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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi...


I couldn't find any info on the new Sony 400 disc megachanger, so I thought I'd post my own. :) I bought one this weekend and loaded it up with a couple hundred DVDs. A quick rundown, and then if possible, I'd like some suggestions on some of the problems I'm facing:


Pros:

- Video is superb, at least compared to my old progressive scan player. Very smooth, even on my 73" Mits.


- Loading a disc is relatively quick, compared to what I expected. No disc takes more than around 10 seconds or so to load


- It's smaller than I thought, although I hadn't seen a megachanger before




Cons:

Most of my cons have to do with the unbelievably crappy user interface for searching discs. Any suggestions would be appreciated:


- In what I consider the most egregious problem, I can't skip up or down a page at a time when looking at lists of discs. This is horrendous. If I have 100 discs in a folder, I don't want to have to scroll down one item at a time, especially since it takes a second or so for new items to scroll. This is unbelievably annoying, and almost made me dump the unit.


- The changer menu for the loaded discs uses thumbnail cover art, and defaults in case the disc doesn't have one. It's a cute feature, but this takes several seconds per page of 5 disc titles that gets splashed up. I can't find any way to ask for just a text list of titles, which would be much faster.


- Aside from dumping discs into the 4 user folders (which I eventually did), I can't find a way to quickly go to, say, all comedies. There is a "genre" tab, and you can sort by genre, but there doesn't seem to be a way to jump between genres, besides scrolling through an entire genre to get to the next one. And given the scrolling problem I mentioned above, that can take forever.




Overall I like the unit, and will most likely keep it, but I can't believe that no one at Sony sat down and actually tried to use their crappy interface without raising red flags. It seems to me that they could have spent a little more time and come up with a much better way to sort and find discs in a 400-unit changer. I know that some or all of these problems were there in other Sony units; anyone with one of those have any suggestions?


Thanks...


Arthur
 

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Arthur,


Thanks for the first impressions of this unit. I looked at one today but the dealer had just received it and had misplaced the box and manual in their warehouse. Needless to say, I didn't bring it home with me!


I hope you find work-arounds for the problems you identified. The issues that you identified would seriously irritate me also.


I would appreciate your comments on one of my pet peeves. I despise all the garbage you are forced to endure on the front end of DVDs. Do any of the memory file features on this player allow you to define a start point and configuration for each disk slot and then have the player return to the defined configuration and start point when the slot is selected for subsequent plays?


I look forward to additional comments on the unit as you work with it.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by boobookitty


Cons:

Most of my cons have to do with the unbelievably crappy user interface for searching discs. Any suggestions would be appreciated:


- In what I consider the most egregious problem, I can't skip up or down a page at a time when looking at lists of discs. This is horrendous. If I have 100 discs in a folder, I don't want to have to scroll down one item at a time, especially since it takes a second or so for new items to scroll. This is unbelievably annoying, and almost made me dump the unit.
You can type in a disc number while you are viewing the list and hit Enter. For example, if you can see discs 1-5 on the screen you can type 6 and press enter to bring up discs 6-10, then type 11 + Enter and so on. Its not the most elegant way to do it but it does allow you to browse a page at a time.

Quote:
Originally posted by boobookitty


- The changer menu for the loaded discs uses thumbnail cover art, and defaults in case the disc doesn't have one. It's a cute feature, but this takes several seconds per page of 5 disc titles that gets splashed up. I can't find any way to ask for just a text list of titles, which would be much faster.
The 875 actually makes you go in and add the default images, mystery, drama, etc. Without doing that all the ones that don't have images on the disc are left blank. I never added the images for the reason you describe. Did you add the images or does the 777 add them automatically?

Quote:
Originally posted by boobookitty


- Aside from dumping discs into the 4 user folders (which I eventually did), I can't find a way to quickly go to, say, all comedies. There is a "genre" tab, and you can sort by genre, but there doesn't seem to be a way to jump between genres, besides scrolling through an entire genre to get to the next one. And given the scrolling problem I mentioned above, that can take forever.
Can't help with this one. I never used the folders or the Genre sorting functionality.


