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Poll: do you regret your pch purchase(s)
no, i don't feel as if i were ripped off
F YES!!!!!
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do you regret your pch purchase?
12-04-2012, 06:53 AM
Post: #1
do you regret your pch purchase?
I've only had my c300 for a week and i already have a love/hate relationship with it. My experiences echo what others have said.... Lack of documentation, lack of support, compatability issues, selling devices in 'alpha' stage, etc.

Would microsoft sell a new xbox in the same state as our pchs? I don't mind having to manual tinker with my toys, but the purchase price certainly does not reflect the quality of product we receive. I paid almost $450 for my c300 with bd rom and wifi.

I am going to buy some ky jelly so things don't hurt as much. /rant.

Yes, i k now this isn't an 'official' support forum, but i figured it would gain more attention posting here, rather than sending an email which would surely be ignored.
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12-04-2012, 07:14 AM
Post: #2
RE: do you regret your pch purchase?
I have purchased many devices and not one of them has been headache free. My nixeus is now 1 year old has gotten two firmware updates one which was to enable bitstream audio that took 5-6 weeks to come out after i purchased it and the next firmware brought a Chinese store to the unit. It will not list file in alphabetical order its random and crashes for no reason. PCH sure its unstable and some niches that you can get used, if Not sell it you can make most of your money back and try another purchase, There is no one box shop what works for 100 people might not work for the next 100.
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12-04-2012, 07:22 AM
Post: #3
RE: do you regret your pch purchase?
/nod

And as I bought my 3D plasma Samsung TV in July 2010 (so I was an "early adopter"), it was exactly the same debate with a 256 pages thread (within a couple of weeks) alone on the french forums, not to speak of the anglo-saxon ones. So if even a very large company like Samsung gets the same critics on releasing new products/new technology ("not finished", "full of bugs", bla bla bla), than we can't blame Syabas :-) Plus the community on the forums here is very nice and helpful, I learn something new each day I read the forum about thousand different topics which are not in my regular field of knowledge, it's a bit like an internet lesson about hardware, software and networking Big Grin

So don't be unfair to our little Popcorn(s)...

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12-04-2012, 07:33 AM (This post was last modified: 12-04-2012 07:33 AM by kingevil.)
Post: #4
RE: do you regret your pch purchase?
You're right. I know this is the price we pay for such a devise. I think for me, the price point is what makes it most difficult.

You're right. I know this is the price we pay for such a devise. I think for me, the price point is what makes it most difficult.
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12-04-2012, 03:16 PM (This post was last modified: 12-04-2012 03:40 PM by accident.)
Post: #5
RE: do you regret your pch purchase?
I think how well any media player works for you really depends on your media files. Certain formats tend to be buggy in new products. Certain containers tend to be less chip set maker supported and tend to be really buggy. Certain problems are very regional because how those areas get their media files and expect their tv to look is very different. the players aren't made by the same people whoa re making the tools to make the files so when they find a bug, you don't get an ffmpeg, vlcplayer, codec update, demuxer update that all fix the same problem. The hardware units are always playing catchup.

It really comes down to the chipsets and it doesn't matter who made the chipset. When you deal with hardware based chips designed for video media, then your getting chips that the primary use for is in commerical protected media playback. It might be stb/dvr with very specific streams made exactly the same way everytime or very specific standards for how and what needs to be supports for the likes of dvd and bluray. The problem is we don't use these chips how they were designed. When we rip a bluray to the drive, we remove the optical drive that has a very specific speed it sends the data into the decoder. We add in quirks with rapid changes in codecs and tools used to make or record/transcode the media. we add in buggy muxers. We ask hardware decoders to play media that might not be flawless.

btw: the original xbox, xbox360, ultimate tv, media center extender, media center, zune and most of the microsoft consumer products had AWFUL first shipment launches. same situation that is here, as they learned how people used the product they were able to adapt and fix and keep moving forward. There's still lots of routers and things that don't work with an xbox360. The problem is the 5% of users bitching and complaining is lost in the millions who are chatting and happy. We don't have that luxory here and this tends to be all the bad things and when things work, it's a funny thing people USE them to watch tv so they don't hang around to report the successes or even update their own threads when they get it right or found them magic setting.

When you add everything together, I'm surprised they work at all. Not saying it's ok to be rather unstable but the people who "bitch" the loudest, also make the worst posts where they give absolutely no specific information on their media, how they make it, what they are seeing. for them to be constantly surprised "it's broken again" is shocking to me. A company cannot make a list of things they need to test from "Bitch it's broke, fix it". Also there does come a time when a company has to decide how many people will be broken and might return vs how many people will be happy and spread the word.

