The official DVICO TViX M6500A Discussion - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 3448 Old 01-21-2008, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi All,

Asked and received approval from Alan Gouger to start this thread discussing the M6500A. I received a test unit and found a few things I think will be of interest to those that have one on order.

First, the firmware is not final, but version installed has been surprisingly stable. I can't test DVD/ISO functions yet, but it has played transport streams and h.264 files reliably.....with SMB! Function was added to ping your IP devices. HDTV tuner is also working much like it does in the M4000/4100. The best feature so far is upon the first boot, it cycles through the outputs so that you can see it when it gets to the connection type you are using. The unit came up in EDID/1080p mode for me using the Sharp Aquos.

If users have any files you want tested, I'll do my best to do so on request.

The M6500A has a new brushed aluminum face that aside from the material looks much like the M4000/4100.

I've been told that they are on schedule to ship next week so dealers should have it early February.

Back to testing....
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post #2 of 3448 Old 01-21-2008, 10:43 PM
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I also received a sample M-6500A today. My first impressions are generally very favorable. Not all features are yet working in the supplied firmware but those that are implemented show improved performance over the earlier TViX models. For example:

1. HDTV TS files containing ATSC MPEG-2 and H.264 MPEG-4 play well over the LAN using SMB shares. NFS works too, but isn't required anymore for WinXP and Win2k servers to get smooth playback.

2. It plays very well through the particularly nasty H2M (HDTVtoMPEG2) I-frame editing cut in my ATSC TS "acid test" sample file--virtually equaling the performance of MyHD and FusionHDTV in this test, which is a first for any Sigma player that I've tried.

3. The 410 tuner from the M-4100 plugs in and plays/records the same as before.

And it still only uses about 20 watts when fully employed (incl. internal HDD) and 2 W when in standby, pretty much the same as the 4x00/5x00 models--an energy-miser's delight.

I'll report more later as I have time to play with it and as the firmware updates allow more exploration.
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post #3 of 3448 Old 01-21-2008, 10:51 PM
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Does it use the netshare prog like the other tvix?
And does it also have the same gui as the 4100 ?
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post #4 of 3448 Old 01-21-2008, 11:21 PM
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Yes, it can use NetShare if you like, but the SMB sharing is fast enough that you don't really have to use NFS. The gui is similar but not identical. The functions are laid out the same but the resolution is higher (720p).
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post #5 of 3448 Old 01-22-2008, 01:01 AM
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What I'd be interested in is highest (Blu-Ray) bitrate playback over Samba. Does that work fluidly? And is also high bitrate MKV support working alright? E.g. Apocalypto remuxed to MKV over Samba.

Another question: Does the M6500A still have a fan?
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post #6 of 3448 Old 01-22-2008, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madshi View Post

Another question: Does the M6500A still have a fan?

Yes, it does.
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post #7 of 3448 Old 01-22-2008, 10:28 AM
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With the 'new' hi-def display have the resolutions changed for the background images/cover art etc?

I was going to use the GUI creator from Guy Kuo but I wonder if this will work with the new 6500 display.

Also Kei - you 'hinted' a while back that they may be a QAM tuner on the way. Any update on this?

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post #8 of 3448 Old 01-22-2008, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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As Terry commented above, yes, the background res has been increased to 720p. As for the tuner, no QAM yet.
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post #9 of 3448 Old 01-22-2008, 05:01 PM
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What Kei Clark and TPeterson both fail to mention is that the current firmware for the 6500 doesn't support DVD ISOs. This is a major deal breaker for most people but I don't blame them for not mentioning it as would impact presales.
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post #10 of 3448 Old 01-22-2008, 05:13 PM
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I just downloaded and installed today's fw release for the M-6500A, which adds the promised DVD navigation stuff, including ISO and IFO playback, for the upcoming commercial release. (No, it doesn't all work perfectly yet, but the ISO files that I tried briefly playing from the internal HDD and both NFS and SMB shares on LAN were flawless)
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post #11 of 3448 Old 01-22-2008, 05:18 PM
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deleted - decided to rise above Johnny's level
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post #12 of 3448 Old 01-23-2008, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


What Kei Clark and TPeterson both fail to mention is that the current firmware for the 6500 doesn't support DVD ISOs.

