Thursday, July 23, 2009

Possible Facebook TV Application

We need some advice!

As our Facebook campaign to promote the HDX 1000 and the BOCS progresses, we want to generate a Facebook application to help spread the word! The temporary name of the application is “What TV shows you are watching tonight?” The application description is below:

  • The application is a box residing at people’s Facebook profile sidewall.

  • The application can display a small image of the TV shows you are watching tonight.

  • There will be a TV scheduler to let users pick the shows.

  • There will be a place for people to talk about the shows and provide other interesting information, such as how many users are watching what shows.

Because this is our first Facebook application, we want to use the divide-and-conquer strategy. We will make the application in four phases.

  • Phase I: Build the necessary features, functions and user interface of the application. The TV show data base will be limited to the prime time shows on the major networks.

  • Phase II: Build a program to auto-extract the TV show’s information from TV guide. People can now pick any TV show available in the US to show up on the application box.

  • Phase III: Build up the user interaction functions, such as building a discussion forum.

  • Phase IV: Find a way to make the application work internationally (to be able to display TV shows in other countries). Possibly make an interface to let people record the TV shows on their TiVo without going onto TiVo’s site.

Sounds interesting? If you have any suggestions to this Facebook application, please leave your comments here or send an email to

We are currently working on the official name of the application. Our options are: iWatch, ShowMe, TV Planer and TVBOCS. Please let me know how these name sound to you . If you can think of better name, please be sure to let me know. I really appreciate your help.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

DTS downmixing is finally supported by the HDX 1000!

After 6 months waiting, DTS Downmixing is finally supported by the HDX 1000. (See the firmware release notes and download it at Here.)

See my post on the Networked Media Tank Discussion Forum. I actually overlook the feature when I first download the firmware update. Stupid me...

Anyway, I 'm so glad HDX people can keep the promise this time. (Although it is kind of: meet the target in the last minute...) Good Job!

BTW, don't miss our buy one HDX 1000 get one TP-Link wifi adapter FREE event.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Xtender - Real User Installation Notes #1 - from Theo

Installation notes: from Theo, a real
Xtender user.

Hi Howard,

We recently installed the Xtender and just wanted to send a quick note to let you know how much we look forward to using the system! We’re just about finished up with a grueling home remodeling project, so we haven’t had a chance to really get everything we can out of the device yet. That said, after having run the system through its paces and looking at a number of different options to get our cable, DVR and DVD content throughout the house, we’re confident this system will provide us with both better picture quality and a significant cost savings relative to its competitors.


Our main system in the living room is a very modest setup, consisting of a Sony 60” LCD projection TV with an HD cable box and DVD player as source components. But now that we have the remodel out of the way, we plan on upgrading our cable service to include DVR capabilities, and with good quality LCD TVs getting less expensive every day, we’re really excited about having whole-home TV without breaking the bank.
One of the features that really attracted us to the Xtender is its ability to integrate into our existing coaxial cable wiring. As part of the remodel, we had new coaxial wiring routed throughout most of the house, but the upfront costs and high monthly fees associated with having to place a cable box and DVR at every TV was a real deal breaker for us. Renting cable and DVR for three bedrooms, the kitchen and an office would have cost at least $600 a year in fees, not to mention at least $100 in equipment deposits, whereas the Xtender allowed us to save over $300 in the first year alone. Also, we were looking to wall mount the TVs without unsightly cable runs and clunky boxes in every room, and the Xtender gets every TV access to the components in the main living room setup using just the regular coaxial wiring.


Not much to say here – as you can see, the product was packaged safely and securely.

The Xtender package came with the Xtender box, their so-called “SuperCombiner”, an AC adapter and remote control. I also purchased the additional wiring pack, which included three composite cables (color matched to the Xtender zones), along with 3 IR blasters, a short coaxial wire and cable finder tool.


Although setting up the Xtender did involve some legwork on my part, the entire process was relatively painless. Between the included quick start guide, the full manual online, and even the step-by-step videos posted on YouTube, I was able to get the system installed and set up in an afternoon.

