Practical experiences: Pictures, HQ Music, DVD, BD and UHD-BD playback

Discussion in 'ZIDOO Z9S' started by Nice Monkey, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    My findings are not meant to duplicate reviews with a lot of pictures done by others. I will update here when and where needed (see the FW version in the title) instead of making additional posts/replies. Please comment on my findings.

    I am using the players for the purpose as indicated in the title which means I hardly play videos/movies in AVI or MKV formats (only if I can't get the real thing). Where possible use 1:1 copies of the originals. Experiences are know to be different here and there specifically when using highly compressed material and/or other codecs.

    Positioning in a nutshell:
    I am quite happy with my Z9S and find Zidoo in general among the best Android media players at the moment. This specifically for my use as indicated in the title. It does a very good job for my deployments. If you just like to use KODI with a zillion plug-ins or use it as a gaming platform I would pick a different player.

    This review is based on FW 2.2.82 plus added Google Play store (GappsInstaller-rtk-7.1_v1.2.1.apk) and ZDMC (zdmc-18.2).apk. It is not really user-friendly that Play store and ZDMC need to be searched for on the forum and next installed manually as the player is clearly advertised including these.
    Z9S uses the newer RTD1296 SOC which mainly has an an improved I/O subsystem (30% faster), but most likely also ironed-out a few HW shortcoming of the original RTD1295 chip. Known improvements are better HDR handling, HDR <=> SDR conversions and more accurate frame-rates for 24/1001 and 60/1001 frame-rates.
    Frankly my review was delayed many months as the new Zidoo players were plagued with several serious problems originating from the combined RTD1296 and Android 7.1.1 uplifts. A series of Beta FW's were released but only the current version brought real relief. This FW also includes support for the RTD1296 related additional capabilities.

    PQ is very good for Z9S playing DVD, BD, 3D-BD and UHD/HDR BD's and will compete nicely with other high-end players. The player is easy to configure and leaving most settings for video on Auto/Default will already work nicely. The player not only supports auto frame-rate but also auto resolution to switch between HD and UHD which also works fine with my setup. My HDMI output is setup standard at 1080P23 only switched to other frame-rates and UHD/HDR automatically when required.

    For sound I am using an Onkyo TX-RZ720 AMP with it. With this setup all sound formats available on video discs are set to come out RAW which they do as they should including Atmos and DTS-X. I have no exceptions to report here, these all just work as it should.
    Unless specifically specified otherwise the standard Zidoo players are used for all handling and playback not ZDMC or any other Android based Media Player APP's.

    Bottom line I prefer a media player above any optical disc UHD/BD/DVD/SACD HW-player because:
    - I can use HDD and NAS to put my media on instead of having physical discs lying around everywhere and the need to handle these for playback.
    - The player can do Instant play next to Menu based playback. Mostly i choose to go straight to a movie. I call that "Skipping the crap" for those with many previews and copy warnings which occasionally even can't be skipped or be accelerated.
    - It plays external subtitles when desired. Still many old movies around without subtitles included even in English not to speak about Dutch. This player even gets subtitles on-demand when missing from http://www.opensubtitles.org.
    - Including a Movie Poster System (replacing the covers of those real discs).

    The player uses Android 7.1.1 for the main APP's combined with OpenWRT for background tasks like SMB Server which is a good combination.