It's clearly stated in my post at the top that I can't test ISO/IFO yet, knowing that the software was almost done but not installed on the shipped sample. Reliable firmware upgradability makes field testing quick and easy.

Quote:


This is a major deal breaker for most people but I don't blame them for not mentioning it as would impact presales.

Why, thank you for your concern about our sales, but I can assure you that any such omission would have been relayed and shipment held. No one in the chain would have let that happen, not DVICO, not the testers, and not the retailers as the loss due to returns would be costly.
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post #13 of 3448 Old 01-23-2008, 01:06 AM
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@Kei, could you let Dvico know that they should really try to get rid of that fan? I'll not buy any such device with a fan, that's for sure. Maybe they could at least offer the option to turn the fan off when there's no harddisk installed? I'd not use a harddisk, anyway, since I have a big media server. Of course if there'd be such an option to turn the fan off, the device needs to be built in such a way that it survives well without the fan. Thanks!
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post #14 of 3448 Old 01-23-2008, 09:01 AM
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mad--

There is a setup option to lower/raise the fan speed, two notches in either direction. With the fan on its lowest setting it's barely audible. I think that setting is OK for HDD-less units in normal room environments.
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post #15 of 3448 Old 01-23-2008, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPeterson View Post

mad--

There is a setup option to lower/raise the fan speed, two notches in either direction. With the fan on its lowest setting it's barely audible. I think that setting is OK for HDD-less units in normal room environments.

Thanks for the information. But "barely audible" isn't good enough for me yet...
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post #16 of 3448 Old 01-23-2008, 10:12 AM
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That's fine. For "the rest of us" barely audible doesn't protrude above the noise level in our HT space when the unit is 2 meters away.
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post #17 of 3448 Old 01-23-2008, 10:40 AM
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The problem is that if you have multiple devices which are "barely audible", they all add up to more than "barely audible". Furthermore there are possible problems like vibrations, aging fans (getting louder over time), bad luck (some fans of the same model are louder than others), collecting dust, mechanical failure etc...

Also don't make the mistake to think that I'm the only one hating fans in CE devices. It's not me vs. "the rest of us". There are more of "me". I'm cloning myself, you know?
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post #18 of 3448 Old 01-23-2008, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kei Clark View Post

It's clearly stated in my post at the top that I can't test ISO/IFO yet, knowing that the software was almost done but not installed on the shipped sample. Reliable firmware upgradability makes field testing quick and easy.

You said it in a very non-specific way. If you had been forthright, you would have clearly stated there was currently no support for ISOs. Instead you said “I can’t test it” which can mean either you don’t have any ISOs or the firmware doesn’t support it.

Why be so vague about what isn't working? Why don't you go down the currently known issues with the 6500 so we as consumers can make a more informed buying decision? I noticed madshi’s question about high bitrate files was ignored. Should we assume the 6500 has problems with these files?

Even better would be a report of the status of the many bugs currently affecting the 4100 firmware. Are these fixed in the 6500? Bugs like slow icon browsing, no rewind in mpeg2 files, problems with playback of ISOs on local hard drive, etc.

How about a comparison with its competition, Popcorn Hour? How does its features match up against those of the Popcorn Hour? Does it work with the great llink? Can it do embedded subtitles in mkv like Popcorn Hour?

This product is more than twice the cost of its competitor and the 4100 firmware was anything but stable so it is understandable a consumer would be cautious in investing in a product whose quality control has gone downhill. Dvico was never able to get the 4100 firmware stable and buyers were forced to keep track of which features were working in which firmware:
http://www.mpcclub.com/modules.php?n...wtopic&t=14312

Quote:


Why, thank you for your concern about our sales, but I can assure you that any such omission would have been relayed and shipment held. No one in the chain would have let that happen, not DVICO, not the testers, and not the retailers as the loss due to returns would be costly.