I attached the cable finder tool to the cable outlet in the living room where I wanted to install the Xtender.

Went to the basement, used the cable finder to verify the other end of the cable going to the living room setup. The cable finder was really useful and made finding the right cable virtually bulletproof.

Installed the SuperCombiner where the main cable line comes into the house, attached the living room cable to the Xtender output, and attached the included short coaxial to the splitters going to the rest of the house.

Went back to the living room and hooked up the Xtender box, wired up the IR Blasters and programmed the IR codes in the remote. Right now I’m using the Red channel for cable and the Blue channel for DVD, but I plan to replace the cable box with a DVR and may purchase another Tivo DVR for the Green channel.

As mentioned, I haven’t picked out the LCDs for the other rooms yet, but I did have an old CRT lying around just for testing purposes. Here you can see Denzel’s handsome mug in Déjà Vu, playing on both the main system and the CRT.

Movie on Main TV

Movie on 2nd TV

Although I was initially attracted to the Xtender based on the cost savings, I have to say that I really was genuinely amazed at the picture quality. Compared to having a cable box hooked up to each TV, I was definitely expecting to see a discernable difference in picture quality. And while I wouldn’t consider myself to be a videophile by any means, I’m really not sure I could even distinguish between the different setups.

Thanks again for creating such a wonderful product! I’ll be sure to update you with pictures of the full setup when I have everything up and running.

Best Regards,

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Announcement - AmperorUK has started to carry the HDX 1000

Our UK store has started to carry the HDX 1000. Here is the link to the digital media device category page. If you are in Europe and are looking forward to own a HDX 1000, be sure to check out our UK website (The HDX 1000 can be found under the Audio / Visual section). I'm sure they can offer the good service to you, as we do at here in US.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Winner of our HDX 1000 Drawing is...

The winner of our HDX 1000 drawing is Henry Beecher.

Frankly speaking, we are always nervious about the drawing result. We have a random number generator to pick the winner. However, we only have the winner's name and email address. We don't know if the winner will response to our notification email, nor do we know if the winner is serious about trying out the HDX 1000.

This time, when we see Henry's response, we know the unit goes to a good hand. we were literally blown away with his setup picture.

As Henry discribed:

"In the wooden cabinet is a Vizio VW26L HD LCD TV displaying a YAMJ menu screen.

The sound system on top of the cabinet is a SoundMatters MainStageHD configured with a SubStage100 subwoofer (concealed under the cabinet) and a pair of Polk Atrium 45p rear-channel speakers (not in photo).

An Acer ASX1200 located on the bottom of the AV rack serves as an 64bit Vista HTPC running Orb, TVersity and PlayOn as well as Hauppauge HD PVR software and various video transcoding applications.

To the immediate left of the HTPC, and partialy obscured, is a Linksys NSLU2 (with unslung firmware) running TwonkyMedia which serves as a NAS and is configured with a 1TB SATA drive in an Antec MX-1 enclosure (standing vertically on the outside lower-right of the cabinet). A Hauppauge HD PVR1212 is just below the Antec enclosure. A Neuros OSD (SD PVR) is located under the lower-right corner of the LCD TV.

There are three internet set-top boxes: a Roku N1000 located under the lower-left corner of the LCD TV; a Vudu BX100 located on top of the HTPC; and a Verismo VuNow Pod configured with a 128GB SATA drive in AnyWare Xpress enclosure, both standing vertically between the Antec enclosure and the Linksys NAS (above the PVR1212).

There are thee digital media players: a Klegg MediaShareMega standing vertically to the lower left of the LCD TV (on top of the Roku); the HDX1000 configured with a 64GB SSD SATA drive stands vertically on top of the Klegg; and a D-Link DSM520 sandwiched horizontally on top of a Samsung BD-P1400 Blu-ray player and under a Sony RDR-GXD455 DVD recorder (all three in the mid-section of the AV rack).