Quote:
Originally posted by boobookitty


Overall I like the unit, and will most likely keep it, but I can't believe that no one at Sony sat down and actually tried to use their crappy interface without raising red flags. It seems to me that they could have spent a little more time and come up with a much better way to sort and find discs in a 400-unit changer. I know that some or all of these problems were there in other Sony units; anyone with one of those have any suggestions?.


The user interface could definitely use some refinement. I have an HTPC now and DVDLobby Pro and a Slink-e provide the ultimate interface for the Sony megachangers. DVDLobby is fast and nice to look at. I don't even bother with the Sony interface anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
"You can type in a disc number while you are viewing the list and hit Enter. For example, if you can see discs 1-5 on the screen you can type 6 and press enter to bring up discs 6-10, then type 11 + Enter and so on. Its not the most elegant way to do it but it does allow you to browse a page at a time"



Yabbut...:) If you have things sorted by genre or title, instead of disc number, the numbers aren't sequential, so you don't know what number to punch to go down or up a page. The best you can do is punch in the number of the disc at the current bottom of the screen, and jump down 4, which is even more annoying than ever. :)



"Did you add the images or does the 777 add them automatically?"


The 777 added them for ones it could find, and had default coverart for each genre, so moving a title into a genre gets you the default unless the disc has a specific picture. It's not horrible, since you can ask that the coverart pictures be left blank as a system option, but you still end up wasting a lot of screen space, by only being able to see 5 titles at a time, even with blank coverart. It would be so nice to just be able to look at text lists.




"I have an HTPC now and DVDLobby Pro and a Slink-e provide the ultimate interface for the Sony megachangers. DVDLobby is fast and nice to look at. I don't even bother with the Sony interface anymore."


I'm thinking about it, but I don't have another $250 to blow on a Slink-e, plus another $100 for the software. If I could find a cheap IR card for my PC and just have to buy the software, I'd probably do it...



Thanks...


Arthur
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by boobookitty


I'm thinking about it, but I don't have another $250 to blow on a Slink-e, plus another $100 for the software. If I could find a cheap IR card for my PC and just have to buy the software, I'd probably do it...
You can use a USB-UIRT plus Girder to do the things a slinke can do. The difference is you would use IR signals rather than S-link. The Sony IR device file that comes with DVDLobby can be loaded into the USB-UIRT plugin for Girder so all the commands can be sent by the IR transmitter. If you have PC already the USB-UIRT is $50 and Girder is free.
 

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As with the thread on the Sony DVP-NC555ES, which has also grown stale, I'm trying to revive this thread on the DVP-CX777ES in order to get feedback from those who have used it for several weeks or months, or who have tested it extensively.


There seems to be a consensus that the Disc Explorer interface is weak, although I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has a more favorable view of it.


I do have some other questions:


* Does the CX777ES have the chroma bug (as some of its ES predecessors do)?

* Will anyone compare Sony's "Precision Cinema Progressive" processing and resulting picture quality to that of Faroudja's DCDi?

* Aside from Disc Explorer, what other usability gotchas or irritating quirks does it have?

* Does it have any features that you find especially impressive or unique?

* If you play CDs in multi-disc shuffle mode, how long does it typically take between songs when the changer has to switch discs? (One post above refers to a ten-second lag, but it wasn't clear to me under what circumstances a lag of this length occurs, and whether it is "typical" when switching discs in shuffle mode.)


Any other seasoned reflections? Thanks.
 

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These units are hard to find in the area where I live (SF Bay area, East Bay), but I found that Anderson's carries them and had a display unit in use. This is an absolutely beautiful piece of equipment.


One additional question that I have for those who own or have extensively tested the CX777ES (or comparable Sony mega changers, for that matter): How likely are they to jam when swapping discs?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jaylard
These units are hard to find in the area where I live (SF Bay area, East Bay), but I found that Anderson's carries them and had a display unit in use. This is an absolutely beautiful piece of equipment.


One additional question that I have for those who own or have extensively tested the CX777ES (or comparable Sony mega changers, for that matter): How likely are they to jam when swapping discs?
goodguys has them in my area


i've had an 860 for a while an recently an 875. never had a jam with either. the hardware - carousel/loading mechanism/door/etc seem very solid and reliable.


on another note, programming all your dvds in a pronto is another work around for sony's crappy interface.
 

