Official Ceton Echo Extender Info Thread - Page 55 - AVS Forum
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post #1621 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

If I'm not mistaken Windows Media Connect is the part of Windows that does the transcoding. I think I remember reading that it's part of the WMP software.

That's what it sounds like. I didn't test it extensively, but it did seem to work on all but the highest bit-rate videos. I wonder whether a more powerful computer would help. The big problem is it seems to transcode too aggressively. The video quality is pretty bad.
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post #1622 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

That's what it sounds like. I didn't test it extensively, but it did seem to work on all but the highest bit-rate videos. I wonder whether a more powerful computer would help. The big problem is it seems to transcode too aggressively. The video quality is pretty bad.

Completely agree. When i first got an Xbox back in 2010 I tried using WMC immediately to watch my Avatar bluray on it. That is a really high bitrate movie and I downmixed it to regular DTS when I created the MKV.

At first I thought my router was the problem - that it was a bottleneck. But now that I know more about how they all play together I know that it is transcoding the video (because the video looks like its 240p, the cpu is maxed out, and the video stops as if it were buffering) and also the audio (because I know DTS is not supported on the 360).

I gave up on that later got a 2100 and a Logitech Revue in my bedroom. I am hoping to replace the pair with an Echo.

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post #1623 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 08:07 AM
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How did the 2100 perform? (It's an extender isn't it?)

Wondering if a GPU helps with transcoding in WMC for delivery to the extender (Echo)?

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post #1624 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
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2100 does live tv great but that's about it.

for starters, the interface is very jerky. no fluid transitions between menus. the cd waterfall stutters down. not really a big deal.

in terms of video files it is much more limited than the 360. it can do all the formats common five years ago - divx/xvid based avi files and mpeg2 dvd remuxes as well as wmv. it will choke and freeze on mkv, h264, vc1, etc.

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post #1625 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

for starters, the interface is very jerky.

turning off menu animations helps this.
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post #1626 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

I actually posted a thread here asking about it, and got no response. I find it pretty strange that no one seems to understand this functionality. I can hardly find any articles online. I've been using WMC for ages and never knew anything about this.

I actually saw that thread and it is part of what I read when I posted earlier today.

It would seem that whatever splitters and filters you have running would be the ones used for WMC to the extender. The thing with MPC-HC is that it loads LAV and then unloads LAV when done (I think) because when I was trying to load LAV in WMC it broke LiveTV. Right now I get glorious HD Audio and 1080p 23.976 playback for movies and it switches back to DD5.1 or Stereo at 1080i/720p 59/60 for LiveTV. This is working perfectly and I don't want to screw it up by messing with the codecs that WMC is using for playback. My hope is that MB/MPC-HC with LAV will work through the extension to the Echo. If it does, I'm golden!

As soon as my Echo arrives I'm going to find out. The thing is that I am gone long hours for work and don't have much time during the week so if Ceton would be so kind as to have Saturday delivery for my beta I can get started on it this weekend rather than next.

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post #1627 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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To my understanding, installing something like the shark codec pack tricks windows into thinking mkv is a natively supported windows format.

I would be willing to create a number of short video clips for someone to test on an Echo. Different combinations of mkv, mp4, avi, h264, vc1, xvid, truehd, dts, flac, etc etc. I can cut them out of some of my movie collection and post them on my web space for someone to download and test.

If somebody participating in the beta would want to work on that with me let me know.

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post #1628 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 08:33 AM
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That sounds good. Probably easier than loading whole 20GB movies each time. Where's your webspace located?

I did the Shark thing and broke LiveTV. Maybe I did something wrong but the solution I have now works well and I think better than the native WMC player in which you cannot choose your renderer (MadVR for example). Loading th codecs for mkv and HD Audio into WMC is what breaks LiveTV but if the extender recognizes MB, etc, I'm golden!

EDIT: The Shark Codecs don't trick WMC into anything. They change the codecs used in the Windows Registry. When there's something unexpected in the registry, WMC chokes on LiveTV. I'm pretty sure this is part of the DRM.

