By May 16, 2009

Traxdata USB player Review

The Traxdata HDMI USB Media Player is the latest addition to their family of multimedia players.

It’s primary function is to play video files from a USB drive / memory stick on your TV.


What’s in the box?

  • Traxdata HDMI USB Media Player
  • Remote control (with battery)
  • Mains power adapter
  • 3 pin component cable
  • 3 pin composite audio & video connector
  • Composite to SCART adapter
  • Manual
  • Quick start manual
  • CD – this is primarily a copy of the manual, but has a couple of applications on there as well


Traxdata HDMI USB Media Player Specifications

1 X USB 2.0 Type A
1 X Composite
1 X Component
1 X Coaxial SP DIF Output

Video Output
Screen Ration 4:3 and 16:9
Component output   : 480i / 480P / 576i / 576P / 720P / 1080i
HDMI output              : 720P / 1080i
Hardware Upscaling to ultilize Optimal TV resolution

Media Support
Media Type         : MPEG-1, MPEG-2, XviD, MP3, WAV, JPEG
Media Files         : dat, mpg, mpe, mpeg, vob, m2p, avi, xvid, jpg, jpeg, mp3, wav

Subtitle file support

Content Resolution
Video              : 720 x 576 pixels
JPEG ( Baseline)   : 5120 x 3840 pixels ( Baseline )
MP3                : 320 kbps

An external tour

Not really that complicated from the outside

From left to right
SPDIF digital audio, composite audio & video, component video, HDMI, USB, power. Note that the Ethernet socket is blanked off on this model.

Traxdata HDMI USB Media Player back


Blue power LED

Traxdata HDMI USB Media Player front 

and that’s your lot

Traxdata HDMI USB Media Player REMOTE


  • compact form factor
  • low power consumption
  • silent


  • remote could be better laid out
  • would be nice if all the features worked as explained in the manual
  • usb connector is too close to the HDMI connector


The main use of a device like the Traxdata HDMI USB Media Player is for playing back .avi files or possibly running image slideshows on your TVs.

As devices go, this is about the most literal example of plug and play you could ask for. Simply plug in the power, a USB drive or memory stick and your video connection of choice, and that’s it, job done.

It’s also a shame that there isn’t an HDMI cable as part of the package considering that they are so cheap these days, but still, that’s life.

The player understands NTFS and FAT32 drive file systems and can play back some of the more common file types, but not all by any means – so check that your primary file types are supported.

As you can see from the specifications the video output capabilities of the device mean that you can connect this player to pretty much any TV you might have – composite, SCART, component and HDMI are all properly supported.

So you make all the connections, switch the TV to the right input and tada, there is a list of your files. In general the file menu will only show folders and file types that it understands – it seems that the file type check is simply based on the extension and so it can list files that it may not be capable of playing.

When viewing the list of files you can either use a list view or a thumbnail view, and can switch between the two with just a single button press on the remote when in the menu. Navigation is primarily handled with the cursors, and the Play/Pause button acting as select.

Within the setup pages you can change the settings for audio, video, slideshow delay and the like – all have enough options that you should be able to tweak it to your preferred values.

So the real crux of the device is how capable it as handling the actual image/video scaling.

The scaling hardware is fine – it’s not going to make videos suddenly be like an HD source, but it’s very watchable. Personally I preferred the 720p output with my videos, but all the other modes work just fine as well. Even if you don’t want to use the HD resolutions, the advantage of being able to watch your movies from your couch makes the player a valid option on SD resolution TVs.

When in video playback you have slow motion modes down to 1/8th speed and fast search up to 16x normal.

Once a file has finished playing – be it video, image or audio – then the player automatically moves straight to the next file in the folder. So left unattended the player will step through every file in the current folder until it finishes the last one where it will then stop, unless you have repeat turned on.

On the CD, as well as PDF versions of the manual, there are two applications – one is for setting up playlists on your USB drive and the other is for marking folders as private so that the player can only access the files inside if you enter the right 4 digit PIN code. Not very exciting apps, but they seem to do the job – though they aren’t even mentioned in the manual.

And now the fly in the ointment.

The remote control (as is so often with non-large brand electronics) is a fairly generic one that is then custom mapped to the functions for the actual device. In this case it appears that the remote is one you’d get with a DVD player – which makes sense given the functionality of the device.

The result though is that the buttons aren’t the most intuitively laid out (personally I think that remotes should be laid out so that you almost instinctively know which button to press without looking at them). A prime example is the volume buttons having ‘Vol -‘ on the right of the ‘Vol +’ instead of the other way around. Another example is that when you pause a slideshow you’d expect the left and right buttons either side of the play/pause button to allow you to skip through the images – they don’t, you have to use the prev and next chapter buttons – which makes sense from the point of view of how the device thinks about files, but doesn’t make sense from the point of view of the user.

Beyond that, there are various inconsistencies in the interface that add to the frustration of the user. One example is that if you are in list view and go into a folder of images then it automatically starts a slideshow without listing the files first, enter the same folder when in thumbnail mode and it simply shows the thumbnails. And when you are in thumbnail mode then the Setup button doesn’t work, you have to switch back to list view again for it to work.

There are also some functions that are listed in the manual but don’t appear to actually work, despite my best efforts and trying under different modes with different files and different TV modes.

– image view mode zoom
– playback of music during slideshows

Along with the interface issues, one hardware wrinkle I came across is that the USB connector and the HDMI connector are too close together for some USB keys. I had to use a usb extension cable with a smaller connector in order to use some of my USB keys.


The device itself is very capable of handling the video scaling and outputting it to most TVs.

I wish it came with an HDMI cable, but that’s not necessarily a deal breaker by any means.

The device is really let down by the user experience though, both with the remote and the interface that it controls.

If it were my money I’d go for an upscaling DVD player (with xVid/divX capabilities) that accepts memory cards and USB devices. That way you can also store files on discs (CD or DVD) and also upscale your existing DVD’s as well. I’d also look for one that had a better thought out remote.

If portability of the device is an important issue then it’s hard to imagine anything smaller than the Traxdata USB player.


Review by: Iain

Posted in: Reviews

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