If this is the case, why did you ship the 4100 when the firmware did not support the advertised tuner functionality? As reported here at AVS, you were even shipping 4100s with the tuner installed even though the firmware didn't support it. In fact it took 2 months after the 4100 was released for Dvico to deliver a firmware that supported the tuner (the 4100 was released in early May, 1.0.38 was released in early July).

When the 6500 is released, will it have all the advertised features working correctly or must we once again purchase a broken product and wait/hope for Dvico to fix it?
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post #19 of 3448 Old 01-23-2008, 11:32 AM
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Johnny, there is absolutely no point in cataloging, as you suggest, the "missing" features in the prerelease firmware, because once they're added (such as the DVD play was yesterday) they have no relevance to what the consumer will experience. I am reporting on what already works to give people an idea of what improvements may be expected from the M-6500A v its predecessors and competitors. I leave the detailed comparison reporting to Hi-Jack.

I can't answer madshi's question about "maximum bitrate" because I have neither Blu-Ray rips nor other test equipment to do so. I chose not to waste bandwidth by stating this. Non reply does not equal "ignore" in a public forum. All I can do constructively is to repeat that, unlike previous Sigma Players (except the Ziova), the M-6500A can play smoothly HDTV files, both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 up to at least an indicated 20 Mbps, over SMB shares.

Oh, before you "discover" this nefariously dark and dastardly "secret", I will "divulge" that the M-6500A upon release will not support REW of transport streams. A later firmware update will add that feature (presumably to both M-6500 and M-4100).
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post #20 of 3448 Old 01-23-2008, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny View Post

You said it in a very non-specific way. If you had been forthright, you would have clearly stated there was currently no support for ISOs. Instead you said “I can’t test it” which can mean either you don’t have any ISOs or the firmware doesn’t support it.

Why be so vague about what isn't working? Why don't you go down the currently known issues with the 6500 so we as consumers can make a more informed buying decision? I noticed madshi’s question about high bitrate files was ignored. Should we assume the 6500 has problems with these files?

How about a comparison with its competition, Popcorn Hour? How does its features match up against those of the Popcorn Hour? Does it work with the great llink? Can it do embedded subtitles in mkv like Popcorn Hour?

Didn't I explain that I was already told the DVD playback firmware was already working and that it would be given to us for testing? And sure to their word, DVICO provided that firmware for testing. I don't know what beef is with me, nor your insistance that everything is tested and reported on pronto....my job encompasses more than just testing equipment and relating the information back here, which I try to do whenever I have free time. I already said I'd be happy to test any files, so madshi is welcome to provide links if he is so inclined.

As for comparison with popcorn hour, if I had one, I would do comparisons. Not that this information is not available already, Hi-Jack has already been doing an admirable job on his site MPC Club.


Quote:


If this is the case, why did you ship the 4100 when the firmware did not support the advertised tuner functionality? As reported here at AVS, you were even shipping 4100s with the tuner installed even though the firmware didn't support it. In fact it took 2 months after the 4100 was released for Dvico to deliver a firmware that supported the tuner (the 4100 was released in early May, 1.0.38 was released in early July).

When the 6500 is released, will it have all the advertised features working correctly or must we once again purchase a broken product and wait/hope for Dvico to fix it?

Wow, you really are nit picking. We apologized for the very few tuners that we accidently shipped (sometimes the staff are overwhelmed by the sheer number of shipment on the day DVICO products come in and may not be as astute about catching errors). You act like we did this knowingly which is to imply that we were being less than ethical. Me thinks that if you have issues with me, a PM would be more appropriate, and stop junking up this thread with personal issues.
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post #21 of 3448 Old 01-23-2008, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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@ Madshi, this was posted in the tester forum:

"Almost all my m2ts movie ,biggest 30g-40g files with very high bitrates, runs very nice".
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post #22 of 3448 Old 01-23-2008, 11:55 AM
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Has anybody tried playing raw stream mkv's on it yet?
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post #23 of 3448 Old 01-23-2008, 12:16 PM
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ok lets all play nice.

