Moxi HD DVR

Unplggd Test Lab

Product: Moxi HD DVR
Price: $599
Rating: Strong Recommend*

We love watching television, but we wouldn't consider ourselves to be couch potatoes. There are shows that we know we want to watch each week, but we aren't going to rearrange our lives to make sure we're plopped down in front of the tv to watch it during its original air time. A great way to manage your love of tv and life, the Moxi HD DVR is a great option.

First Impressions: The Moxi box is an HD DVR from ARRIS. It allows you to record and control live tv &mdash whether you're sitting in front of the tv or away from home. It's not even comparable to DVR devices that are supplied from cable providers because they're not even in the same league. TiVo is a close second, but still doesn't live up to Moxi.

When we took the Moxi out of the box we were pleasantly surprised. We were delighted to find that it was a simple, all black box with an illuminated MOXI on the front when plugged in. It's the exact same size as the HD cable box we have from our cable provider and we stacked the Moxi box on top of that &mdash they both happen to fit perfectly in our IKEA media cabinet.

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We needed our cable provider to install a CableCard &mdash they sent out a technician and the installation went smoothly. The technician was initially perplexed having never installed a Moxi (only TiVo) but by the time he left he was raving about the ease of installation, particularly when compared to TiVo. The whole process took roughly 30 minutes.

Moxi offers several unique features that we've grown to love and can't imagine living without: the option to record three shows at once. We never realized how many of our favorite shows come on at the same time! You can schedule the shows to begin recording on-time, 1-10 minutes before the show starts and you can finish recording according to the same system. There are three red lights below the illuminated MOXI that indicate when a show is being recorded. You can watch tv while shows are recording.

Due to the fact that Moxi needs to be connected to the internet, you can access your home computer through the box. We were able to view all of our pictures on our computer and our Flickr page! We signed up for a Rhapsody account and listened to music from our tv. We enjoy that Moxi isn't just an HD DVR, we can use it for so many other things.

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Moxi has a search option allowing you to search by name, keyword or category. This is a great option if you're looking for a specific program, the downfall is that the results often include programs that we don't subscribe to. If we're searching for volleyball, we don't want a volleyball movie that's playing on HBO to be displayed if we don't subscribe to HBO.

Final Thoughts: The remote needs some work &mdash it doesn't seem like very much thought was put into the design. We often confuse the navigation arrows with the play buttons and then prompted with an error noise. It was also confusing how to exit screens initially because the 'stop' and 'back' buttons are so small and you're not sure which to use in each circumstance. There's also a lag in pressing a button and the Moxi actually registering what to do. We were often frustrated because we would press the right arrow button, nothing would happen, then the Moxi would move to the right too far and we'd have to go back.

The picture quality is mind blowing. We were literally blown away when the picture first came up and we couldn't believe it. After a few minutes, we started to feel like we had been continuously robbed by our cable company because they were selling us HD each and every month &mdash but that picture looked nothing like it does with Moxi.

We really enjoy being able to pause live tv. Sometimes when we're watching live tv, we will pause to grab a drink and when we return we press play again. Due to that brief pause &mdash we are now behind the live tv and have the option to fast forward until we're caught up (great for commercials). Speaking of fast forwarding &mdash Moxi offers three speeds for fast forward. We found that the first speed is a tad too slow and the third speed is too hard to keep up with. The second speed is perfect because you can see the commercials blowing on by, but you can still register when the show resumes.

Our absolute favorite aspect of Moxi &mdash the ability to schedule a show to record from Moxi.com. When the box initially arrived, we had a death in the family and had to leave town for several weeks. We literally had just got the Moxi installed when we had to rush out the door, so we were faced with either having to delay its use, or utilize the website. We scheduled several shows to record (you can choose to 'record once' or 'record series') and when we returned home, all of the shows we scheduled had recorded! Moxi also keeps track of what you watch the most and lists them in 'favorites', that way if you know you want to watch a channel you typically watch, just go to favorites and it'll speed up the search.

Lastly, we cannot forget to mention that one of the greatest features about Moxi is that you only pay for the box. There are no monthly fees like your cable provider or TiVo charge. There's also the option to purchase the Moxi Mate for the additional tv's in your house. You can record a show on the main Moxi and watch it in a different room!

Pros: Simple design, overall friendly user interface, great picture quality.
Cons: Slow, poorly designed remote.

Our Ratings:

Strong Recommend* (Recommend over other leading HD DVRs)

Recommend

Weak Recommend

Don't Recommend

Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.

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