Official Ceton Echo Extender Info Thread - Page 127 - AVS Forum
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post #3781 of 7721 Old 12-01-2012, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post

Then they need start working on their Q with their onw stuff first. Echo is just a terminal, not the main content server. It is possible, with a company like TiVo. Not sure if Ceton has the financial means to get into TiVo business. Remember, you can't use any MS stuff now if you are going to do it yourself.
Not exactly correct. You can still use PlayReady as long as you can afford to pay the licensing costs. Basically, protected cablecard content must be recorded using one of the CableLabs approved DRM schemes. IIRC, there are only three that are approved:

  1. PlayReady (Microsoft DRM used by Media Center)
  2. DTC-IP
  3. Helix DRM

They could still license PlayReady and use it in their own system. I proposed something similar not too long ago:

Create a "black-box" application that will play PlayReady protected content that could be controlled by any application. The black-box app would take care of the protected playback path but would expose methods for Play, Pause, Record, etc that could be called by any application (the goal in mind was F/OSS apps like NextPVR and MediaPortal). It could also be extended to stream the protected content across a network that could be decoded by "extenders". Eric (of Ceton) said that he might be willing to pitch the idea for Ceton to financially back a project like that for F/OSS but they could easily sell the application for commercial apps (like JRiver) to be able to incorporate it as well.

If I ever get the time, I plan of creating a proof of concept for the black box app but right now my time is very limited for F/OSS programming. Gotta make sure the bills are paid first. cool.gif

Edit:

I should have read the rest of the thread. Ben beat me to it.
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post #3782 of 7721 Old 12-01-2012, 10:01 AM
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DRM is just one thing. They need to write something like WMC and sign up with some EPG to support their own extenders.
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post #3783 of 7721 Old 12-01-2012, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by bdraw View Post

But given the unknown future of CableCARD by the FCC -- a replacement was supposed to be implemented this month -- it is not a good time for any company to invest in the platform.
The FCC just granted a waiver for another 2 years to give cable time to implement this with DLNA, which has been poorly done so far. In other words, keep kicking the can down the road and hope that third party devices go away, because we're not going to set or enforce a standard.

Sad, really - we should already have an open IP access standard for all providers, not just cable.
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post #3784 of 7721 Old 12-01-2012, 10:18 AM
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I don't know anything about a "replacement" type of cablecard (do I have that right?). Even if a replacement was available tomorrow, this doesn't necessarily mean end of support of existing cablecards - I'd imagine at least another 5-10 years before they'd be EOL. Heck, a new device just adds to the product roadmap, so not necessarily a bad thing.
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post #3785 of 7721 Old 12-01-2012, 10:21 AM
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A replacement FOR Cablecard via an IP standard, which may or may not be done via some sort of cable home gateway to tune channels and send them out on your LAN via IP. But you're right, Cablecard is not going away for a very long time. After all it's already been deployed in millions of cable STBs because of the FCC mandate. And a few hundred thousand more for the enlightened folks like us. biggrin.gif
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post #3786 of 7721 Old 12-01-2012, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizziwig View Post

Also, the images of the motherboard confirm that it doesn't use an external HDMI transmitter. The one built into the Freescale i.mx6 does not support 59.940 or 23.976 fps timing. Nothing they do in firmware will fix duplicate frames every 16 or 42 seconds on such content. Not everyone is sensitive to this issue but it's definitely not acceptable for videophiles - especially at this price point.

I know that you said this before, but where did you read this information? Do you have a direct link? I'd like to read that.

Interlaced material is usually 59.940, right? So there's no way to get around the frame repeats if it is baked into the hardware then. This is why I use a discrete GPU in my HTPC but for me the echo is planned for less "videophile" locations such as the kitchen and bedroom.

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post #3787 of 7721 Old 12-01-2012, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

A replacement FOR Cablecard via an IP standard, which may or may not be done via some sort of cable home gateway to tune channels and send them out on your LAN via IP. But you're right, Cablecard is not going away for a very long time. After all it's already been deployed in millions of cable STBs because of the FCC mandate. And a few hundred thousand more for the enlightened folks like us. biggrin.gif

Yup that is a capital investment for the cable companies for sure but with their exorbitant equipment fees, err taxes, they should be getting a pretty quick return on that investment so it is maybe three years before they don't care about it and want to move on to something else.

