Category Archives: Movies

Mede8er version 3 firmware available now!

The Mede8er has a new firmware out today. Version 3 has finally been released and there are a whole host of new features making this awesome media player even more incredible. By the looks of things, it has been worth the wait.

I have only had the Mede8er high definition multimedia player for a few weeks and have played all types of media on it without fault and with extreme ease. I am very impressed, so to see the new features available today is just testament to the guys behind this media player.

You can download the latest firmware from the Mede8er forum. They have instructions on the site which are straight forward to follow. I have included a change log, which I got from their website.

Mede8er Change Log V3.0 — 1 June 2010

1. Added: Updated SDK
2. Added: BDISO and BDMV chapter support (No Menus)
3. Added: Icon based screens — Menu – Goto – Subtitle
4. Added: Lock feature for Folder / Delete / File Manager/ HDD Format protection (Default password: 0000)
5. Added: Pin Protection on/off setting Setup Menu
6. Added: Folder Protection on/off setting Setup Menu
7. Added: Watched Indicator on/off setting Setup Menu
8. Added: Watched movie status indicator
9. Added: “A-B” button provides about.jpg in-folder zoom functionality (same as “SLOW”)
10. Added: Play video directly from in-folder about.jpg preview (press “ENTER” or “>” to play movie)
11. Added: Play video file folder — Play button
12. Added: Browse cover art “about.jpg” up/down nav
13. Added: Video Screen Transparency — Setup Menu
14 Added: File or Folder rename — Pre-populate text window
15 Added: Change System Font — Automatically picks up font.ttf on boot up.

— Place font.ttf in folder called “Resource” on HDD or USB or SD Card on root

16 Improved: GUI updated
17. Improved: Media Library Menu now remembers last state when returning
18. Improved: File Manager on-screen prompts
19. Improved: Screen size configuration in Setup menu determines about.jpg display area
20. Improved: Filter about.jpg and folder.jpg under “All” tab
21. Improved: SAMBA stability & performance for streaming & network copy
22. Improved: NAS startup after reboot
23. Improved: Music player
24. Improved: Language issues
25. Improved: Navigation of video files in the Media Library with preview “on”
26. Fixed: “Autoplay” from HDD or USB or SD CARD — removed stop & start icons during autoplay
27. Fixed: Issues related to no internal HDD / no Mede8er-formatted HDD
28. Fixed: HDD format issues
29. Fixed: Mirrored MP3 tags issue
30. Fixed: DVD eject
31. Changed: In-folder JPG permitted display size increased to 5MB
32. Changed: Plasma Mode now only adjusts GUI transparency and not Screens during Video Play

Known issues:
o Network (SMB) write not available to Non-Mede8er-formatted HDD (NTFS-only) — Under investigation
o DVD resume on VIDEO_TS structure – Not working — SDK
o Repeat A-B on BDISO — SDK
o AAC 6 channel passthrough – only stereo — SDK related
o Restore from v1.x or v2.x backups — not restoring all fields correctly
o On certain 16:9 DVD menus – selection highlight is misplaced — SDK issue
o Simultaneous audio output via both HDMI and SPDIF — SDK restriction
o Extension .divx unsupported — SDK – temp fix rename file to .avi
o Resume dialogue DVDISO — SDK
o Resume play DVD VIDEO_TS — SDK
o File format: .ogg unsupported — SDK

Related Web Links:

R.I.P. Newzbin, it was the best NZB website ever.

Newzbin is no more after losing a battle with the courts. They have now been put into administration because they couldn’t pay their debts. I always said the subscription to the site was too low. It was ridiculously low (as in £2 for 8 weeks worth of downloads).

Word is that they owe the Motion Picture Association (MPA) £230,000 just in interim costs, and that’s without a full costs ruling or a decision on damages. Apparently they also owe a software development house over £500k. :-(

Newzbin is one of the original Usenet indexing sites and the creator of the immensely-popular .NZB format, which opened up simplified Usenet downloading to the masses.

While the major BitTorrent sites were in Hollywood’s spotlights as the major source of copyright infringement, Usenet sites such as Newzbin remained untouched.

This changed, however, when the MPA, the MPAA’s big brother, sent a threatening letter to the site’s operators in 2008.

This letter was followed by an official announcement of a lawsuit against the Usenet indexer early 2009. The case eventually went to the High Court in February of this year where Newzbin was found liable for copyright infringement.

Let’s hope a clone site can open in it’s place soon else websites such a Giganews and Grabit will suffer as a result.

Mede8er MED500X unboxing.

It has only been three days since I ordered the Mede8er from Digital Era and  when I got home today, there it was on the table alongside my repaired Xbox 360.

So this post will be an “unboxing” since it seems to be “the thing to do” these days for gadgets. There will be no video, as I am not vain enough to hear my own voice, so you are only getting a few photos.

