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Datexx Pavio PVR30T 30GB Portable Video Player and Recorder Review

Jan 1 2010, 12:00am CST | by , in Reviews | Misc

Datexx Pavio PVR30T 30GB Portable Video Player and Recorder Review

published: 05/30/05 last updated: 05/30/05
Reviewer: Ken Wold

Ken reviews this time a portable video player with a 30GB hard-drive. We reported the first time about the Datexx Pavio PVR30T in September 2004. One of the Datexx PVR30T cool features is the built-in TV-Tuner in the Docking station.
Ken and his lovely assistant Krista used the Pavio at the office, in the park, Jacuzzi and bed (see photos). Read below how Ken gets up close with the Datexx Pavio and why he thinks that the Pavio is the best PVP out there.

Datexx Pavio PVR30T sells for about $600. has listed it direct and also from Target. Stock information is varying. Find other stores.


Datexx Pavio PVR30T portable video player and recorder review
Datexx Pavio Photo Gallery

Visit the I4U PVP Shopping Guide

Avante garde, chic, elegant, sophistication, fashionable, distinctive and advanced; these are the words to describe the Pavio Digital Theater PVR. You see the form, the contours, the soft lines and elaborate yet simple design. We see the form, so, what about the function? Datexx has managed to combine both with imagination and high-tech engineering; all in the palm of your hand.

Today, technology is progressing at a hyper velocity rate. We can hardly keep up, yet we yearn for the latest device, which will provide us with the greatest convergence and interoperability to enable an easier more entertaining life. Many manufacturers of electronics are fulfilling our desires with a vast array of hardware and software, and they attempt to insert every type of possible electro-optical feature imaginable into the smallest form factor. It simply depends upon what the consumer’s end use will be and for. Often, consumers face a tantalizing, difficult and confusing choice as many “gadgets” are far too complicated and, thus, the fear factor ensues, and the product is left to collect dust. For audio, video, photos, television, computers, mobility and the ability to manipulate each of those; look no further than the Pavio. It will provide you with the greatest entertainment and allow such ease of use even the most ardent critic will want to own one. Let’s take a look at the “functions” mentioned earlier to give you a clear, concise picture of what the Pavio is and contains for your viewing and listening pleasure.

Datexx Pavio PVR30T portable video player and recorder review

Datexx Pavio PVR30T Photos

See the specification below to get an overview of all the Pavio features. Now you know everything this multi-media player/recorder possesses, contains and performance factors within each category.  However, to give you a sense of how all encompassing the Pavio is for your entertainment and computing needs, it requires a breakdown of all features included.  Suggestions for product improvement/adjustments will be provided at the end of the review. 

The black and silver encased Pavio was packaged very securely and arrived intact with all contents listed above.  All were separated from the Pavio to ensure no damage to the unit.  After checking the contents, I analyzed each of the contents for rigidity, quality of engineering, style, fit and any apparent defects.  No defects were located and the Pavio is solidly designed with in its metal casing including all controls.  This procedure is one I always conduct as, invariably, quality control is lacking, at times, for the manufacturers product and this can create instant frustration for a high-tech consumer eagerly awaiting to utilize their new “toy”.  Fortunately, Datexx did a magnificent job in this area.  I even perused the web in search of blogs, forums or any other reviews where this may have been a problem from Datexx.  I located no negative information with regard to problems in packaging, quality or “missing” items.  Next, it was time to put the Pavio through an intensive, extensive test/review process.  I expect a great deal from every product manufactured no matter what the item is or the pricing point.  The consumer deserves the very best. 

Datexx Pavio PVR30T portable video player and recorder review

Datexx Pavio PVR30T TV-Tuner Docking station.

