My new Revision B PhotoBridge HD Gallery Collection arrived yesterday and the design & build of the box is so much better than my Pinnacle ShowCenter so my expectations were high.
Also no software to install on the PC - result!
So what went wrong?
All I want to do is stream my media from my PC network to another room where my AV setup resides. The Pinnacle SC made a pigs ear of this and in some respects so does the PB1000 - both units show so much promise but fall at the last hurdle - in this modern day & age of high-tech can it really be so difficult to manufacture one of these units that actually works as promised?
To start with the PB1000 v 1.5.18 using its own built-in and CF Card worked very well - excellent quality!
However only a couple of network shares showed up and it could not display any of the files - also the display of shares seemed sporadic to say the least - sometimes they were there sometimes they weren't.
I upgraded to v 2.0.34 via a freshly formatted CF Card which seemed to go well.
I noticed a different menu layout and when running through the settings I noticed a software update button which when activated effortlessly downloaded 2.0.36 from the Internet - wonderful.
At this stage I was convinced the PB1K was a winner.
Following the s/w upgrade as before I done a factory reset from the Information menu and then reset the box from the front panel for good measure.
This time loads of shares showed up but although the user/pass was good I was told I did not have read access???
I use an NT4 Server to provide authentication to my main workstation, laptop, 2 different TabletPC's and a Quantum SnapServer where all my media lives.
The SnapServer was set for Full Access to Everyone but that was still not good enough so I setup an access group on the PB1K that now gave me access to my media.
However whenever I tried to play anything from the Gallery CF Card that worked perfectly before, more problems arose.
I was unable to pause or skip any of the pictures that I was able to do before. In fact I could not return to the menu by pressing exit or menu. If I turned the unit off via the remote it took a while before it would respond but on turning it back on it was still displaying the pictures...
On some occasions the broken CF card symbol appeared and there was corruption of the media on it and sometimes slight corruption of the menus. A power off reset, factory default of button reset did not cure it.
Obviously a CF Card issue methinks....
In the box there was the Gallery media pack of CD's shrinkwrapped together so I felt safe in reformatting the CF Card and reloading on from CD.
More woes - when I cut the shrinkwrap from the bundled CD's neither the Space nor Holiday CD's were included although they were on the CF Card originally!
I still have an intermittent issue where the pause/skip does not work and although the WorldClock, Analog Clock & BusyRobots show up on the menu they do not run either. [I have since noticed however that after displaying about half-a-dozen pictures or so full functionality appears to return to the handset - still no WorldClock, Analog Clock or BusyRobots though...]
As iTunes seems so dominant it also seems strange that there seems no built-in support for the playlists it produces although I did see there now appears to be AAC support in the latest s/ware but I am guessing that due to Apples shortsighted decision to restrict licensing anything I have purchased and legally downloaded from iTunes will still refuse to play?
Some of the pictures I have on my PC appear 'stretched' on the PB1K display despite the setting I choose - is there a way to correct this?
Although nowhere near as awful as the Pinnacle SC the operation of the remote sometimes defies logic and forces you to go the 'long way round' - for example when you reach the end of a line and want to continue to the beginning of the next you cannot simply press 'right' but have to press 'down' and then 'left' multiple times until you have reached the beginning of the line.
Also sometimes - depending upon which menu is being displayed - at the bottom of a selection list you are unable to press down and 'automagically' appear at the top of the list and vice-versa.
Also I am unable to set the correct time zone (GMT UK) as there are only US specific zones displayed although I purchased my PB1K directly from Roku UK. [I have since 'downgraded' to 2.0.34 following reported issues with 2.0.36 and notice that there are many other time zones now being displayed that I never noticed before.]
The mains lead is also non-UK and therefore it could not be used straight from the box...
As I stated above the PB1K is a much better build & design but what do I miss about the Pinnacle SC?
Compatability with a wider range of picture formats such as .bmp & conversion of .png & .gif
Compatability with a wider range of audio formats such as .ogg & conversion of .wma and DRM WMA
Compatability with a wider range of video formats such as mpeg-1, mpeg-4 AVI, VOB, XvID & conversion of .wmv & DV
Fast forward & rewind of video (clunky but a feature never the less)
Front mounted USB port for flash drives etc.
I don't miss the total lack of support from Pinnacle but then again after reading these forums it appears that Roku have deserted the PB1K leaving me in a similar position to that with the SC...
Am I alone in wondering if the time & effort expended in trying to do the simple task of playing/streaming media from my PC to another room via one of these 'boxes' is worth it?
Thanks & regards,