Originally Posted by replayrob
Any reason to upgrade from (most likely) 1.55 to 2.20 FW? Any additional features or just cosmetic and bug fixes?
There are two improvements I have found with v2.20 firmware over v1.55. Under v1.55 I would frequently lose audio after a trickplay function (FF or RW). This could be recovered from by doing a RW at 1X for a couple seconds then hitting play to regain audio. This would happen when streaming DVD over ethernet or BluRay from USB and was very annoying. Firmware v2.2 has completely corrected this problem.
Under v1.55 I could not stream uncompressed BD.m2ts rips over ethernet that were over 22Mbps overall bitrate, without loss of audio and eventually stuttering. Under v2.2, that upper limit is increased to about 30Mbps. Better but still not good enough for most full bitrate BD.m2ts rips. The FAT+ still doesn't have the network chops to stream the high bitrate BD.m2ts rips over ethernet without stuttering [see note below]. For BD.m2ts rips you are best served by using an attached USB drive.
I bought mine when they were selling for $89 and have been very pleased. At the current $50 clearance price, they are a steal and I am contemplating buying another. The FAT+ does not have the glitzy video jukebox/fan-art interface that higher priced players have, but the simple interface it does have is clean and works reliably -- I like lists of titles organized in folders, anyway. As a DVD.iso player, I have found the FAT+ to be flawless with the v2.2 firmware in terms of both playback and DVD.iso menu support. Streaming DVD.iso over ethernet works like a charm even using a pair of powerline adapters to connect it back to the NAS. The overwhelming bulk of my collection is DVD.iso stored on a remote NAS, so flawless DVD.iso playback over ethernet is important to me. Trickplay functions (FF and RW) for DVD.iso work smoothly over ethernet at all speeds.
BD rip playback is adequate but lacking:
- It is most suited to playback of BD.m2ts files from an attached USB drive.
- Playback of BD.m2ts from an attached USB drive is flawless -- no stuttering or audio dropouts; FF and RW work smoothly at all speeds.
- It won't stream high bitrate BD.m2ts rips over ethernet without stuttering and losing audio.
- It can understand a BD.iso file but will only play back the largest .m2ts file in the STREAM folder.
- It doesn't understand the playlist in a BD.iso: you don't get chapter skip functionality; if your title is authored as seamless branching, only the largest .m2ts segment will be played.
- It will only pass through core audio and not HD audio. It has no problem extracting the core audio from a BD.m2ts rip that contains only the HD audio track.
- It doesn't support forced subtitles.
- It doesn't support management/loading of an attached USB drive either locally or remotely over the network. To load titles to the USB drive you have to detach it from the FAT+ and attach it to your PC. This makes it completely impractical to use a multi-bay USB enclosure or any USB drive other than a USB-powered drive. Most disappointing since you really need to use a USB drive for BD.m2ts playback.
[note] high bitrate BD.m2ts streaming over ethernet was tested by locating a NAS unit (D-Link DNS-321) right next to the FAT+ and connecting the two through a dedicated 5-port Netgear 10/100 switch with 3' cables. Nothing else on the switch except the uplink to the router.