Startups in the US media streamer market are not very common. There are a number of small companies (like Micca and Brite-View) active in this space, but media streamers are not their sole products. Nixeus, a Los Angeles based company, was founded in 2010 with the intention of making inroads into the competitive media streamer market.

Their first product, the Nixeus Fusion HD, was introduced towards the middle of 2010. The fulsome praise devoted to it by many AVSForum members encouraged us to obtain a review sample. We have had the unit in our labs for the last 3 months, and we are now finally in a position to write a review after Nixeus fixed many of the bug reports that we filed.

Officially priced at $219.99, the unit can be purchased for as low as $179.99 if you shop around. For this price, you get a media streamer with the following features:

  • Sigma Designs SMP 8655 (Same as WDTV Live with respect to base features such as 1080p and so on -- Frankly, if a device doesn't do 1080p, we do not want to cover it in the media streamer space here)
  • Slot for internal 3.5" hard drive
  • Bundled support for both wired and wireless network connectivity
  • Usage of unit as an eSATA / USB external hard drive (provided internal hard disk is installed)

There are a number of companies making SMP 865x based products. How do they differentiate themselves? As the experienced media streamer consumers know, it is not the base platform, but the firmware which counts. The amount of development that is done on the base SDK provided by Sigma Designs, and the attentiveness of the manufacturer to the issues of the existing customers decide the quality of the media streamer. Before we get into those details, let us take a look at the package contents and what is inside the Fusion HD.

Unboxing Impressions
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  • Trefugl - Friday, March 4, 2011 - link

    Even support for something like SiliconDust's HDHomeRun would be great. I have one of those that streams to my network, but I haven't decided what to do about recording (using my desktop for testing it out now). I'd love to have something like the Boxee Box that would be able to browse the TV guide and record shows to my NAS... one day maybe.
  • Suntan - Saturday, March 5, 2011 - link

    Have you looked into SageTV?

    HD300 hardware extender at the TV, computer running the tuners at the backend.

    It's another option.

  • TrevorH - Friday, March 4, 2011 - link

    Why no reviews of the market leaders in this segment? Where is Popcornhour? TVIX?
  • ganeshts - Friday, March 4, 2011 - link

    TViX Slim S1 is up next :)

    Popcorn Hour... No review units with AnandTech right now.. Once they put something new out, we will try to get hold of one :) Right now, our review queue is pretty full.
  • DigitalFreak - Friday, March 4, 2011 - link

    As soon as one of these streamers gets the ability to properly play back WTV files, I might just pick one up.
  • mgl888 - Friday, March 4, 2011 - link

    off topic, but is Anandtech located in Sunnyvale?
  • ganeshts - Friday, March 4, 2011 - link

    AnandTech has a set of freelance reporters spread all over the world. It is just that I happen to reside in Sunnyvale :)
  • mgl888 - Sunday, March 6, 2011 - link

    Awesome, we could be neighbors!
    We have the same postcode. :)
  • SlyNine - Friday, March 4, 2011 - link

    "One of our MKVs with DTS-HD audio exhibited random dropouts when bitstreaming. However, a couple of other movies with DTS-HD MA in MKV bitstreamed for the full duration without any issue. But, some points were docked because our test stream didn't play perfectly"

    Could this be because of Ciniava DRM?? I only skimmed the artical so I don't know if Ciniava is present or not, But please look in to it and tell us if future players use this protection, or any others like it I'm not aware of.
  • ganeshts - Saturday, March 5, 2011 - link

    No, that particular stream doesn't have Cinavia. It plays perfectly OK on the NTV 550 and the Boxee Box.

    Cinavia is only applicable to streamers which have AACS license, and even then, it doesn't appear mandatory right now. So, none of the media streamers support it.

    I am keeping a close watch on Cinavia developments, so if there is anything new I find not reported elsewhere, rest assured, AnandTech readers will be the first to know about it :)

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