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Hardware A.C. Ryan PlayON! HD Media Player Review

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Sifter3000, 2 Feb 2010.

  1. kornedbeefy

    kornedbeefy What's a Dremel?

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    Big shame its only 10/100mb. The new upcoming PopBox (from the makers of Popcorn) is only 10/100 also. http://gizmodo.com/5439293/syabas-popbox-get-ready-for-the-new-media-streamer-champ

    I replaced my 10/100 switch yesterday with a 1 gig D-Link and did a before/after test. The connection was from my Windows Home Server to my Laptop both with 1gig nic cards. The Laptop connects to my TV via HDMI.

    The results speak for themselves. I transferred a 208mb file

    10/100 switch: 9.5mb sec and approx 21secs
    1 gig switch: 40.5mb sec and approx 4 or 5 secs
     
  2. hardflipman

    hardflipman What's a Dremel?

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    I was going to get a WDTV Live and was kind of tempted by one of these but in the end I just ordered a popcorn hour a200 (which has gigabit ethernet with the caveat that it's a bit buggy). The main sellin gpoint for me was the YAMJ interface that you can put on it although the play on will do that now.
    interestingly though, in the time since ordering the popcorn i softmodded my xbox and stuck xbmc on it and it's really very good indeed. in fact i believe that the interface may well be better than the popcorn hour. i also got a compnent cable and it'll output at 720p!

    for anyone wanting a cheap streamer(or you can put a bigger drive in) for standard definition then i can highly recommend using an original xbox
     
  3. daniel_owen_uk

    daniel_owen_uk What's a Dremel?

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    Popbox is aimed at being a netflix style device, the A200 is a 10/100/1000 device :)

    That said the sigma drivers make it only just better than 100Mbs currently. (going off the C200 experience I have).
     
  4. daniel_owen_uk

    daniel_owen_uk What's a Dremel?

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    BTW all this chat about YAMJ, UMC 2.0 on the new popcorns is going to woop it all over, I already prefer UMC 1.84 to YAMJ (sorry omertron :)).
     
  5. Byron C

    Byron C Over-reacting and over-analysing since 1982

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    +1.

    An original Xbox with XBMC is an absolutely ideal standard def media player - especially if you have the remote (which can probably be picked up on fleaBay for next to nothing). I only retired mine recently, after 5 years of service. Some of the later Xbox models, such as mine, can have seriously loud fans, but XBMC allows you to control the fan speed - either directly or by setting a target temperature.

    Although you can get the Xbox to output at HD resolutions, it will absolutely not play HD video. Even a video encoded with h.264 at standard def resolutions will not play. Well... It'll play the file, as the mplayer core supports the h.264 and other HD codecs, but it'll be like watching a slideshow with a 20 second delay. The 733MHz processor simply doesn't have the power.
     
  6. ChrisD

    ChrisD What's a Dremel?

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    Hey guys!

    Unfortunately there is no processor that can currently make full use of gigabit LAN. Otherwise it would be implemented. As soon as there is, there'll be media players that will utilize it.

    Other than that, the YAMJ feature is a welcome addition already. :)
     
  7. Jimbob Happypants

    Jimbob Happypants What's a Dremel?

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    I own the Mede8er, a pretty much identical device. But I prefer the fact that it has front buttons on the unit, allowing for remote-free operation and easy things like switching display resolutions if you've moved over to a different screen. Check it out at mede8er.co.za - not sure how they compare in price but I'd go for the Mede8er if given the choice.
     
  8. legoman666

    legoman666 Beat to fit, paint to match.

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    Lol? No processors that can use a gigabit connection? Even the 1.6ghz Sempron in my HTPC can use a gigabit link at ~80% utilization. I think I ran into the speed transfer limit of the archaic hard drive I was using, not the limit of the interface.
     
  9. StephenK

    StephenK Sneak 'em Upper

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    Quick Question : Does it support dvd ISO menus? The WD still doesn't support menu's :(
     
  10. GW42

    GW42 What's a Dremel?

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    I think he may mean that there are no processors of the kind/level you find in this kind of kit. The HD media side of things is presumably handled by a separate graphics processor designed for the job (presumably something like Nvidia Ion, or that Broadcom?? HD video chip intel say goes nicely with the new Pinetrail.) So the CPU in this thing is probably fairly meak, and that may limit network traffic. Or it may be that the cheap gigabit network chips can't cope with much better than 10/100 speeds.

