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Official Ceton Echo Extender Info Thread - Page 175  

post #5221 of 7721
Variable Frame Rate mkv and mp4 both playback on the Xbox 360, but fail on the Echo. Variable bit rate will depend on the peak bit rate. The b-frame and reference frames should be less than 8 to be perfectly safe.
post #5222 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by realtight View Post

I've had this in my living room for 3 months now. I expected the Echo beta to be where the Echo is at right now... OK, so exactly how long and how much patience do you, the voice of reason, say is an acceptable timeline to have EVERYTHING done? How about the list below?

- HBR movies, MKV's
- DTS
- HD Audio
- Windows 8 support (don't care what people think about it, it needs to be supported)
- No major bugs/audio problems, freezes, restarts
- fluid UI

How much longer?? If Ceton extends the return policy again, then I have no problems, until then... we have problems wink.gif

Well, the simple (and somewhat Zen) answer is: Until it's done. I understand different people use this for different things. I've not seen any problems with HD Audio on my end nor have I notice any bugs I would consider to be major. Windows 8 support more-or-less comes down to Microsoft. I'd upgraded my HTPC to Windows 8, hoping and praying that they'd fixed some of the issues with WMC (eg. the ION/Silverlight problem in Netflix). I eventually downgraded and rebuilt my HTPC because of the lack of support for anything but the XBox. How is Ceton to blame for that one? I still have hope for a smoother UI, but until it happens, I don't see the point in wailing and gnashing my teeth. Doing that won't solve anything. However, voicing support for fixing the issue and having conversation is another thing entirely. It all comes down to attitude. I have a wishlist:

- Fluid UI
- Wider file support overall
- Android specifically for:
- Netfix
- Hulu

These are things they've stated that they're working on and betas are released pretty frequently in an attempt to solve the issues that exist and implement new features. I'd just like to see a little more support from this already beleaguered community of WMC users. While Microsoft is slowly choking out this product, here's a company that's pushing to make it better and more usable. That's worth a little respect, isn't it? Maybe it shouldn't have been announced and released as soon as it was: I'll give you that. But what's the point in being asinine toward the people who's job it is to make it better?
That, in the end, is my question and point I'm trying to make.
post #5223 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by skybolt View Post

For me, VBR on BD's didn't work so well. VFR is always an issue I thought, not just for hte echo but all extenders? At least it seems that way.

VBR for full or almost full bitrate rips? Or reduced bitrate rips? I thought people were having success with Handbrake encodes using CQ20, which results in a VBR file.

VFR is difficult to get right. I don't know if the Xbox360 supports it. Other media streamers handle VFR, though. I remember when the Sage HD100 came out. It initially didn't handle them well. Playback was choppy with some short test files. At first Sage support didn't believe me that it was choppy. That got resolved at some point in an early firmware update, but then I noticed longer files had A/V sync problems. I was going to say Sage managed to fix it pretty quickly, but I just looked at some old emails from 2008 that showed me trying to convince Sage support that VFR files didn't play back correctly. Eventually they just stopped responding to me. But eventually those issues got worked out (I think part of the choppiness was actually a bug in x264, as this was right when Handbrake started supporting VFR encoding). I don't remember having any problems with the HD200 or HD300.
post #5224 of 7721
Too read others tell it SageTV is the holy grail was perect out of the gate and never, ever had issues
post #5225 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I think that is not a matter of what anybody "thinks" about it but rather a matter of what M$ has done to the RDP in Win8. I'm not sure if there is a solution that ceton can do for this.

BTW, it isn't as if ceton doesn't already know about these things. Repeating them ad nauseum doesn't change anything. If it doesn't meet your expectations, return it and don't bother wasting your time posting about it because repeating these things doesn't change anything.

I think that only the top three items on your list are still needing to be done at this point anyhow.

If the Xbox can use windows 8 then so can the echo. I'm willing to wait longer for that update but the lack of movie playback at this point is getting ridiculous.
post #5226 of 7721
Have you been following along at all? This is going to be difficult if not impossible because of things M$ has done in Win8 and the RemoteDescktopProtocal.