    The HW-box and system:
    - Z9S has the small form factor used also by many competitors. The metal casing looks good though including a small quality display on the front. The display is too small to read at a viewing distance for me and therefore is less functional. For me a valid reason to look for a higher model.
    Having many ports these are on 3 sides except on the front. Specs are high end despite the small size with 16 G flash and Dual Band Wi-FI next to an amazing dual external SATA, 2x USB2 and 2x USB3. The two antennas are not detachable anymore which probably was done as a cost saver.
    - It is fast to boot (30 - 40 sec range) connected either via external SATA or via USB. Add 10 - 20 secs for detection of every additional HDD. This is good. This is not a reason for using a sleep mode.
    - HDMI-CEC is supported and has no negative side-effects. It also switches my setup to the designated HDMI port when powered on. Actual functionality will vary per setup and actual use but the basis is correct.
    - There is no USB3c port (Host/Slave) on this player as some have for concurrent PC access to all storage facilities.
    - It has a HDMI-Input port for PVR/recording and/or PIP using an included matching HDMI-IN APP for HDCP unprotected content that is. The APP allows for up to 1080P 10Mbit and stereo up to 48 kHz recording. The recorded stream can be saved on specified storage or be broadcasted. Still need to try using the port myself and to add the practical experience next.
    - UHD 4K support at 60P inclusive HDR and 10-bit Deep Color is included. The only things not working are Dolby Vision and HDR10+ which are official options for the new UHD Blu Ray standard which is today found on a limited number of UHD BD's, DV is always combined with 1080P not 4K. As far as I know there is no Android media player around offering HDR10+ today (but works on some Android TV's just like DV does).
    - With the box comes no printed manual just a quick setup folder. There is limited setup assistance in the FW included help section.
    - Multiple Menu languages were added gradually, this including the most common ones including German and Dutch too. They can be set as preference for audio, subtitles and on-demand subtitles too.
    - The Z9S comes with a good quality IR remote with multiple dedicated function buttons and back-lighting. The top rows are IR programmable. There is no mouse function included which becomes essential when adding specifically APP's designed for smart-phones. Use a RF remote from Riitek as pointer-mouse for this function. It comes with also a full keyboard on the back.
    - There are many other ways to control the media players remotely: Webinterface/Zidoo Controller APP and Control4. More expensive models include a RS232 ports for control too.
    - It is possible to connect an External USB DAC to it making it sound great.
    https://www.futeko.com/newforum/index.php?topic=3868.0
    This is valid for all current Zidoo models.
    - The Z9S will also formally support an external ROM Drive via USB or SATA. This is unique as far as I know. Tried it myself with a SATA connected unit. It worked functionally for playing music MP3/FLAC, DVD and BD with a good user interface. Playing DVD/BD works well once going but Menu processing if selected is terrible slow.

    About the Power Supply Unit (PSU) and power consumed
    - It comes with a brick type external not earthed switched-mode PSU which is rated 12V at 3A. It is sized adequately when using one External SATA HDD with it but using two it will just do. The same PSU was used with X9S which was just fine as it had only one SATA connector and had one USB3 port less. Doing live ejects and swaps with two HDD's is risky. One would need at least a 4 A PSU version with it, better even a 5A unit. The same for using a SATA attached ROM drive plus a HDD. Keep in mind all those four USB ports may also need to supply adequate power.
    - In Standby it is well below 1W as it should be.
    - Running two HDD idle it used around 20W when playing. So that will be what it uses all day long if you run it as an always on NAS/SAMBA server with 2x SATA HDD connected.
    - The player itself just consume between 5W and 6W (without a HDD).

    Remark: Protective ground is not trivial as both USB and HDMI ports carry ground signals. When interconnecting equipment via these ports they become electrically coupled which might cause problems of several kinds. Connecting desktop and tower type of PC's may turn out specifically problematic and even hazardous as the PSU's in those may produce a floating ground. Tower/table PC's always should be connected to a grounded power outlet to avoid problems but often are not. You may see even a spark or get a shock when connecting such a PC to your media player, AMP or TV.
    The impact of the PSU on the total video/audio quality result is often underestimated. Just have a look at high end equipment and you will see how much attention is given there to specifically the power section (mostly superior linear PSU's).

    Due to the 1000 word limit on the forum split into 3 parts.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
  2. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    USB & SATA port and HDD support
    - Both Internal HDD and USB2 / USB3 External HDD's are detected fast and reliably.
    - Volume Labels are supported with SATA and USB connected HDD's. For owners like me having many HDD's this is an essential feature, but with VL's work with some drives only as others pop-up as HDD, HDD1 etc only. There is actually a strange limit of just 11 character positions. This limit can potentially be explained by the space on the screen under "Device List" within Media Center which also allows for a 11 characters maximum. HT2 in fact works with the correct full Volume Label also for storage with names longer than 11 characters.
    - Safe Eject for SATA and USB attached devices works via pressing the left button as displayed on the panel. USB and external SATA HDD's are hot swapable in practice (using a 4A earthed PSU by me).
    - Support for HDD > 2 TB using Advanced Sector Format (512e) works according expectation. No deviations found with GPT+NTFS. Did not try EXT4, but that should work fine too.
    - Zidoo FW includes a configurable spin-down as an option. I like this as it works also for noise reduction and prolongs the expected time to live of the HDD.
    - Use a 10-port Plug & Play Bay as a HDD Docking Station (Icy Box) with success. All 10 drives are detected and working in any mix of brand / size / model. HDD's may be moved between this 10-port Bay and Internal/External SATA as desired. Tried this with HDD sizes up to 8 TB. This makes HDD support extremely flexible. Also Fantec RAID 4-Bay, RAID 8-Bay versions are available making Z9S a realistic alternative as a simple NAS either as Plug & Play Docking or as a RAID station.
    - The previous FW's had a serious problem with USB plug & play (needs to be re-validated). When I try to use 2x HDD on USB3 plus a pointer mouse on USB2 plus an USB external DAC on the other USB2 port this becomes a roulette regarding results. Plugging in a device may interrupt another working port. Unplugging any device may interrupt another device on another port also. It is really Plug & Pray now. I hope it will be solved soon

