Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
igleaner
Topic Author
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 6:13 pm

FINALLY FOUND A GREAT REPLACEMENT FOR THE HD1000

Tue Nov 13, 2007 5:55 am

Check this out:

http://www.helios-labs.com/us/products/ ... line.shtml

The Helios X3000 is not only an HD upconverting DVD player, but appears to be an outstanding media player with features even surpassing the Roku Photobridge. It includes built in wireless access, which the Roku never had and is able to stream full internet content to your TV.

I'm seriously considering buying this unit this week. It goes for about $350, the same as what Roku used to charge.

An even better unit built with professional quality components is their X5000 for about $650, but I don't think it's worth the price difference.

Has anyone here ever checked this out and if so, what is your opinion?
 
sansp00
Posts: 238
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 6:11 am
Location: Beloeil, Quebec
Contact:

Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:18 am

Yup, would not buy it ... You are kinda late to the party, this player has been out for quite a while. Based on old Sigma chip which has a new gen coming out thats way way more powerful. It's not that great, it's a Syabas middle ware with some tweaks here and there. Aside the internals which are high quality, the firmware ain't what it should be. Take a look at the MPC club, there is a review there.

Aside from the video codecs/containers, I don't see anything that the Photobridge could not do (if somebody wrote the app for it).

Patrick S.
Roku HD1000 (revived!), R1000 x2, M1001 x2
Linksys NSLU2 with Firefly
Netgear WGR614,JGS516,GS608,GS605 x3
 
jm_maclaren
Posts: 330
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:03 am

Tue Nov 13, 2007 7:20 am

I agree. I have watched various players none let you modify/write your code like the roku most do not live up to their specs in one way or another. The popocorn media tank looks interesting but my guess is weak firmware will be its achilles heel. Having access to the sdk, which is quite good, lets you do lots more. Granted some features that would be great to have - but what is there seems pretty solid.
 
igleaner
Topic Author
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 6:13 pm

Tue Nov 13, 2007 7:55 am

So if the Photobridge was so good, then the obvious question is why did Roku discontinue it and why hasn't anyone else come up with something better?

When my power supply died last April, I sold my unit before it was widely known a third party was providing reliable repairs. At the time, the talk was that if even the power supply was replaced, the motherboard still had issues. So I chose to sell it.

To this day, I'm still left with nothing except an empty hole in my equipment rack. Is there anything out there that will allow me to easily stream pc based photos and music files over my entertainment system?

I've looked at the Netgear EVA8000 unit, but that also has issues.
 
Burkhardi
Posts: 1946
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 11:06 am
Location: Austin, Texas ...Y'all

Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:36 am

igleaner wrote:
So if the Photobridge was so good, then the obvious question is why did Roku discontinue it and why hasn't anyone else come up with something better?

When my power supply died last April, I sold my unit before it was widely known a third party was providing reliable repairs. At the time, the talk was that if even the power supply was replaced, the motherboard still had issues. So I chose to sell it.

To this day, I'm still left with nothing except an empty hole in my equipment rack. Is there anything out there that will allow me to easily stream pc based photos and music files over my entertainment system?

I've looked at the Netgear EVA8000 unit, but that also has issues.


Just my 2-cents worth and opinion as well as pure conjecture, but here goes.
I think the product was a huge cash hole for Roku and it was never profitable. It was way before its time, so most customers didn't know what it did. Just the bleeding edge folks could understand it. Most I assume thought why pay $499 for a box to show pictures on a TV, not understanding the full potential of this awesome piece of equipment. Then once the idea of a Media Client caught on, people like Linksys had stufff like the WMA11B that was only $200 and once again people (like myself at the time) didn't understand and bought the D-Link or Linksys product that the HD1000 ran circles around it. THe HD1000 is also missing HDMI, which is a must for 2007 it seems.

So think of the HD1000 like the Rio Karma or Apple Neuton

The Newton came out and no one knew what it was or what it did. Then the Palm Pilot was all the rage and people were like, "now this is useful", not knowing that the Newton was a PDA first.

The Karma still smokes the iPod (other then eye candy) and its older (for the most part). No one knew what an MP3 player was (DAP is the real term I think), and it was not untill the iPod untill people knew about MP3 players and the iPod would not even play MP3's when it was first released, it would oly play MP4 (aka AAC). THe Karma has support for a bunch of CODEC (even Monkey's Audio) and the what it can do is pretty impressive for how old it was (i.e. Crossfade, on the fly playlist, networkable, 30GB HDD, gapless playback, etc)

I think Rio had the PMP300 (2nd MP3/DAP in the world) out in 1998 and the first iPod was in 2001

So here is how I got hooked...
I bought a WMA11B (cheap and liked the idea of music and pictures in the living room(for less then $200, I was willing to "play"))and was totally discusted with the lack of knowlege from sales (both best buy and Linksys) on the unit, but liked the idea. It worked ok, but when SP2 for XP came out, it hosed the config (huge issue if you read the WMA11B forums) and it took them about 6 months to fix it and even then, it was not public for a year or longer. I had to call Cisco and talk to several people and finaly got a hold of an engineer that was able to help me with a beta patch.
So between the time it was hosed and the patch, I googled the WMA11B and found out about the HD1000 and was still scared of the price ($499), but found a demo unit for $200 and fell in love with it. So much so, I went out and bought a M500 the next month.

