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Dune HD Smart D1 Review: Part 1

by on Dec.06, 2010, under Reviews

Got my hands on the new Dune D1 and after fiddling with the machine it was time to do a review on the machine. One thing I found with the Old Dune prime & base was that most people were turn off with the size of the machine. Not one person ever said it was a beauty, they just complain and complain, the machine looks like a dvd player, are you sure can play media files and where the hell can I put the player because its so big.

Well I don’t know whether Dune listen to those complainers or just wanted a new design, but the new Dune D1 totally rocks in the design department. 

Dune HD Smart D1

When you do get a chance to touch one of this player you will find that the construction and outlook of the player makes it feel expensive and very well built.

 

Dune D1 on top of the Dune Prime 3.0

 Side View Bottom View

The Dune D1 processor has the Sigma 8643 chip. Now most of us are already fed up with this processor and was at least expecting the new Sigma 8646 processor, and its seems Dune has a offer, only for new models, a chance to upgrade the processor to the new 8646 when it becomes available. But I guess this will be dependent on the supplier/distributor of the country you buy it from.

Back View

It has three USB (2.0) ports (two at the back and one in front, and a External ESATA port. The network port is still 10/100Mbit/s. What is missing will be the 7 analog sound connections. Standardize to component, composite and a Optical port for sound. I am not to sure the eSATA port is a Slave but looking at the Prime/Base model I think its just for usage of a external drive. Its a pity Dune has not upgrade to a USB 3.0 standard which to me should be a requirement for all future models. 

The Dune D1 is able to accept a internal 3.5" hard drive (sata) into the casing. 2.5" probably need a adapter. When I did run 2TB Samsung HD inside the player I found the bottom casing to be very hot after sometime has passed.

Usually I like to run the dune with a external USB Hard drive box that accepts 4 hard drives and dune will detect all of them, for a maximum of 8TB currently. So if you like to run the machine cool you can always go into that direction. 4 Bay Enclosure This enclosure will not be able to detect 4 hard drives with eSATA (only one) but with USB no problem.

Screws REmove and casing slide open HD bay

SAta connections HD installed

Dune has made the D1 to be a open concept. Where you can add modules (external casing) to the player to create more options for the user. The Modules are : a external bluray player (thats why there a eject button on the D1) , external easy removable hard drive and a Digital TV reception module with recording functions. But the External bluray module or the new B1 series has some question marks to it.  As the Dune Prime 3.0 I find Dune is to slow in their copy protection code for some bluray. Most of my new bluray (example Sound of music, Cars Toon, Toy Story 3) cannot play on the Dune Prime, unless I rip it to my hard drive and remove the copy protection.  So I do not highly recommend Bluray players for Dune.

REmote

The left remote is for the new Dune D1 and the right remote is for the Dune Prime/Base. Only thing different is the white button.

Setup

Hmm most of the operation and setup will be just like the Dune Base/Prime. So I be skimming through them.

Home Page

Home Page

Here at the home page is the first screen you see when you on the player. Some of the Icons are removable. 

Setup Page

SEtup

General Page

General page

Video Page

Video Page

The all important video page.  If your TV can take it, set manually either 8bit,10bit or 12bit. I have never seen a bluray go above 8bit yet though. Video mode setup has controls for computer LCD too or you could just set it to Auto detect.

Advance video setting bitrate

Video connection settings Video mode Video Mode Video Mode video mode Framerate

Audio Page

In the audio corner you able to decide whether you need to bit stream the HD sound to your amp or decode the HD sound to normal stereo straight to amp or TV.

Audio analog or digital

audio page

Network Page

Network page

Applications Page

Application Page

Appearance Page

Appereance page

Information Page

Information Page

Miscellaneous Page

Miscellaneous Page

Miscellaneous Page => Encodings

Encodings

Miscellaneous Page => Optical Drive

If you don’t like the D1 to auto run some media, here where you change the settings.

Optical Page

Miscellaneous Page => Time

time

Miscellaneous Page => Power management

You can set for the D1 to go into the Home page at start or a blank page.

Power management

Miscellaneous Page => Playback

If you don’t like your files to start where you left it while watchin than you change the setting here.

Playback

Miscellaneous Page => System

Fast SMB access is option if you need when you find network files playing on your dune are having problems with sluggish or stuttering. Doesn’t always work but you can always try.

system

Miscellaneous Page => Firmware Upgrade

If you are plug into the internet through a network cable (or wireless option) the Dune D1 is smart enough to check for new firmware for the player and ask you approval whether you need it to upgrade. You able also to download and install beta firmware if there are any.

firmware upgrade

Miscellaneous Page => Advanced

The "Power" button option is for you to either let the player shut down totally or set it to standby {software}. The standby option is quite irritating in that if you don’t have the TV set on you will not be able to see a message asking whether you need the Dune to be turn off.

advance page

Press here to continue to Part 2……………………..

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7 Comments for this entry

  • shah

    tq for review,i’ll get it soon… can’t wait sigma 8646 anymore…hopefully cost for upgrade to new chipset only 30% from d1 cost.. so can i buy it now? my main concern is full menu bmdv/bdiso & of course hd audio passthrough to my amp,i don’t expect any problem for mkv file,u find any problem? ..

  • Guilherme

    Hello, I’m very interested to buy a great Media player, but I can’t get a conclusion wich one is the best for me. Until now, the best CPU that I found is sigma 8642, is it right? Is anybody knows if has a better media player than HDX BD-1 ? I’m looking for a better CPU, a Hi-speed wired network (1000MB), Internal HDD support and best image/sound quality (1080p). Can anyone help me? TY very much!

  • admin

    Try looking at the new dune d1. Although hi speed net is still touch n go.

  • Greenmale

    If u remove the white plate where u put the 3.5 inch internal hdd u will find a USB what is tt for ?

  • admin

    you can add a external memory stick for system storage..

  • Torben Rick

    THX for a great review.

    I have just bought a Cambridge Azur 751BD Blu-Ray player that support DNLA.

    I am using MakeMKV to rip to .mkv – it is working just fine.

    The only problem that I have is that the subtitles will not show up when playing on the Cambridge Azur 751BD. When playing it on my PC (VLC media player) the subtitles are there.

    I think the player is the “problem”?

    Will I have the same problems with Dune HD Smart D1 Media Player?

    Thanks
    Torben

  • admin

    Yes there might be a problem if its a full rip of a bluray/dvd subtitle from the disc…..

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