THE SPECS on a new HD media player. - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 19 Old 09-25-2010, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Opinion on these specs please. What's good, what's not? What's it missing, and would you buy one for around $89 ?

Here are the specs

Manufacturer Specifications

Primary Function: 1080P HD Media Player
Chipset: Boxchip F10
HDMI Output Resolution: NTSC, PAL, 480p, 720p 50/60 Hz, 1080i 50/60 Hz, 1080p 50/60 Hz
Aspect Ratio: 4:3, 16:9, Auto
Supported VIDEO Formats:
- .avi, .vob, .dat, .iso, .mkv, .mov, .mp4, .mpg, .mpeg, .ts, .m2ts, .m2t, .wmv, .rm, .rmvb .flv
Supported VIDEO Codecs:
- mpeg 1/2/4, xvid, divx, h.263, h.264, wmv9, vc-1, rmvb
Supported AUDIO Formats:
- .mp3, .wma, .ogg , .flac, .wav, .pcm, .aac, .rm, .ra
Supported AUDIO Codecs:
- .acc, .ac3, .atra, .ape, .dts, .flac, .ogg, .mp3, wma, wma pro
Supported PHOTO Formats:
-.JPG, .JPEG, .BMP, .GIF, .PNG, .TIFF
Supported Subtitles: utf8, ass, ssa, acsii, sub, srt
Connections:
-Analog Audio/Video IN (Red, Yellow, White)
-HDMI 1.3
-VGA
-USB 2.0
-SD card slot
-DC IN 5.5V/1.5A
OS Languages: English, Chinese
Power: AC 100 to 240V, Output 12V 3A
Remote Controller: Yes
Dimensions: 140(L) x 90(W) x 25(H) mm

Package Contents

Media Player
Remote Controller
AV Cable
Power Cable
USB Cable
English Manual
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post #2 of 19 Old 09-25-2010, 11:18 AM
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What is the interface like? Does it support AAC audio, 24p, NFS shares, 802.11n WiFi, online radio streaming & video podcasts? If so, it would sound like a great machine. Netflix streaming would be bonus, too (USA and Canada).
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post #3 of 19 Old 09-25-2010, 01:52 PM
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BluRay menus (lite or full)?
MKV chapters?

There's a saying about "everything in moderation". If only it was applied to well, you know...
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post #4 of 19 Old 09-25-2010, 03:44 PM
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Looks like a copy-paste from here...

http://www.chinavasion.com/hdd-media...-media-player/

No network kills it for me.
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post #5 of 19 Old 09-25-2010, 04:27 PM
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The Boxchip F10 is meant for portable media players and not serious media streamers. It can't play Blu-Ray bit rate media files.

I am quite sure that the decode on this chip is powered by Chips&Media. All the issues I have outlined in this thread are going to be applicable to this product too. My advice: For $89, you are better off looking for a Realtek / Sigma Designs chipset based device.

Ganesh T S
Sr. Editor, AnandTech Inc.
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post #6 of 19 Old 09-25-2010, 07:54 PM
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At the price I'm fine that it doesn't support BD, etc ... but what makes it stand out in the price range?

At this point the specs seem par for the course in the range, so it would need something special to stand out. Good enough means irrelevancy at this point. It would need either an impressive UI, or support for web-based content.
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post #7 of 19 Old 09-27-2010, 06:58 AM
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F10 can be the basis of a good solid product, though this one in the OP seems to be a basic reference design player.

Our Micca Slim-HD is F10 based but it has an internal 2.5" drive bay, is portable, with customized hardware/firmware. As a portable player, it doesn't provide the same level of raw decoding power of a Realtek or Sigma player, but those players aren't very portable. Just like notebook computers tend not to have as powerful processors as desktops.

That said, what's there is plenty powerful. We've never had any issues with the Slim-HD playing high quality 1080p MKVs at up to 20mbps, and we figure that covers the 95%+ potential uses of a portable player. Bit-rates higher than that depends on the material and compression method. I've seen 40mbps videos played back smoothly and ones that did not. And the image quality is good, so I think it works really well connected to a home theater too.

Slim-HD Pictures and Specifications

Edit: One of the pictures in the link above shows the Slim-HD playing a 30mbps TrueHD trailer. It was only a short demo trailer, but the Slim-HD plays it back smoothly and with sound.

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post #8 of 19 Old 09-27-2010, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DraZtiK View Post

Looks like a copy-paste from here...

http://www.chinavasion.com/hdd-media...-media-player/

No network kills it for me.

Yes, an exact copy. Not only is there no network capability, there is no external HDD capability. It is meant only for USB thumb-drives or SD memory card held content. And the price is $41.

So no, I wouldn't pay $80 for it and in fact I wouldn't pay $40 for it because it has no utility for me.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #9 of 19 Old 09-27-2010, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack@Micca View Post

F10 can be the basis of a good solid product, though this one in the OP seems to be a basic reference design player.