I know its more then you wanted to know, but I was on a roll...
Regards, Matt

Oh yea, the HD1000 was open source, has card readers on the front and an awesome scaler. No one has seemed to put all those into another unit yet. Now if I just had a magic wand...
Roku3 and Roku HD1000 [Rev B] on a Samsung HLP5674W DLP in the living room; a Roku2 and two Roku XS and a few SoundBridges.Win7; Kubuntu and XP via RT-N66U, E2000 and a switch or two. I own stock in Roku, it's just all in the form of hardware.Viva la Roku
 
igleaner
Topic Author
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 6:13 pm

Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:37 am

Thanks, Matt, for the detailed explanation.

Doesn't ROKU now realize that the time has finally come for a need for this device? All they have to do is re-introduce the HD1000 and, with the proper marketing, they would fly off the shelves!

Meanwhile, it looks like the hole in my equipment rack will remain unfilled for a long time to come.

I understand some of the leading edge TVs have ethernet capability for streaming content directly from home computer networks. This type of development may make a stand alone box totally obsolete in the near future.

See the last line of this Toshiba description for the reference to its networking capability.

Toshiba 72MX195 72" DLP Projection TV
(16:9, HDTV - MPN: 72MX195)
Price Range: $1,999.99 - $2,795.00 from 2 Sellers
Rebates & Special Offers: $25.00 Bonus available
Description: For years, Toshiba's Cinema Series models have been thoroughbreds among rear-projection TVs, and the 72MX195 is their biggest and best ever ? the screen measures a full six feet diagonally. Framed by a high-gloss black bezel, images pop wit.... Read More
Description: For years, Toshiba's Cinema Series models have been thoroughbreds among rear-projection TVs, and the 72MX195 is their biggest and best ever ? the screen measures a full six feet diagonally. Framed by a high-gloss black bezel, images pop with electrifying 3-D realism. If you've been looking at front projector systems for your home theater, here's an all-in-one alternative with easier setup and everyday use.Inside, you'll find advanced TV technologies. For maximum clarity and detail, you get 1080p resolution using a 1920 x 1080-pixel DLP chip. But high resolution is only one requirement for a great looking picture. The next step is optimizing picture brightness and contrast, and Toshiba uses two innovative approaches. First, a circuit checks the brightness level of the video signal and regulates a "dynamic iris," opening and closing the aperture to achieve deeper blacks and higher contrast. It can reduce light output up to 75% when necessary. Also, Toshiba's Hi-Bright lamp has two settings: a brighter setting for daytime viewing, and a nighttime setting which reduces brightness and increases contrast for a more cinematic look.The 72MX195 is a "Digital Cable Ready" TV, with built-in HD tuners for both over-the-air and cable TV signals (to take full advantage of the built-in cable tuner, ask your service provider about a CableCARD). To help you make the most of all your available programming, this model includes the subscription-free TV Guide On Screen program guide. It simplifies sorting through and selecting programs to watch, as well as scheduling recordings to a separate VCR, DVR, or DVD recorder.In addition to a generous and flexible set of inputs for your audio/video components, the 72MX195 has a standard computer input and an Ethernet port that is the gateway to Toshiba's built-in networking capability. Simply connect your laptop PC and you can access MP3 files and digital photos stored on its hard drive using only the TV's remote.
 
Burkhardi
Posts: 1946
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 11:06 am
Location: Austin, Texas ...Y'all

Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:11 pm

No prob! Glad the novel was useful.
They would need to do a whole redesign to make it marketable for retial in the current marketpalce IMHO. It would need HDMI and/or DVI. It would also need to have a fully funconal USB port and built in WiFi. Plus I don't think the ATI CPU/ARM (if that chip is even a current series anymore)that could be the biggest issue, not all the parts are current)) can't do the eye candy that is needed for the current user interfaces that we have all come to expect as normal. I think they would be closer to the bill to take a HD2000 platform and rework it for the Photobridge replacment.
As always, just my 2-cents worth, Matt

igleaner wrote:
Thanks, Matt, for the detailed explanation.

