could do that.

    Dave have you heard anything about TiVo allowing the same thing?

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