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uk.tech.digital-tv (Digital TV - General) (uk.tech.digital-tv) Discussion of all matters technical in origin related to the reception of digital television transmissions, be they via satellite, terrestrial or cable. Advertising is forbidden, with no exceptions.

Media player opinions



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 1st 07, 07:20 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Tony
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Posts: 40
Default Media player opinions

Hope this isn't too off topic.

Considering networks are going IP TV these days I got a Pinnacle media
player (SC200) for chrissy but am greatly dissappointed with it. It
just doesn't seem to be a consumer product.

The Pinnacle server software won't work on my main PC because its XP 64,
and I don't seem to be able to get it to run on my older XP32 PC. So
I'm stuck with windows media connect (you have to install media player
11 for this now, expecially for XP64 as the WMC only software doesn't
work on XP64). When I am browsing the server from the media player it
takes about 30s to change screen up/down directories, and I can't browse
by anything other than directories (Music Match puts each album in a
directory, although I might be able to change it I don't really want
to), and it only goes to the ID3 tags when you get into a directory.
Scrolling a large number of directories for my 400 albums allows screen
brand name to overlap some of it making it unreadable.

You can't do anything while it is playing (like browse or select songs)
and the title is displayed as gobbledygook.

The wireless part of it is useless. Seperated by about 4m and a
partition wall it says poor connection all the time and mostly will not
work. Searching the internet it seems wireless channels above 5 don't
work well, and moving down to 4 seemed to improve it but only by about
0.5m, when I put it in the place I wanted, it went back down to poor again.

Even when I completely hardwired my system to 100Mb/s the music still
occassionally stoppped.

I looked at the D-Link and one other player (I can't remember) but went
with the pinnacle as I thought the software would be more well
developed, even though I would have liked an HDMI connector which the
Pinnacle doesn't have.

I think on the wireless performance alone I will be able to return it.

Is this the best I can expect or would I be better off with a fanless
network booting thin client or something? I'm not sure it will be good
enough to do video, but it would have the benefit of Internet browsing
on my HD telly.

--
Tony
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  #2  
Old January 1st 07, 11:16 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Roderick Stewart
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Posts: 52
Default Media player opinions

In article , Tony wrote:
Considering networks are going IP TV these days I got a Pinnacle media
player (SC200) for chrissy but am greatly dissappointed with it. It
just doesn't seem to be a consumer product.

[...]
The wireless part of it is useless. Seperated by about 4m and a
partition wall it says poor connection all the time and mostly will not
work. Searching the internet it seems wireless channels above 5 don't
work well, and moving down to 4 seemed to improve it but only by about
0.5m, when I put it in the place I wanted, it went back down to poor again.

Even when I completely hardwired my system to 100Mb/s the music still
occassionally stoppped.


Some of this could be dependent on the quality of your broadband connection.
I'm currently waiting for delivery of an Orange Livebox like the one I
recently set up for my daughter, and which is giving about 4 times the
download speed of my present ISP for a fraction of the cost. Full price for
their "unlimited" service is 19.99gbp but if you have one of their contract
mobile phones, it's only a fiver.

"Unlimited" in the context of broadband internet means there actually is a
download limit, but a higher one than applied to one of the services with a
specified limit, and they don't tell you what it is unless you ask. (They call
it a "Fair Use Policy", which seems a somewhat creative use of the English
language but that's apparently the way these things are done). Orange told me
theirs was 30GB, which compares well with my present 2GB service with
pay-as-you-go per GB above that, and the speed apparently throttled to 2Mb/s,
though the connection is capable of more.

If you haven't already got one, I'd suggest you obtain a speed indicator such
as "DUmeter" to check what speeds you're really getting. You may be surprised.

And the local wireless connection problems will depend on aerial positioning,
as these things always do, because RF doesn't work by magic, even if it is
"modern" and "digital". You can get extension aerials for those little stumpy
things that are fixed to the backs of PC wireless cards, so the aerial itself
doesn't have to be near floor level just because that's where the PC is, and
you may get some improvement by experimenting with the position of your
wireless router or access point.

Good luck.

Rod.

  #3  
Old January 1st 07, 11:50 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Pyriform
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Posts: 1,223
Default Media player opinions

Roderick Stewart wrote:
In article , Tony wrote:
Considering networks are going IP TV these days I got a Pinnacle
media player (SC200) for chrissy but am greatly dissappointed with
it. It
just doesn't seem to be a consumer product.

[...]
The wireless part of it is useless. Seperated by about 4m and a
partition wall it says poor connection all the time and mostly will
not work. Searching the internet it seems wireless channels above 5
don't work well, and moving down to 4 seemed to improve it but only
by about
0.5m, when I put it in the place I wanted, it went back down to poor
again.

Even when I completely hardwired my system to 100Mb/s the music still
occassionally stoppped.


Some of this could be dependent on the quality of your broadband
connection.


I think you'll find he's streaming via his local network...


  #4  
Old January 2nd 07, 08:11 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Tony
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Posts: 40
Default Media player opinions

Pyriform wrote:
Roderick Stewart wrote:
In article , Tony wrote:
Considering networks are going IP TV these days I got a Pinnacle
media player (SC200) for chrissy but am greatly dissappointed with
it. It
just doesn't seem to be a consumer product.