Doesn't ROKU now realize that the time has finally come for a need for this device? All they have to do is re-introduce the HD1000 and, with the proper marketing, they would fly off the shelves!

Meanwhile, it looks like the hole in my equipment rack will remain unfilled for a long time to come.

I understand some of the leading edge TVs have ethernet capability for streaming content directly from home computer networks. This type of development may make a stand alone box totally obsolete in the near future.

See the last line of this Toshiba description for the reference to its networking capability.

Toshiba 72MX195 72" DLP Projection TV
(16:9, HDTV - MPN: 72MX195)
Price Range: $1,999.99 - $2,795.00 from 2 Sellers
Rebates & Special Offers: $25.00 Bonus available
Description: For years, Toshiba's Cinema Series models have been thoroughbreds among rear-projection TVs, and the 72MX195 is their biggest and best ever ? the screen measures a full six feet diagonally. Framed by a high-gloss black bezel, images pop wit.... Read More
Description: For years, Toshiba's Cinema Series models have been thoroughbreds among rear-projection TVs, and the 72MX195 is their biggest and best ever ? the screen measures a full six feet diagonally. Framed by a high-gloss black bezel, images pop with electrifying 3-D realism. If you've been looking at front projector systems for your home theater, here's an all-in-one alternative with easier setup and everyday use.Inside, you'll find advanced TV technologies. For maximum clarity and detail, you get 1080p resolution using a 1920 x 1080-pixel DLP chip. But high resolution is only one requirement for a great looking picture. The next step is optimizing picture brightness and contrast, and Toshiba uses two innovative approaches. First, a circuit checks the brightness level of the video signal and regulates a "dynamic iris," opening and closing the aperture to achieve deeper blacks and higher contrast. It can reduce light output up to 75% when necessary. Also, Toshiba's Hi-Bright lamp has two settings: a brighter setting for daytime viewing, and a nighttime setting which reduces brightness and increases contrast for a more cinematic look.The 72MX195 is a "Digital Cable Ready" TV, with built-in HD tuners for both over-the-air and cable TV signals (to take full advantage of the built-in cable tuner, ask your service provider about a CableCARD). To help you make the most of all your available programming, this model includes the subscription-free TV Guide On Screen program guide. It simplifies sorting through and selecting programs to watch, as well as scheduling recordings to a separate VCR, DVR, or DVD recorder.In addition to a generous and flexible set of inputs for your audio/video components, the 72MX195 has a standard computer input and an Ethernet port that is the gateway to Toshiba's built-in networking capability. Simply connect your laptop PC and you can access MP3 files and digital photos stored on its hard drive using only the TV's remote.
Roku3 and Roku HD1000 [Rev B] on a Samsung HLP5674W DLP in the living room; a Roku2 and two Roku XS and a few SoundBridges.Win7; Kubuntu and XP via RT-N66U, E2000 and a switch or two. I own stock in Roku, it's just all in the form of hardware.Viva la Roku
 
dgburns
Posts: 812
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 9:37 am

Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:53 pm

igleaner wrote:
Doesn't ROKU now realize that the time has finally come for a need for this device? All they have to do is re-introduce the HD1000 and, with the proper marketing, they would fly off the shelves!

No doubt. They were SO close with the HD1000. Problem is so few people truly "get it". Surveys have shown that most people think "upconverted" DVD's look "just fine" on their HDTV's, because they haven't seen REAL HD on their HDTV's.

igleaner wrote:
Meanwhile, it looks like the hole in my equipment rack will remain unfilled for a long time to come.

Hmmmm....???
http://www.pinnaclesys.com/PublicSite/u ... ter+250+HD
HD-1500 RevB #1 (media room)
Mitsubishi WD-62528 62" LCD RPTV
Kenwood VR-407 receiver w/PSB Alpha's
PS/3 60GB (now 250GB) w/750GB Seagate ext
M1000 (upstairs)
HD-1000 RevB #2 (bedroom)
Visco 32" LCD
AR 2.1 audio system
PS/2
 
mjt5282
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 6:46 pm
Location: Connecticut, USA
Contact:

Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:36 pm

I agree, the Roku PB1000 is kind of like the Newton, flakey and fun to play with, on the leading edge. It is a shame that it didn't catch on ... there was a lot of positive press. But it was really ahead of its time.

I think the general purpose, SDK enabled device will be replaced by a closed format, encrypted STB that interfaces with Netflix or BlokBuster.

Films will downloaded and encrypted on a hard drive, over broadband. Music will be rented, streamed from Napster or Rhapsody.

The refurbished PB1000 will live forever!