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post #1629 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

2100 does live tv great

If you stick to 720p and stereo audio, I'd agree. Like I posted earlier, my experience with the DMA2100 about a year ago is that 1080p stutters occasionally (not 29/59 related), and 5.1 audio produces occasional reproducible glitches that don't occur when using the PC directly or when using the Xbox 360 as extender. When I googled the stuttering, I found prior discussions about this. I had the DMA2100 and Xbox at the same time so could flip back and forth on the same recordings. I got rid of the DMA2100 for these reasons and the Xbox 360 Slim because of its multiple noisy fans and ridiculously directional IR receiver. On the plus side, the DMA2100 did play my worst 29/59 clips flawlessly, a unique capability which truly boggled my mind.
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post #1630 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Just got my google wallet invoice and it is paid for!

Did you have the option to purchase more then one?

My email must be broken, I haven't received mine yet rolleyes.gif

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post #1631 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 08:59 AM
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No. Only one. I got the email before noon PDT yesterday.

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post #1632 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by tima94930 View Post

If you stick to 720p and stereo audio, I'd agree. Like I posted earlier, my experience with the DMA2100 about a year ago is that 1080p stutters occasionally (not 29/59 related), and 5.1 audio produces occasional reproducible glitches that don't occur when using the PC directly or when using the Xbox 360 as extender. When I googled the stuttering, I found prior discussions about this. I had the DMA2100 and Xbox at the same time so could flip back and forth on the same recordings. I got rid of the DMA2100 for these reasons and the Xbox 360 Slim because of its multiple noisy fans and ridiculously directional IR receiver. On the plus side, the DMA2100 did play my worst 29/59 clips flawlessly, a unique capability which truly boggled my mind.

We have a mix of 2100 and 2200 and had them for a few years now. But, we only have 1 big TV where 1080p may be noticeable over 720p. All other TV's are a mix of 24" 22", and 19" TV's. So, yeah, if you have an 80" TV and a dedicated 7.1 audio system in every room, then you probably need for the extender to support 1080p and fancy sound. For the the poor people like me, it works well, very well might I add. It does live and recorded TV, plays all of the videos in our digital library (mostly DIVX and XVID) which are compressed to save space. Partly because the collection process started in the 90's when hard drive storage prices were prohibitive to retain raw rips of DVD's, and some of the movies were never made in HD.

Some of the stutter may had to do with availability of resources. Microsoft recommends 1 CPU core and 1 Gb of RAM per TV connected to the system. So, if you have a TV at the HTPC, and XBOX and 2100 then you need a minimum of triple core CPU with 3 Gb of RAM.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #1633 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

T... The Shark Codecs don't trick WMC into anything. They change the codecs used in the Windows Registry. When there's something unexpected in the registry, WMC chokes on LiveTV. I'm pretty sure this is part of the DRM.

I don't think it does have anything to do with DRM. I have 7MC runnig in VM, so I can roll back any updates that aren't working. Anyway I installed Shark last night will watching TV on the xbox. The video stuttered for 10-15 seconds an dthen picked up and was fine. I rebooted the VM and checked everything out and it still worked fine. I think if DRM was messed with Playready would balk and no video would play.

That being said, ther still is a bi rate limitation of ~20mb/sec. with the xbox from what I see. I tried an MKV made with MakeMKV (Avengers BD) and it started to play and then quikly crapped out. But MKV's made from DVD's work fine and still index on the chapters. The DTS lights up on my receiver as well. But nothing happened with the BD MKV. Which makes sense based on what I have read so far.

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post #1634 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by skybolt View Post

Did you have the option to purchase more then one?
My email must be broken, I haven't received mine yet rolleyes.gif
Note: I had asked for two, and told that I was accepted for that, but I also received only one in the Google Wallet email.

Next question: how can we track the shipment? Has anyone heard anything about that?

My guess, since they said it would ship within two days, is that the first shipments are going out Monday.

--Dean L. Surkin
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post #1635 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 10:18 AM
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And maybe the other one will go out in a successive wave?