Of course ceton wants to get movie playback working well but they may have to do it outside the WMC interface.
post #5227 of 7721
Sage extenders certainly had problems at launch, some problems lingered for a while, and other bugs popped up over time. The last firmware for the HD300 has some bugs with HD audio, and the last version of Sage v7.1 unfortunately has some bugs that will obviously never be fixed. However, I still wouldn't say the current situation with the Echo is comparable to what happened when the first Sage extender came out. I fully agree with the statements in this thread that said the HD100 was a much, much more polished product at launch than the Echo is now.

I'm not saying that to rag on the Ceton folks. I'm sure they're working as hard as they can, and I think they're making progress. They're in a very different situation than Sage was when they put out the HD100. Sage controlled the firmware and the server software (i.e., wasn't at the mercy of Microsoft). The Sage extender used a fairly mature Sigma chip that wasn't exactly pushing the performance envelope- whereas Ceton apparently decided to go with a bleeding-edge chip with its own set of growing pains. I think that's probably been the source of most of the Echo's A/V playback problems, so there was certainly a cost there. But on the flipside, the Freescale chip in the Echo has a couple very powerful ARM cores in it, which is what opened the door for things like Android. There was a tradeoff there. It remains to be seen whether that risk will ultimately pay off.

Anyways, for what its worth, I've been really disappointed with the Echo. I think I've said this before, but in hindsight I may have had unrealistic expectations. I think I reasonably assumed TV playback would be nearly perfect (which it wasn't initially, although it is much, much better now), but maybe I should have known codec/container support was going to be a problem. About a year ago I fully expected to be running a WMC+Echo system by now. But instead I just dropped an unreasonable amount of money on a used Sage HD300 extender. I'm still not sure if I'll return the Echo. I'd like to see where they go with the Android support, but its looking less and less likely that they'll get that out in a usable form before the extended return period ends.
post #5228 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorporateASH View Post

Well, the simple (and somewhat Zen) answer is: Until it's done. I understand different people use this for different things. I've not seen any problems with HD Audio on my end nor have I notice any bugs I would consider to be major. Windows 8 support more-or-less comes down to Microsoft. I'd upgraded my HTPC to Windows 8, hoping and praying that they'd fixed some of the issues with WMC (eg. the ION/Silverlight problem in Netflix). I eventually downgraded and rebuilt my HTPC because of the lack of support for anything but the XBox. How is Ceton to blame for that one? I still have hope for a smoother UI, but until it happens, I don't see the point in wailing and gnashing my teeth. Doing that won't solve anything. However, voicing support for fixing the issue and having conversation is another thing entirely. It all comes down to attitude. I have a wishlist:

- Fluid UI
- Wider file support overall
- Android specifically for:
- Netfix
- Hulu

These are things they've stated that they're working on and betas are released pretty frequently in an attempt to solve the issues that exist and implement new features. I'd just like to see a little more support from this already beleaguered community of WMC users. While Microsoft is slowly choking out this product, here's a company that's pushing to make it better and more usable. That's worth a little respect, isn't it? Maybe it shouldn't have been announced and released as soon as it was: I'll give you that. But what's the point in being asinine toward the people who's job it is to make it better?
That, in the end, is my question and point I'm trying to make.

It sounds like you are saying people don't have the right to complain about a company or its products, or that they can only do it according to some sort of standard of conduct.

If its a nasty personal attack on another forum member or a particular individual in a company, then the forum moderaters can easily handle that type of problem.

@realtight is not happy with the product, and he is expressing his views, whats the big deal?
post #5229 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Of course ceton wants to get movie playback working well but they may have to do it outside the WMC interface.

This is actually one area where I will criticize Ceton. From what I've seen, Ceton has showed very, very little interest in getting ripped content working on the Echo. I really don't think this is a priority for them, and its not clear it ever will be. I could definitely see them getting Android up and running on the Echo, and then taking the position its up to Android developers to get ripped content working on the Echo.