    Using Z9S as a basic NAS (=Samba/SMB Server )
    - SMB Server is available as a pre-installed APP via OpenWRT running as a second OS in the background. This one is very complete but also fairly complex if the defaults don't match one needs. It would get a green from me if OpenWRT as implemented would have been properly documented which it is not.

    W10 SMB works well with the Realtek SDK implementations of both SMB Server (OpenWRT) and SMB Client (Android) sides, no problems there.

    I prefer by far using a media player as a NAS above any RAID based dedicated NAS:
    - Performance is great up to true wire rate gigabit read/write using SMB and/or FTP. Handles multiple streams very well (better than a commercial NAS I used to have).
    - The SMB Server function can perfectly be combined with using one as a regular media player.
    - It maps mounts to shares, so individual drives are found directly.
    - Prefer having backups of individual drives rather that RAID in any version including JBOD.
    - Very low power consumption as a SMB server and also individual HDD's are put to sleep when idle (configurable timer). This is very good for the time to live for those HDD's.
    - HDD's are true Plug&Play and can have different sizes/formats and any number being added in-flight.
    - When I like/needed can move them straight to any media player or my PC via SATA
    - Much easier to setup and maintain than a commercial NAS (provided they just work)
    So far for my really good test results.

    Unfortunately also ran into a nasty problem: Hisillicon SDK based SMBv1 client implementations on any brand/product/FW will not talk to any Zidoo OpenWRT SMB Serverv1/v2/v3 implementations.
    This for as far as I can test all brand media players using these SOC's: Hisillicon (e.g. Himedia/Dinobot/Dune) and Realtek (e.g Zidoo, Xtreamer, Zapiti) caused by flawed SDK's shared by all.

    Picture Player:
    Started with some pictures using the Pictures APP.
    - It can display pictures as a slide show with background music but pictures are not turned automatically then.
    - When paused they can be turned to the correct view manually only but embedded meta data can be displayed.
    - No thumb nails/picture gallery to find the right picture(s) quickly. This is the main function of such an APP in my view.
    - Picture viewer also works in 4K native resolution for gorgeous pictures on your TV or projector.
    - Pictures may be set here also to be used as wallpaper. No option to reverse this to get the original back here.
    Fortunately there are better APP's available and my Smart TV's do a far better job here.

    Music Player:
    Experiences here are based on the new Music Player 3.0 which now supports HQ (High Definition) music streams bypassing the Android OS standard 48 kHz playback limitation. This is a major step ahead. Also the GUI and features included improved a lot.

    Controls of the new Music Player 5.0
    1) Be aware specific settings for Music Player 5.0 are to be found under general setup Quick Setting => Audio. Provided the audio gear allows this HQ PCM (audio sampling up to 192 kHz) needs to be enabled for PCM sources. This setting also implicitly enables DSD conversion to PCM (176.4 kHz - 24 bit) for SACD sources.
    2) One is supposed to fill and next use the Music Library for playlist creations and playback. Frankly I never use is using this or any other music player as these all ignore my folder naming and nesting completely. I exit the player in background to select a new folder/album myself. Specifically with multi artist collection CD's these libraries become a real mess (a zillion artists and albums found). The last FW added a facility to show the library folder structure directly as crafted by oneself.
    3) One can use a smart-phone or any other device with any web-browser to connect to Music Player 3.0 for remote control (see the Control Center APP for the how to setup this). This is my preference as it allows me to power-off my TV during listening to music.
    There is also a dedicated APP available offering the same for Music.
    4) The main screen is nice with a turning disc (mostly showing the wrong label) + essential meta data at the left + Lyrics (when found on the right).
    5) As settings I am using HDMI RAW Audio output ON and Audio Sampling rate-control.

