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!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Last 8 Hrs to enter the drawing for a free HDX 1000

Hello Guys

Last 8 Hrs to enter the drawing for a free HDX 1000. Just go to the page at HERE, fill out some survey questions, and you can enter the drawing.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

BOCS Xtender on Buy.TV - w a beautiful show hostess

As you might notice, we have started to carry a new A/V product, Xtender, from BOCS. It is a house entertainment distribution device which can send your cable TV, Tivo, DVD or HTPC output to everyplace in your house via coax connection. With the Xtender installed, there is no need to buy the 2nd DVR, receiver, and DVD player, or worry about the network connection availability at each room. In a pre-wired house, the Xtender is the ultimated content distribution device you ever need.

I'll do more posts to introduce Xtender. If you have more questions, you can check our product page or send me an email to howard_chang"at"

Buy.TV is now having a good introduction video produced by BOCS' CEO, Todd, and a beautiful show hostess. Click on the below image to watch the video.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Gap Issue -2

First, I want to say something before getting into the main subject. After the previous post, I got several people emailing me with the great worry about getting a bad unit. Actually, the gap does not exist on every unit. If your HDX 1000 runs smoothly without glitch or freezing, it is probably working just fine. You really don't need to take the risk to open the box.

We have received the silicon pad and the thermal paste from Digitech, to address the gaping issue. However, the thermal paste is in a huge tube package. We cannot easily take a small portion out of the tube to send out! So, we have ordered some small-sized thermal paste from Internet. You can see the gap closing kit that we plan to ship out in the below picture. Supposedly, you don’t need the silicon pad. Most machines should have the silicon pad installed in the correct position. After opening the machine, if you see the pad installed in the wrong position like lordy's description here, you can first try to rotate the cover by 180 degree and see if the silicon pad can go to the right position. Remember, the cover is in true square shape and can still be installed after the rotation. If the rotation step cannot bring the silicon pad back to the right position, you can re-install the pad provided in the gap closing kit.

We will be happy to ship the kit to any HDX 1000 owners who want to apply the solution in US and Canada. Please send the request to my email address (howard_chang”at” with the following shipping information.

1. Full name.
2. Ship-to address.
3. The serial number of your HDX 1000.

If you are outside of US and Canada, and did not buy your unit from us, please contact Alex at for the help.

Before I get into the “un-official” thermal paste applying procedure, let me state some facts so you can make your own decision on whether you want to do this on your machine or not.

1. Alex at reported that less than 0.0001% of the owners raised a supporting ticket concerning gaps wider than 1mm. It is true that some owners don’t know and don’t follow this topic. It is also true that not every HDX 1000 has this gaping issue. If your unit is working without freezing or glitch, more than likely, it is just fine. You don’t need to get into panic mode and open your unit.

2. Alex at does not recommend people without previous hardware modification experience to open the box. If you experience freezing or display glitch issue, please first update the firmware. If you still experience the issue after updating the firmware, please contact your reseller.

OK, the following is the “un-official” thermal paste applying procedure. It is “un-official” because I cannot get an official procedure from Digitech. It is just what I use on my unit.

1. Open the cover (un-screw 4 screws circled by red)

2. Detach the two daughter board cables. Unscrew the two screws. Carefully remove the daughter board.

3. Un-screw the 6 screws which hold the bottom piece of the case to the walls.
4. Un-screw the 2 screws which hold the bottom piece of the case to the PCB. The bottom piece should come out easily.

5. Apply thermal paste onto the heat sink of the CPU.

6. Put the bottom piece back to its position. Install the two screws on the main PCB to better hold the bottom piece to the PCB. (You don’t need to put all the screws back.) Un-screw the two screws on the main PCB. Remove the bottom piece. Check if there is any thermal paste on the silicon pad. If so, you have successfully bridge the gap. If not, apply more thermal paste onto the heatsink.

7. Re-assemble the unit.

Please note that the front panel LED indicator and the IR sensor stand up high on the daughter board. You need to be careful not to short or damage the long legs of the two parts in the disassemble process.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Friday, March 6, 2009

HDX 1000 Firmware Update released - 3/6/2009

As title.

