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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  • 3DoubleD - Friday, March 04, 2011 - link

    "There is also BitTorrent support, but, frankly, how many users are going to download their copy of Ubuntu using the Fusion HD? That said, I find BitTorrent clients on many media streamers. There must be a market for this feature and consumers must be demanding this probably."

    I might just attribute this to the author trying to be clever and just assume you are joking. Thanks for the article, helping the Friday afternoon go by!
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Friday, March 04, 2011 - link

    Anything to keep the readers entertained and happy :)

    Btw, the geeky pirates have better avenues than P2P (BitTorrent / DC++ etc.) to satisfy their needs.... ;)
    Reply
  • fbking - Friday, March 11, 2011 - link

    you can get it from fookbuy.com for $184.95 with free shipping Reply
  • goyuix - Friday, March 04, 2011 - link

    It is great that you can use it as a hard disk, but what file systems does it support? FAT32 is usually not acceptable in these scenarios that need to accommodate large files, and ext2/3/4 is not widely deployed and used on Windows computers. I would love to see a nod to supported and default file systems in future reviews! Reply
  • ganeshts - Friday, March 04, 2011 - link

    Ah! I should have mentioned it :) The hard drive in the system was formatted in NTFS, which is the default. Though ext file systems may have better features than NTFS in most scenarios, for media streamers in a Windows heavy environment (which is what most households are), NTFS is the best choice.

    As you rightly note, FAT32 is no longer useful because most of the ISOs and MKVs are greater than the 4 GB limitation that FAT32 has.
    Reply
  • Milleman - Saturday, March 05, 2011 - link

    The 100 Mbps is also a dealbreaker... Reply
  • Azethoth - Friday, March 04, 2011 - link

    I am curious about the security implications of using these NAS appliances. Are they secure, or are they gaping security holes? The whole HBGary thing has confirmed what I suspected about many security firms: not secure at all. Does that extend to our routers, NASes, modems?

    I am using a Netgear Ultra 6 Plus NAS for my streaming needs. It also has BitTorrent support but I do not use it. I prefer to rip CDs using dBpoweramp.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Friday, March 04, 2011 - link

    Comment intended for another article? :) Reply
  • vol7ron - Friday, March 04, 2011 - link

    When is this price point ever going to have a tuner (read: CableCARD)? The advantage of having an HD dock in the device would be amplified if you could actually record to it. Reply
  • Discombobulated28 - Friday, March 04, 2011 - link

    Hmmm... I never noticed that... most media players in the USA don't have tuners in them... I know they're very popular outside of the USA... Reply

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