    Findings Music Player 5.0:
    - Using mentioned setting all my MP3 and FLAC songs are played correctly including sample rates of 44.1, 48, 88,2, 96, 176,4 and 192 kHz with 16 or 24 bits.
    - Also Multi Channel (MCH) audio in FLAC format is played correctly. I use this mainly for MCH SACD extractions converted to FLAC 88.2 kHz at 24-bit.

    - DTS-CD tests played at the correct rates in multi channel mode obviously. A few DTS-CD's won't play for thus far unknown reason
    - Cue sheets are supported too. Mainly tested in combination with DTS-CD by me.
    - SACD support: DSF/DFF/ISO sources are found and played as PCM 176.4 kHz. Playback is including DST compressed tracks. SACD ISO, DSF or DFF track plays almost un distorted: On a few cases got a distorted sound for short intervals. SACD ISO will always play the 2CH track ignoring the MCH track if present.
    MCH SACD ISO/DSF/DFF is not supported in any way.
    - There is no support for Native DSD output via HDMI. This is a real miss as SACD's do sound a lot better via DSD in my experience. Most HT AMP's will support both PCM and DSD via a reasonable quality integrated DAC.
    - The front panel displays "clock" during playback despite having it on "remaining time" in setup. Do regards this as missing an essential feature as almost any player offers this.
    - The Music button on my remote brings me back to Music Player 3.0 as required when running in the background.
    - There is no option (or standard) gapless playback. I regard this essential for live recordings.
    - DVD/BD Concert, BD Audio Only and DVD-Audio discs (all supported) are played by the Movie Player, not via Music Player as strange as that may sound (they use DVD and BD standards related audio codec formats). They also should always be played with Menus as they mostly use multiple Titles rather than Chapters which then can be selected just fine. So going there via Music is the wrong approach as these won't play that way for sure.
    - Lyrics will regularly find these but those found may be the wrong version (length) specifically with popular numbers. The chance totally wrong lyrics (or Chinese) are found is far lower than with previous FW versions. I would prefer an option to turn them off (to eliminate potential impact on sound quality mainly).
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
    Miguel Ramos, gymnos and leonkoum like this.
  3. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    More important the sound quality is now (almost) as it should be.
    For me flawless playback is the most important aspect for a music player. :)

    Using an external USB DAC for SACD/DSD myself which by the way works just fine.
    https://www.futeko.com/newforum/index.php?topic=3868.0
    See experiences there as it is off-topic here.

    As is today Zidoo Music Player 3.0 will beat a smartphone using speakers. No need for a TV as it can be controlled easily using that same smartphone too. I am also running one of the best Music Apps around (sound quality wise) being USB Audio Player Pro on both my smartphone and on my Zidoo. This using earbuds with my smartphone and a quality AMP+speaker set with my Zidoo.
    The sound is just amazing above all using stereo SACD/DSD with an external DAC (works also with that same smartphone) or Multi-channel audio playing BD Concert/Audio discs, MCH SACD's converted to MCH FLAC or DTS-CD's.


    Video Player

    The Video Player section is fairly short with a very positive reason being that there is in fact very little actually wrong with it. It just mostly works as it should. It has come a long way.

    - DVD, BD 3D-BD and 4K/UHD/HDR-BD which are all supported with Menus or Direct Play working both from Folders and ISO's which still are fairly unique features. Normally I use direct play but for some discs having the option for a Menu is essential. Examples are: Discs with multiple titles for music or episodes, discs with multiple versions/cuts of the movie and discs where the movie is in fact not the longest title.
    - I am not sure if this is RTD1296 specific or not but also DVD playback is looking good now. Using my X9S this used to be marginal. With HDMI output set to 1080P60 all DVD's I tried actually look just fine now. I am still puzzled which source is up-scaled how exactly. My few NTSC DVD's came out at 1080iP59 but my PAL DVD's may come out as 1080P25 or 1080iP50 all looking good also during camera movements which used to be a real problem. Having de-interlacing done by my TV seems to work just fine.