Go here to get your new firmware.

If you need help updating your firmware, click here.

The fix in this version includes:

1. Requires NMT apps 00-17-090115-15-HDD-403
2. Browser / System
- Improvement on font engine character rendering (30% speed up)
- faster navigation on local drives
- Use numeric key to input item number to jump to the page where item is located
- Improved fileplayer speed
- Fixed HDMI display output blackout issue for auto EDID
- Discrete RC (Logitech) scancode fix
- Updated network share and webservices language packs.
- Removed EXT2 option for NMT installation
- Note: due to long term reliability issue with EXT2 on device that is frequently turned off abruptly
- Additional symbols can be input from "1" key
- HTTP download manager (only works with links with special "download" attributes.
- File player hide Recycle Bin folder
- Fixed 'TV MODE' + '3' key handling bug
- Fixed recovery kernel no red screen displayed
- Browser image caching fix, should fix some YAMJ crashes or no image issue.
- Fixed HDD spin-up during standby
- Fixed slow loading of HTML pages
3. Web Services
- New UI
- customizable icon feature with browse image utility (need NMT apps)
- bug fixes on customizable service icon with browse feature.
- Web Services page modification
- Fixed a "save/remove service" bug
- Now able to customise JPG/BMP icon
- Fixed slow IR response while playback Internet Radio
- Immediate response to STOP during Internet video streaming
- Fine-tune Web Service UI
4. Network
- Improved SMB server startup time
- Improved browsing time for SMB client
- Atheros USB WiFi stability fixes
- Fixed SMB client hostname resolution picked up wrong IP address from the IP list
- Fixed file copy failed from HDD to SMB/NFS with names containing whitespace
- Fixed UPnP AV server playall issue broken in previous release
- Fixed Samba server halts after device name change
- Torrent client is now by default Transmission (btpd removed)
**** IMPORTANT NOTE: Please ensure completion with previous downloads with BTPD, as new Transmission client cannot inherit previous downloads.
- Fixed torrent schedule page not working
- Fixed occasionally newly created SMB/NFS shares doesn't show up in media source list
- Atheros USB WiFi added support for TP-Link v2 stick
- Fixed persistent private IP when DHCP server unavailable (e.g. cross-cable connection etc)
5. Playback
- Bookmark/resume for single playback
- 10 bookmarks available now
- Press stop to bookmark the last video playback
- Press enter / play with focus on bookmarked clip to resume
- Press "0" to start from beginning of clip
- Auto framerate synchronisation
- Framerate sync function in ISO playback, only for 50,60Hz modes (PAL/NTSC)
- switch to NTSC(60Hz) when selected mode not applicable.(previously, it will follow TV mode selected)
- Use 59.94 for NTSC when matching content detected.
- Fixed incorrect data shown on infobar.
- Fixed after ISO playback, screen goes blank when framerate sync kicks in
- Improved info display
- Disable incorrect video MPEG1/2 VBR display.
- Fixed incorrect framerate info for video playback (*.mov, *.mp4).
- Fixed video bitrate calculation error (less 1 packet every second)
- Modified infobar UI (height, spacing and text displayed)
- Fixed info bar losing text after paused
- Improved accuracy of mpeg1/2 bitrate information
- Photo app
- Fixed JPEG (PNG / TIFF transcode) from myiHome server cannot be displayed
- Fade-In Fade-out effect added for photo transition
- Enable large jpeg rotation. (downscale before rotate)
- Fixed faded color for jpeg at 360-deg rotation
- TV Type setting for DVD playback
- the TV type setting is now working for DVD video playback (4:3 and 16:9 only, 16:10 will treat as 16:9)
- DVD Menu
- new popup menu if MENU key on PCH remote controller is pressed
- user can select to jump to ROOT, TITLE, CHAPTER.... etc from the menu
- Modified progressive zoom and pan in ISO/IFO playback
- Removed up/down keys as prev/next track/td>
- VCD *.DAT playback fixed using soft demux
- Fixed "repeat" keypress in myiHome when playback audio caused picture playback to halt
- Improved handling of MKV H.264 profile and vlevel.
- Fixed cannot stream MPEG from UPnP AV server, liveTV
- Fixed .pls file unable to start when playback locally (HDD/SMB/NFS)
- *.m3u playlist supported.
- Fixed TS with stream6 as teletext playback cause out of memoryFixed MKV H264 L4.1 pixelated video issue
- Fixed MKV H264 L4.1 pixelated video issue
- Fixed ISO over SMB stutter issue, when no HDD attached
6. Subtitle
- Fixed subtitle parsing with BOM (UTF8 support only)
- Fixed wrong character rendered in Thai subtitle
- Changed default subtitle font size to 28 and Y offset to 10
- Exception handling in SSA subtitle parsing
- Slight adjustment of subtitle position