Six devices (BD player, DSM520, DVD recorder, Roku, HDX1000, and Vudu) are connected via component, composite and HDMI switches. The VuNow Pod and Klegg are only connected via HDMI. These three types of switches are located on the top level of the AV rack as follows: top-most are two PylePro 4x1 HDMI switches connecting 4 devices each to the 2 HDMI ports on the LCD TV; under the HDMI switches is a MCM Electronics matrix 6x2 composite switch connecting 6 devices (listed above) to the Neuros OSD and DVD recorder; lastly, under the composite switch is an Impact Accoustics matrix 6x2 component switch connecting the same 6 devices to the HD PVR1212 and the LCD TV.

The DVD recorder is not ethernet capable. The VuNow POD connects wirelessly to the home network. All the other devices are wired with CAT5 RJ45 cable."

HD LCD TVVizioVW26LDisplaying YAMJ Screen
Sound SystemSoundMattersMainStageHDConcealed under cabinet and not in the photo
Rear SpeakersPolkAtrium 45p
HTPCAcerASX1200Running Orb, TVersity, PlayOn
NASLinksysNSLU2Flashed with unslung firmware
Drive enclosureAntecMX-11TB SATA drive
HD PVRHauppaugeHD PVR1212
SD PVRNeuros TechnologyNeuros OSD
Internet STB #1VuduBX100
Internet STB #2VerismoVuNow Podw 128GB SATA in AnyWare Xpress
Internet STB #3RokuN100
Digital Media Player #1KleggMediaShareMega
Digital Media Player #2DigitechHDX 1000w 64GB SSD SATA drive
Digital Media Player #3D-LinkDSM 520
BlueRay PlayerSamsungBD-P1400
DVD RecorderSonyRDR-GXD455
HDMI switch X2Pylepro4X1
Component switch #1MCM Electronicsmatrix 6 X 2
Composite switch #2Impact Accousticsmatrix 6 X 2

Thank you, Henry, for such a detailed explanation of your setup. Hope you enjoy your HDX 1000. And, remember to tell your insurance agent the HDX 1000 worth $1000 dollars!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Interview with David

Here are the notes from the interview session with David Feller, one of the Co-Funders of BOCS. In the interview, he went through the benefits, the installation and the future plan of the Xtender (A whole home content distribution device we have started to carry). If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at howard_chang"at"

BTW, come check out the Xtender Facebook page and remember to sign-up as a fan to the page.

Interview Result:

1) Who would benefit the most from this Xtender?

The great thing is that Xtender really is for everyone – but the people that benefit the most are Cable-TV customers with at least one DVR (Cable company or third party like a TiVo) and more than one cable-TV box in the home. If you and your family need multiple cable boxes so you can get your favorite digital channel on every TV or if you record shows in your living room but really wish you didn’t have to go down there to watch them, we really have something that could change the way you think about TV.

2) What are some of the benefits of installing the Xtender in your home?

I’d say there are four that we hear over and over:

a) Save a LOT of money. If you are paying the cable company to have more than one cable box in your home – frankly, you are insane. You want the cool digital channels – Disney, espn, NFL network or whatever, and the big companies have trained you to believe the only way you can get them is to rent another box for each of your TVs at up to $16/month/TV. Get an Xtender and share your living room cable box with the whole home.

b) Control – or Convenience – whatever you want to call it. Yet again you have been brainwashed into thinking that you record shows in your living room and you have to go sit there to watch them – OR you need to have a DVR in each room all recording the same show so you can watch where you want… Ridiculous – Xtender frees you from any particular room restriction and gives you whole-home control of all your entertainment devices. It kind of like having all your stuff (DVR, DVD player, iPod dock or whatever) on a little roll around cart that follows you into whatever room you go. You have access to all your stuff wherever and whenever you want.

3) So, how exactly does it work?