    - Occasionally still discs are found with Menu problems needing to be fixed. It is getting better but there are media players like Egreat with less problems here. Mostly the problem seems to be with BD's having multiple versions/titles on them. Unfortunately that is exactly when you need them to work correctly. Mostly one can still play these discs by choosing direct play skipping the menu. One will then get likely playing a special version like DC as these titles typically have the longest playtime. You next probably still get the seamless branching problem to deal with as both go typically together with such discs.
    - Seamless branching is about jumping from video scene to video scene spanning multiple m2ts files on disc unnoticed (these are in the BDMV/STREAM folder). If the title is composed of multiple m2ts files instead of being a single file then seamless branching is used to jump between these. The player will stutter Video and may loose Audio for several seconds when making jumps.
    The Seamless Branching problem can be bypassed making an MKV of it obviously. My bypass is playing it with another media player without this nasty problem. None of HiSillicon based players have this problem, it seems to be SOC/SDK correlated. Both RTD1295/RTD1296 based players exhibit this flaw and was reported by me more than 2 years ago:
    http://forum.zidoo.tv/index.php?thr...ng-not-working-with-blu-rays.4439/#post-22232
    So probably Realtek needs to provide a fix here causing the extreme long time to fix it? Frankly I am surprised it was not solved with RTD1296.
    - External Subtitles do work very well including multiple subtitles, all common display options and ample time-shifting. Using multiple subtitles the ISO extensions are nicely translated to full language choices (EN=>English, ES=>Spanish, NL=>Dutch etc). Also on-demand subtitles work very well. Desired subtitle languages to look for can be tagged in quick setup and can be saved to the corresponding movie folder.
    - Not all old AVI formats (XVID/DIVX) are played by the player but these play without problems using one of my HiSilicon based players.
    - The Feature "auto frame-rate switching" works well including auto resolution (1080P/4K output switching) and is used by me as a standard setting. One needs to be aware that with P24 really means 24.000 Hz and P23 is used for 24/1001 with Zidoo. A bit confusing as others use P24 for 24/1001 as that is commonly used for BD's.
    - ZDMC as supplied is a dedicated/optimized KODI version for Zidoo. The drawback with this is that updates need to come via that channel explicitly too. It is possible to install standard KODI /SPMC next to ZDMC, but these will have the standard limitations when used on Android.

    Home Theater 2 (Movie Poster System)
    Did not use HT2 myself for various reasons: Switching media players regularly, bad results, not dealing well with many HDD's including off-line HDD's. Maybe I could/should change this habit now?

    - Adding 2 sources with several hundred movies went very well. The scraping went fast and was surprising accurate. I could understand why some could not be found and also discovered that remarks behind the title must always be put between (...). Much better than I used to be experiencing in the past.
    - There are options now where to store the library for multiple sources. This is essential having many HDD's (=Sources).
    -
    There is a special "Children" category which works with lock tags per movie. If the child code lock is activated in HT2 setup only the children category can be viewed/selected when starting HT2. Only if next the secret code is entered one gets access to all other categories too. Movies may be tagged default by public classification or (un)doing so manually using menu edit per movie individually. It is a useful feature having minor children.
    - Using Menu one can also (un)tag if a movie has been viewed manually. The viewed icon can be made visible optionally in settings. It also shows if the movie was viewed partially or completely.
    - Did not experiment with "Collection" (probably TV Series are meant with seasons and episodes?) and "TV"categories as I don't collect those at all. Not everybody seems to be happy how these are implemented?
    - Filters in options pressing menu seem to work well. Nice when having visitors for a quick movie viewing as one can filter on various variables.
    - Also tried some basic metadata editing (doing a long OK press) which worked also for the things tried.

    Also Home Theater came a long way.