Thursday, March 5, 2009

HDX 1000 Video Guide #2: Firmware Updating Process

The 2nd part of the HDX 1000 Video Guide is to present the firmware updating process.

I've tried to change my screen resolution from 1024 x 768 to 800x600, and record the TV screen via composite output. However, the result is not what I expect to have - the words are still too small.

Just in case you cannot read it (who can...?). Here are the steps in writing.

1. At the HDX 1000, go to Setup > Maintenance and write down the firmware version. The 3rd section of the version number represent the date code yy/mm/dd. For example, 080812 means 2008/08/12.

2. Go to Digitech's website. Click on the "Download" button on the top of the web page. Then, select: "HDX 1000 Download Section" > "HDX 1000 Firmware".

3. The first firmware listed is the latest version. Compare your version wrote down in step 1. and download the firmware if you don't have the latest version.

4. Unzip the downloaded file to the root directory of a USB drive. (There should be 5 files created after the unzip process.)

5. Plug in the USB drive to the USB port right above the LAN port.

6. At your HDX 1000, click on the "Media Source". Click on the USB drive and click on the "Document" icon.

7. Run the "usbupdate.html" file. The updating process will begin. The whole process takes around 5 mins to complete.

8. Optional: if you have the internal SATA HDD installed, the NMT application will be updated as well after the firmware updating process.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

HDX 1000 Video Guide #1: Quick Installation

This is the first part of the HDX 1000 video guide. I'm going to go over the installation process from opening the box, connecting the cables, accessing the library resided in PC, browsing the library and do a high definition content playback.

Some computer screen shoots are surprisingly small after doing the video format converting. I'll try to see if there is any way to enlarge the screen shoots.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Our website is down

This morning, we found our website: is down, due to DNS setting conflict. We've done the process to resolve the issue. After the major DNS servers picked up the change, AmperorDirect should be up again. Hopefully, it will be up in 1 ~ 2 days.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Gap Issue -1

As you might have already known, the latest HDX 1000 related news is about a gap existing between the CPU heatsink and the bottom case in some users’ machine. A user, Black6spdz, first reported this issue at NMT forum, and several people observed the same thing in their machines as well.

The Gap between CPU heatsink and the case

Just in case you haven’t heard about this, in the following is a recap from another HDX 1000 user, ydrol. Thanks for his permission of letting me use his summary article posted at the HDX official forum. He has spent quite some time on this issue and brought us some good pictures to better illustrate the gap. (He also writes some 3rd part software plug-in for the NMT application. Please see the link at for his works.)

“I recently bought 3 HDX boxes in January.

Prior to this 'gap' issue:
Two units appeared to be working OK. (though bad cooling can affect longevity of electronics)

One unit was exhibiting random Ethernet drops, and I raised a support ticket to this effect.
I was trying to troubleshoot the ethernet issue, and had just moved to doing some more intensive testing (*) but upon seeing the post in the NMT forums I opened the faulty unit and noticed the gap and thermal pad placement. I trimmed down the stand-offs(+), applied some thermal paste and made sure the heat-spreader was in direct contact with the cover when re-assembled.

I had not completed testing of my Ethernet issue before making this change, so I cannot say for certain whether cooling was the root cause. I know the issue has gone away though.