If getting movie playback working well is important to Ceton, they should say so. And it would be nice if they gave us some idea what they want to do. Namely, are they going to work to get better decoding and container support within the WMC environment, or do they plan to deal with it in Android. It's been over a month since their last blog post on the Echo. I thought they said they were going to try to improve communication with the community through regular updates on the blog. They did really well for a while in December, but there's been nothing on the Echo in January.
post #5230 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Have you been following along at all? This is going to be difficult if not impossible because of things M$ has done in Win8 and the RemoteDescktopProtocal.

Of course ceton wants to get movie playback working well but they may have to do it outside the WMC interface.


I feel bad for Ceton about the situation with Win8 but for me, this needs to work regardless of how hard it is or I'm going to have to go with the next generation tech that Microsoft releases... I'm not investing in technology that has an already dated future... maybe that's just me.


I have no remorse as to the movie situation at all. Ceton should have known exactly what they were getting themselves into in that regard. I don't care what the solution is as long as the experience feels exactly the same as is does on my HTPC, if it doesn't, this product is a complete waste of time and money for me. Maybe they can resurrect it somehow using the Android platform but for me, the longer it takes to get this working and the more excuses I hear makes me that much less confident that it's going to ever work properly.
post #5231 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by reggie14 View Post

This is actually one area where I will criticize Ceton. From what I've seen, Ceton has showed very, very little interest in getting ripped content working on the Echo. I really don't think this is a priority for them, and its not clear it ever will be. I could definitely see them getting Android up and running on the Echo, and then taking the position its up to Android developers to get ripped content working on the Echo.

If getting movie playback working well is important to Ceton, they should say so. And it would be nice if they gave us some idea what they want to do. Namely, are they going to work to get better decoding and container support within the WMC environment, or do they plan to deal with it in Android. It's been over a month since their last blog post on the Echo. I thought they said they were going to try to improve communication with the community through regular updates on the blog. They did really well for a while in December, but there's been nothing on the Echo in January.

Amen!
post #5232 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by t-c View Post

It sounds like you are saying people don't have the right to complain about a company or its products, or that they can only do it according to some sort of standard of conduct.

If its a nasty personal attack on another forum member or a particular individual in a company, then the forum moderaters can easily handle that type of problem.

@realtight is not happy with the product, and he is expressing his views, whats the big deal?

Thanks t-c!

There was absolutely nothing "Zen" about the response I received, just excuses... I guess the customer isn't always right? Funny because on my development team, they always are!
post #5233 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by realtight View Post

If the Xbox can use windows 8 then so can the echo. I'm willing to wait longer for that update but the lack of movie playback at this point is getting ridiculous.

Not necessarily true - the Xbox uses a different (undocumented) protocol than all other extenders, hence why it works when others do not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by reggie14 View Post

This is actually one area where I will criticize Ceton. From what I've seen, Ceton has showed very, very little interest in getting ripped content working on the Echo. I really don't think this is a priority for them, and its not clear it ever will be. I could definitely see them getting Android up and running on the Echo, and then taking the position its up to Android developers to get ripped content working on the Echo.

If getting movie playback working well is important to Ceton, they should say so. And it would be nice if they gave us some idea what they want to do. Namely, are they going to work to get better decoding and container support within the WMC environment, or do they plan to deal with it in Android. It's been over a month since their last blog post on the Echo. I thought they said they were going to try to improve communication with the community through regular updates on the blog. They did really well for a while in December, but there's been nothing on the Echo in January.

We are by no means ignoring the various content types that don't play. Essentially, different code is handled by different people. and some even by vendors - multiple things can be (and are) done in parallel.
post #5234 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post



I think that only the top three items on your list are still needing to be done at this point anyhow.


Do you watch HBO? I still have problems watching some older shows from that channel. And even some newer shows from FOX still exhibit problems. Many channels seem fine, but I'm sure if I watched TV more often I could find many instances where the picture is not acceptable.

Note: I'm not on the omega.
post #5235 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roginator View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post



I think that only the top three items on your list are still needing to be done at this point anyhow.


Do you watch HBO? I still have problems watching some older shows from that channel. And even some newer shows from FOX still exhibit problems. Many channels seem fine, but I'm sure if I watched TV more often I could find many instances where the picture is not acceptable.

Note: I'm not on the omega.