    General deployment as an Android OS platform to run APP's from the Google Play Store
    A dedicated Google App Store version is available but needs to be installed by oneself. Installed some APP's for music playback and streaming services. Found multiple streaming APP's which installed fine but did not produce a picture when play was pressed.
    - There are no popular APP's bundled with the player. ZDMC is not even bundled and also needs to be installed by oneself.
    - The player is not rooted but it seems to be possible to do so at the own risks.
    - The player accepts a wide range of peripherals including key boards and mouse pointers. Also a special Cetus Play App is included to act as a remote on your smart phone. This to share files and display phone media on the TV. The standard remote included is pretty useless/ineffective for most APP's downloaded from the Playstore and designed with smartphones in mind.
    - I am missing a good tool/APP to backup and restore all my Added APP's, Android Settings and Data well controlled and restore by selection. Many like to keep their own KODI version and setup for instance independently. Even my Enigma based SAT-receiver offers this. It also offers a full running image backup and restore.
    - Accessing the Notification Bar is not supported and will cause many APP's not to work.
    - Installed some APP's myself including Total Commander (file management) and USB Music Player Pro, Onkyo HT Player (last 2 for USB/DAC and SACD/DSD support). These work fine using a pointer mouse for control.

    A similar report can be found on the Egreat forum for A10/A11 players:
    http://en.egreatworld.com/comunity/...ic-dvd-bd-and-uhd-bd-playback-fw-1-3-1-6.537/
    Good to compare what is different. In practice use both brands and for some specific viewings may swap players as the perfect player does not exist and never will. People use them for different purposes and there are simply too many variables to deal with.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
    Miguel Ramos, gymnos and leonkoum like this.
  4. blenky

    blenky Member

    Nice work. Look forward to your views on HT2. I use HT2 all the time and find it one of the most accurate and easy to use scrapers. My main issue, and I've been nagging Zidoo some months, is the categories. When it opens it displays all your videos whether movies or TV. There is a category listing, that's clumsy to get to, which has TV, but no movies but random ones such as 4K, 3D and Children. Ideally the landing screen, like all other media walls, should have option to enter a wall showing TV or Movies. A good example is the Infuse.

    Although I don't have a very large library the home screen is a mess as movies and TV are all presented on the same screen
     
  5. ICU2018

    ICU2018 New Member

    Woow nice review for Z9S raise up my hat to man thank you for sharing us

    but as per your experience could you advice me I'm still stuck on FW 2.1.30, and I updated Home Heater 2 to V 2.1.9 so do you advice me to upgrade FW to 2.2.56?? any comments would be appreciated.

    Wormest regards.
     
  6. Schumy

    Schumy New Member

    Great review, very informative and useful, much appreciated . Thanks Nice Monkey.

    I have one Q about picture parameter setting and wonder if you can share your experience - some movie/video play back looks a bit grainy , is there any setting on the z9s which can provide some smoothing effect? Many Blu-ray disc players come with such function/setting, but I can't seem to find it on the zidoo.

    Many thanks !
     
  7. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    @blenky
    Will have a look at HT2 after doing DVD first. Won't take too long.

    @ICU2018
    Yes, I would upgrade to FW 2.2.56 and next re-install HT2 v2.1.9 once more. It is the best FW 2.x.x version thus far.

    @Schumy
    No, this SOC does not have an image improvement feature as some other media players do have. There are just controls for standard image settings. But your TV most probably has one build-in. Maybe you can use that one for the effect you are looking for.
     
    ICU2018 likes this.
  8. ICU2018

    ICU2018 New Member

    @Nice Monkey thanks for your reply after make upgrade to 2.2.56 should I do restore factory? Or not?

    Last thing as per your experience what's the best settings for hdmi mode and color settings,? FYI my TV LG Oled C8.
     
  9. Zigourney

    Zigourney Member

    @Nice Monkey

    Good review and thanks for taking the time out to write it :)

    I do think it's worth mentioning the below points too, as I can tell your main use of the player is for audio playback.

    • Under the video player section, I think it is definitely worth mentioning the famous blank screen issue for 4K 10bit 444 video playback and the fact that this issue was on-going for months, and it is entirely firmware related and the fact that this firmware version tries to address that particular issue, and finally for some users it is resolved (myself) whilst for others the issue still exists and progress still needs to be made here.
    • You have already mentioned this, but I would highlight that now lots of 1080p files playback with audio only, however after stopping and replaying, the video and audio playback fine.
    • The known improvements you mention on the Z9S over the X9S are better HDR handling and now accurate frame-rates for 24/1001 and 60/1001 frame-rate movies. Is this the only improvement in the video playback area on the 1296 players over the 1295 players you have noticed? or are they the only advertised improvements on the Zidoo website?
    • The frame accurate playback has also now been resolved for the X9S too.
    • There are others users who have reported a definite and noticeable improvement in the audio clarity and sound channel separation in movie playback on the 1296 players over the 1295 players.
    • I can confirm the 1296 players are slightly faster over 1295 players in general navigation, I noticed this when scrolling up/down on the poster wall, the pictures load just a touch quicker and smoother.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
    gymnos likes this.
  10. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    First action point removed as i did watch 2 complete DVD's and tried several others. Did not do so for quite some time honestly. Positive results as they looked good to my surprise. The Video player section has been updated accordingly.
    Added the problem with Volume Labels longer that 11 positions which don't work. Forgot about that one. Was reported by me some time ago for RTD1295 but is still not solved and also applies to RTD1296.

