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na9d
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PB Setup Problems

Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:01 pm

Hey gang,

Hopefully someone can help me out here.

I bought a PB from a seller at Amazon. It arrived today in good condition. Tonight I hooked it up and that's when my problems began.

I've upgraded to the latest version: 2.0.36 or whateve the latest is that you download from the website. My problems:

1.) No audio - Using the RCA jacks on the back (Audio Out).
2.) Not able to stream audio. I've tried it using the built in player and I've tried it using SlimRoku. Things just lock up.
3.) Everything just seems slow...

I know 3 is vague and is subjective. I really need help with 1 and 2 so if you have any ideas please let me know.

Thanks,

Jon
 
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TheEndless
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Re: PB Setup Problems

Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:01 am

na9d wrote:
Hey gang,

Hopefully someone can help me out here.

I bought a PB from a seller at Amazon. It arrived today in good condition. Tonight I hooked it up and that's when my problems began.

I've upgraded to the latest version: 2.0.36 or whateve the latest is that you download from the website. My problems:

1.) No audio - Using the RCA jacks on the back (Audio Out).
2.) Not able to stream audio. I've tried it using the built in player and I've tried it using SlimRoku. Things just lock up.
3.) Everything just seems slow...

I know 3 is vague and is subjective. I really need help with 1 and 2 so if you have any ideas please let me know.

Thanks,

Jon

1.) If you're trying to watch a video with Dolby Digital, then make sure you have it set for stereo downmix (unless you're using a digital connection).
2.) Not sure about that one. SlimRoku is very tempermental with the latest version of SlimServer, so that could explain it misbehaving, but the built in player should work fine.
3.) The only update in 2.0.36 was specifically an "increase" in network speeds when communicating with Samba shares, but there have been several reports to the contrary. I would suggest trying 2.0.35 instead. Just change the version number in the download link.

Overall, if you're using a Rev.A (you didn't mention), you'll want to add a swap file. That should considerably speed up applications that use a fair amount of memory.

Hope that helps...
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na9d
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Re: PB Setup Problems

Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:11 am

TheEndless wrote:
na9d wrote:
Hey gang,

Hopefully someone can help me out here.

I bought a PB from a seller at Amazon. It arrived today in good condition. Tonight I hooked it up and that's when my problems began.

I've upgraded to the latest version: 2.0.36 or whateve the latest is that you download from the website. My problems:

1.) No audio - Using the RCA jacks on the back (Audio Out).
2.) Not able to stream audio. I've tried it using the built in player and I've tried it using SlimRoku. Things just lock up.
3.) Everything just seems slow...

I know 3 is vague and is subjective. I really need help with 1 and 2 so if you have any ideas please let me know.

Thanks,

Jon

1.) If you're trying to watch a video with Dolby Digital, then make sure you have it set for stereo downmix (unless you're using a digital connection).
2.) Not sure about that one. SlimRoku is very tempermental with the latest version of SlimServer, so that could explain it misbehaving, but the built in player should work fine.
3.) The only update in 2.0.36 was specifically an "increase" in network speeds when communicating with Samba shares, but there have been several reports to the contrary. I would suggest trying 2.0.35 instead. Just change the version number in the download link.

Overall, if you're using a Rev.A (you didn't mention), you'll want to add a swap file. That should considerably speed up applications that use a fair amount of memory.

Hope that helps...
TheEndless


Thanks for the response.

I am running Rev B hardware. I'm still trying to figure out which way is UP with the Photobridge. It's not quite as plug and play as the Soundbridges!

I'm not playing anything in Dolby Digital and downmix is set in the configuration. Is there a volume control anywhere on the PB? I've not been able to find that. I'm able to play video files using MPLAY, but I can't hear them - no audio.

I'm seeing tremendous problems with SlimServer 6.5 and not just on the PB. I've seen it lock up several times with my SBs and also just trying to access the webpage from a browser. I'm wondering if there's a problem with that release. I may try going back a bit.

I guess one thing I'm not sure of is just what the PB can natively play. My audio files are all AAC for the most part and most of my videos are MPEG-2 files pulled from my ReplayTV units. I've not had luck getting Replay6 to work yet either on the PB.

I'll see about going back one version on the software.

Jon
 
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TheEndless
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Re: PB Setup Problems

Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:38 am

na9d wrote:
I'm not playing anything in Dolby Digital and downmix is set in the configuration. Is there a volume control anywhere on the PB? I've not been able to find that. I'm able to play video files using MPLAY, but I can't hear them - no audio.

There are three possibilities I can think of here...
The first, and most likely is that one of the audio apps crashed and took out the audio decoder with it. If that happens, you would see what you're reporting in MPlay (video but no sound). Try rebooting the PB by holding down the power button on the front of the unit for a few seconds until the light flashes. Once it boots back up, try MPlay again and see if you get audio.

