Before we can fully appreciate the playback quality of the 780HD, it might be a good idea to take a look at some of the setup features of the device. This will also give us a better idea as to some of the capabilities as well.
To begin with, you will want to set up the type of television or display you will be using. Since I will be testing the media center on a HD compatible TV, I will be using the HDMI output. For those who plan on following this same scheme, make sure you have the proper HDMI cable handy, since this product does not come with one. Not a big surprise, though, since most of the new toys on the market capable of using this output method also don't include the cable.
At any rate, this screen is where you get to choose the both the video and audio output methods, the standard used in your part of the world (NTSC or PAL) and also the display ratio. Standard Hi-Def output when using HDMI is limited to a resolution of 1080i, but actual Hi-Def media files can be displayed at up to 1080p.
The next setup area is for networking. As noted earlier, the 780HD is compatible with both wired and wireless networks. The wired network setup uses an onboard 10/100 controller while the wireless connection is compatible with either the 802.11b or 820.11g LAN setups. Communication with your home computer is by means of the NDAS protocol, so most machines will require no setup before attaching the 78-HD.
To enable wireless networking, simply change the top choice on the screen above to "Wireless" and the next setting choice in the left column will become available. I have not documented this screen since it contains my own network settings, but I had no real issues when setting everything up. I used both wired and wireless networking to stream movies directly from my main system to the TV with no problems with visual quality. I noted no jumps and jerks and the audio kept up with the video stream just as it should.
One note that should be made here; if you plan on streaming your Hi-Def digital content, Mvix strongly recommends using only the wired network since most homes do not have a wireless network in place that is robust enough to handle the massive flow of data that is required for your Hi-Def movies. This does not have any effect, however, on the upconversion of standard movies to 1080i when using the HDMI connection to your TV.
The Playback setup allows you to choose the video output (original, wide screen, etc) as well as making changes to the subtitles. The bottom setup option is for viewing your pictures in a slide presentation. You can adjust the time each photo will display on screen, so you can use this device when making business presentations (yes, I have just given you an reason to get your employer to buy your new toy).
The last setup screen handles the administrative features. It allows you to set up or change an administrative password, update your firmware if a newer one becomes available, and lets you personalize some of the settings such as background imagery and such. In the event you like to play around with settings so much that you break the device, you can also reset the box to factory default settings and start over. This is akin to the CMOS Reset jumper on your motherboard.
So now that we have seen that this device has a lot going for it in the features department, how does it handle the actual job of playing our favorite movies?