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 instead of making additional posts/replies.

    Updated with FW 2.3.35:
    Please comment on my findings.

    Colors used:
    Good and distinctive feature
    Inconvenience to be improved
    Caveat or bug to be solved

    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 running on a Linux (derivate).

    This review is now based on FW 2.3.35 plus added Google Play store (GappsInstaller-rtk-7.1_v1.2.4.apk) and ZDMC (zdmc-18.8).apk. It is not really user-friendly that Play Store & Services and ZDMC need to be installed manually as the player is clearly advertised including these. Worse once GAPPs is installed it needs to be reinstalled again after any update via USB or OTA manually.
    This was implemented in a far easier way for the new RTD1619DR based models.

    Z9S uses the 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 more recent versions brought real relief. This also includes support for the RTD1296 related additional capabilities.

    PQ is very good for Z9S playing BD, 3D-BD and UHD/HDR BD's and will compete nicely with other high-end players. Only DVD lacks back in PQ as I have seen better on other 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
    - 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 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 BT Zidoo v8 remote now instead as I like BT a lot more than IR and it has also some more programmable IR keys. This remote is really excellent, but would have liked it even more including a pointer mouse instead of the cursor mouse.
    - There are many other ways to control the media players remotely: Webinterfac, Zidoo Controller APP (Android and IOS) and Control4. More expensive models include a RS232 port for control too.
    - It is possible to connect an External USB DAC to it making it sound great.
    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 CD, 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 Optical 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: Sep 12, 2020
  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 nicely supported up to all 32 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 swappable in practice (using a 4A earthed PSU by me).
    - Support for HDD > 2 TB using Advanced Sector Format (512e) works according expectation. Seen HDD's up to 14 TB working but that is not a limit. 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.
    - Plugging in a USB DAC device may interrupt another working port having a working pointer mouse RF remote attached. Recycling that device may interrupt again the USB DAC. It is really Plug & Pray that way. I bypassed that problem partially moving to the Zidoo v8 BT remote control.

    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 (using old smaller HDD's) 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 MTBF 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 doing so since several years.

    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 Android 5 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 and a list of transition effects including random.
    - When in manual mode the embedded metadata can be displayed.
    - The metadata is used to turn the pictures correctly automatically.
    - Albums can be added/deleted with thumb nails/picture gallery to find the right picture(s) quickly. The can also be set to be used by the screensaver.
    - 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.
    - I am missing a real zoom feature with panning around using the remote control.
    - Also missing is a option to display the picture filename (for editing purposes)

    The referenced FW in fact made Picture Player practically usable for the first time.

    A screensaver is coupled to the Picture Player with default pictures or an Album of Choice. Under Android setup also other screensaver APP's can be selected once installed. Use Google Clock myself as the screensaver.

    Music Player:
    Experiences here are based on the new Music Player 6.0 which supports HD (High Definition) music streams bypassing the Android OS standard 48 kHz playback limitation.
    Music player has seen many versions already but factual advances on functionality is not really on par with that in my modest view.

    Controls of the new Music Player 560
    1) Be aware specific settings for Music Player 6.0 are to be found under general setup Quick Setting => Audio. Provided the audio gear allows this HD 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 6.0 for remote control (see the Control Center APP for the how to setup this).
    There is also the excellent Zidoo Controller APP available offering the same for Music.This is my preference as it allows me to power-off my TV during listening to music.
    4) The main screen is nice with a turning disc (still 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.

    Scraping, Music Gallery, Cover display and meta data still need to be developed further. It is for me mostly giving undesired results. A bit strange for a version 6 player? Ignoring the presence of a folder.jpg file and the folder structure are likely causes.

    Findings Music Player 6.0:
    - 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 and FLAC 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 will always play the 2CH track ignoring the MCH track if present.
    - MCH SACD ISO will play distorted (works correctly via HiFi models using analog out or RTD1619DR based models).
    - 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 an integrated DAC.
    - The front panel displays time according the setting in Quick Setup.
    - The Music button on my remote brings me back to Music Player 5.0 as required when running in the background.
    - There is no option (or standard) gapless playback. I regard this essential for above all live recordings.
    - There is a up to a second sound loss at the start of every track. This is being caused by the PCM stream being stopped and started per title. The AMP needs to kick in and adjust to the format per track as a consequence. It makes the lack of gapless playback a lot worse but can bet solved by keeping the PCM stream going with idles between tracks.
    - Lyrics will regularly be found but those found may be the wrong version (length/language) specifically with popular numbers. A manual select is included. The feature can be turned off too.

    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.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
    Miguel Ramos, gymnos and leonkoum like this.
  3. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    More important the sound output quality is now 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.
    See experiences there as it is off-topic here.