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Yet another question for owners of the 400-disc megachangers, especially the DVP-CX777ES: How easily does the player handle DVDs intended only for a single play, such as rental or borrowed discs? You don't need to have Disc Explorer categorize the film and store it in its database, particularly. You just want to load the disc and play it, and when you're done watching it, to pop it out -- all as quickly and easily as possible. Is there an easy way to do this, especially for a family member who is not technically oriented or willing to suffer inconveniences that some of us endure due to our love of gadgetry?
 

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Good question, as they only call it a 400 disc changer and without a +1, like the 875P and 860 had. Which was the so called "rental" slot, in the previous 300+1 changers.
 

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Quote:
How easily does the player handle DVDs intended only for a single play, such as rental or borrowed discs?
Since I have now tested the DVP-CX777ES and know the answer, I'll provide it in case anyone else has the same question in the future. The answer is, the player handles "single play" discs quite easily. You put the disc in an available slot and hit the Play button, the player swings it around and starts playing it. When you're done watching, you hit the Disc Eject button, and the player swings it back around and slides the door open. Not hard at all...
 

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I like the DVDP-CX777ES. Hopefully Sony won't make me wait too long for a DVI or HDMI version. I really want to future proof my next major purchases.


DVDlobby seems interesting as well. Glad for that info. I wonder if Pioneer has something up their sleeves however.
 

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longshanksdvd,


We are working on a driver to control the 777ES via serial port. Which means you'll be able to select a movie and automatically start it up. Users have the option to use a touch screen (airpanel), pocket pc or even the TV as a way for selecting movies. Sorting genres, etc. DVDLobby will also display overview, ratings, and other useful information when search 400 movies.


Initial beta testing of the driver has shown that we'll even be able to skip movie trailers, fbi warnings and menu options for most movies. Which I think is a really neat feature.


We're hoping to have the serial plugin available shortly after the holidays.
 

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Awesome....my wife and recently previewed the Kaliedascape at a dealer and are trying to find a workaround for the same functionality. This sounds like it is the ticket.


I still dont understand how it works. I have no experience with DVDlobby. Do you need a PC connected to the 777 at all times?
 

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I'm sure there are discrete remote codes for the 777.


No. You can't daisychain them.


As for your other question, you will need a PC in order to use DVDLobby. It doesn't have to be in your primary viewing area though because you can use wireless smart displays or thin clients (PPC, Win CE Tablet, etc.) and a WiFi network to access the information from your home theater.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by mcascio
longshanksdvd,


We are working on a driver to control the 777ES via serial port. Which means you'll be able to select a movie and automatically start it up. Users have the option to use a touch screen (airpanel), pocket pc or even the TV as a way for selecting movies. Sorting genres, etc. DVDLobby will also display overview, ratings, and other useful information when search 400 movies.


Initial beta testing of the driver has shown that we'll even be able to skip movie trailers, fbi warnings and menu options for most movies. Which I think is a really neat feature.


We're hoping to have the serial plugin available shortly after the holidays.
Mario,

I strongly suggest that you make the new interface for the 777ES task based, according to the three main media types that the 777ES will play, DVD, CD, and SACD. As an example of my suggested interface, consider that to watch a DVD, I'd have to turn on my projector and switch to the DVI input, switch the input of my HOLO3D board to SDi or component (I'm thinking of having the 777ES modified for SDI output), turn on my pre/pro and switch to the DVD input, and choose the DVD stored on the 777ES. In my case the projector, the pre/pro, and the 777ES can all be controlled via RS232, and can be queried for current status. The HOLO card can be controlled by MLServer (redirecting characters to the HOLO3D window) or by command line (even if the app is already running in the tray), or by API.


If the user was given these three options (watch DVD, listen to CD, listen to SACD), and the interface automatically set up the other gear to accomplish the given task, you would have a great, intuitive interface. I would even buy the 777ES and have it modified for SDI (if that can be done with its MPEG decoder) just to run your software.
 
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