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Forget Htpcs: Cheap Hard Drive Enclosure Doubles as Media Player

by Lambert Varias
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Fresh off the docks – or however gadgets are shipped from China – this slightly weird but nonetheless useful device, a HDD enclosure with a built-in media player.

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The aluminum enclosure is compatible with 3.5″ SATA drives and even has a built-in fan to ensure your hard disk stays (relatively) cool. But as I said, what’s different about this device is that it can play digital media files – cheap. Its product page says that it supports “MPEG 4 MP4 WMA WAV AAC DVD VCD MP3 CD and more AV formats and JPG.” So I guess we could call it an HTHDDE.

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The enclosure can be connected to a TV via a component AV cable; unfortunately it doesn’t support HDMI, so no hi-def watching with this one. Once you’ve connected it to your TV, you can navigate and play your files using a remote control that comes with the enclosure. And yes, the screwdriver is included in the package.

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Like most other HDD enclosures, it also connects to computers via USB, but it also has a couple of USB ports built-in. Amazingly, it can also read SD and SDHC cards. This brandless box is quite the device, isn’t it? The best thing about it is that it’s dirt cheap.

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You can buy this surprisingly versatile HDD enclosure at Deal Extreme for only $33.20 USD. If you have any spare hard drives lying around just plug it in the enclosure and voila: you have a cheap Apple TV-ish device. Well it can’t record, download or stream multimedia, and there’s the lack of HDMI support, but for $33 it looks like a good buy. Although I don’t know how well its built-in media player performs. So, you know, it may not be a good buy. I don’t know. What do you think?



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