I installed one of my Sandisk 512mb CF cards and a Lexar 256mb SD card, which installed very securely within the enclosed (button release flip up/flip down) door on the top of the unit. The CF/SD slots placed on top of the Pavio prevents accidental opening while holding the PVR. I deliberately shook the unit to determine if the door would remain closed and it did so. I checked the TV tuner/docking station connections positioned on the bottom of the PVR30T for damage and found none. The sliding door protecting the connection worked very well and the unit slid perfectly into the docking station. I also verified the enclosed USB 2.0 cable, stereo headphones (1/8” stereo minijack compatible) , and power adapter fit precisely into their applicable attachment points precisely. These connections are placed on the left end of the Pavio (facing the user) and clearly marked with international markings and abbreviated identification (in English). The 3.7volt rechargeable lithium ion battery is housed in a secure, button-release compartment on the bottom right-hand corner of the PVR. It opened and closed with ease (again, positioned in a manner to not interfere with handling or holding the unit). I tested the volume (indicated on push button) and directional (up, down, left, right, rewind, fast forward) rotational, push button dials placed on the lower right and left hand sides. All moved easily and purposefully and “clicking” for directional control could be felt while testing them, which allows for ease in selection (“feel”) while viewing in low light, darkness, along with on-screen visual responsiveness during powered operation(s). International symbols are indented upon the unique, slanted stop/pause/play/menu/return “click” buttons just above the volume and directional push buttons.
I found this to be especially useful while viewing my favorite movie on the Pavio in bed. While having LED embedded around these buttons would be helpful, it is not needed. The indented symbols, whether intended or not by Datexx, provided an added benefit for the visually impaired by acting as “Braille” symbols. The two external stereo speakers are also split on either side of the Pavio and protected with a metal grille over each. On the right rear of the PVR is a “kickstand” to place the unit on a flat surface for angular viewing. This kickstand in slightly indented into the Pavio and snaps into and out of place. It holds its position very well and will not arbitrarily open. The power button is placed on the top right of the PVR and can be locked into place to prevent premature shutdown during operations. Overall, the layout of the Pavio controls, solid design, style, compartments and placement was outstanding and allows the user to hold the unit and “thumb” control the primary functions very easily while having no interference with associated areas. “Ignition” of the Pavio was next.

Powering up the Pavio was quick, smooth and revealed a very vivid, colorful LCD screen. No pixelation was present and the contrast/brightness was uniformly bright with no blurring. I immediately tested the controls to navigate through the interactive, intuitive yet simple menu. Simplicity is the best feature of the PVR 30T and, while most consumers love high-tech devices, they yearn for simplification. As you can see from some of the screenshots, the files are organized, again, in a very logical, systematic manner, which is synonymous with your computer hard drive. Very simple to understand and operate. Simply click the navigation controls to move forward, back, down or up and push “ok”. Your movie, picture, voice, music, computer files, presentation, etc., immediately plays. The integrated stereo sound is quite crisp and clear, but, as with many included speaker systems in small devices, there is not much room for outstanding sound quality. However, you can adjust the bass, treble and volume for your listening pleasure with the volume rotational dial. The unit can produce very loud stereo sound and is easily audible in almost every situation. The included stereo ear buds are not high-end headphones, but the stereo sound is much better using them than without. No distortion was noted while playing every genre of music I possessed in my collection of MP3 songs. I played songs ranging from 128kbps to the maximum range the unit handles at 320kbps. Obviously, the higher the bit rate the better the sound, but overall quality was not degraded at the 128 ranges. You can also set your music to shuffle mode, which works great. The display reveals time elapsed, volume bar, total time of song, title, bit rate and kilohertz recorded. No mute button exists, but one isn’t needed as the pause button works fine. You also have the ability to set the song for repeat. The LCD display reveals the date and time, battery life indicator and setup icon for date/time, key beep sound, auto power on/off, auto LCD on/off, audio 3D setting for off, normal and fine, format disk, ability to set TV standard (PAL/NTSC), reset setting and extensive 11 language settings to choose from. And, yes, Pavio will hold over 30,000 pictures with a maximum 6.3mp image, which is more than sufficient for most digital camera owners. The movie menu icon quickly takes you to your .AVI, MPEG4 files and allows you to record in QVGA, VGA and Fine settings. Playback was very good at 30fps and I experienced no jitter, flicker or stoppages through the five films I transferred to the Pavio via USB. All movies were clear and crisp. Pixelation only occurred when the source movie or TV signal was poor or weak. Playback of movies worked in 16:9 and 4:3 depending, again, on the source or selection made for screen size. While the screen was very, very difficult to view in full sunlight, you will experience this with virtually any device with a screen. For a quick fix in sunlight, I altered a tinted piece of plastic for the length and width of the Pavio and it worked very well at shielding the bright rays of the sun. The Pavio definitely has the capacity to store a huge number of movies (approximately 64-65 hours at QVGA setting; 32-33 hours in VGA mode and about 15-16 hours in VGA fine set). Contrast, brightness and clarity of picture in all video settings was excellent with, obviously, VGA fine mode being the sharpest. If your like I am, however, you have the desire to store as many movies as possible and at QVGA setting you can average 30-40 full length compressed (Dr. Divx included software) movies for your viewing pleasure. Make sure you install the included Dr. Divx, Divx player and Pavio help files. It only takes approximately one minute on a broadband connection. Additional codecs may be needed to utilize the Divx software, but you will be notified if anything is lacking.

Datexx Pavio PVR30T portable video player and recorder review

Datexx Pavio PVR30T Menu.