:D
PB1000 Rev. A (X3), PB1000 Rev. B (X3), SlimServer 6.5.4 + Nero MediaHome (for transcoding to MPlay)
 
jhschlak
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 2:06 pm

Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:36 am

So what is the best media player out there right now?
 
jlsoaz
Posts: 586
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2006 2:12 pm

Fri Dec 21, 2007 10:36 am

Burkhardi wrote:
igleaner wrote:
So if the Photobridge was so good, then the obvious question is why did Roku discontinue it and why hasn't anyone else come up with something better?
[...]


Just my 2-cents worth and opinion as well as pure conjecture, but here goes.
I think the product was a huge cash hole for Roku and it was never profitable. It was way before its time, so most customers didn't know what it did. Just the bleeding edge folks could understand it. Most I assume thought why pay $499 for a box to show pictures on a TV, not understanding the full potential of this awesome piece of equipment.[...]


Hello everybody:

I am trying to research buying a video receiver. There are two or three features in particular, that I want.

1. If it is possible, I would like to stream video directly from my router directly to my TV without my computer being turned on (just as I now stream music from internet radio stations to my Roku Soundbridge and stereo system). It is this feature of the Roku Soundbridge which has been, by far, the most-used feature in my household, and the most-important aspect of why I bought the device and why I am a big fan. I noticed that this thread started with someone pointing out a product which would appear to claim to offer this feature that is my top priority (Helios X-Line).

2. If, instead of having the computer turned off, I do go from my computer to the media receiver, I want the video to be reproduced with decent quality and relatively hassle-free in terms of different types of formats.

3. I will be curious to use my larger TV as an across-the-room computer monitor, if I feel like it.

Although it would appear, from reading this forum, that Roku Labs has thrown away a great opportunity by abandoning any real credible effort in consumer digital video, it looks to me like some people here are knowledgeable about the past Roku effort in this area, and about present offerings, so maybe they will have some insight. From a few of the posts, it would appear to be nearly futile to get Roku to change policy and recommit to this area, so if they do, that would be great, and if not, I can maybe still use the forum to help inform my purchasing decision elsewhere.

Also, (long post, but I enjoy forum discussions and sharing ideas) it seems to me that, with the writers guild striking, that is a bit more motivation for some of us to look around for alternatives to conventional TV reception. I haven't actually had TV reception for 2.5 years, as I took a break from cable and have no regular antenna. I watch DVDs sometimes. If I am able to find a good streaming solution, it would reintroduce some TV into my life just as the Soundbridge reintroduced radio into my life.
 
igleaner
Topic Author
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 6:13 pm

Wed Dec 26, 2007 11:25 am

Check out this one day sale on the top of the line Helios X5000 for HALF PRICE at the following link:

http://www.helios-labs-shop.com/us/

This unit still looks like the best bet for replacing the Roku PB.
 
sansp00
Posts: 238
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 6:11 am
Location: Beloeil, Quebec
Contact:

Wed Dec 26, 2007 2:10 pm

Wow, if you think this is a deal ... It's a legacy Sigma chip in there.
Look at this press release:
http://www.mpcclub.com/modules.php?name ... =0&thold=0
329USD for a next gen Ziova (they also make great network media players).
And right now, there is the Popcorn Hour a 279USD.
Patrick S.
Roku HD1000 (revived!), R1000 x2, M1001 x2

Linksys NSLU2 with Firefly

Netgear WGR614,JGS516,GS608,GS605 x3
 
dgburns
Posts: 812
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 9:37 am

Thu Jan 03, 2008 4:15 pm

sansp00 wrote:
Wow, if you think this is a deal ... It's a legacy Sigma chip in there.
Look at this press release:
http://www.mpcclub.com/modules.php?name ... =0&thold=0
329USD for a next gen Ziova (they also make great network media players).
And right now, there is the Popcorn Hour a 279USD.
Patrick S.

Gizmodo seems to like the specs of the upcoming ClearStream, but Ziovia is just Zensonic with a new name, and the new device will still be based on a Sigma Designs chip, so... ???
HD-1500 RevB #1 (media room)

Mitsubishi WD-62528 62" LCD RPTV

Kenwood VR-407 receiver w/PSB Alpha's

PS/3 60GB (now 250GB) w/750GB Seagate ext

M1000 (upstairs)

HD-1000 RevB #2 (bedroom)

Visco 32" LCD

AR 2.1 audio system

PS/2
 
sansp00
Posts: 238
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 6:11 am
Location: Beloeil, Quebec
Contact:

Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:35 pm

I exchanged posts with some Ziova developpers and they said they were working on some API ( like the one for the HD1000 ) for their devices. The new sigma chip is WAY more powerfull than the previous one. So if they ever come throught with the API, it would be a very nice replacement unit.
Patrick S.
Roku HD1000 (revived!), R1000 x2, M1001 x2

Linksys NSLU2 with Firefly

Netgear WGR614,JGS516,GS608,GS605 x3

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