    Either way, I've seen a lot of reviews of cheap NAS devices, labelled as gigabit but that can really only manage 10/100 speeds. Even fairly pricey NAS's will often only creep up to 30-40MB/s (at least last time I looked into this).
     
  11. B3CK

    B3CK Minimodder

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    Killernic's can't do it? Shame.
    But I am still holding off on buying/building a htpc or player until I can get one that also has the ability to record shows and download show times.
    Perhaps I quit looking for one, but when I quit paying for tivo, it hurt.
     
  12. jonmcc33

    jonmcc33 What's a Dremel?

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    Anyone know how reliable this is for playing H.264 MKV video? I have a WDTV Gen2 and although the picture quality is amazing I have issues where it will lock up in some H.264 MKV encoded video. I have tried to isolate this and it seems to happen more with files that use AC3 audio instead of DTS audio.
     
  13. ChrisD

    ChrisD What's a Dremel?

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    I am talking about media players, the processors in there can currently not support gigabit lan. :p Not about HTPC's, I know that they can, but one cannot compare the two.

    Yes, it supports DVD ISO's as well, so always a good thing for when backing up ones' DVD collection. :)
     
  14. Nature

    Nature Minimodder

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    Cabbage.
     
  15. hardflipman

    hardflipman What's a Dremel?

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    it seems as though the xbox will support 720p but you'd have to re-encode everything. I've not read the whole of the thread on it mind you!

    http://xbmc.org/forum/showthread.php?t=53741
     
  16. jonmcc33

    jonmcc33 What's a Dremel?

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    It won't support H.264 encoded 720p though. That PIII Coppermine isn't capable of handling that nor is that GeForce3 going to provide any real GPU acceleration.
     
  17. ChrisD

    ChrisD What's a Dremel?

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    Re-encoding is one thing people like to circumvent. At least I wouldn't want to be be doing that as it'd take some time, especially if you have a lot of movies/series etc. But for an out-of-the-box experience, it'd be the way to go.
     
  18. StephenK

    StephenK Sneak 'em Upper

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    That's it. I'm not waiting and weighing my options any more. I'm gonna get me one of these.
     
  19. Dedlite

    Dedlite What's a Dremel?

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    Well, I finally bought a 1TB PlayON!HD, and seems to do everything I want of a media player. Well it will do everything. I’ve got to tell you, some head-scratching is needed, and much looking-around-for-answers. But then, I’m a Techie – I’m not an RTFM sorta guy (which is a good thing!), but I’m willing to do a bit of work in order to get the results that I want. Because...

    There are plenty of folks who will assuming that after plugging the POHD in, they’ll be streaming away happily – no no no. Not gonna happen. You see, if you try to follow the manual you’re gonna fail straight away. The manual describes features in the shipped firmware that don’t work, ie. Streaming YouTube videos onto your telly – doesn’t work. Trying to follow the interface doesn’t help, sometimes showing a button on the remote control, which... argh! I haven’t got one of those buttons!

    Ah, yes – the remote control. The centre of the unit has a circle with a middle ‘OK’ button –a standard interface for navigation around. But – eh? At the bottom of the remote there’s a ‘select’ button, and a ‘confirm’! Will 1 button not do this job? Near the top of the remote there’s a ‘copy’ button, but you navigate through the POHD interface to find the feature for copy files to/from the internal HD/memory card etc.; why the ‘copy’ button?

    Of course, I recommend you upgrade the firmware as soon as you can, but of course the manual then becomes mostly redundant because a lot of features have moved/don’t work/have been in newer version. Nice. Oh yes, the POHD is built on Linux, so while you’ll told that Samba is part of the device, nobody tells you want Samba! Windows users well have to grow familiar with the naming of programs, devices etc.

    So I know that looks like I’m putting everybody off the idea of getting a ACR-PV73100 PlayON! HD Media Player, but I’m not – quite happy with mine, really. I just wanted to let me people know (as I didn’t) then you can’t just plug it in and expect to do everything from day 1.
     
  20. kcyong33

    kcyong33 What's a Dremel?

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    Hi. I bought this 3 mths ago, have been reasonably happy with it until I upgraded my home theatre. i now find that it doesn't decode/passthru DTS HD or Dolby digital HD to my Onkyo Amp nor my TV!! While it does a wonderful job on the Video part it's not so great on audio. Anyone know whether there's a newer firmware than the 29Apr10 one?? Cheers!
     
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