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post #1636 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by skybolt View Post

I don't think it does have anything to do with DRM. I have 7MC runnig in VM, so I can roll back any updates that aren't working. Anyway I installed Shark last night will watching TV on the xbox. The video stuttered for 10-15 seconds an dthen picked up and was fine. I rebooted the VM and checked everything out and it still worked fine. I think if DRM was messed with Playready would balk and no video would play.
That being said, ther still is a bi rate limitation of ~20mb/sec. with the xbox from what I see. I tried an MKV made with MakeMKV (Avengers BD) and it started to play and then quikly crapped out. But MKV's made from DVD's work fine and still index on the chapters. The DTS lights up on my receiver as well. But nothing happened with the BD MKV. Which makes sense based on what I have read so far.

I'm not talking about playback through an extender. When I messed with the codecs in WMC I got the "Video file not supported" or whatever it was error with the HTPC connected directly to my AVR/HDTV.

With my current set up I am not having that problem but I don't use the WMC player for BD rips to mkv. I only use it for LiveTV playback with the native codecs so the native player to an extender won't have the right splitters or codecs for mkv or dts audio.

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post #1637 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

Some of the stutter may had to do with availability of resources. Microsoft recommends 1 CPU core and 1 Gb of RAM per TV connected to the system. So, if you have a TV at the HTPC, and XBOX and 2100 then you need a minimum of triple core CPU with 3 Gb of RAM.

I have an i5 750 system (4 cores) with 12 GB RAM and a Gbit network using SSD for boot drive and dedicated media HDs, and I wasn't even using the Xbox 360 and DMA2100 simultaneously; like I said, I was flipping between them. Also like I said, the DMA2100 had several problems neither the HTPC nor Xbox had on the exact same recordings. Based on my experience, I can't recommend the DMA2100 for anything beyond 720p stereo output, because it was glitchy at 1080p and when using 5.1 audio irrrespective of video output mode, as I described. (In general, it is a good assumption that I exhaust troubleshooting possibilities and don't try to eke out performance on the edge of reasonableness. I don't overclock, install codec packs, etc; never have. I'm very conservative when it comes to my computer and stability.)
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post #1638 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I'm not talking about playback through an extender. When I messed with the codecs in WMC I got the "Video file not supported" or whatever it was error with the HTPC connected directly to my AVR/HDTV.
With my current set up I am not having that problem but I don't use the WMC player for BD rips to mkv. I only use it for LiveTV playback with the native codecs so the native player to an extender won't have the right splitters or codecs for mkv or dts audio.

I keep forgetting people mostly use WMC hooked directly to thier TV. I am so use to SageTv and extenders that I really don't see a PC hooked to my tv as an option anymore. So yeah, I totaly see your point from TGB as well, now.

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post #1639 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by tima94930 View Post

I have an i5 750 system (4 cores) with 12 GB RAM and a Gbit network using SSD for boot drive and dedicated media HDs, and I wasn't even using the Xbox 360 and DMA2100 simultaneously; like I said, I was flipping between them. Also like I said, the DMA2100 had several problems neither the HTPC nor Xbox had on the exact same recordings. Based on my experience, I can't recommend the DMA2100 for anything beyond 720p stereo output, because it was glitchy at 1080p and when using 5.1 audio irrrespective of video output mode, as I described. (In general, it is a good assumption that I exhaust troubleshooting possibilities and don't try to eke out performance on the edge of reasonableness. I don't overclock, install codec packs, etc; never have. I'm very conservative when it comes to my computer and stability.)


I agree with this. I have two TV's that currently have a DMA2100 attached to them. They both are only 720p and it works great for Live and Recorded TV. If you try to throw anything like an MKV, MP4, etc. the video playback is lacking. That being said, I will not replace either of these DMA2100's with the Ceton Echo strictly for the lack for Netflix. I am accepted in the beta but will cancel it unless I hear of Netflix support now or in the near future. I am sure I am not the only one.
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post #1640 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 12:28 PM
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I am accepted in the beta but will cancel it unless I hear of Netflix support now or in the near future. I am sure I am not the only one.