[...]
The wireless part of it is useless. Seperated by about 4m and a
partition wall it says poor connection all the time and mostly will
not work. Searching the internet it seems wireless channels above 5
don't work well, and moving down to 4 seemed to improve it but only
by about
0.5m, when I put it in the place I wanted, it went back down to poor
again.

Even when I completely hardwired my system to 100Mb/s the music still
occassionally stoppped.

Some of this could be dependent on the quality of your broadband
connection.


I think you'll find he's streaming via his local network...



Indeed, I ment 'searching the internet' for solutions to the problem.
And wireless of course I mean wireless ethernet 802.11g.

I intend to play my music collection and possibly DTV programs recorded
on the PC on the media player in the living room.

--
Tony
  #5  
Old January 2nd 07, 10:53 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Pyriform
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Posts: 1,223
Default Media player opinions

Tony wrote:
I intend to play my music collection and possibly DTV programs
recorded on the PC on the media player in the living room.


I have the same machine, connected via ethernet. It's worth checking that it
has the latest firmware, although this hasn't been updated for quite a while
(and is unlikely to be updated again). I don't have any streaming problems,
and the picture and sound quality is superb (via component and optical
respectively). The inability to browse your music collection whilst playing
a track (e.g to create a playlist on-the-fly) is probably its weakest
feature. Visualisations to accompany the music would also be nice!

I can't really comment on your other problems, because I use the Pinnacle
software, and have never tried WMC.

If you do find a better solution, please let us know!


  #6  
Old January 2nd 07, 11:03 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Pyriform
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Posts: 1,223
Default Media player opinions

Pyriform wrote:
I can't really comment on your other problems, because I use the
Pinnacle software


Although it has just occurred to me that there are replacements for this,
which I keep meaning to try, but never do. Have a look he

http://www.swisscenter.co.uk/

Also note that a wired connection is the only way you can achieve the speeds
necessary for playing back HD material at the highest resolutions the SC200
is capable of achieving. So unless you really need wireless, that's what you
should use anyway.


  #7  
Old January 2nd 07, 05:39 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Colin Stamp
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Posts: 369
Default Media player opinions


I bought a D-Link one a few years ago and very disappointing it was
too. Luckily, in addition to the ****e software, it had what sounds
like a very similar wireless problem to yours, so I shipped it back
for a refund.

More recently, I got a Hauppauge Media MVP. That was pretty dire too.
I only used it for MP3 playback, but it was pretty obvious that the
software development had been stopped way before it was
production-worthy. It gave the impression that it was just a lash-up
demo application to show the capabilities of the hardware.

I persevered with the Media MVP for a couple of years before finally
giving in and building a cheap PC to go under the telly instead. I
don't know why I didn't do it years ago. It can be a server rather
than a client, but even if you want to keep your media on your current
server, you won't need to run any crappy background applications on
the server for it to work.

Cheers,

Colin.
  #8  
Old January 3rd 07, 10:58 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Tony
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Posts: 40
Default Media player opinions

Colin Stamp wrote:
I bought a D-Link one a few years ago and very disappointing it was
too. Luckily, in addition to the ****e software, it had what sounds
like a very similar wireless problem to yours, so I shipped it back
for a refund.

More recently, I got a Hauppauge Media MVP. That was pretty dire too.
I only used it for MP3 playback, but it was pretty obvious that the
software development had been stopped way before it was
production-worthy. It gave the impression that it was just a lash-up
demo application to show the capabilities of the hardware.

I persevered with the Media MVP for a couple of years before finally
giving in and building a cheap PC to go under the telly instead. I
don't know why I didn't do it years ago. It can be a server rather
than a client, but even if you want to keep your media on your current
server, you won't need to run any crappy background applications on
the server for it to work.


I refuse to put anything with a fan in it in my living room, but did
like the idea of a fanless thin client, I may look into it more.

They all seem like lash ups, its unfortunate. I guess PC/media
companies are not used to the difficulty and cycle times involved in
making good quality real time embedded application. Some of them even
base their app on the demosoftware provided by the chip supplier. Even
the remote control didn't seem to work very well, sometimes getting the
wrong code.

My partner bought the unit from Amazon, so I was able to return it
paying only for postage.

Media players are going to need to get a whole lot better to be accepted
by real consumers, probably ones from from CE companies like Philips
might be better but Philips stuff was never that great anyway.

--
Tony
  #9  
Old January 3rd 07, 11:18 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Pyriform
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Posts: 1,223
Default Media player opinions

Tony wrote:
My partner bought the unit from Amazon, so I was able to return it
paying only for postage.


Didn't bother trying alternative server software then?


  #10  
Old January 3rd 07, 12:30 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Zimmy
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Posts: 215
Default Media player opinions


"Tony" wrote in message
...
Hope this isn't too off topic.

Considering networks are going IP TV these days I got a Pinnacle media
player (SC200) for chrissy but am greatly dissappointed with it. It just
doesn't seem to be a consumer product.


If you want a non-consumer product that works well consider this:
http://www.xboxmediacenter.com/info_project.htm

Bit of a guddle to set up but a media centre this good for around 50 (from
Argos) that also plays games isn't to be sniffed at.
No warranties given though! It has a fan but is pretty quiet and unobtrusive
IMHO.

Z


 




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