If your one of those people always broken, maybe it's time to rethink how your getting, storing or ripping your media files. Once you stop fighting the box, it's just works and it just works in the next model or your near the front of the line for people who get fixed first. And that goes with EVERY brand.

As far as price, DTS-HD, TRUHD, H264, codec this, technology that is most of the cost of a unit. They can't make a commerical product and use reverse engineered tools in this area. They have to be standards based and pay for the ability to use them. which also leads to some of the bugs, especially in a new unit because they can't break the license just because xbmc or vlcplayer can do it.



I think you need to add another answer to your poll.. "Yes I'm upset but I messed up and didn't return it"
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12-06-2012, 05:15 AM
Post: #6
RE: do you regret your pch purchase?
I agree with most of what you say, accident. But these boxes have been out for over 4 years? The lack of support from syabas doesn't help either. Maybe if they had an official forum, then us customers would feel a little more confident in future upgrades.
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12-06-2012, 05:47 AM
Post: #7
RE: do you regret your pch purchase?
for 4 years people buy them faster than they can make them. Would you change how you release them if you can't keep them on the shelves? A better question here is why after 4 years is everyone still rushing to buy them? Fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice shame on me. I believe the dictionary defines insane as donig the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

If you engage support, they are very responsive. You get good information, they update you on the fixes. Everyone else never sees their stuff get fixed and "we had no idea that was broken" is a valid response, they had no idea. In their reports from support of what's broken, what most want to see changed or fixed most problems never appear on the list. the engineers look like rock stars before they keep getting the list of reported problems smaller and smaller. meanwhile, we see the list of things ignoring go up and up.
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12-06-2012, 07:39 AM (This post was last modified: 12-06-2012 07:40 AM by Zod.)
Post: #8
RE: do you regret your pch purchase?
I've been pretty happy. My first popcorn hour was an a110. It always ran pretty solid. They fixed most of the bugs out of it before dropping support. There was a short period the head compression issues that pissed me off, but that was one of the last fixes. It kept playing most files i threw at it. The only remaining grip I had was when playing a folder full of music files it would randomly stop. I have to imagine any other owner of a media box has a few complains too (outside of pch).

I just bought an a-400. Not too shabby so far. All I do is dump an internal hard drive in it and watch videos. I don't ask for much.. lol. Thats probably why I bought a 2nd one. PCH's are one of the few that can house a 3rd party internal hard drive. That's key to me. Most of the competition tries to keep it small, so they don't make room for them. The WDTV live hub only holds propietary 2.5inch drives. If not I may have considered one.
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12-06-2012, 08:26 AM
Post: #9
RE: do you regret your pch purchase?
(12-06-2012 05:15 AM)kingevil Wrote:  I agree with most of what you say, accident. But these boxes have been out for over 4 years? The lack of support from syabas doesn't help either. Maybe if they had an official forum, then us customers would feel a little more confident in future upgrades.

Though not Syabas-official, this forum is like "Popcorn Grand Plazza Central" where you'll find answers about any topic, from firmware to jukebox (including third party ones, of course) software passing through video, audio, subtitle issues, whatever. And people like Werner from Syabas often post here, you can't say there is a lack of support, that would be unfair.

Beside that, I suspect "us" customers almost wishing every new generation of NMTs to have some bugs, so you can delightful dig into dozen of pages of esoteric know-how techspeech and post yourself occult computer-related rituals only a Greater demon is able to fulfill, look for example at the thread about the networkspeed of the A-400. It's the style and the atmosphere of the Popcorn community Big Grin

And if you are a bit simple minded like me, people will still answer nicely and find words suited to your level of understanding. As NMJ v1 came out, I didn't understand anything about switching from a html based skin to a flash based one. So a nice guy just told me, "go to your video folder and press the red button on the remote", he Cool

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12-06-2012, 08:46 AM
Post: #10
RE: do you regret your pch purchase?
YES and NO !

I was very happy with my C200 at the beginning, well.. times flies,.. few years ago.

Now I moved on and I'm using an HTPC for playing with my HD set and of course watching my videos.
XBMC is really a "no brainer" ....which is great for me.

Anyway thanks to Networked Media Tank for this nice small machine !
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12-06-2012, 09:17 AM
Post: #11
RE: do you regret your pch purchase?
I have to say that I've never regretted buying a pch. I've had a A-110 and am on the A-200 and will upgrade to the A-400 when I have some spare cash.

Most of the issue's I've had usually were from my lack of experience with working with a media player and network setups. Now I've got my A-200 to where I want it to be with the Eversion Yamj and it's perfect.