It's such a shame that not one of Apple, Western Digital, etc has seen fit to add WMC extender capabilities, or even to implement their own DVR software using the PC for storage and tuner support. I guess Microsoft is to CableLabs as Nixon was to China.
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post #1641 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by phimoore View Post

I agree with this. I have two TV's that currently have a DMA2100 attached to them. They both are only 720p and it works great for Live and Recorded TV. If you try to throw anything like an MKV, MP4, etc. the video playback is lacking. That being said, I will not replace either of these DMA2100's with the Ceton Echo strictly for the lack for Netflix. I am accepted in the beta but will cancel it unless I hear of Netflix support now or in the near future. I am sure I am not the only one.

You currently have the DMA2100 extender but it doesn't support netflix through WMC? I have never used an extender before IDK, but I thought it was a DRM'd remote desktop device that duplicated everthing on the host computer's WMC. Is this not the case?

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post #1642 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

You currently have the DMA2100 extender but it doesn't support netflix through WMC? I have never used an extender before IDK, but I thought it was a DRM'd remote desktop device that duplicated everthing on the host computer's WMC. Is this not the case?

Sadly no. Once upon a time it worked but DRM satan decided it was bad.

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post #1643 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 12:53 PM
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No extender currently supports Netflix through Windows Media Center. The Echo was supposed to change that, but it seems that's no longer the case.

the Xbox can do netflix, but not through the WMC menu. you have to exit to the Xbox menu and pay the Xbox live "tax" for the privilege.
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post #1644 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 12:56 PM
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Dumb question, but why is Netflix on WMC such a big deal? I see the appeal of having everything on one device. But there are a million netflix streaming devices out there that do a lot better job than WMC. It's even built into a lot of TVs. Isn't it just as easy to open it on another device? And if it is a big deal, just get a universal remote.

I thought the Echo was a WMC extender, not a magic box that's supposed to do everything imaginable. What am I missing?
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post #1645 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 01:03 PM
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Dumb question, but why is Netflix on WMC such a big deal?

It's the wife & kids factor.. Everything on 1 device, accessed through the same menus with the same remote.. Wives don't like to switch inputs.. it confuses them biggrin.gif
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post #1646 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 01:03 PM
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I feel the same way about netflix. As a matter of fact I had netflix in 1997 when I got my first DVD player. Back then it was pay for what you rent. When they went to the current subscription model I cancelled. Then I got a Blu-ray player in 2008 and it had a f/w update that brought in netflix streaming. That novelty wore off too and I cancelled again. The quality of their content is not up to par no matter what player you use because of bandwidth. A lot of people like netflix but I am not one of them. I am obviously a take it or leave it type person with netflix as I've taken it and left it twice now. I want the Echo as a WMC extender for LiveTV first and then playback from my vast library. Internet access is meh, I have a phone, a laptop two pc's and an HTPC for that so it isn't really neccesary. Access to netflix is way down on the list. I think the Echo will work out perfectly for me.

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post #1647 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by dexter999 View Post

It's the wife & kids factor.. Everything on 1 device, accessed through the same menus with the same remote.. Wives don't like to switch inputs.. it confuses them biggrin.gif

That's what Harmony remotes are for.

That said I have everything on one device.. The HTPC. The Blu-ray player is connected to my AVR but hardly ever gets used anymore.

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post #1648 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 01:05 PM
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for me, the main reason for having a htpc (or a system that uses extenders in my case) is one device does everything. if I need another box, it is defeating this purpose.
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post #1649 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

You currently have the DMA2100 extender but it doesn't support netflix through WMC? I have never used an extender before IDK, but I thought it was a DRM'd remote desktop device that duplicated everthing on the host computer's WMC. Is this not the case?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xnappo View Post

Sadly no. Once upon a time it worked but DRM satan decided it was bad.
xnappo

So netflix once worked but then it didn't because of DRM bs?

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post #1650 of 7721 Old 10-12-2012, 01:15 PM
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... the DMA2100 extender but it doesn't support netflix through WMC? I have never used an extender before IDK, but I thought it was a DRM'd remote desktop device that duplicated everthing on the host computer's WMC. Is this not the case?

No internet TV either. It only duplicates some of the features, basically connect to your WMC with remote desktop and what ever doesn't show up htere will not show up on the extender. If you have never done this before, you will see Netflix and Internet Tv will not show up. You have to log off and then back on to reclaim them.

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