Box contents:

  • Carry bag (nice touch),
  • Full colour manual,
  • Euro Adapter plug, power plug with fuse (wow),
  • Batteries, Remote Control,
  • Screws and vibration sponges,
  • Stereo RCA cables (video, audio),
  • HDMI cable (nice),
  • Composite video cable,
  • USB cable, extender cable for USB hard disks or USB keys,
  • Mede8er with removable under cover, SATA power supply cable, SATA data cable.
  • Western Digital 2.0TB SATA II Hard Disk (not included but displayed).

The box is fairly colourful with a lot of it’s features scattered on the front, back and sides. (a lot more visual than most commercial devices would show on their boxes). There are also colour photos of various screens, the remote control and the mede8er case. There are six languages listing the features as well, so it’s aimed at quite a broad international community. With the box open I can see two sections. The media player itself is wrapped in plastic and is surrounded by a protective sponge thingy and there is a half sized box containing all the cabling, remote control and manual as described above. I would give the packaging 10/10 as it perfect.

I’ve taken a few more photos of the box contents. They can be found in my photo gallery or by clicking on the image below.

Related Posts:

Mede8er – made in South Africa.

After reading many reviews, comparing dozens of media centre devices, and waiting for over 2 years for the ultimate media centre to arrive, I have finally settled on a product made in South Africa of all places. It’s called the MEDE8ER. I will be blogging and giving my opinion of the device as soon as I get it! I just ordered it from Digital Era.

Some of the highlights that ticked my boxes was that it supports the latest 2TB SATA hard disks, is HDMI 1.3, has SD card support, NTFS / FAT32 file system support meaning connecting to will be a breeze from any PC in the house. It’s got a remote that exists in the Logitech Harmony One database and has some awesome recommedations from the likes of MPC Club.

Specifications
Processor: Realtek RTD1073 – 128MB SPI Flash – 128MB DDR2 SDRAM
Video Codec Supported: MKV, H264, DVD (VOB – IFO – ISO), DIVX, XVID, DAT, AVI, MPEG, HD MPEG-2, TS, HD MPEG-4, SP, ASP, AVCD (H.264), MTS, M2ts, WMV9, FLV, VC-1, Real Networks (RM/RMVB) 8/9/10, up to 720p

Audio  Codec Supported: MP3, MP2, OGG Vorbis, PCM, LPCM, AAC, RA, Dolby AC3 Passthrough, Dolby AC3 Downmix, DTS Passthrough, DTS Downmix, FLAC, WAV,
WMA Standard (DRM, & Advanced Profile not supported)
HD Audio supportGUI Main Page
Dolby digital                  – support decode & bypass
Dolby digital Plus            – support decode – bypass is in testing
Dolby digital EX              – support – compatible up to 5.1
DTS digital Surround       – support decode & bypass

Photo format Supported: JPEG, BMP
File System Supported: FAT32, NTFS – UI Format Feature

Input / Output
•  HDMI 1.3, Component video, Composite Video
•  Stereo RCA audio for analog audio connection
•  SD / Sony Pro Duo Card Slot
•  S/PDIF optical Output / Coaxial Digital RCA Output
•  Video output resolution – NTSC, PAL, 480p, 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 1080p24hz
•  USB – 2.0 HOST port x 2 (compatible to USB 1.1)
•  USB – 2.0 SLAVE port
General
•  3.5″ SATA Internal Hard Drive Bay up to 2TB compatible
•  Built in 40mm cooling fan – TPE mounts for low noise
•  Playlist creation from remote
•  Built in NFS Client
•  Screensaver – Selectable in GUI setup
•  In folder JPEG preview feature
•  Easy navigation button use (excl DVD files)
•  Time Bar FF/FR and Time Bar jump
•  Media Library Jump To file number feature
•  Resume playback feature
•  Photo slide show with background music
•  Network – Ethernet 10/100 Mbps – Streaming MAX Samba 26Mbps / NFS 36Mbps
•  Optional Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n)
Achievable Streaming G router – Samba 12Mbps – NFS 18 Mbps @ 1m – unprotected
Achievable Streaming N router – Samba 14Mbps – NFS 22 Mbps @ 1m – unprotected
(Typical MKV 720p Play 10Mbps max FF/RW 15Mbps)
•  Samba server – NAS storage
•  A/V streaming via UPnP Media Server (CNN – YouTube etc via optional program such as PlayOn, Tversity etc)
•  Internet Radio (SHOUTcast)
•  File Copying – Card, USB, HDD and Network
•  Subtitle: SRT, SSA, SUB, SMI format

Step away from the N900!

My wife says I am obsessive! She is of course referring to me and my new friend/toy the Nokia N900, which arrived two days ago after a slight delay. You can read all about that in the previous post. Since then I have managed to run the device dry 4 times and when I say “run the device dry”, I mean use it “non stop” for 5 or so hours until the battery is dead. So I guess that is what she means by “obsessive”.