    As is today Zidoo Music Player 6.0 will beat a smartphone using speakers. No need for a TV as it can be controlled easily using that same smartphone too.

    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 better 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. Seamless branching finally works now as it should.
    - 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.
    - DIVX VOD (Video On Demand) titles need to be converted to XVID which easy to do but these play without problems using any of my HiSilicon based players. As a bypass you can install VLC player.
    - 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 4 (Movie Poster System)
    HT4 came a long way and here the high version number indicates a number of bigger steps made regarding functionality.
    It is probably impossible to please everybody but it really works well for me.

    - 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 HT4 setup only the children category can be viewed/selected when starting HT4. 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. According to other this works quite well now too.
    - 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.
    - A preview feature is included which is a nice touch.

    Home Theater came a long way and is one of the bests I have seen.

    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 is 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.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
    Miguel Ramos, gymnos and leonkoum like this.
  4. blenky

    blenky Well-Known 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. Schumy

    Schumy 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 !
  6. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

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

    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.

    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.
  7. Zigourney

    Zigourney Active 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.
  8. 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.

    - 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.

    - 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
  9. Schumy

    Schumy Member

    Thanks Nice Monkey for your feedback .
  10. 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.
  11. blenky

    blenky Well-Known 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.
  12. kestasm

    kestasm New Member

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

    blenky Well-Known 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. kam186

    kam186 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.
  17. Moe123

    Moe123 New Member

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

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    The review was enhanced with the promised OpenWRT testing for SMB and FTP. I am not using Aria2 or other features of OpenWRT.

    The good news is that ZIDOO SMB Server and Client work and perform very well together with W10. The bad news is that these won't interwork directly with any HiSillicon based media player (Himedia, Egreat, Dinobot etc) using OpenWRT SMB Server:
    Tests where done using Android 7 at the HiSillicon side (supporting SMB v1,2,3 then).

    HiSilicon SMB Server <==> W10 SMB Client
    Realtek SMB Server <==> W10 SMB Client
    W10 SMB Server <==> Realtek SMB Client
    W10 SMB Server <==> HiSillicon SMB Client
    HiSilicon SMB Server <==> Realtek SMB Client
    Realtek SMB Server <=X=> HiSillicon SMB Client
    So the SMB implementations are not 100% Windows compliant/identical somewhere! :)

    Also tested optical drive attachment: CD-ROM playback!
    For the test I ripped my LG Blu-Ray Burner from my PC temporarily, which next was connected using an External SATA cable to my X9S in the past. USB3 Optical drive was reported not to work always by others then.

    - Was immediately found at boot as a new CD-ROM device. Media Center has a special menu for it when selected. The status of the drive is also shown: Nodisk, open, mounting, CD/DVD/BD with the Volume label of the inserted disc once active.
    - Using the menu button there is an Eject option which correctly opens the drive when selected. One needs to go back to the root of the disc first before this option shows up.
    - First popped in a few of my "DTS Blu-RAY Music Demo Discs". These were recognized and also the BD-menu worked, but playback showed lots of freezes. Probably due to buffering problems? I know these discs ask a lot of the player as these run at very high bit-rates at 60 Hz Video frame-rate with 96 KHz Master HD for the Audio. Maybe this can be improved? I am available for further tests.
    - Next tried a few normal Video BD's which did not give these problems. Once running there is no difference between optical, HDD or network based playback except for loading times of BD-Menus which can take a lot of time.
    - It played also Audio-DVD next to standard Video-DVD.
    - Since FW 2.3.3 also Audio CD's are recognized and play using DAE (Digital Audio Extraction)
    Did not try any Audio-CD with CD-Text on it (song title display).
    - Data files on either CD, DVD or BD are found and all media formats supported by the player will also play from optical discs.

    Overall verdict "very nice" as Optical Drives really seem to work as a first impression and even with an adequate user interface too. :cool:
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
  19. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    Updated the review to FW 2.2.82 as this is an official OTA version (not a Beta) with relevant improvements and unfortunately also some new/old problems.
    HT2 problems signalled by me earlier seem to be solved. As I don't watch TV series did not review that element.

    More details added for the nasty Seamless Branching problem as even the partial improvements made before are gone again with this FW.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
    gymnos likes this.
  20. Nice Monkey

    Nice Monkey Well-Known Member Beta test group

    Updated to FW 2.2.95 as that is again a real improvement. The partial improvements to seamless branching are back again,, but the problem is not solved yet.
    The USB3 problem with random disconnects is mentioned to be solved and coming with the next FW.
    gymnos likes this.

Share This Page