I opened my working HDX box and noticed the same thing, so I changed that also.

Some observations and acknowledgements:
- Thanks to Black6spdZ for spotting this issue.
- Thanks to Alex of HDX for timely response on this issue.
- Thanks to Doom for some balance & sanity check

- The HDX case is very nice as we all know, and overall appears well designed. I would still recommend them over other models in terms of looks and cooling potential. My only real concern regarding recommending HDX, was general responsiveness from HDX support in the new year, but in this particular matter - I've no complaints.

- My thermal pad placement, appears to be a fairly isolated incident, judging by other posts on other forums.
My HDX was ordered 7th Jan 2009 and received 15th Jan. Serial HDX1K00835*. I should really open the 3rd HDX, (which was ordered for a friend, esp has he has a proper HD setup, I'm a CRT man). But before I do, I will try my paper test (**) and report back.

- The gap issue appears to be more widespread. There is suggestion that the gap is closed when the unit is assembled and only appears when disassembled. If so, this would be solely due to pressure from the AV sockets and the 3 screws on the AV panel. I'm sceptical of this , but one user 'doom' has reported that the gap is closed (thermal paste was transferred from the pad to the heatspreader just by them re-assembling their unit)

- HDX have been quite responsive on this issue thus far, offering to send me thermal paste etc. My only experience of them has been since the new year, so I wasn't expecting this much response so soon.”

On the Network dropping issue, he also reported:

"I put the unit back together, and after a while the network dropped (this unit was working OK before this!). The LAN light on my router was flashing about 10 times a second , but the ethernet lights on the HDX appeared stable.

On further examination it looks like the component legs of the ethernet and av sockets, have scratched through the paintwork of the AV panel and shorting on the case!

I will have to revist the other boxes and make sure the component legs are not touching the AV panel."

Yesterday, I randomly picked three HDX 1000 units from my inventory and found the gap existed in one of them. In addition to ydrol’s summary, I want to add in one more observation.

During the dis-assembly process, I found the PCB is tight down to the bottom case using two mechanisms.

1. The two screws / standoffs, covered by the green glue in the below picture, help to secure the PCB’s non AV panel side to the bottom case.

2. After the AV panel is assembled onto the case wall, it then be tight down to the bottom case by the screws indicated by green color on the other side walls.

There are several screw holes reserved, but not used in the design. For examples, the screw between X4 and X7, and the two screws on the AV panel wall are not installed.

In order to observe the gap, we need to disassemble the side walls. However, when doing so, it removes the 2nd mechanism mentioned above. We all know it needs three or more screws to hold two plains together. With only two screws at work, it would exaggerate the gap.

I then push the AV panel and the bottom case together by hand. I can see the gap diminished, but still existed. However, it is not as large as I originally observed. With the gap in this size, I think applying thermal paste to the CPU heatsink to make sure the good contact between the silicon pad and the heatsink itself can be a good solution to close the gap.

Digitech (HDX) is willing to help on the issue. They are going to send me some silicon pad and the thermal paste. For our existing customers and the HDX 1000 users in US, if you want to apply the paste onto your machine, please send me an email. I’ll send a pack of silicon pad and paste to you for free. If you are not in US and didn’t bought the HDX 1000 from AmperorDirect, we will charge the shipping fee if you want us to ship the pack to you. (You can always contact Alex @ for this, too. I think he will ship you the pack for free.)

I’m trying to ask Digitech to publish an official paste applying procedure. I’ll post the procedure at here when it is available.

Again, thanks ydrol for the work. The pictures in this post are all from him. Please visit his site if you want to explore the potentials to use HDX 1000 with nzbget.

Please visit AmperorDirect for our HDX 1000 product page.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

To all who have concerns about Digitech / HDX

In order to find out whether Digitech / HDX is still alive or not, yesterday afternoon, we sent our top secret agent, Kevin, to their headquarters in ShenZhen, China, to perform an inspection. This is actually the first time we paid them a visit after they moved to the new office. Kevin told me that he was very nervous while driving because of the current fiasco going on over the Internet. He just doesn’t want to see Digitech moving from a penthouse executive suite, to a dark basement room (which also happens to be the boss’ kitchen and bedroom). This will prove that everybody’s guess is right!