That said, what's there is plenty powerful. We've never had any issues with the Slim-HD playing high quality 1080p MKVs at up to 20mbps, and we figure that covers the 95%+ potential uses of a portable player. Bit-rates higher than that depends on the material and compression method.

Jack, Are you sure that these players output 1080p over HDMI properly? I have seen and personally played with a number of units based on AMLogic / MStar / BoxChip / TeleChips, and they all have problems with output of 1080p clips over HDMI while decoding 1080p videos. So, you have a 720p clip which decodes fine and displays perfectly at 720p, and a 1080p clip which decodes fine and displays fine at 720p, but has lot of frame skips when displayed at 1080p. This is fundamentally an issue with DRAM bandwidth available for 2 operations (Decoding data fetch to feed the hardware decoder block + decoded video data fetch by HDMI controller).

By the way, if you want to clarify the specs for the Boxchip F10 based player on your website, refer to this post of mine in another thread. In the same thread, another poster has also confirmed my observations.

Ganesh T S
Sr. Editor, AnandTech Inc.
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post #10 of 19 Old 09-27-2010, 07:09 PM
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Jackmal,

Thanks for the info you provided, we do have access to fairly complete specifications of the F10 and benchmark data. Instead of listing out every possible container, video codec, and audio codec combination along with the associated max bitrate, we decided that it was less confusing for the user to provide one general bitrate range. In general, MKV/AVI/MP4/MOV at higher bitrate is very good, while TS and M2TS with H.264/VC1 and AC3/DTS is spec'd at 20mbps.

We do not see any skipped frames at 1080p with our Slim-HD. Our "test deck" includes some fairly difficult to decode BD rips. For detecting skips, we use BD rips of Apocalypto and 300. Apocalypto in particular, even though is in 24fps, has almost a documentary feel to it in terms of the apparent fluidity of motion, even in the opening action scenes. 300, of course, has a ton of slow-motion action, with enough grain to keep any decoder working overtime. Both are encoded as MKVs with DTS in the 15-18mbps range and we do not see any "jitters" or dropped frames with these videos.

Back a year ago when it was popular for some sellers to offer so called "720p/1080i" players, we recognized those as half-baked products that would bring nothing but aggravation to owners. Our stance is that if a media player claims to be 1080p capable, then it should play without issue vast majority (95%+) of the 1080p videos that a user would expect it to play, and not just the one or two showcase trailers that are looped at trade show demos.

Not all products based around a particular solution are the same, as those better known Realtek and Sigma player makers will agree. We invest a lot of effort into our hardware and firmware to make sure that the product delivers what is promised.

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post #11 of 19 Old 09-28-2010, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

I have seen and personally played with a number of units based on AMLogic / MStar / BoxChip / TeleChips

The Boxhip F10 is based on the Sochip SC9800 which is a completely different chip to the Telechips 8900/8901 that the HDX-Bone you link to uses. Similarly, I don't know which Amlogic / MStar chips you refer to but they are not the same..

I have struggled to find spec sheets but the MP4 player forums seem to think that the SC9800 is state of the art at the moment. A big advance from the 8900. Similarly, the Chinese forums I read have the SC9800 performance as level with the Realtek 1073 (and 1055, which it is more directly comparable to considering the lack of networking).

If you want, early next week I will send you an F10 based player for testing? PM me.

Also, these players are not really aimed at the typical readership of this forum! They are cheap and cheerful, much better than the player you find built into TVs / DVD players, but not up to demanding high bit-rate surround sound home theater use. In the UK the bestselling media player has been the Sumvision Cyclone Micro, poor format support, 720P only, no DTS/AC3, but priced at £25..
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post #12 of 19 Old 09-28-2010, 03:19 AM
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This is interesting From trade show reports (these are the ones which are not reported on mainstream news sites because they think it is unimportant), this company named Chips&Media claims to be the IP supplier (the IP refers to hardware decoder block which is a part of the silicon in the chip) for all the Shanzai chipsets. (We have no reason to doubt them).

As of Dec 2009, my observations hold true. However, I do see that this company has released a new IP BODA841, which claims to be Blu-Ray capable (but not 1080p60 capable). So, the SC9800 may be using this new IP.

All chips using this IP will have the same decode capabilities. Only the chip vendor might decide to enable or disable certain functions (like AVS decode).

The way these companies can differentiate is by providing more memory bandwidth than the competition (running DRAM at higher rate / increasing DRAM bus width). However, these portable players can't do either because of the power penalty. I have never analyzed players based on these chips in detail like I have done on the Realtek and Sigma ones. If there is some clip which doesn't play well on the HDX Bone (output to 1080p on TV), but does so on something based on the Boxchip F10 / SC9800, it would be very interesting and worth an additional look.

Edit: The differentiation may also be in the host processor used to control this IP. I believe the AmLogic ones use a ARC processor, while Telechips uses ARM11. In any case, these do not alter the core decode capabilities of the IP block.