I believe I am on at least latest beta update and still experience issues with certain content. Certain programming looks as good as other extenders but many channels stutter something crazy.
post #5236 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roginator View Post

Do you watch HBO? I still have problems watching some older shows from that channel. And even some newer shows from FOX still exhibit problems. Many channels seem fine, but I'm sure if I watched TV more often I could find many instances where the picture is not acceptable.

Note: I'm not on the omega.

I don't have HBO or any other channels exhibiting the 29/59 bug. I don't think you are seeing a deinterlacing problem at all. Can you decribe what you're seeing in more detail.
post #5237 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariob33 View Post

I believe I am on at least latest beta update and still experience issues with certain content. Certain programming looks as good as other extenders but many channels stutter something crazy.

All of the channels I normally watch look great. No stutering at all.
post #5238 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

All of the channels I normally watch look great. No stutering at all.

Are you suggesting that your experience is the standard for everyone else?
post #5239 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by t-c View Post

Are you suggesting that your experience is the standard for everyone else?

Most definitely not. I've had my share of issues. I am simply reporting that right now I am not having any issues with stutter or (knock on wood) audio. That was not the case even yesterday.
post #5240 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariob33 View Post

I believe I am on at least latest beta update and still experience issues with certain content. Certain programming looks as good as other extenders but many channels stutter something crazy.

All of the channels I normally watch look great. No stutering at all.

Ill have to grab a video of what my channels look like for you to compare against yours. Perhaps your much more tolerant to stutter than I. This is the same on my PJ (forgetabouit), Pioneer or Panasonic. STARZ, HBO etc look really bad. The Smurfs just looked like they were each running with 4 feet.
post #5241 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by t-c View Post

Are you suggesting that your experience is the standard for everyone else?

Most definitely not. I've had my share of issues. I am simply reporting that right now I am not having any issues with stutter or (knock on wood) audio. That was not the case even yesterday.

Are you now able to leave the echo on while powering down rest of equipment? NO green monster or freeze.
post #5242 of 7721
So, I am one that has had SageTV running in the past with multiple HD300 extenders.

1. I ran the Linux version which was very stable and secure.
2.The HD300 units did an excellent job as an extender. Sage updated them frequently.
3. There is (still) an active community of folks that write "custom" skins, etc...

Since SageTV was purchased by Google, then left to die, I decided to get out and get back in with WMC. Before SageTV, I ran WMC with an XBOX as an extender as well as the Linksys DMA2100 units. In each case, I was always getting the "Network Error" issues and spent much time "tweaking" settings, changing NIC cards, etc... It just became too much of a pain and the WF was never really there.

Now, we have a new opportunity here with the Echo and while it is still far from perfect, I feel Ceton will get there. I agree with others that this was rushed to market and I think that was a mistake by Ceton. But as time has passed, improvements have come along and the system is much better. Perfect, no, but at least most of us can now watch "error" free TV.

In my case, I just want a rock solid DVR solution that requires minimal work. I think WMC 7 is an excellent product and it is really too bad that MS decided to let it go. Their mistake!

For the future, sounds like there are some cool things coming for the Echo, and I would like to see Ceton come up with their own DVR solution - like SageTV did. I doubt this would happen as their market would be small.... Most people are happy with their cabe DVR or their satellite DVR.

End of rant.... biggrin.gif
post #5243 of 7721
I got the 2013.122.1356 omega f/w on Wednesday night. I did several power cycles then with no error. I shut down the system Wednesday night and brought it up Thursday morning with no issues. Shut it down for the day and then brought it up last night and then did the same overnight last night into this morning with no issues either time.

HBO is known to have the 29/59 problem is some markets. Are you sure it isn't that? A month or more ago I was getting Starz for some reason even though I don't subscribe to it. It has the 29/59 bug on my HTPC but, even then, it looked pretty good on the echo with the strobe effect not apparent at all.

I have even turned the i/p scaler off on my Denon. Either way the picture is very good and the audio is as well.
Edited by Sammy2 - 1/25/13 at 5:22am
post #5244 of 7721
Last night, I did get a freeze. Waited a bit to see if the Echo would recover, but it did not.