I read the manual that came in the box and it was pathetic, all 17 pages of it. It explained nothing. So I did a search for a manual or a how to guide and found a 231 page Nokia N900 User Guide. (now we are talking). It’s a PDF file and I now have it on the phone for easy access and will be reading it front to back and back to front.

So what is the big deal about this device? The first thing noticeable when it’s turned on is the fact that it runs 99% of the time in the horizontal mode (as in the image to the left). This is so the large 3.5inch screen can be utilized fully. One also notices the lack of buttons anyone on the front. Not even a red or green buttons for making or ending calls and that is because the N900 is more a mini computer than a phone. I received a call while on the train home and to be honest, I didn’t know how to pick it up (ha ha).

It runs “Maemo“, which in simple terms is an open source linux operating system. Open source means anyone can develop software for it and there is a ton of software available in various stages of development. I have loaded quite a few applications already and haven’t even touched the surface of whats on offer.

Here are a few of my favourites so far:

  1. Angry Birds – a very addictive game by Rovio (check out the trailer here). Simple idea but brilliant!
  2. FBreader – Ebook reader, also trying out MGutenberg.
  3. gPodder – Podcast player.
  4. Firefox – Yup, the N900 can display a full browser perfectly and it’s fast. Did I mention add-ins, just like the application on the PC. It’s awesome! One particular awesome add-in is called Weave and I quote;
    The Weave Sync add-on lets you securely take your Firefox experience with you wherever you go. You can now surf the Web on your PC, get up and go, and have everything waiting for you on your phone: your history, open tabs, bookmarks, the Awesome Bar – just as you had left it.
  5. Mauku – Twitter application – I also tried out Witter, but find Mauku to be more finger friendly.
  6. Mediabox – an alternate to the default media player.
  7. Pidgen – Instant Messenger application allowing me to be logged into MSN, Yahoo, Google Talk, and Skype. There is a whole host of other IM’s. Facebook chat would be nice. Actually Skype is built into the contact section, which is cool because one can chat, make VOIP calls etc.
  8. Facebook – Social networking application that we all love/hate/know!
  9. Extra media codecs for playing just about any video / audio format. All my files on my home server work perfectly and I got a real good mix (FLAC, MP3, MP4, MKV, AVI, DIVX, etc).
  10. Vagalume – it plays Last.FM and Libre.FM. As there is no Mobbler yet, this is the next best thing. Upon starting the application it soon becomes apparent that Last.FM will not work because of some licencing issues, but fear not as there is a hack or work around and it works perfectly if one follows the instructions over at NokiaAddict.com – Thanks @Gerrymoth.

One very cool feature is the ability to play Music / Video / Photos from my home media servers over wireless. The N900 makes uses of Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA). The device supports up to 4 media servers at one one. I currently have two connected (my iMac and Cubestation), so I have been streaming music and video to the phone with ease. No need for cables or SD cards etc. It’s so amazing.

It’s impossible to tell you all the features, because there are thousands all made possible by the Maemo operating system. Simply the best mobile device I’ve ever owned! Now stepping away from the N900.

 

 

For Sale: PS3 (40GB Version) + Bluetooth remote + Games

We have used our Sony Playstation 3 perhaps four or five times to watch hired Blue Ray disks from Blockbusters. It’s time this PS3 moved in with someone who is going to use it in the way it was meant to be used (games / movies  / online browsing / facebook / twitter / social entertainment console).

We have an XBOX which we use all the time so that is the only reason why I am selling the PS3.

Note: This is not the slim version of PS3.

Specifications:

This the the 40GB version that comes with a built in Blue Ray disc drive for high definition gaming, movies and entertainment. It’s got true 1080p HD support. The box includes the motion sensitive SIXAXIS wireless controller. The built-in hard drive means there is plenty of space for movies, music, games and downloads. There is also a Gigabit network port and full broadband connectivity for easy access to the Playstation Network and online entertainment. It’s WIFI certified (B, G), can support up to seven Bluetooth devices, has USB ports on the front, which support USB Keys, USB Hard disks etc. It outputs Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital, DTS Digital Surround, has an HDMI port and can read DVD Video/Rom. Finally it is a region 2 player with PAL support. The box weighs 6.5kg with everything packaged inside.

I am also throwing in a Bluetooth remote control + my only two games (Grand Turismo 5 Prologue and Formula 1 Championship Edition).

If you are interested, you can contact me via email on lookatbowen@gmail.com. I can also be found on Twitter under the name @lookatbowen and on Facebook if you are lucky enough to be in my circle of friends. Of course you can leave a comment below with your name and email address and I will get back to you. All comments are moderated as it is.

Name your price – I will tell you YES or NO!