    @Zigourney
    - In fact I use my media players mainly for watching movies but lately use them for listening to music too. This since HD-audio was supported too and got SACD working via my external DAC.
    - The Video Player section is fairly short with a very positive reason being that there is very little actually wrong with it. It just all works as it should. It has come a long way.
    - Valid points but frankly I did not hear that difference in audio quality but maybe did not pay enough attention to it. Only fairly recently moved my gear up to a 5.1.2 setup and did not use my Z9S very often to watch UHD/Atmos due to the troubles it had. I am also puzzled how channel separation and clarity actually can change when Audio output is RAW (should be passed digitally untouched)?
    - Mentioned only reported/experienced improvements coming with RTD1296 as others remain in the dark.

    @ICU2018
    - If you did not install lots of things yourself then a factory reset is always good after a big update. If you already did with 2.1.30 then it is probably not needed.
    Did not re-do it myself coming from that FW.
    - You really need to try which setting works best for your TV as it varies per brand and even model. Obviously it is also subjective like hell. Using a Philips TV and an Epson projector myself.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
  11. ICU2018

    ICU2018 New Member

    I appreciate your kindness help thank you so much.
     
  12. Schumy

    Schumy New Member

    Thanks Nice Monkey for your feedback .
     
  13. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    The easiest way to solve this is using 2 different sources for Movies and TV. Just put them in different main folders or even different HDD's. Use Add Source then twice to add each as separate entities. Obviously it makes move between both a bit more clumsy.

    My quick review on HT2 has been added.

    Several updates and additions made.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
    blenky likes this.
  14. blenky

    blenky Member

    Cheers. I do have movies and TV on their own sources (drives) but I also have movies split over two NAS drives. It can work out what are TV so why doesn't it, by process of elimination, simply allow to view the rest as movies? Better still as Kodi does allow you to designate each source as a video type (movie or TV)?

    There are other issues with HT2 that I have reported to Zidoo.

    1) When auto scraping new additions it seems to default to the TMDB scraper. Looking at details of TV shows after a scrape the details are incomplete - that is there will be no cast, director etc. This can be fixed by doing a manual rematch of each added TV show and forcing the scraper to use TVDB by the drop down. This then refreshes the match adding more info. In preferences I do have 'Scrap(e) source' set to 'Intelligent' but makes no difference.

    2) Collections are a mess. I do use them but they are clunky to use and you can't seem to delete them other than remove movies from them. They still appear in your list of collections. Also collections sometime randomly create themselves.
     
  15. kestasm

    kestasm New Member

    HT2: Left Sidebar by choosing "Children" category, nonsense shows, just movies :)
     
  16. blenky

    blenky Member

    Sorry don't understand you. If I select Children from the sidebar it cuts down my wall from 72 to 64. The ones that are missing are ones that for some strange reason show a lock icon - even though I do not use the parental lock feature
     
  17. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    Children category works with the lock tags. If a child code lock is activated in HT2 setup then only the children wall can be viewed/selected this unless the secret code is entered to get access to all other categories too. Movies may be tagged default by public classification or (un)doing this manually using menu per movie. So far so good. It is a useful feature having minor children.
    Added this text to my review as it is worth mentioning.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
  18. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    Updated the Video Player section with relevant questions and findings from FW comments and problems reported.
    Also detailed the "11 position maximum Volume Label length problem" with the Movie Center APP.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  19. kam186

    kam186 New Member

    Can this system lock the movie folder manually ? By movie / tv category type is not 100% lock what we want. Those day ACRYAN already has this feature. Please advise.
     
  20. Moe123

    Moe123 New Member

    which media player do you have what DV can?
    I hope you do not say ATV :D
     

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