This is actually pretty simple, somewhere you have a stack of “stuff” – a DVR, a DVD player, an iPod dock, a security camera – or whatever – you put an Xtender there and connect your devices to it – just like hooking a DVD player up to a TV. Xtender then creates new TV channels and adds them back into the coax cables already in your walls so all the rest of the TVs in the home can see those channels. We allow you to plug in up to three devices and we color code them to make it simple – one device each into Red, Green, and Blue channels. So now, you still have NBC on channel 9, CBS on 11 (or wherever it is), but now you have your DVR available on the Red channel everywhere in your home and your other stuff on Green and Blue.

With a BOCS remote control in each room of your home – it’s a full universal remote with three new buttons – Red, Green, and Blue – you can get to and control anything. Press 9 to watch NBC, press Red, and your DVR pops up and you have full control – play, pause, guide – anything – even if you are on the other side of the home from your DVR.

4) Is the installation easy enough for the average consumer? Or, will they need to hire an A/V equipment installer to perform the installation?

This is the best part – YES – you can definitely do it. We put a lot of work into making installation simple and straightforward. If you can plug a DVD player into your TV you can do this. Most folks can complete an installation in a Cable-TV home in about an hour. We have a comprehensive support system for you – phone support, online videos – watch one of our guys doing an entire installation, online wiki and forum community support, and in some markets there are experts who can come to your home (for a fee) and give you a hand. And in all cases, we promise not to tell your wife you had to call us.

5) Will the Xtender work for both Cable and Satellite TV customers?


Cable TV homes are the simplest kind of installation – everything you need to get it done quickly is included in the kit. We have 100% success rate in these kinds of homes.
Dish-Network homes are a bit more difficult – there is (or will soon be) a comprehensive explanation of how Xtender works in that environment up on the support Wiki at . Basically, since you can use diplexers with Dish installations, it is pretty simple to combine the two systems.

DirecTV is the other end of the spectrum – it will definitely work, and we can walk you through it, but it takes a little more planning and in about 20% of installations a new multiswitch needs to be installed. We offer a free pre-purchase consultation service that includes an in-depth analysis of your home satellite setup and BOCS will provide detailed customized installation instructions for DirecTV homes.

6) As the digital conversion is near, will the Xtender help reduce with conversion costs?

If you have cableTV or Satellite, you don’t need to worry about the conversion at all – nothing will change. But that still leaves millions of Americans who use an antenna to get their TV fix. All they have to do is put a converter box on each TV – BUT the government only gives you two per home. So if you have more than two TVs you are out at least $60 or $70 per TV. So why not get your free converter and hook it up to Xtender – share the converter box with every TV in the home.

7) Is the Xtender capable of distributing HD content throughout the house as well?

This version of Xtender is HD-compatible, meaning that for the typical home (an HD setup usually in just one room – big screen, HD-DVR, and maybe a Blu-Ray player with the rest of the TVs in the home tubes or flat panels but not with HD sources) Xtender works in conjunction with your HD setup – takes those HD sources and redistributes them to the rest of the TVs in your home at DVD quality. It depends on the viewer, but the majority are not going to be able to tell the difference on the smaller TVs in the rest of the home – if you, however, are one of those folks that have invested in other large (32” or larger) flat panels, then our next generation is really going to appeal to you. Full high definition distribution will be available later this year as a simple modular upgrade to the existing system.

8) The Xtender is a good concept for the consumer market. Can business operations benefit by installing the Xtender in their facilities as well? If so, please give us some examples.

Absolutely – while Xtender was designed specifically for the residential market, it has found application in a host of commercial establishments.

We have installed Xtender in bars and restaurants all across the country – it is simple to use, gives the host/bartender complete control of all the TVs in the establishment, and significantly reduces the cost of offering entertainment to patrons.

The latest trend has been using Xtender in health clubs – instead of everyone having to watch the same show, Xtender gives full and independent control to every workout machine in a gym. Each treadmill, rowing machine, or whatever can have its own TV that the user has full control of – most places are even putting a stack of DVD players in so users can bring their own movies and watch as they progress from machine to machine.