The second possibility is that the "Listen" application (Sonata) still has the audio device open. It's not at all straight-forward how to stop Sonata once it's started. If the "Listen" application in the main Roku UI has a "play" icon on it, then Sonata is still running. Highlight it and press the play/pause button on the remote to stop it.

The third possibility is that an application has set the volume low on the PB. Specifically, SlimRoku sets the volume to whatever SlimServer is set for (upper right-hand corner of the web interface). If that was set low when you ran SlimRoku, then SlimRoku crashed, it's possible that the PB has maintained that volume level. Try launching SlimRoku, then go to the SlimServer web interface and set the volume to "11". Then exit SlimRoku gracefully.

na9d wrote:
I guess one thing I'm not sure of is just what the PB can natively play. My audio files are all AAC for the most part and most of my videos are MPEG-2 files pulled from my ReplayTV units. I've not had luck getting Replay6 to work yet either on the PB.

I believe lossy AAC should be supported natively by the 2.0 firmware. soiaf has written a number of third-party audio codecs (including one for lossless-AAC) that work with the 2.0 firmware. I don't know if there is a comprehensive list anywhere, but he's pretty much written one for all of the major formats. Do a search in the third-party forum for "codec" and you should get them in the results.

As for video on the PB, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 are the only natively supported formats.

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dgburns
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Re: PB Setup Problems

Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:39 pm

TheEndless wrote:
As for video on the PB, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 are the only natively supported formats.

And in MY personal experience, Transport Stream MPEG-2's (.ts files) work "better" than Program Stream MPEG-s's (.tp or .mpg files).

You CAN playback AVI's, MOV's, etc. in MPlay if you have a UPnP server on your PC (Twonkyvision, Nero MediaHome, etc.) to do the transcoding. MPlay would show your "server" name in the list when you go to open a file to playback. I've had success with WMV-HD clips transcoded by Nero to Mplay. But there's no FF or RW. Dunno if that's Mplay, Nero, or UPnP in general.

High bitrate MPEG-2's will likely stutter even on a 100Mbit wired connection from SMB (i.e. Windows sharing) shares. This is what 2.0.36 firmware was 'supposed' to fix, but the jury's out whether it really does or not. I still use 2.0.34 firmware on a RevB hardware. I only use SMB shares for music, all my video shares are NFS or UPnP.
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Re: PB Setup Problems

Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:52 pm

TheEndless wrote:
I believe lossy AAC should be supported natively by the 2.0 firmware.


If you're planning on playing AAC files I would recommend not using 2.0.36, theres a bug in the AAC playback code that causes a long delay before playing back - 2.0.34 would probably be a better choice.
See here for more details
http://www.rokulabs.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=5689

For a list of audio codecs available (and other useful info :) ) have a look at this link

http://www.rokulabs.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6259
 
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Re: PB Setup Problems

Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:15 pm

dgburns wrote:
I've had success with WMV-HD clips transcoded by Nero to Mplay. But there's no FF or RW. Dunno if that's Mplay, Nero, or UPnP in general.

I FF and RW all the time in Nero transcoded XviD files, so it's not an MPlay or UPnP limitation. My guess is that Nero can't skip, transcode, and buffer the WMV-HD clips fast enough, so MPlay is resulting an EOF.

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na9d
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Tue Sep 26, 2006 2:50 pm

You know the more I read and mess with the PB, the more difficulty I have understanding how everyone thought it was such a great product. Maybe for folks coming from the Linux world or Windows world, it's a great thing. But from the Mac world, this thing blows.

I've never seen an MPEG-2 .ts file nor do I care to try to figure out how to create one. All my video files are plain old .mpg files.

Then to play other popular video formats, I have to set up and run an additional piece of software on the computer to transcode it. OK, great, but I run in primarly a Mac environment (I do have Windows machines but prefer to do as much as possible on the Macs).

I once asked in these forums why someone would pay $399 or $499 or whatever it was for a PB, when they could buy a Mac Mini for about the same price. I got all these wonderful arguments back about why the PB was so superior for playing media. Yet, gee, a Mac Mini out of the box plays MPEG-2 (OK with an additional element to Quicktime), it plays, MP3, AAC, ALAF, etc with no issues. It displays photos, etc.

The more I use this product the more I realize that Roku was probably smart in dumping it. I seriously fail to see what is so wonderful about it. Yeah, the additional apps seem to be very nicely done (like Weather6 and SlimRoku).

I'll probably hold out and mess with this until iTV comes out and then I'll be happy to sell it to one of you guys who are in love with it.
 
chackett
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Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:57 pm

na9d wrote:
You know the more I read and mess with the PB, the more difficulty I have understanding how everyone thought it was such a great product. Maybe for folks coming from the Linux world or Windows world, it's a great thing. But from the Mac world, this thing blows.

I've never seen an MPEG-2 .ts file nor do I care to try to figure out how to create one. All my video files are plain old .mpg files.