The voice recording icon and files are arranged just as the music section is laid out. Again, very simple. Use the almost invisible external stereo mic and record many, many hours of important notes, reminders, etc. Or, record sounds, music or any other audible source up to 64kbps. Recordings I made produced excellent clarity with no distortion. Hook up your USB cable from the Pavio to your laptop, computer or external hard drive and simply drag and drop files, music, movies, television shows recorded and photos. The Pavio is so multi-faceted and interoperable; I kept finding many more uses than advertised. Let your imagination run wild. How about hooking up to your in dash CD stereo, MP3 car player, headphones, motorcycle (yes, I have a stereo system on my cruiser and it worked great!). Pop up the included kickstand and view from virtually any angle or on many surfaces. This position in our Jeep worked very well and was stable as long as we weren’t pretending to be an Indy 500 driver. I even used a stereo cable to connect the Pavio to one of my old MP3 jukebox made-for-it portable speaker system with subwoofer and, wow, did it sound great! Even better over my THX home theater and computer sound systems. I connected the Pavio to my shared network computers and played all formats over them as well as over my 50” rear projection TV via the supplied RF splitter, docking station and through my computer (VGA/scan line converter) as you can see in some of the photos. With Pavio, you don’t even need a “traditional”, bulky PVR. Awesome! I used the Pavio at the office (coworkers very jealous), in the park, Jacuzzi, my den and many other locations and it worked perfectly in each.

And with today’s miniaturization of hard disk drives (HDD) and significant increase in storage capacities; you can add on 80 or 100gb “pocket” style HDD for additional storage of even more of your favorite movies, music and photos. A quick connect between the Pavio and HDD, and you have hundreds of hours of multi-media entertainment at your disposal with the PVR30T as the “hub”. Both the HDD for sale and the Pavio are both small enough to not require you to carry a suitcase, but just hold in the palms of your hands.

You can “experiment” and expand upon with other portability, multi-functional roles by purchasing an inverter to run off of your vehicle battery and save the power of your Pavio lithium battery. Ensure you select an inverter with enough wattage to run the unit (175w or more should do). This inverter will also allow you to have mobile power to go for many other electronic devices as well. Use your vehicle 12v power receptacle with the inverter to recharge your Pavio battery if you find yourself in the wilderness with no other power source. External rechargeable, multiple battery packs are also available for additional power supply. The supplied AV RCA jacks, RF (TV/Cable tv/Satellite cables), and S-video cables provide you with many delectable choices and selections to record from or play to/through. Are you tired of reading all of the amazing freedom and choices you have with the Pavio? Well, stay tuned, because there is much more. If you’re going to divest yourself of hard earned cash, you want a great return for that investment and you definitely get that with this wonder. Any of you out there with video glasses (the type providing projection screen sizes right in the glasses)? If so, what a fantastic and miniscule source device to play your multi-media on those. The Pavio also fits nicely in my suit jacket inner pocket with no bulkiness, which provides nice concealment and allowing you to hook up your headphones on the go. The accompanying soft inner/outer carrying case with strap and inner accessory pocket made it easy for me to loop my belt through and carry on my side for quick access anywhere. It protects your Pavio unit and screen perfectly.

Datexx Pavio PVR30T portable video player and recorder review

Datexx Pavio PVR30T MP3 Player

Playing Music on the Datexx Pavio
Now, for all you iPod fanatics out there; does your iPod even come close to the amazing abilities the Pavio PVR30T accomplishes? Not even close. Yes, you may be perceived as “hip”, but you also expended a lot of money with little to show for it to be “cool”. Believe me, you will receive much more attention (if the “coolness” factor is your only concern) whipping out your sexy, curvaceous Pavio than your plain, white Ipod. How is this for the difference? “Hey, is that an Ipod”? “Why, yes it is”. “Well, what does it do”? “Ahhh, it plays music and stores some photos”. Or, how about this scenario upon revealing your Pavio. “What is that”!? “It’s my personal digital theater”! “What does it do”? Well, do you have about a week for me to explain and show you all it does”? So much for the Ipod “hip” factor, huh? I think you would much rather impress others or, especially, your girlfriend by enjoying a candlelit evening in a boat, forest, car or anywhere else with her favorite movie, television show, special computer graphics you created just for her, love songs, the recorded poems you nervously practiced, thousands of pictures of the two of you together rather than the supposed “cool” factor with a white piece of plastic or one-dimensional device. Be suave, debonair, sophisticated, “rich”, and savvy. So, yes, you will be able to use the “woo” factor like never before with the Pavio near you.

