Macam Macam Ada

Review: HDX BD-1, Best in it’s Class ? Part 2

by on Feb.03, 2010, under Reviews

Continuation from Part 1

 

Testing

Media files playback

I myself do not own a bluray machine and depend on my DVico 6500a to read my own bluray rips. Some of this rips on the dvico 6500a does come with menus and some don’t. So it was with great pleasure when the HDX BD-1 actually display full menus of the bluray rips I made.

The difference; rip of “Batman begins” bluray on my Dvico 6500A showed only a basic menu. While HDX played the rip with menus. Moving the cursor on the screen in the menu was fast and responsive.  However this test were only run on BDMV format rips. ISO format failed miserably when the bitrate of the files were over 30 mbp. This was deduce by monitoring one bluray concert Robbie Williams Live at Albert hall.

ISO will have stuttering with high bit rate rips

Pressing the info button on the remote you can actually see the bitrates speeds. Robbie williams bluray iso rip never approach above 30Mbp and it played without stuttering. Other ISO rip cause problem as most BLURAY disc approach speed of 48Mps within some section of the movie ending up the ISO file having major stuttering.

For BDMV format I found some movie rips had long introduction times. They will enter into movie previews and advertisements.  Hitting menu, to try to enter into the bluray disc menu to start the movie was not available with this disc, until you went through all the previews and ads.

Currently without any new firmware updates (latest i tried is firmware version 4.8) there are still problems with the ISO format rips.

Bitsreaming

The HDX BD-1 was able to bitsream DTS-HD or MA without any problems using HDMI cables.  Volume  After firmware update volume on the HDX BD-1 was automatically set to maximum of 100. Just use the BD-1 remote to reduce the volume to 50 or 40 so as you do not face crackling sounds or music.

Bluray Drive or DVD drive

There are 2 ways two connect a External BLURAY or DVD drive to the HDX BD-1. One is through the e-SATA connection, the 2nd way is connect it with the internal sata and power cable (unless you not using a internal hard drive). During my test, both ways fail miserably.

I kept on getting this message " playback cancelled due to security violation. Please eject and re-insert the disc". When this message pops up you pretty much have to off the machine to boot it again and the whole machine froze. But if you connect the drive to the ESATA external link I find that the machine was able to get out of this jam. However the message still pop up when repeating the process.

I can see the bluray drive directory, by setting  the play mode to general. Again clicking on any file manually will not work too. While problem solving I guess region protection might be the cause.

After firmware update of 4.6, HDX added a easier way of selecting region. Click the red button on the remote to choose either REgion A, B or C. Again this did not help one bit. And the message still pop out again and again. I am using the Liteon iHES208 Bluray Drive to connect to the BD-1.

I know that this machine is actually using hardware like the Syabas popcorn c-200. Only the software is done by HDX.  At Syabas website they have already done a few test on which are working bluray drives.  Link here: Compatibility_Lists .

But from what I know, the HDX BD-1 doesn’t look like have the rights to play bluray disc yet even if you have a compatible drive. Could it be HDX has not paid royalty fee to the bluray associations or just plain lazy with their firmware coding. Anyway lets just wait for more firmware updates to see whether they fix the problem. Currently I do not have a solution for BLURAY drive play back

FAst forward or Fast rewind button and other seeking methods

This two features on the remote is a normal process. At first while watching and testing some media files clicking on the remote to fast forware or rewind, you able to click a number of times to increase speed, it works.

Than i went and open more files to test the features went missing. Luckily you don’t have to depend on this two buttons. you can also click on the directional key on the remote "left or right" to enter into a seek mode, or click on the magnifying glass button to access another seek mode.

Various methods of searching seeking…

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For full bluray (bdmv and future ISO) look at the screen caps from 2001 Space Odyssey.  For normal MKV or DVix look at Iron Man caps.

Music

I played music files in flac format. No problem

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Subtitles

Couldn’t find any settings to modify subtitles size.

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24HZ, 60HZ 50HZ Video

In the dvico 6500a i usually set the video option to 1080p 24hz.  So that what I did for the HDX BD-1. Every went smoothly till I started playing 1080i HD satellite rips. Multiple line ran across my screen making the image unwatchable.

