Login | Register For Free | Help
Search for: (Advanced)

Mailing List Archive: MythTV: Users

Kodak Theatre HD Player Impressions

 

 

MythTV users RSS feed   Index | Next | Previous | View Threaded


beww at beww

Apr 1, 2010, 8:43 AM

Post #1 of 6 (1426 views)
Permalink
Kodak Theatre HD Player Impressions

I picked up one of the Woot deals, a Kodak Theatre HD Player for $50. It was
delivered yesterday.

It appears to be another "networked Media Tank", or derivative thereof,
meaning it's set up to view a lot of internet content like YouTube, and other
podcasts etc., in this respect it's similar to my Myka.


Positives: $50 (not sure what the non-Woot street price might be).

(Amazon says the list price is $199, and sells them for $149.)



Negatives:

You need to use their (Windows) software to view your own content over your
network.

It can't deal with Matroska (.MKV) containers.

Visual interface is a bit odd, as is the included gyroscopic pointing device.

No composite or S-Video output, component or HDMI only (but it *does* say
"HD", so I guess that makes sense).

Conclusion:

It will play (non MKV) content from a USB storage device, or from the network,
but only with the included software.

It's probably OK for a Windows-centric household that just wants to watch
content. It's heavily oriented towards photo sharing and other still-photo
applications (makes sense for Kodak).

If you just want the cheapest way to play back HD media (not MKV), this might
fill the bill, but it's not the best bet for a Myth-oriented household or user.
Better devices are available, but not for $50.

It was certainly worth the $50 I paid, but I would not pay even $100 for it.
For the list price, I'd buy a Revo. It does not integrate into Myth systems
well at all.

There are several online reviews if you are interested, at the usual places.

_______________________________________________
mythtv-users mailing list
mythtv-users [at] mythtv
http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users


nelson at tangspace

Apr 1, 2010, 10:21 AM

Post #2 of 6 (1392 views)
Permalink
Re: Kodak Theatre HD Player Impressions [In reply to]

On Thu, Apr 1, 2010 at 8:43 AM, Brian Wood <beww [at] beww> wrote:

> I picked up one of the Woot deals, a Kodak Theatre HD Player for $50. It
> was
> delivered yesterday.
> [...]
> Visual interface is a bit odd, as is the included gyroscopic pointing
> device.


I saw this on Woot as well but didn't think it would work well for a
non-Windows Myth environment. However some number of people were raving
about the remote control and their plans to remove it and attach it to a
Myth frontend. Is the remote really that interesting and worthwhile?

--nelson


beww at beww

Apr 1, 2010, 10:38 AM

Post #3 of 6 (1388 views)
Permalink
Re: Kodak Theatre HD Player Impressions [In reply to]

On Thursday 01 April 2010 11:21:16 am Nelson Tang wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 1, 2010 at 8:43 AM, Brian Wood <beww [at] beww> wrote:
> > I picked up one of the Woot deals, a Kodak Theatre HD Player for $50. It
> > was
> > delivered yesterday.
> > [...]
> > Visual interface is a bit odd, as is the included gyroscopic pointing
> > device.
>
> I saw this on Woot as well but didn't think it would work well for a
> non-Windows Myth environment. However some number of people were raving
> about the remote control and their plans to remove it and attach it to a
> Myth frontend. Is the remote really that interesting and worthwhile?

It's basically an "air mouse", very similar to the Gyration unit I already
have. It allows you to wave it in the air instead of using it on a flat
surface.

But it's still a mouse, and MythTV is well designed to operate without a
mouse, using a remote in the manner that most consumers are used to for A/V
devices. I can't see a mouse of any type helping a Myth F/E. Maybe when using
MythWeb, but I never do that.

It's nothing new (Gyration beat them by years), doesn't integrate into Myth
well and is unintuitive to most users.

I've read the hoopla as well, and can't figure out what all the hype is about.

Kodak's UI is odd in many ways, and the "mouse" doesn't help IMHO. You have to
hit the "hide" button to make the cursor go away. Once it has gone away, you
have to hit "Hide" to make the cursor re-appear, how's that for unintuitive?

I think Kodak just can't get away from the mouse cursor/web browser paradigm,
and thought the air mouse approach would at least eliminate the need for a flat
surface. I like Myth's answer much better, get rid of the mouse and its
cursor. It does confuse some new users (witness the "my mouse went away" posts
here), but once you get used to it, Myth has a better answer.

_______________________________________________
mythtv-users mailing list
mythtv-users [at] mythtv
http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users


beww at beww

Apr 1, 2010, 11:18 AM

Post #4 of 6 (1380 views)
Permalink
Re: Kodak Theatre HD Player Impressions [In reply to]

On Thursday 01 April 2010 11:21:16 am Nelson Tang wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 1, 2010 at 8:43 AM, Brian Wood <beww [at] beww> wrote:
> > I picked up one of the Woot deals, a Kodak Theatre HD Player for $50. It
> > was
> > delivered yesterday.
> > [...]
> > Visual interface is a bit odd, as is the included gyroscopic pointing
> > device.
>
> I saw this on Woot as well but didn't think it would work well for a
> non-Windows Myth environment. However some number of people were raving
> about the remote control and their plans to remove it and attach it to a
> Myth frontend. Is the remote really that interesting and worthwhile?

