Tivax 3.5-Inch Digital TV


More Than Just a Television:

The Tivax 3.5-Inch Digital TV is also a multimedia device supporting multiple image, video and audio formats. Audio through the unit’s single speaker is a bit tinny and slightly underpowered. At full or nearly full volume it’s not all that loud. The unit does have a headphone jack and the addition of a set of decent buds or headphones will improve audio quality quite a bit though there are no bass or treble controls. It comes with a clear plastic screen protector and be warned, if you remove it getting it to lay perfectly flat again is nearly impossible.

Along with the headphone connector the TV also has a single Micro-SD memory card slot. I purchased a 2-GIG card to test this device with. I do not know, and the manual does not say, if the TV supports the newer, larger SDHC style cards. The device has NO user accessible internal memory.

All input and control are accomplished via two buttons on the face and a four way directional button set. The buttons are stiff and I found, with my thick fingers, that manipulating the directional arrow buttons was a bit hard to do with accuracy.

My unit, which is white as opposed to the stated black, arrived with a USB cable (which I have not used) an AC adapter/charger, an external antenna and a peg/tab stand on a lanyard. I found attaching the lanyard to the unit (you’ll likely lose the stand otherwise) to be a complete pain and required a bent pin to accomplish.

Television Reception:
The Tivax 3.5-Inch Digital TV has a built in rod antenna which feels very fragile and easy to bend. The antenna also has a swivel base so care must be exercised when pushing it back into the unit. The included external antenna has a nicely long cord so it can be positioned easily for optimal reception. For the sake of reference I live approximately 80 miles South East of Orlando Florida on the coast. Using the built-in antenna, indoors, upon initial setup the channel scan was unable to find any stations. Plugging the external antenna in resulted in around a dozen channels being found during the setup scan. The 320×240 LCD screen images are crisp and sharp. Colors are vibrant and clear and I was pleasantly surprised at the adjustability of the picture including brightness, contrast, tint and color mode. Moving the television while watching TV should be avoided as the picture will often freeze and breakup. I was quite happy to find that one of the stations I do get is a 24/7 local area weather channel. During Florida’s frequent power outages due to severe weather and hurricanes this will be invaluable.

Video Playback:
I loaded over a GIG of video files onto my Micro-SD card to test the Tivax’s ability to playback video files. I chose a mixed batch of AVI, MPG, WMV and MOV file formats. WMV files are not supported at all (oddly the unit DOES support WMA audio files, go figure) and the support for the other formats was hit or miss. Approximately 60% of the fifty or so video clips I’ve tried to play were supported, but the rest just returned an error. Those that did play did so quite well. Picture quality was good (dependant, of course, on the quality of the videos) as was the audio playback. Perhaps they’ll release a firmware update for the unit to add further CODEC support.

Audio Playback:
As I previously mentioned, the system’s speaker is quite tinny. Don’t expect great quality sound from it. It’s not horrible but it could be better. I tested several dozen MP3 files on my Tivax including low (80 kbps) and very high (320 kbps) bit rate files as well as variable-bit rate encoded files and it played all of them without a problem.

Image Playback/Slide show:
The Tivax 3.5-Inch Digital TV supports JPEG, PNG, GIF and BMP image formats. Images display crisp and clean with bright and true colors. Landscape oriented images display best and while you can rotate images that are portrait oriented there is a distinct quality loss during rotation. Images can be zoomed in on with multiple levels of zoom.
The slide show feature is nicely configurable. The delay between images can be set or turned off for manual page turning. The transition effect done while changing images also has many options. The Tivax will also play any MP3 files in the same location as the images as background music during the slide show. I actually couldn’t find a way NOT to have this happen if the audio and video files were mixed together on the memory card although the volume can be set to zero this will surely use more battery power even with the volume down.
One feature which I liked, but was not mentioned in the manual, is the ability to set one of your own images as the startup ‘logo’.

Power:
The Tivax 3.5-Inch Digital TV comes with a built in Lithium Ion battery which they state can be recharged approximately 500 times.
I found that their claimed charge durations were quite accurate. Watching Digital TV with the volume set to around 75% I was twice able to watch for a bit more than three hours before the unit turned off. I loaded several hundred large image files onto the memory card and set the unit to running them as a slide show (silent) and was able to achieve just over six hours of playback before the battery died. MP3 playback resulted in similar results of around five and a half hours of continuous play.
When charging there are NO indicator lights showing that the unit is charging nor any way, short of turning it on, to tell if it has fully charged. There is also no on screen low battery warning. When my battery was depleted the unit simply shut itself off.

Finally:
This is a nice unit and far more than just a digital TV set. A padded case would be a nice option. I’m going to try some of the smartphone cases to see if any fit. I really don’t want to scratch or damage the screen. The external antenna while mildly magnetic really needs to be weighted and/or have a clip attached to it. It is rather light and hard to keep in place.

Hawk (and it’s good for porn too!)

Solar Energy

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