Watching TV on the Datexx Pavio
Lastly, for you TV fanatics, the Pavio makes your viewing pleasure fun and easy. Break out the docking station, open the “bomb bay” door (docking connector) on the bottom of the PVR and set it in the dock like a glove. Now, just decide what source you wish to record from or play to. How about your aging VCR, the special DVD player you have, cable tv, satellite or your television. Choices, choices, choices…. Use the included RF cable splitter with TV in/out ability. Power up your Pavio PVR30T, go to “auto scan” and “lock in” up to 125 channels. Auto scan worked perfectly and finished scanning within one minute. Choose a channel you want to record from and push the one-touch record button (yes, the red one). Now, with your Pavio next to you, enjoy picture-in-picture ability (PIP) albeit a separate screen (the PVR30T). Record while watching another show or use the “Program REC” function to set the channel, date/time/duration for any period of the day or night or week or month or…. Well, you get the “picture”. Watch your recorded shows and avoid those pesky loooonggg commercials by skipping them at a rate of 8X. Back to your show in an instant! Don’t have cable/satellite dish capabilities? Datexx Pavio scans for the public TV stations available in your area to keep you up-to-date. It picked up and provided the US major network affiliates in our area with, again, a great picture.

Suggestions For Improvements
Reconfigure docking station as the navigation/volume controls are interfered with by it (trim the docking station contour along the bottom for a perfect fit and no difficulty in operating the controls)
Increase auto scan function to expand for larger channel selection than 125 (satellite or cable)

Wish List
Longer battery life
XM/Sirius satellite partnership for integrated satellite audio/future video streaming
Large screen
Increased size of carrying case to enable inclusion of RF cables, USB cable, power cord and other accessories
AM/FM tuner/transmitter
Wi-Fi and Blue Tooth capability
Larger storage capacity
Simple cellular phone ability

II’ve looked at several other PVR, PDR, PVT, PDT or PMP units (and other multi-media acronyms) and while they each have strengths/weaknesses; none have come close to the Pavio. Archos, you say? Good PMP, but very complicated and expensive for the average consumer who desire simplicity and Pavio delivers what the people out there want. Datexx Pavio may not be a household name (yet), but with the quality, abilities, functions and choices you have with this PVR; they will soon!
I would like to end my Pavio dissertation (hey, there was a lot to cover with you) with finality. However, with Datexx and the Pavio PVR30T, I don’t believe the end is ever in sight. Only the beginning...

Visit the Datexx ( or Pavio Time ( websites for more information.

How to Buy
Datexx Pavio PVR30T sells for about $600. has listed it direct and also from Target. Stock information is varying. Find other stores.


LCD Monitor 3.5"
TFT color display (480 x 234 pixels)
Hard Drive 30GB       
Memory Card Reader SD card: 16~512MB/   
CF card: 16MB~1GB
Internal speaker : Stereo
External Speakers Max output: (L) 230mW + ( R) 230mW 80  
Size (Unit) 5.5"(L) x 3.13"(H) x 1"(W)  
In Cradle 6.5"(L) x 4"(H) x 3.13"(W)  
Weight 12 oz

TV Connection

Remote Controller Included

Recording time
QVGA: 65hrs
VGA: 33hrs
VGA-fine: 16hrs

Recording format
Recording Bit Rate
QVGA:1Mbps/VGA:2Mbps/VGA fine: 4Mbps

Video Playback format

Recording format WAV(IMA ADPCM)  
Playback format MP3 bit rate: 32~320Kbps/  rate: 16K~48KHz

Recording format
WAV(IMA ADPCM)- rate 16KHz/ 64Kbps

3072x2048 pixel up to 6.3M Pixel camera

System Requirement Windows (98E/ME/2000/XP), Mac (OS 9.X)   Connection USB 2.0

Pavio Unit AV output to TV, Speaker, Computer ,Earphones,Tuner Cradle DC input/ AV output/ ,Tuner input/ AV input     S-Video output (S-Video line not included)

File Manager
Copy, Rename, Delete Transfer speed Max approx. 480Kbps

Temperature 32~104° F Humidity under 85%

English, Japanese, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Italian, Chinese, (Traditional, Simplify)

Battery -included Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery (3.7V)   AC Adapter-included Input: 5.0V/2.0A

Battery Life
3 hours Movie playback 6 hours Music playback

Complimentary Software
Dr.Divx Video conversion MusicMatch-MP3 transfer System

Windows (ME/2000/XP) Mac (OS 9.X)

Software Support Dr.Divx MusicMatch

Accessories Included
Quick Reference Book

Quick Setup Sheet
Warranty Card
TV Tuner/Docking Station
Remote Controller (with all control features)
CD (Software/USB driver)
Cable Splitter
Two 6 ft. RF Cables
AV Cable (RCA jacks)
USB Cable (2.0)
Soft Carrying Case w/carrying strap and inner accessory pocket
Stereo Earphones
Rechargeable Battery (3.7volt lithium ion battery)
AC Adaptor

Complete instruction booklet (English)
Full feature, color, and quick setup demonstration guide for each feature on the Pavio
(CF or SD cards not included)

More Portable Video Players on our PVP4U and BestPVPs sites.


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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi Lugmayr (Google) is the founding chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at




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