A few further thoughts:

The Kodak "mouse" has 3 buttons and a scroll wheel. One of the buttons is used
for the "hide" function, and is thus unavailable for controlling the system,
so we have essentially a two-button device (the scroll wheel doesn't function
as a button, the way most scroll mice do).

It has a blue LED (seems like you can't sell anything these days without at
least one of those), whose purpose is unclear. The LED comes on at seemingly
random times for no apparent reason, and you wind up hitting "hide" to turn it
off.

So you would have to depend heavily on on-screen menus for control.
Manufacturers figured out long ago that on-screen stuff is cheaper than
additional buttons on the remote. Using on-screen "buttons" also allows you to
add or change functions without having to re-design the remote.

The manual warns you to be careful when removing the batteries from the
remote, as they might be "hot". I'm not sure if this is just standard lawyer
speak, or if the unit actually draws enough current to heat up a couple of AA
cells, in which case the batteries probably wouldn't last very long.

The manual also tells you to "place the pointer (mouse) on top of the HD
player and restart (unplug and plug back in) the player, if it doesn't work.
I'm not sure what is so special about the top of the player, is it just the
proximity or is the "top" special in some other way? The fact that this is
mentioned in the manual makes me think it is a common thing to have happen,
not a good sign.

Looks to me as if not a lot of thought went into this "revolutionary" control
system.

Myth depends on having multiple buttons on the remote control, at least enough
buttons for as many functions as you might need. Myth does have some menus
(like "M" during playback), which help with seldom-used functions, so you need
a remote with perhaps a dozen or so buttons.

So Kodak's approach is probably better for the manufacturer, and probably not
better for the user.

Any user interface is to a large extent a matter of personal preference, but I
prefer the dedicated remote button approach as opposed to the on-screen "soft"
button mechanism.
_______________________________________________
mythtv-users mailing list
mythtv-users [at] mythtv
http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users


mikep at randomtraveller

Apr 2, 2010, 4:59 AM

Post #5 of 6 (1344 views)
Permalink
Re: Kodak Theatre HD Player Impressions [In reply to]

Brian Wood wrote:
> I picked up one of the Woot deals, a Kodak Theatre HD Player for $50. It was
> delivered yesterday.
>
> It appears to be another "networked Media Tank", or derivative thereof,
> meaning it's set up to view a lot of internet content like YouTube, and other
> podcasts etc., in this respect it's similar to my Myka.
>
>
> Positives: $50 (not sure what the non-Woot street price might be).
>
> (Amazon says the list price is $199, and sells them for $149.)
>
>
>
> Negatives:
>
> You need to use their (Windows) software to view your own content over your
> network.
>
> It can't deal with Matroska (.MKV) containers.
>
> Visual interface is a bit odd, as is the included gyroscopic pointing device.
>
> No composite or S-Video output, component or HDMI only (but it *does* say
> "HD", so I guess that makes sense).
>
> Conclusion:
>
> It will play (non MKV) content from a USB storage device, or from the network,
> but only with the included software.
>
> It's probably OK for a Windows-centric household that just wants to watch
> content. It's heavily oriented towards photo sharing and other still-photo
> applications (makes sense for Kodak).
>
> If you just want the cheapest way to play back HD media (not MKV), this might
> fill the bill, but it's not the best bet for a Myth-oriented household or user.
> Better devices are available, but not for $50.
>
> It was certainly worth the $50 I paid, but I would not pay even $100 for it.
> For the list price, I'd buy a Revo. It does not integrate into Myth systems
> well at all.
>
Is there any possibility you could put a sensible OS on it? That might make the
hardware more useful.

--

Mike Perkins

_______________________________________________
mythtv-users mailing list
mythtv-users [at] mythtv
http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users


beww at beww

Apr 2, 2010, 7:00 AM

Post #6 of 6 (1341 views)
Permalink
Re: Kodak Theatre HD Player Impressions [In reply to]

On Friday 02 April 2010 05:59:02 am Mike Perkins wrote:

> > It was certainly worth the $50 I paid, but I would not pay even $100 for
> > it. For the list price, I'd buy a Revo. It does not integrate into Myth
> > systems well at all.
>
> Is there any possibility you could put a sensible OS on it? That might make
> the hardware more useful.
>

Possibly, but I think my Myka is a better candidate for that, as it uses a
standard HDD and has an SDK available. The same has been said about the
Popcorn Hour.

The Kodak unit retails for $150, I would never have bought it except for the
$50 Woot deal.

I think the Revo is still the best unit for getting a hardware-decoding unit
that you can install what you want on. Not only do you have the ION, but it
can accept the CrystalHD module. Interestingly the price is the same as the
base Myka.

I plan to give the Kodak to my (non-Linux, non-Myth) brother. For a Windows-
centric household it's a workable solution for playing digital media. It also
provides easy to access to things like YouTube on a TV set, not something I
have any interest in.

The YouTube phenomenon confuses me. I spent my career working with
professionals producing good professional video, and it turns out that people
really want to watch amateur crap, go figure.

_______________________________________________
mythtv-users mailing list
mythtv-users [at] mythtv
http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users

MythTV users RSS feed   Index | Next | Previous | View Threaded
 
 


Interested in having your list archived? Contact Gossamer Threads
 
  Web Applications & Managed Hosting Powered by Gossamer Threads Inc.