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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:35 AM   #1
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Cineform + hard drive media players

We're really excited about the concept of hard drive media players - units like the Masscool MP-1369AS, essentially an HD version of AppleTV with an HDMI out - to supply our clients with a playback capability of their Cineform .avi's.

It appears they come with a proprietary software interface, but I'm not sure if they accept additional codecs. They seem okay w/ DiVx & MPEG4.

Does anyone have experience with such players? Any recommendations or advice to ensure playback of Cineform .avi's? We could convert but we're talking bulk raw footage in the 500-700GB range.

Thanks!
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Old December 1st, 2008, 12:00 PM   #2
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It's hard to know which products will play CF avi. I just bought the Western Digital HDTV interface only to discover that it will play avi, but not CF avi.
Best bet is to purchase from a vendor who will take it back if it doesn't work out.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 12:13 PM   #3
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These players handle low-bitrate distribution codecs (MPEG2, H264, DiXV), not post-production grade high-bitrate codecs (CineForm, ProRES, DNxHD.) I doubt you will find will not find any off the shelf media player to handle the high bitrate codecs.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 12:29 PM   #4
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In addition to the bitrate issue, I gather the codec-decode capability is to some extent baked into the hardware of these players. For example the Sigma chip in my TiVX maxes out at 1080i mp4, whereas the Sigma chip in the next model up can handle 1080p.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 05:57 PM   #5
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I think David is right, none of these toys are going to process 100mbs video files.
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Last edited by Robert Young; December 1st, 2008 at 06:30 PM.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 03:15 AM   #6
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When/if Apple gets around to revamping the Mac Mini with the current generation of Intel CPUs, that would be by far and away the best option, though you'll need a Microsoft OS installed.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 02:12 PM   #7
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That's a shame. We just picked up an ioemega Screenplay HD to test it out... Luckily from a local electonics retailer and sure enough, no cigar on our CFHD files.

Surprisingly, for whatever reason, despite appearing on the playlist with accurate file properties, not a single one of the video clips we uploaded onto the player played: MPEG 2, MPEG4, WMV, MS AVI, etc SD or HD... All pretty small files. Instead we got a "CODEC NOT SUPPORTED" message? I suspect this could be some sort of bitrate issue, but it remains a mystery...

It seems to me these units will be ubiquitous in no time at all... In time sure to trump Blu-ray or any other non-solid-state media device.

Someone's gotta get on Codec support so we can start adopting!

-K
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Old December 10th, 2008, 03:20 PM   #8
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There's a couple of these media player threads floating about, but as I mentioned in one of other ones, the best solution I can think of is the Dell Studio Hybrid - basically it's exactly what a Mac Mini refresh should be - HDMI output, Santa Rosa chipset, ultra-small etc. It should play nicely with Windows Media Centre for CineForm playback if the CPU is robust enough.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 03:51 PM   #9
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most of DVD players and multimedia players are using a Sigma Design chip.
they have plenty of chip for this purpose. The best would be that Cineform works with sigma design to implement a version of their decoder into one of these chip.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 05:42 PM   #10
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Dell Studio Hybrid

Richard, the Dell Studio Hybrid looks like a winner - as does the Western Digital in the other threads.

Regarding playback of CFHD files, specifically - probably a question for David - I know NEO player (Mac) is free for 15 days - is the WIN version free period? If we pre-installed it, would they be good to go for full screen HD playback via HDMI?

Thanks,
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Last edited by Kevin Shahinian; December 10th, 2008 at 06:55 PM.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 06:36 PM   #11
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Player has no time-out only the encoder does.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 01:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shahinian View Post
It seems to me these units will be ubiquitous in no time at all... In time sure to trump Blu-ray or any other non-solid-state media device.

Someone's gotta get on Codec support so we can start adopting!

-K
I could not agree more on all accounts.

Started using Popcorn Hour A-110 last week, and I think its video and audio output is just awesome, and it plays almost anything I throw at it.

Except for Cineform, of course - which is a pity.

Yes, devices like this must be the future of video file playback. No messing with the optical media; everything is right there at your fingertips; play off of thumbdrive, external USB drive, or stream off some network-connected storage or computer's drive. Superb.

A-110 has both Component and HDMI out, by the way.
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