Pulled the plug and it came back up just fine and no other issues - watched about 2 1/2 hours.
post #5245 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I got the 2013.122.1356 omega f/w on Wednesday night. I did several power cycles then with no error. I shut down the system Wednesday night and brought it up Thursday morning with no issues. Shut it down for the day and then brought it up last night and then did the same overnight last night into this morning with no issues either time.

HBO is known to have the 29/59 problem is some markets. Are you sure it isn't that? A month or more ago I was getting Starz for some reason even though I don't subscribe to it. It has the 29/59 bug on my HTPC but, even then, it looked pretty good on the echo with the strobe effect not apparent at all.

I think I misstated my question around powering down. I like to leave my extender on or powered on all the time. When I had the echo into echo-->denon --> TV anytime I would power down TV/AVR and leave echo on it would not resynch and I would get green wonderfulness. I was wondering if you had specifically tested this scenario out as I know you also have echo-->AVR-->TV or at least had. I have been swamped at work with no real time to play.

The channels causing the problems are not Premiums. The wife strictly watches broadcast, E or LMN (no clue what that is). Having said that, ill have to pay attention this evening I believe Spartacus is back from hiatus and that's on Starz.
post #5246 of 7721
It was on this whole time. I have not shut it off since Wednesday night when I was testing HBR/VBR mkv's, m2ts's and wtv's and it locked up as expected.. but I had to test!

I just watched a segment of Universal, a 1080i channel for me. I hit record and switched back and forth between my HTPC and echo HDMI inputs rewinding segments. I did notice some minor pixelation but I noticed it both on the HTPC and the echo. The picture I am getting is basically the same as that produced by the HTPC. I was standing about 3 feet from the TV. When I backed up to the couch it was basically not noticeable at all although when looking for it I could see it. This may be the signal compression or my Prime or who knows what but on both it is the same picture.
post #5247 of 7721
LifetimeMovieNetwork.. Those cheesy B grade chick flicks!
post #5248 of 7721
Harmony Remote Question: Which Harmony models are people using successfully with the echo? I have a 670 and a 620 (pretty much the same remote), and both do not work well with the echo. I am using the Harmony Media Center remote profile, as recommended by Ceton. YES, I went through all the Harmony troubleshooting options ("unit responding too much or not enough", etc) and tried every option in the troubleshooting, no luck. In a nutshell, it either responds too much (1 button press results in 2 responses on the echo) or it does not respond at all. If I point the harmony away from the Ceton, like toward the back wall, I get better results. Again, I have tried all of the settings (1-5) in the Harmony troubleshooting, with similar or worse results. Interestingly, I had the same problems with D-Link's old MC extender. I am about 9-10' away from the echo. I have a friend having similar problems with a model 676 Harmony and the echo.

I contacted Ceton, and they said the echo will work with any Media Center compatible remote, but could not guarantee universals, although they did mention that people were having success with Harmonys.

Anyway, I am open to any Ideas to get this working, but I am also interested in what Harmony models people are having success with? Please share what harmony models are working for you!
post #5249 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmp14 View Post

Harmony Remote Question: Which Harmony models are people using successfully with the echo? I have a 670 and a 620 (pretty much the same remote), and both do not work well with the echo. I am using the Harmony Media Center remote profile, as recommended by Ceton. YES, I went through all the Harmony troubleshooting options ("unit responding too much or not enough", etc) and tried every option in the troubleshooting, no luck. In a nutshell, it either responds too much (1 button press results in 2 responses on the echo) or it does not respond at all. If I point the harmony away from the Ceton, like toward the back wall, I get better results. Again, I have tried all of the settings (1-5) in the Harmony troubleshooting, with similar or worse results. Interestingly, I had the same problems with D-Link's old MC extender. I am about 9-10' away from the echo. I have a friend having similar problems with a model 676 Harmony and the echo.

I contacted Ceton, and they said the echo will work with any Media Center compatible remote, but could not guarantee universals, although they did mention that people were having success with Harmonys.

Anyway, I am open to any Ideas to get this working, but I am also interested in what Harmony models people are having success with? Please share what harmony models are working for you!

Harmony One here - no issues....
post #5250 of 7721
Harmony H-900.
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