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post #3788 of 7721 Old 12-01-2012, 11:24 AM
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i'm not on these forums enough, i lurk maybe once every couple of months and post maybe once a year if that, but i remember that a few people from Ceton were regular contributors around here...

what are they saying about this the echo problems ? and overall, has anyone heard when the next firmware push is coming and what it's supposed to address ?
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post #3789 of 7721 Old 12-01-2012, 06:12 PM
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Mine arrived yesterday and i was only able to boot into the media center once before the unit froze. Now it is stuck at "recovering" and cant get past it. So far their troublehooting steps have failed to get itout of this bricked state. I never got to the point of being able to use this so cant even provide a review. Cetainly hope all these isues get fixed or a lot of these things are going back...
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post #3790 of 7721 Old 12-01-2012, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I know that you said this before, but where did you read this information? Do you have a direct link? I'd like to read that.
Interlaced material is usually 59.940, right? So there's no way to get around the frame repeats if it is baked into the hardware then. This is why I use a discrete GPU in my HTPC but for me the echo is planned for less "videophile" locations such as the kitchen and bedroom.

It would be pretty obvious for anyone who bothered to run those 59.94/60.0 fps video test clips I posted earlier in this thread.

I don't have the Echo but was considering the i.mx6 for another hardware project I've been working on. I disqualified it after learning of the poor video output support.

My information is based on looking at the Linux kernel source code and the hardware reference manual available from Freescale website.

Page 1507 – section 33.2.6.1 : CTS Calculation. They do not support any of the pixel clocks that require 1.001 scaling: 60/1.001 = 59.940, 24/1.001=23.976, etc. When you look at the relevant kernel source where they setup the CTS and N scaling factors, you will see that they only support 148.5 Mhz and 74.25 Mhz clocks.

FYI, the Freescale website also contains full source code to build an Android image. Assuming Ceton did not lock the bootloader, anyone could build and install Android for the Echo and boot it from a USB flash drive. It would probably require some debugging as each i.mx6 motherboard may need a custom configuration.
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post #3791 of 7721 Old 12-01-2012, 08:56 PM
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So my Echo arrives DOA from Newegg and I have to pay for it to be shipped back??? That's some BS!

Eric
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post #3792 of 7721 Old 12-01-2012, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by eric859 View Post

So my Echo arrives DOA from Newegg and I have to pay for it to be shipped back??? That's some BS!

If you purchased it at a retail store would you expect them to send a limo? smile.gif
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post #3793 of 7721 Old 12-01-2012, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizziwig View Post

It would be pretty obvious for anyone who bothered to run those 59.94/60.0 fps video test clips I posted earlier in this thread.
I don't have the Echo but was considering the i.mx6 for another hardware project I've been working on. I disqualified it after learning of the poor video output support.
My information is based on looking at the Linux kernel source code and the hardware reference manual available from Freescale website.
Page 1507 – section 33.2.6.1 : CTS Calculation. They do not support any of the pixel clocks that require 1.001 scaling: 60/1.001 = 59.940, 24/1.001=23.976, etc. When you look at the relevant kernel source where they setup the CTS and N scaling factors, you will see that they only support 148.5 Mhz and 74.25 Mhz clocks.
FYI, the Freescale website also contains full source code to build an Android image. Assuming Ceton did not lock the bootloader, anyone could build and install Android for the Echo and boot it from a USB flash drive. It would probably require some debugging as each i.mx6 motherboard may need a custom configuration.

I guess I don't understand the conversions from pixel clock to frame rate.

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post #3794 of 7721 Old 12-01-2012, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by eric859 View Post

So my Echo arrives DOA from Newegg and I have to pay for it to be shipped back??? That's some BS!

Open a chat with support and ask that they send you a shipping label. That you didn't pay for a broken device. They've always did it when I asked. I don't see why they won't unless they are looking to save every penny now a days.
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post #3795 of 7721 Old 12-01-2012, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Wizziwig View Post

It would be pretty obvious for anyone who bothered to run those 59.94/60.0 fps video test clips I posted earlier in this thread.
I don't have the Echo but was considering the i.mx6 for another hardware project I've been working on. I disqualified it after learning of the poor video output support.
My information is based on looking at the Linux kernel source code and the hardware reference manual available from Freescale website.
Page 1507 – section 33.2.6.1 : CTS Calculation. They do not support any of the pixel clocks that require 1.001 scaling: 60/1.001 = 59.940, 24/1.001=23.976, etc. When you look at the relevant kernel source where they setup the CTS and N scaling factors, you will see that they only support 148.5 Mhz and 74.25 Mhz clocks.
FYI, the Freescale website also contains full source code to build an Android image. Assuming Ceton did not lock the bootloader, anyone could build and install Android for the Echo and boot it from a USB flash drive. It would probably require some debugging as each i.mx6 motherboard may need a custom configuration.