After much fiddling I reset video option 1080p 60hz, and the problem went away. Obviously the HDX BD-1 does not have a auto switch when files cannot be played at 24hz.

24HZ Problem 20100128-DSC_0207

Network

I manage to get one of my network pc to share a folder with the HDX BD-1. Files around 1080p or BDMV played but had stuttering. I need to try on a faster network pipe to see whether it still has this problem. But at last HDX BD-1 has problem with my other PC shares. Where i can see the folder that a being shared but cannot see the files. I estimate is because windows need a userid and password.

Even my windows home server with upnp function does not work.

Update:

Ok i manage to get the network to work on my windows 7 pc. It was my fault actually. Although the folder was shared I did not set it to everyone for user.

Problem again. Files that average bitrate of above 9mps will stutter in when running on network. Hmmm is it because HDX network port is stuck at 10mbps.  With a setup panel that has not much controls to set I can’t do anything to test to improve.

Most of this files ran without problem on the dvico 6500A through network.

Setup Panel

To simple. What! that all HDX put for us to fiddle with. No contrast, no network password userid, and more. You just feel sometimes that you could actually solve some problems if the setup had more commands for you to set.

Directories

When you are viewing all your files and folders in the directory on your HDX BD-1, you will notice that its sorted in a weird way. Its not even in alphabetical.  HDX does not give an option to choose how to sort. Hopefully HDX will improve sorting options.

Picture Quality

Wow! I am impress. The sigma chips are just wonderful with media files. Colors are rich and vibrant and this is without any controls for setting picture output.

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Conclusion

Well we come to the end of the review, but yet it still feels like it just the beginning. From the experience I have with this machine I feel HDX rush it out to soon.

HDX let us down again with unfinished promises.  However this time around at least the machine is able to achieve certain level of satisfaction.

We again are at the mercy of HDX programmers and engineers to get the machine right with new firmware and software. I hope its not just empty promises this again.

Back to my question at the beginning again, is it time to dump my old Dvico 6500A yet. Not just yet is the answer! My main priority is the network part, which is very important to me as I have tons of media files which I don’t want to transfer every time i feel like watching something else that is not in the internal hard drive. This plainly does not work.  Could be my problem or HDX, but I am still fiddling with it.

But apart from that the machine is a very capable media player that is able to play anything you throw at it. That is a great plus if you looking for a new media player. Price is also very affordable around US$200.

From past experience with HDX their firmware updates are just too slow, leaving end users really frustrated. This time, from forums thread, there are reports that HDX are turning a new skin and promises updates as frequent as possible or just listening to us on our problems.

I will try to update as much as possible new firmware and fixes for the BD-1 whenever possible but the meantime I can really say this player is worth buying… Highly Recommended…

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Back to Part 1 of review Link: Back to Part 1 Click here

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6 Comments for this entry

  • steve

    how can you recommend something that is not ready? and say HDX slow in past to make firmware upgrade? if not ready, then no buy. thank

  • Oscar Rocha

    I think you can change the subtitle size with the zoom key, with srt.

  • admin

    Because most people, who are in the market for a media player, want to actually do most of the thing that the dvico 6500a can do … and the machine does it with little problems…

    the fact is the machine is able to do 90% of what most user need and that’s straight out from the box…

    No other machine is able to do it for this price range yet….

  • steve

    admin there is no network for this device. it is a waste of time.

  • bogdan

    Great review, thanks :)

  • Howard Chang

    Hello Macam (is this your name?) My name is Howard Chang.
    I’m from one of the HDX-BD1 US resellers. We are in the process to
    launch this machine. We want to build up the right perception in
    potential buyers’ mind of what HDX-BD1 can or cannot do. And, we
    found your helpful review here. Is it possible we do a interview
    session with you? We’ll send you some questions via email and
    publish the results on our site/blog. Please send me a message to
    my email address: howard_chang@amperor.com if you are willing to do
    so. Thanks for your time in advanced. Best Regards Howard
    Chang

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