I think that any information that comes from actual testing is in great demand. For some it will be how it compares to the 4100, for others is will be vs popcorn or any other. Just give us all the facts you can. Lets all remember that unless you are doing a iso, encoding varies as does playback.

As far as updates to FW, i think we have to look at the past. How fast were real problems addressed and what was the result. For me looking back the 4100 was a bit of a problem that you did not see with eariler models. I am not so sure we should base a companies response time for FW on 1 model.

Please everyone know what you are getting involved with when you purchase. What works and what does not.
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post #24 of 3448 Old 01-23-2008, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kei Clark View Post

@ Madshi, this was posted in the tester forum:

"Almost all my m2ts movie ,biggest 30g-40g files with very high bitrates, runs very nice".

Thanks. That's a good start, except for that "almost"... Is that from harddisk or over network?
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post #25 of 3448 Old 01-23-2008, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kei Clark View Post

@ Madshi, this was posted in the tester forum:

"Almost all my m2ts movie ,biggest 30g-40g files with very high bitrates, runs very nice".

Kei,
You state that almost all of your m2ts movies play-which ones do not? Almost all my blu ray rips play well too on my 4100. It is a few AVC and VC-1 encoded titles that have trouble (some examples: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, all the Pirates of the Carr movies, Dirty Dancing, Closer, and a number of others). I have a 6500 on order with you guys and want to make as sure as possible that it will play these titles that won't play on the 4100, which is the point of me getting the 6500. If a sample file would help just let me know and I can upload a few to sendspace for you. Thanks.
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post #26 of 3448 Old 01-23-2008, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EPiPH0N3 View Post

Has anybody tried playing raw stream mkv's on it yet?

Duh...what's a "raw stream mkv"? Do you have a link to a sample?

I've played the one MKV sample that I found linked in the M-4100 thread. It played smoothly, but it evidently has incorrectly encoded AR info. I've also played all of the MP4/MOV files that I tried on the M-4100 last spring and they play well from internal HDD and over SMB/NFS shares. MKV is a DViCo priority and I believe that their European testers have confirmed MKV play thoroughly.
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post #27 of 3448 Old 01-23-2008, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dobeman View Post

Kei,
You state that almost all of your m2ts movies play....

No, she said that was posted elsewhere. We don't know any more about the conditions or the files. Yes, if you have samples of particular interest, please post links!
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post #28 of 3448 Old 01-23-2008, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dobeman View Post

I have a 6500 on order with you guys and want to make as sure as possible that it will play these titles that won't play on the 4100, which is the point of me getting the 6500. If a sample file would help just let me know and I can upload a few to sendspace for you. Thanks.


dobeman,

By all means, please upload files you want tested which was the main intention of starting this thread.
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post #29 of 3448 Old 01-23-2008, 02:22 PM
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I personally appreciate Kei and TPeterson for their efforts to keep us posted on the development of the 6500. I recently bought the 4000 and will be following closely the progress of the 6500 for a likely Fall 2008 purchase.

As far as the fan issue, I like to keep my hard drive cool since it is spinning several hours a day. The lowest setting for me works fine and is not audible unless I am standing within a couple of feet of it (which I am not while watching TV).

Also, in Kei's very first post it was mentioned that this is a test unit so lets not judge until they have a final product. That would seem like a more appropriate time to compliment or complain about certain features.
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post #30 of 3448 Old 01-23-2008, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kei Clark View Post

dobeman,

By all means, please upload files you want tested which was the main intention of starting this thread.

Yes, Dobeman.
Upload some high-bitrate mkv or m2ts examples for them to test.
Your question is interesting for me too.
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