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VidaBox SLIM Media Center Review

by October 18, 2006
  • Product Name: SLIM
  • Manufacturer: VidaBox
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: October 18, 2006 19:00
  • MSRP: $ 2499 ($2966 as tested)

Video Outputs:

Standard - VGA, DVI-I

TV Out - S-Video, composite, component (HD)


Video Resolution:

800 x 600, 1024 x 768, up to 1920x1444
EDTV - 480p

HDTV - 720p, 1080i, (1080P Limited Edition)


Audio: Onboard ALC880 chipset 7.1 surround sound:

(6) rear 3.5mm ports

(2) Side 3.5mm ports (mic, headphone)

(1) coaxial SPDIF output (rear)


Optical Drive: Combination full size CD/DVD burner (dual layer capable)

Read speeds: CD - 48X; DVD - 16X

CD write speeds: CD-R 48X; CD-RW 32X

DVD write speeds: DVD±R 16X; DVD+RW 8X; DVD-RW 6X; DVD+R DL 8X; DVD-R DL 6X


Data Storage: 500GB VidaSafe™ standard; up to 1,500GB VidaSafe™ optional


Memory: 1GB (2x 512MB) 800MHz DDR2 non-ECC (standard)


HD Audio:

7.1 channel high definition audio
Digital SPDIF coaxial output


Side Ports:

(1) Headphone jack
(1) Microphone jack

(1) IEEE-1394 6-pin firewire port


Front I/O Ports : (4) USB 2.0 ports


Noise Level: Rated at less than 27 dBA at 1m (nominal)


Power: 100 - 240V 60Hz AC


Dimensions: 16 11/16” (W) x 4 1/16” (H) x 16 15/16” (D)


TV Tuner Specs & Input Ports:

Dual standard definition NTSC TV tuners with advanced video noise-reduction filters for crystal clear picture quality.

Tuner connections:

·  (2) Coaxial analog cable inputs 

·  (2) FM antenna ports

·  (2) Composite video inputs

·  (2) S-Video inputs

·  (2) L/R RCA audio inputs

Rear I/O Ports:

(4) USB 2.0 ports

(1) PS/2 keyboard input

(1) 6-Pin firewire (IEEE-1394) port

(1) PS/2 mouse input

(1) VGA (15-pin) monitor port

(1) DVI-I monitor port

(1) 10/100/1000 ethernet port

(1) TV-out port, S-Video, Composite, YPbPr

(3) Audio ports

(2) FM tuner input ports (coaxial)

(1) SPDIF coaxial output port

(2) analog cable tuner coaxial input ports

(2) AV tuner input ports

(1) Parallel port



·  Windows Media Center Edition 2005.

·  "My Movies" media center add-in - backup, catalog and watch your DVD collection.

·  "My Weather" media center add-in - Check your local weather and forecast within media center.

·  nVidia Purevideo decoder - bronze edition.

·  Media Center DVD burning software to create DVD's playable in standard DVD players (most other media center systems do not have this software).

·  Karaoke / CD+G software


Included Accessories

Microsoft remote control

Microsoft infrared receiver with (2) infrared blaster for set-top box control

2.4GHz RF wireless keyboard with integrated trackball

(2) FM antennas

Cable splitter with (2) short jumper coaxial cables

(2) S-Video/Composite/RCA audio dongle for TV tuner

TV-out breakout dongle

External 7-in-1 USB card reader


Optional Accessories:

802.11g USB wireless adapter

Logitech Harmony® universal programmable remote control

Karaoke kit #1- (2) wireless mikes, (1) mike mixer, and 400 songs

Karaoke kit #2- (2) wireless mikes, (1) mike mixer, and 900 songs


  • Great aesthetics
  • Relatively stable
  • Great audio and video output
  • Great customer service


  • Lack of configuration options
  • Loud fan
  • Undimmable lights on the front


VidaBox SLIM Introduction

Slim_inboxRight away I was impressed by the packaging of the VidaBox Slim. It was like the never ending box of goodies. Every nook and cranny was crammed full of accessories, cables, manuals, and more. Just when I thought I’d found it all, I’d spy a cable or wireless adapter tucked between a couple of pieces of foam. I found two things reassuring – first, the box and packing was obviously designed to work with the media center, big boxes of styrofoam peanuts doesn’t scream “set top box” to me. Second, there were a plethora of manuals. There was a quickstart guide, individual software and hardware installation guides, a comprehensive user guide, and an installation guide and song list for the karaoke optional equipment. The quickstart guide is well laid out and easy to follow. As long as you’ve connected all the proper cables before you start the machine – you should be able to turn the machine on and immediately get started with software configuration.

Editor’s Note: Hotswapping Cables

Remember, the VidaBox Slim is like any other computer; if it isn’t USB, you’ll need to restart the unit for the new device to be recognized. Getting all the correct cables connected before you start up the machine for the first time will save you a lot of unneeded frustration.

About the author:
author portrait

As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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