9) This may be a bit premature, but what can we expect to see in the 2nd generation Xtender?

Current plans are to release a high definition version later this year. We have taken great pains to make sure that HD will be a simple upgrade – meaning that if you go ahead and put in Xtender now you lose nothing. The current Xtender system is, in fact, the base unit for the HD distribution upgrade. So get your system up and running now!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Interesting HDX 1000 Marketing Survey Result

Thanks for all the participants in our marketing survey. There are total 105 current or possible future HDX 1000 owners turning in their answers in that short one week period. Here I want to share the result with you.

1. How do you plan to connect the HDX 1000 to the Network?

In the 105 survey participants, 74 people (70%) use (or will use) a Ethernet cable to connect the HDX 1000 to the LAN. 26 people (25%) use wireless connection. 2 people use power-line Ethernet. Apparently, most people realize the wire connection can achieve the better data transfer rate. They also have a network port available near their TV.

There are still 25% of the participants using (or wanting to use) wireless connection. According to my personal experience, the wireless connection works ok in playing 720p content. If you have a lot of 1080p content, it is recommended to switch to the wire connection for better playback quality. Besides, 25% is really higher than my expectation. Maybe I need to go source the TP-Link TL-821N wifi adapter and make it available on AmperorDirect.

BTW, I’m pretty interesting in those 2 people who are using the power-line Ethernet connection. I’ll contact them to get some real user experience.

2. What kind of the video format do you plan to play via the HDX 1000?

The top five video format people play via the HDX 1000 are: mkv (59%), avi (56%), mpeg (41%), iso (39%) and wmv (24%). The .m2ts, .mov, .vob, .mpeg4 and other popular formats are also been used by people. A person claims that he can connect an external DVD-ROM directly to the HDX 1000 USB port and use the HDX 1000 to playback the movie in the DVD-ROM. I need to try this myself. (If you have the similar setup on your HDX 1000, please let me know.)

3. Do you plan to install an internal HDD? If so, what’s the preferred HDD capacity?

Surprisingly, 84 people mention that they plan to equip an internal HDD in their HDX 1000. That equals 80% of the total 105 survey participants! Too bad I didn’t put down the question right. I should ask people to reveal if they have already installed the HDD or not. If most of them have installed the HDD, I wonder if the big argument on the NMT official forum: the heat generated from the internal HDD might affect the performance, can be true. (To me, I’ve never encountered any heat issue created by the Western Digital 1TB Green Caviar HDD WD10EADS installed in my HDX 1000.)

For all the 84 people who plan to install the internal HDD, 17% prefer 1.5TB or higher capacity HDD, 55% prefer 1TB or 750GB, 12% prefer capacity under or equal 500GB. 15% didn’t reveal their preference. More than half of them prefers a larger HDD (>= 1TB).

4. Any suggestion to AmperorDirect?

I really appreciate people who take time to write down good suggestions. The most mentioned complain is for the bad manual / setup guide included in the package. I’ll let Digitech know about the issue and see if they can do any improvements. I’ve also began to construct quick installation guide and firmware updating procedure on Youtube. Hope eventually everybody can have simple and clear instruction to setup their HDX 1000.

Some people ask for more available options, such as different capacity HDD and cable, to bundle with the product. Some ask for where to find better looking GUI and plug-ins. Some ask to enable the .rm and .rmvb playback capability. Next week, I’ll address each issue with the individual who asked the question.

Again, thanks for all the survey participants. Your efforts really help us to plan for our next move. We have marked down the HDX 1000 price to $224.88 (including shipping to 48 US states) in our Easter Egg Hunt Sale. If you have monitored our offering constantly, you would know that we seldom bring down the price to this level. Therefore, to those people who complain about the price in the above 4th survey question, it is a good time to take your action…

PS. I have not forgot the most important thing: announce the drawing winner. I’ll start to contact the winner and will post the name at here after I got the response from the winner.

Happy Easter!