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View Full Version : Engadgets Thoughts On The New Media Streamer From Uebo


Andy Dixon
07-26-2010, 12:00 AM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/20/uebo-introduces-versatile-m200-media-streamer-we-go-hands-on/' target='_blank'>http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/20/...we-go-hands-on/</a><br /><br /></div><p><em>"Yes, the world needs another high-definition media streamer like it needs a shot in the foot, but never let it be said we passed up the chance to try a promising product simply because the competition was good. We're talking about the Uebo M200 --a never-before-seen box from storage company UIT -- whose claim to fame is a $130 price for everything-but-the-kitchen-sink media center functionality. Out of the box it's your standard streamer, playing loads of media formats from memory cards, attached storage and thumbdrives, plus ShoutCast internet radio, RSS feeds and UPnP shares from your PC, but also the usual suspects Hulu, Netflix, CBS and more via PlayOn media server."</em></p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/wpt/auto/1280083296.usr11334.jpg" style="border: #d2d2bb 1px solid;" /></p><p>There are a large number of media streamers out there if you're in the market for one, PopCorn Hour, Boxee, Buffalo Linktheatre to name a few. It's very difficult sometimes to differentiate between each product and what they can do, with the usability of the GUI interface being one of the deciding factors along with the codecs that they can handle.&nbsp; Unfortunately this new product from Uebo doesn't seem to have impressed Engadget on the GUI front, and this really is one of the things companies need to focus on.&nbsp; It's all very&nbsp;well having a&nbsp;product that can play every codec on the planet, but if the interface is clunky and unusable, people just won't buy it.</p>

Hooch Tan
07-26-2010, 04:27 AM
As far as I'm concerned, when it comes to media player interfaces, XBMC and its kin (Boxee, etc) win hands down. All the stand alone media players I have tried, like the WDTV Live, a ZIO media player and even the fancy ones that come from Rogers are all nice attempts, but still lacking. I suspect part of it is related to processing power, as all the stand alone CPUs are typically quite weak, and rely on a media decoder for all the heavy lifting.

Stinger
07-26-2010, 12:34 PM
This is the reason why I eventually ditched my Popcorn Hour A-100 and bought an AppleTV. Despite the restricted of codec and storage supported, the AppleTV's user interface is vastly superior. The Popcorn Hour's UI was very slow and it required a lot of investment in time to get it to look aesthetically pleasing.

I miss being able to play DVD .iso files off a NAS but it really wasn't worth all of the effort in the end.

Jason Dunn
07-26-2010, 05:13 PM
It's all very&nbsp;well having a&nbsp;product that can play every codec on the planet, but if the interface is clunky and unusable, people just won't buy it.</p>

This is my #1 pain point: it's like there are two types of companies looking at this solution...

1) Highly technical companies that create boxes that can play every file under the sun, yet put zero effort into the user interface (basically every media player box out there for the most part)

2) Companies that put a lot of effort into the design and UI, which makes them a joy to use (Windows Media Center, AppleTV, etc.), but they only allow for certain types of content to be played

I WANT BOTH! Is that so unreasonable? :mad:

Jason Dunn
07-26-2010, 05:18 PM
As far as I'm concerned, when it comes to media player interfaces, XBMC and its kin (Boxee, etc) win hands down.

I agree with you in terms of the "wow, that looks nice!" factor, but I'm pretty irritated at how illogical and un-usable XMBC is on many levels. I went out and bought a little Acer Revo, thinking to use it to create an XMBC media center for playing ISO files, and I've been absolutely baffled at the idiocy of its user interface when it comes to library management. It makes absolutely no sense - I fought with it for hours and hours, and was unable to get it to do one amazingly simple thing: look at a single folder on my Windows Home Server, index it, and only show me those movies. I gave up out of frustration and haven't tried again in over a month.

It's a classic open-source problem - no one stops to ask if the design implementation is actually usable by regular users. :rolleyes:

I think the Boxee Box might be the solution I'm looking for - those guys REALLY understand UI design. Pissed though that I wasted money on the Revo. Might try to install Boxee on the Revo, but I think it's an app only, not a nice all in one app + OS like XMBC.

Jason Dunn
07-26-2010, 05:21 PM
This is the reason why I eventually ditched my Popcorn Hour A-100 and bought an AppleTV. Despite the restricted of codec and storage supported, the AppleTV's user interface is vastly superior...I miss being able to play DVD .iso files off a NAS but it really wasn't worth all of the effort in the end.

I quite like the UI on the Apple TV as well, but the thought of ripping and transcoding my 1300+ DVDs to MPEG4 sends shudders down my spine. I don't want to transcode, I want to play them in their native format...it makes me so mad that Microsoft and Apple are SO terrified of the MPAA that they won't add ISO format support to their products. :mad:

peterawest
07-26-2010, 07:22 PM
There are a large number of media streamers out there...

The one thing I can't seem to find is a media streaming device that also includes one or two over the air digital receivers, so it can also be used as a DVR for hi-def broadcast stations.

So far, I've only found the DTVPAL DVR sold at Sears or K-Mart.

Are any other these other devices adding that feature?

Stinger
07-26-2010, 10:20 PM
I quite like the UI on the Apple TV as well, but the thought of ripping and transcoding my 1300+ DVDs to MPEG4 sends shudders down my spine.

I've "only" got 200-300 and it took a long time. However, once I'd figured out the best settings in Handbrake, it wasn't taxing and having an i7 processor has certainly speeded the process up. God knows how much I spent on electricity though. :)

That's what I loved about the Popcorn Hour. Native .iso support with all the extras and menus intact.

I'm now in a situation where I buy most of my new purchases from iTunes. I hate the DRM but it's so convenient. 10 for the new season of The IT Crowd is pretty good and you get the episodes almost as soon as they've aired on TV.

Hooch Tan
07-27-2010, 05:05 AM
It makes absolutely no sense - I fought with it for hours and hours, and was unable to get it to do one amazingly simple thing: look at a single folder on my Windows Home Server, index it, and only show me those movies. I gave up out of frustration and haven't tried again in over a month.

Actually, I've been able to do that, though it was not in the way I would expect. I do completely agree with you that while the interface is nice, it doesn't take long before you notice that the polish is only skin deep. I'm still in the process of organizing all my movies and music so I haven't told my XBMC to run through everything, outside of an initial test. I can try and come up with a step by step process of adding a folder from a WHS if you'd like.

It's a classic open-source problem - no one stops to ask if the design implementation is actually usable by regular users. :rolleyes:

Yep. Yes. And Yuppers. It definitely feels like a program developed by geeks for geeks, though admittedly, it is better than other programs I've used.

I think the Boxee Box might be the solution I'm looking for - those guys REALLY understand UI design. Pissed though that I wasted money on the Revo. Might try to install Boxee on the Revo, but I think it's an app only, not a nice all in one app + OS like XMBC.

I tried Boxee and didn't like it. The interface was actually a little confusing for me, but bearable. The main thing was its whole social integration part which I didn't care for. I am looking for a strict media player. As for installing Boxee, it is an app only, however, XBMC is technically the same. It just goes one easier with a Live install, vs. installing the OS separate.

The big warning I would give with regards to Boxee though, is I do not know if it supports VDPAU at present. If it doesn't, the Revo will not be able to handle 720p or 1080p content.

So.... what do you plan to do with that Revo? :D