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Toshiba Stor.E TV+  review

Go on a file frenzy with the 1TB media hard disk

Our Verdict

A neat black box with large storage but awkward UI

For

  • Large hard disk
  • Supports good range of audio and video file formats

Against

  • Inelegant graphical interface
  • Limited browsing options

There's no shortage of multimedia hard disks available, and they're handy for storing photos, music and video files and playing them on a TV or music system.

The Toshiba Stor.E TV+ is a neat little black box that sits alongside your TV. Two versions are available: the one reviewed here with a 1TB internal hard disk and a 2TB model at £200. This is cheaper than rivals such as the popular Western Digital WD TV, which costs £199 for a 1TB hard disk.

Specialist hard disk manufacturers produce most of these devices, and they aren't always as user-friendly as they could be. So we were curious to see what additional expertise mass market brand Toshiba would bring to its Stor.E TV+.

Features

A glance around the back reveals two USB ports – one for connecting to a PC, the other for attaching a memory stick, external hard drive or camera. These sit alongside an Ethernet port for network connection and HDMI port that provides 1080p output for your HD TV.

There's also a composite video output, analogue stereo and coaxial connector for 5.1 audio. On the right-hand side of the unit you get a third USB port and a memory card reader.

We were a little disappointed when we powered up the Stor.E TV+ to find a decidedly functional onscreen interface. Its Home screen consists of eight icons, which enable you to browse the contents of the internal hard disk, connected USB devices or memory cards, or to adjust network and other settings.

One option that did catch my eye, though, was the 'External DVD' icon that lets you connect a USB DVD drive to the Stor.E TV+ to play discs. You can control playback using the standard remote control provided, which also includes an 8x zoom for video playback, 32x fast forward/back or 1/16x slow motion.

The Stor.E TV+ can also play a good range of audio and video file formats. It handled my mixed iTunes library of AAC and MP3 audio files with no problems, and produced good results with a number of HD video test files. Supporting Universal Plug and Play (uPnP), it can also play media files stored on games consoles on your network.

Limitations

The Stor.E TV+ does have some rough edges, though. There's no support for DivX or Xvid formats, and MP4 files from iTunes with the .m4v suffix had to be re-labelled as MP4. The files played perfectly well, but renaming is tedious work.

You can browse individual folders on the internal hard disk, but the device won't let you check your music library by artist, genre or album title, as per the WD TV.

Toshiba boasts that the Stor.E TV+ can store thousands of hours of media files, but it needs to provide more efficient browsing options to help you find what you want more quickly.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital Multimedia Player
Hard Drive Capacity1 TB
Wireless LANYes
Product FunctionsAudio Player, Photo Viewer, Video Player
Product FamilySTOR.E
ColourBlack
Brand NameToshiba
Image FormatsJPEG, BMP
Audio FormatsMP3, ASF, WMA, WAV, AC3
Video FormatsISO, VOB, DAT, AVI, MPEG, MPEG-4, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, XviD, Motion JPEG (MOV)
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
USBYes
HDMIYes
Height111 mm
Width46 mm
Depth168 mm
ManufacturerToshiba
Product ModelPA4221E-1HJ0
Product NameSTOR.E TV 1TB Digital Multimedia Player
Product LineSTOR.E
Manufacturer Part NumberPA4221E-1HJ0
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.toshiba.co.uk
Marketing Information

Store up to 2TB of content and connect directly to your TV! Plenty of space for up to 2000 hours of digital video, 600000 images or 50000 hours of music; small and light, the chic, glossy black finish leaves nothing to be desired.

Platform SupportedPC
Package Contents
  • STOR.E TV 1TB Digital Multimedia Player
  • AC Adapter with EU and UK Clip
  • Remote Control with (AA) Battery
  • USB 2.0 Cable (300 mm)
  • A/V Cable (Mini Jack to CVBS Composite RCA + Audio Left/Right RCA)
  • Component Cable (Mini Jack to YPbPr RCA)
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty Leaflet
Weight (Approximate)1.08 kg