I apologize in advance, because I have a feeling this post might cause a bit of a stir in this thread...but I'm starting to have second thoughts about my Zino HD; probably more accurately, it is not the Zino specifically that's the issue at all, but more the idea of HTPC and my first...albeit feeble...attempt at it.
I've mentioned before, that while I have been streaming CD, DVD, BD for years, I have always shied away from HTPC in favor of digital media players like Mediagate, XBMC, PS3, and Popcorn Hour (Squeezeboxes for music). My take on HTPC was proponents of them claimed they did and played everything
, but at the price of being "futzy" and a lot of work to set-up. Besides that, most of the builds have been DIY jobs, with their own sets of issues related to that.
I've been mostly
, perfectly happy with my other media players, but I decided to try my first HTPC because (like a lot of others it seems) I really wanted to try and utilize online sites like Hulu, Fancast, etc., to take advantage of TV-on-demand, and dump my cable provider. Well...even though admittedly I haven't given it much of a chance...my experience so far with the Zino hasn't dispelled my notion of the HTPC as "futzy" and a lot of work to set-up.
I mean, "futzy" and "a lot of work to set-up" are extremely relative; what's a lot of work to one (especially an admitted noobie), is a piece of cake to another. But I haven't even played the first movie yet and here's what I'm up against: first, dump the pre-loaded OS and software and reload. Find the latest and greatest drivers, and try to decipher which are best for you; CCC, 9.11, 9.12, 8.12...are you doing audio over HDMI, 2.0, 5.1. Need to overscan? You'll need this driver, or that chipset. You get the idea.
Then I took a quick run at setting up 7MC just to look at my SD .ISOs for ripped TV-on-DVD. Of course 7MC doesn't play .ISO natively, so someone posts this "easy" hack to get it to work. Allow me to summarize:
-If you want to use a third-party movie library plugins, you need additional mounting software to be installed and running in the background.
-To run them in 7MC you’ll need a couple pieces of software installed. Download and install both VirtualCloneDrive from SlySoft as well as the plug-in from Mikinhosoft.
-Once inside the native movie library ISO files should now be listed alongside your standard movie listings. Unfortunately, there is an extra step necessary to mount the images themselves once they’ve been listed in the movie library. You will need to bring up the menu for the movie which has been saved as an ISO and select the More option.
-Inside the More menu you should see a new option listed to Mount Image. Selecting this listing from the menu should then successfully mount the ISO image making it available to be played from the movie library.
-Unfortunately, at this time there’s no way to immediately differentiate between ISO files and other media types from inside the library and trying to play an un-mounted ISO file will result in an error. You will need to remember which files need to be mounted before they can be played.
-That’s all there is to it!
I mean I'm sure this seem's like child's play to most of you, but it sounds like a lot of "futzing" to me; you need this in the background, and rather than do the "normal" thing, you need to do this other thing...and then remember which is which, etc., etc. I mean the author says unfortunately
twice, and then has the nerve to end with "that's all there is to it!"...lol. And this is like step 2 out of 100.
I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't just try to make due with my existing media streamers, which play my content just fine, and try PS3 for something like Fancast for online content. I mean Hulu sh*t-canning PS3 was a big reason for my going towards an HTPC, but again: will the Zino play Hulu HD? Maybe with hardware acceleration, which you can enable with this driver, and the Flash 10.1, blah, blah, blah
Admittedly, it's also a bad time...and time of year...to be getting into this; I just don't have the time. My other players didn't install themselves, but at least I've been through the set-up with them, and the devil you know...that kind of thing. I guess my only other thought is to hang onto the Zino and just come back to it after the holidays, when I have time to devote to getting it dialed-in just right. The only thing is, if I were going to bail on it, I'd love to let someone who got royally screwed by Dell get mine in time to make someone's Xmas.
Wanna try and convince me it's not as troublesome as it seems?