This doesn't sound good at all.

How does Microsoft license MCX? Is it based on the device, or the manufacturer? Another words, is the design of the Echo pretty much set in stone from a hardware perspective, or can they change it up? I'm just curious if there will ever be a new and improved echo or if this is the last media center extender that will ever be made lol
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post #3796 of 7721 Old 12-02-2012, 12:26 AM
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I feel bad for everyone here who are echo innovators and early abopters. We had several issues with some of the early InfiniTV 4 firmware images including crashes and reboots of the cards. It took quite a bit of noise making on the forums to get ceton to take action and put out stable firmware. I'm probably banned from their beta programs for life smile.gif

I don't ever plan on owning an echo but I do feel confident that if the problems can be fixed with a firmware update, ceton will eventually get the echo working flawlessly.

I can tell you that my InfinTV 4 is rock solid now with newer firmware. No more InfiniTV reboots, no more crashes that I've been able to detect. No missed recordings. No having to reboot my PC because the card stopped responding. I'm happy to say that I'm running entirely on my ceton infinitv 4 for encrytped content along with 2 hdhomerun atsc dual tuners and a 6+ year old USB Pinnacle pctv hd pro stick for OTA content.
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post #3797 of 7721 Old 12-02-2012, 04:49 AM
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Does anyone know if the Ceton extender is US only, or will it be available (and work) worldwide? I'm in the UK, and am very interested in this as well.
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post #3798 of 7721 Old 12-02-2012, 06:53 AM
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I purchased 2 and neither work. One powers on but won't display anything and the other continuously locks up. Its extremely disappointing. To get 2 bad items in one order. On top of that, Newegg wants $15 to return them for replacement. So far not a good experience.
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post #3799 of 7721 Old 12-02-2012, 08:24 AM
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I'd open up a support ticket with Ceton for each one of them. Ceton will probably exchange them and pay return shipping if they can't fix them via tech support. Newegg is just the middle man and has to deal with shipping and restocking issues so they have to charge some fees to maintain a profit margin.
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post #3800 of 7721 Old 12-02-2012, 09:13 AM
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I put in a ticket last night with Ceton, just waiting to hear back. Ill try both routes, but still...its a bit unsettling to have 2 in one order that aren't working.
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post #3801 of 7721 Old 12-02-2012, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by diablo3305 View Post

I purchased 2 and neither work. One powers on but won't display anything and the other continuously locks up. Its extremely disappointing. To get 2 bad items in one order. On top of that, Newegg wants $15 to return them for replacement. So far not a good experience.

Out of curiosity did both of these take an update when you first set them up or did only one of them update?

Can you describe the "locking up" behavior? When and with what configuration?

I think having some more detail can help future owners and also perhaps help Ceton get the kinks out.
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post #3802 of 7721 Old 12-02-2012, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by tman247 View Post

Does anyone know if the Ceton extender is US only, or will it be available (and work) worldwide? I'm in the UK, and am very interested in this as well.

A few beta testers were in the UK. They will be available in Europe probably early next year. They are working on getting 50fps working well.

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post #3803 of 7721 Old 12-02-2012, 10:09 AM
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Every time the echo starts, it causes the ASUS SmartDoctor on the PC to start. If SmartDoctor is already running on the PC it pops up a box that tells me it's already running. Anyone have a clue why this is happening? I know it isn't being caused by the remote control because it also happens when the echo crashes and restarts itself.
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post #3804 of 7721 Old 12-02-2012, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken.F View Post

Every time the echo starts, it causes the ASUS SmartDoctor on the PC to start. If SmartDoctor is already running on the PC it pops up a box that tells me it's already running. Anyone have a clue why this is happening? I know it isn't being caused by the remote control because it also happens when the echo crashes and restarts itself.

I have an ASUS GT-430 in my HTPC but haven't seen this happening. Sorry I can't help but maybe it is a driver conflict?