Ganesh T S
Sr. Editor, AnandTech Inc.
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post #13 of 19 Old 09-28-2010, 09:04 AM
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Are you sure that Amlogic uses the same IP block from Chips&Media? The 8626H/8726H lacks support for VC-1, which is supported by the other leading Telechips/SoChip/Boxchip/Chinachip parts. Would Amlogic have disabled this to save on licensing?

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post #14 of 19 Old 09-28-2010, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack@Micca View Post

Are you sure that Amlogic uses the same IP block from Chips&Media? The 8626H/8726H lacks support for VC-1, which is supported by the other leading Telechips/SoChip/Boxchip/Chinachip parts. Would Amlogic have disabled this to save on licensing?

It is very difficult to find PR contacts at these Chinese companies. So, I am unable to confirm that Chips&Media is being used in AmLogic. Licensing VC-1 might be an issue (or it might be some sort of deal that was struck with Chips&Media as part of their IP licensing).

What I have definite info about is the pricing strategy of Chips&Media. For every piece of silicon with their IP in it, they charge only US $0.05 per chip sold (and this is when they sell to US companies / for Asian companies, it could possibly be even lower). It is very difficult / doesn't make sense for even Chinese companies to devote engineering time and resources to developing their own decode solutions while competing with Chips&Media pricing (particularly considering that these chips end up in PMPs where the requirements aren't as stringent as those met by Sigma Designs or Realtek).

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post #15 of 19 Old 09-28-2010, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WD TV View Post

Opinion on these specs please. What's good, what's not? What's it missing, and would you buy one for around $89 ?

Here are the specs

Manufacturer Specifications

Primary Function: 1080P HD Media Player
Chipset: Boxchip F10
HDMI Output Resolution: NTSC, PAL, 480p, 720p 50/60 Hz, 1080i 50/60 Hz, 1080p 50/60 Hz
Aspect Ratio: 4:3, 16:9, Auto
Supported VIDEO Formats:
- .avi, .vob, .dat, .iso, .mkv, .mov, .mp4, .mpg, .mpeg, .ts, .m2ts, .m2t, .wmv, .rm, .rmvb .flv
Supported VIDEO Codecs:
- mpeg 1/2/4, xvid, divx, h.263, h.264, wmv9, vc-1, rmvb
Supported AUDIO Formats:
- .mp3, .wma, .ogg , .flac, .wav, .pcm, .aac, .rm, .ra
Supported AUDIO Codecs:
- .acc, .ac3, .atra, .ape, .dts, .flac, .ogg, .mp3, wma, wma pro
Supported PHOTO Formats:
-.JPG, .JPEG, .BMP, .GIF, .PNG, .TIFF
Supported Subtitles: utf8, ass, ssa, acsii, sub, srt
Connections:
-Analog Audio/Video IN (Red, Yellow, White)
-HDMI 1.3
-VGA
-USB 2.0
-SD card slot
-DC IN 5.5V/1.5A
OS Languages: English, Chinese
Power: AC 100 to 240V, Output 12V 3A
Remote Controller: Yes
Dimensions: 140(L) x 90(W) x 25(H) mm

Package Contents

Media Player
Remote Controller
AV Cable
Power Cable
USB Cable
English Manual

For $89 you can get the WDTV Live, Netgears, Iomegas, Egreats, Viewsonic VMP75, used PCH-A100, and many others that can do network shares and streaming... they all would have better features than this media player you speak of....

Cheers!

Cameron
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post #16 of 19 Old 09-29-2010, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgvroadster View Post

For $89 you can get the WDTV Live, Netgears, Iomegas, Egreats, Viewsonic VMP75, used PCH-A100, and many others that can do network shares and streaming... they all would have better features than this media player you speak of....

Yea, that's very true. $89 does sound like an odd target price for an otherwise stand-alone media player with no network capability, and no warranty/support to speak of.

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post #17 of 19 Old 11-29-2010, 01:41 AM
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Does this device play the 1080p60 M2TS files produced with Panasonic HTC TM700 camcorder?

I saw on this site anandtech.com/show/4021/micca-slimhd-1080p-in-your-pocket/5 that it plays 1080p60.AVC.AAC.MP4

The Panasonic 700 camcorders stream M2TS files 59.94 fps, H.264/AVC (1920x1080), audio AC3 (5.1, 48000Hz)

If it plays smooth the 1080p60 files from Panasonic 700, this will help the owners of this type of camcorder, as there till now there are no devices that can play these 1080p60 files, except the camcorder itself and PCs with i7 processors.

Can you please test playing one file that was shot with Panasonic TM700 at 1080p60?:
You can download it if you have or create a vimeo account.
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post #18 of 19 Old 11-29-2010, 05:21 AM
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I've tested that file on another F10 chipset player (EAGET X5) and it plays fine, so I'm 99% certain it will play on the Slim-HD.

Incidentally it also plays on a Sigma 8655 powered Egreat S1A.
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post #19 of 19 Old 11-30-2010, 10:23 AM
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Iurie,

I got your PM, I'll try this later today and let you know.

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Micca Support Specialist
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