Then to play other popular video formats, I have to set up and run an additional piece of software on the computer to transcode it. OK, great, but I run in primarly a Mac environment (I do have Windows machines but prefer to do as much as possible on the Macs).

I once asked in these forums why someone would pay $399 or $499 or whatever it was for a PB, when they could buy a Mac Mini for about the same price. I got all these wonderful arguments back about why the PB was so superior for playing media. Yet, gee, a Mac Mini out of the box plays MPEG-2 (OK with an additional element to Quicktime), it plays, MP3, AAC, ALAF, etc with no issues. It displays photos, etc.

The more I use this product the more I realize that Roku was probably smart in dumping it. I seriously fail to see what is so wonderful about it. Yeah, the additional apps seem to be very nicely done (like Weather6 and SlimRoku).

I'll probably hold out and mess with this until iTV comes out and then I'll be happy to sell it to one of you guys who are in love with it.

I'm a Mac user as well, so I certainly appreciate your frustration; it took me several months to get everything working on the PB, and it very definitely was not a walk in the park.

That being said, once everything was (and still is) working, it's an amazing machine. The video I'm watching is mostly HD captured from my Comcast DVR, which is already mpeg, so I don't mind that I can't watch Quicktime files.

You're right, however; once someone gets good hardware combined with good software right out of the box (so that all you have to do is plug it in), they're going to kick butt in this market. I'm not holding my breath, though.
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na9d
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Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:18 pm

How are you pulling video from the Comcast DVR? Doesn't really matter for me since I only have one HD set and it has a built in DVR itself (LG 50" Plasma - 50PC1DR). And there's no way to pull from it...

Anywho, I'll keep messing with the PB. I will say that photos look awesome, but I'll have to keep futzing with it for all the other stuff. It's certainly a very different product from the easy of use of the SB line.

Jon
 
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TheEndless
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Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:36 pm

na9d wrote:
I've never seen an MPEG-2 .ts file nor do I care to try to figure out how to create one. All my video files are plain old .mpg files.

You shouldn't have any problems with any MPEG-2 files, ts or otherwise. I'm not sure what issues dgburns has seen with them, but I've never run across an MPEG-1/2 file that I couldn't play.

As far as the shortcomings you've mentioned. They've been discussed to death on these forums (particularly the video formats)... perhaps you missed those threads. I personally love my PB, but at the same time I'm a tinkerer, as are most of the other active participants in the PhotoBridge forums. Maybe that's why you got a different impression than what you're experiencing.

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na9d
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Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:34 pm

Well, I like tinkering but I just had a different impression of the product.

Anyhow, good news. I downgraded to rev 35. Seems like network responses are a little faster.

I also was able to get audio finally! YAY! Not sure what level the PB puts out but I was using the "TAPE" input on my receiver. I switched to a different input and got sound. So that's good. What I don't get is why it didn't work. My SB works fine in that input...

Now, I'm just trying to figure out why some of the applications appear to regularly crash: Replay6 (would really like to get this to work), Cinema6 and LiveSpy all have problems. Perhaps I didn't get the 2.0 version compilations??

Anyhow, things are improving...

Jon
 
dgburns
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Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:51 pm

TheEndless wrote:
I'm not sure what issues dgburns has seen with them, but I've never run across an MPEG-1/2 file that I couldn't play.

Umm...what I SAID was that in MY experience Transport Streams work "better" than Program Streams.
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dgburns
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Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:01 pm

na9d wrote:
Well, I like tinkering but I just had a different impression of the product.

Hard to imagine. You say you posted here asking why people don't just buy a Mac Mini. So...a bit of a mystery how you (or ANYONE!) could read this forum (or even the AVS discussions of the PB) and NOT come away with the "impression" that the PB is no comparison to a Mac type of "experience". So, why didn't YOU just buy a Mac Mini?

na9d wrote:
Anyhow, things are improving...

That's good news! The PB does a limited few things (maybe just ONE?) better than any other product out there, even now that it's aged and orphaned by it's creator. For those of us to which those particular things are important (and the other things it sorta does well are just glitter), it'll stay the product of choice until someone REALLY creates the "next best thing".
HD-1500 RevB #1 (media room)

Mitsubishi WD-62528 62" LCD RPTV

Kenwood VR-407 receiver w/PSB Alpha's

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HD-1000 RevB #2 (bedroom)

Visco 32" LCD

AR 2.1 audio system

PS/2
 
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TheEndless
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Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:14 pm

dgburns wrote:
TheEndless wrote:
I'm not sure what issues dgburns has seen with them, but I've never run across an MPEG-1/2 file that I couldn't play.

Umm...what I SAID was that in MY experience Transport Streams work "better" than Program Streams.

Which would suggest that program streams don't work as well.. indicating some sort of issue.. ? Either way, I was just clarifying for na9d, so he didn't get the impression that standard MPEG-2 files wouldn't work well.

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