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post #3805 of 7721 Old 12-02-2012, 01:03 PM
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SmartDoctor is starting itself up just after the Windows Media Center splash screen appears on the TV. At the same time I get an explorer window pop up on the TV. The explorer window is only visible for a split second before it disappears. I had to turn off and re-start the echo several times to get a look at it. The window contents is solid black, the title bar is grey, and the window title says taskeng.exe.
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post #3806 of 7721 Old 12-02-2012, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcr6419 View Post

I feel bad for everyone here who are echo innovators and early abopters. We had several issues with some of the early firmware images including crashes and reboots of the cards. It took quite a bit of noise making on the forums to get ceton to take action and put out stable firmware. I'm probably banned from their beta programs for life smile.gif
I don't ever plan on owning an echo but I do feel confident that if the problems can be fixed with a firmware update, ceton will eventually get the echo working flawlessly.
I can tell you that my InfinTV 4 is rock solid now with newer firmware. No more InfiniTV reboots, no more crashes that I've been able to detect. No missed recordings. No having to reboot my PC because the card stopped responding. I'm happy to say that I'm running entirely on my ceton infinitv 4 for encrytped content along with 2 hdhomerun atsc dual tuners and a 6+ year old USB Pinnacle pctv hd pro stick for OTA content.

Being an early adopter for a new product that is not ready for prime-time is tough. Ceton has done this in the past as your post illustrates. I am looking forward to getting the Echo but not until it is ready for trouble free everyday use. The wife and family members want something that just works without issue, so do I. smile.gif
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post #3807 of 7721 Old 12-02-2012, 01:42 PM
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I've had an InfiniTV4 since the very first production run was distributed back in August of 2010. It's been trouble-free from day one. The only major issue I ever had with it were resolved using the low-pass filter due to MOCA issues with FIOS. I did experience some minor playback problems with the earlier firmware versions, but Ceton took care of them in short order.

The problem with manufacturing computer components is that there will always be some hardware configurations that wreak havoc with any given device. It's impossible to predict every possible scenario or hardware configuration until you get feedback from the customer. Once you find out what the problem is there's usually a simple fix, patch, or workaround to take care of it. I have a feeling that Ceton had a fiscal responsibility to get the Echo out to the public in time for the Christmas season. I think they took a gamble that they'd be able to fix the major issues in time for the Echo to go on sale publicly. It's clear that they definitely still have a lot of work to do. We'll just have to wait and see how long it takes them to get things turned around before it comes back and bites them in the butt.
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post #3808 of 7721 Old 12-02-2012, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken.F View Post

SmartDoctor is starting itself up just after the Windows Media Center splash screen appears on the TV. At the same time I get an explorer window pop up on the TV. The explorer window is only visible for a split second before it disappears. I had to turn off and re-start the echo several times to get a look at it. The window contents is solid black, the title bar is grey, and the window title says taskeng.exe.

I haven't used SmartDoctor (or know what it is for that matter) - but, is that app somehow attaching itself to a startup folder (or via registry) per user on the machine? It almost sounds like the extender account has that as part of it's startup routine.
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post #3809 of 7721 Old 12-02-2012, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by tgrinch View Post

I haven't used SmartDoctor (or know what it is for that matter) - but, is that app somehow attaching itself to a startup folder (or via registry) per user on the machine? It almost sounds like the extender account has that as part of it's startup routine.
It's an app that allows you to overclock and monitor the GT430 video card. I don't overclock but I do use it for keeping an eye on the graphics card temperature. Ever since I installed that card the InfiniTV 4 started running a bit warm.
SmartDoctor isn't in my startup folder but it does start when I log in. I guess that means it's in the registry somewhere? I found taskeng.exe in my C:\Windows\System 32 folder. It doesn't seem to do anything when I try to manually run it on the PC. The file properties details tab says it's the task scheduler engine.
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post #3810 of 7721 Old 12-02-2012, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken.F View Post

It's an app that allows you to overclock and monitor the GT430 video card. I don't overclock but I do use it for keeping an eye on the graphics card temperature. Ever since I installed that card the InfiniTV 4 started running a bit warm.
SmartDoctor isn't in my startup folder but it does start when I log in. I guess that means it's in the registry somewhere? I found taskeng.exe in my C:\Windows\System 32 folder. It doesn't seem to do anything when I try to manually run it on the PC. The file properties details tab says it's the task scheduler engine.
Double check the contents of your "all users" startup folder:

Vista / Windows 7: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

XP and older: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

These folders contain items that will startup for any user that logs in. There's also a separate startup folder for each user.
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