My wife said that getting the PCH was one of the best things I've ever done and we had two kids of late during that time between the A-110 to the A-200 so that's a big wrap for PCH. Big Grin

I do admit that there's been plenty of times of frustration mainly due to my constant tinkering of the Yamj and also having to remux MKV's in the A-110 days and my lack of knowledge. However overall they're fantastic at playing media and the picture quality is awesome and the support on this forum is second to none. I would say that for the not technically savy the PCH could leave a few disappointed as some things don't work straight out of the box but with some persistence the PCH is a fantastic machine.
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12-06-2012, 09:38 AM (This post was last modified: 12-06-2012 09:40 AM by byszek.)
Post: #12
RE: do you regret your pch purchase?
I am developer myself. Nature of my job is to create 'new things'. I was always wondering how come apple is so successful despite the price tag and looks like no other company can get there. I personally don't like apple but I have to admit that their products are impressive. Eventually I adopted their set of mind and it was very beneficial in my development work.

It basically boils down to the simplest question: Would I use it?
I < is very important. I notice that we tent to go on a functional compromise very quickly and are eager to 'justify' some 'issues' if the product is not for me but for a 'customer', but now imagine you develop it for your mother, wife, girlfriend, daughter or yourslef. What you provide, would it be enough for people most important in your life?

PCH is a good product but why apple can afford to be one of the most expensive is because it's close to being perfect. And I am willing to pay extra for product that has little to no problems. Is my PCH working, yes it is, it plays movies, downloads information, YAMJ is a blast....but this little things here and there are so annoying and frustrating that they take the full pleasure of using it and that's why I would't be eager to buy another one with my closed eyes.
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12-06-2012, 09:50 AM
Post: #13
RE: do you regret your pch purchase?
(12-06-2012 09:38 AM)byszek Wrote:  I am developer myself. Nature of my job is to create 'new things'. I was always wondering how come apple is so successful despite the price tag and looks like no other company can get there. I personally don't like apple but I have to admit that their products are impressive. Eventually I adopted their set of mind and it was very beneficial in my development work.

It basically boils down to the simplest question: Would I use it?
I < is very important. I notice that we tent to go on a functional compromise very quickly and are eager to 'justify' some 'issues' if the product is not for me but for a 'customer', but now imagine you develop it for your mother, wife, girlfriend, daughter or yourslef. What you provide, would it be enough for people most important in your life?

PCH is a good product but why apple can afford to be one of the most expensive is because it's close to being perfect. And I am willing to pay extra for product that has little to no problems. Is my PCH working, yes it is, it plays movies, downloads information, YAMJ is a blast....but this little things here and there are so annoying and frustrating that they take the full pleasure of using it and that's why I would't be eager to buy another one with my closed eyes.

Apple does have a perfect box its called the apple tv, But you fail to mention apple only achieves this by locking down the system, Does the apple tv work, Does it work will with MKV formats no, Does it work will with MP4 files not made by apple NO, Does it play advanced audio formats Again no it will play AAC and apple lossless fine. How many of us would buy or use a device that is locked down not many and then we would be out of options. Your goal is easy if you are trying to grab one type of customer and have built an ecosystem for that customer, Apple products work well with apple products outside of that apple products are just as bad as the rest.
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12-06-2012, 10:21 AM
Post: #14
RE: do you regret your pch purchase?
If you want a mum'n'dad locked down and only play the manufacturers codecs/containers and has no flexibility then please, please, please, buy an Apple product as any NMT will never meet your limited requirements nor is it plug'n'play. It so easy to launch a player like this with no issues even at launch. However even Apple products have some problems on launch.

NMT's are made to be flexible and play the majority of containers and codecs provided the files are to the container/codec specs. They will download torrents and usenet and have the ability to play full 3D, VXP processing (A400), BDMV playback etc. Try any of those on an Apple.

A400: SD Card(Apps), HDMI C200: USB(Apps), BD ROM (SH-B083L(SB01)), HDMI
CAT6 Wired Network: TV Panasonic TX-P42G20, HP ProCurve 1400-8G, Netgear GS-608/605, Synology CS407
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12-06-2012, 10:55 AM
Post: #15
RE: do you regret your pch purchase?
NO.
I am happy of my A210. I previously had a WD TV Live running some modded FW but I sold it after few months, WD FW support is weak and the gear was not what I was looking for. After reading a lot, I made the short list between Dune and Popcorn Hour, I then decided to buy the A210 and, even with some minor and acceptable complaints, I enjoy its performances, playing large mkv without any hesitation. The key for Popcorn Hour to survive is granting support also for "older model", this is the key to avoid existing customer to look to other brands when it comes the idea to renew the set up.

trakt.tv
TV SHARP LC-40LE924E - Netgear WNDR3700 (FW OpenWRT r35899 arokh) - Switch HP ProCurve 1410-8G - Popcorn Hour A-210 (evZap! Skin) - Synology DS213+ (2x3TB ST3000DM001-1CH166-301) - Laptop AlienWare M17R2
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