The following is a picture taken when Kevin was stopped in traffic. This position is very close to Digitech’s new office. If you have not visited ShenZhen for a long time, you would be totally amazed by the modernization of the city.

The “Cyber Square” building is the building where the new Digitech / HDX office is located. On the lower floors of this building, there is a huge computer and consumer electronics shopping mall. If you live in ShenZhen and are a computer geek like me, this is the place which is the closest mimic to heaven.

Digitech’s office is located on the upper floor. Right before entering their office, you can see the HDX logo we all familiar with.

Besides, just to prove that the office is not in the basement, Kevin took a picture to show us the view of looking outside through their office window.

OK, let’s start by introducing the important people. The first one is their sales VP, Wood Liu. He travels a lot to develop China’s domestic market. We were so lucky to catch him during this visit. In the picture you can see his signature “buddhistic” smile and his precious baby: Mac book. He is also the first batch of people in China adapting to the iPhone.

The person in the next picture is their engineering VP, Sam Cui. He was trying to answer the interview questions while Kevin was taking the picture. You can also see that he still keeps a HDX 900 on his desktop.

There are also others. Just to show you how crowded a typical Chinese office setting can be, Kevin randomly picked a cubical to take this picture.

Here are the questions we asked them:

Q1. What is the initial design idea and expectation behind the HDX series?

Wood: We want to have a dedicated, cost effective and user friendly unit to playback high definition media content.

Q2: Reliability and sustainability always come into play while people are looking into all kinds of different NMT. Could you give us more details about how the HDX is manufactured and how the quality control (QC) is handled at your manufacturing site?

Wood: We can provide you some pictures of our production line (in the following). Increasing reliability and sustainability is the most important concept in our design. That is why we chose the thickest (compared to the NMT competitors) sheet metal as the HDX 1000 case material. Our factory uses the industry standard quality control procedures to make sure we can ship out good quality products. We also save the QC data for any future improvement purposes. We have high confidence in the HDX 1000. That’s why we are willing to set you (AmperorDirect) up and support you as our North American repair center. We don’t think the chance to perform repairs is high.

The serial number label attaching and final packaging station

Testing Stations

WIP (half assembly) units in transit

Boxes and boxes of HDX 1000 waiting to go out

Q3: What is the HDX capable of? Could you provide a detailed list of what can be played directly or indirectly through the HDX (e.g. H.264, M-Jpeg…etc.)

Sam: Mzts, ts, mpg, trp, tp, vob, wmv, mkv, avi, mp3, flac, wma, ogg, mp4, wav, mov... The detailed list can be found at NMTWiki.

Q4: Some people are still having issues updating their HDX firmware through the Internet. What’s your recommendation on how to perform the update?

Sam: The online update method should be available now as we are talking. If people have trouble connecting to the server, they can download the firmware and the NMT application, put them in a USB drive and update the system from there.

Q5: People are having HDD compatibility issues. Can you recommend certain brands/criteria when selecting an HDD to work with the HDX?

Sam: I personally like the Western Digital Caviar Green series. They are the most efficient models I know on the market and can dissipate less heat while it is installed inside the HDX 1000. A detailed compatibility list can be found at NMTWiki.

Q6: Could you provide detailed, step by step instructions on how to perform the recovery when the system is Frozen? Is there a way to reset the HDX-1000 back to factory settings by just using the remote?

Sam: On the remote control, you can hit “TV” and then hit “0”. It should reset your machine.

(Howard: I’m not very sure about this sequence. If anybody can try it, please let me know about the result. )

Q7: What is the schedule to get the DTS license to enable the dts down-mixing capability on the HDX?

Wood: At this point, I am sorry I cannot give you an accurate schedule. However, please believe me that Sam and Wood are the two people on earth who want to see the DTS license for HDX 1000 most. Getting the license is our highest work priority. We will again have another meeting with DTS tomorrow. We hope we can give you a more confirmed schedule by then.

Q8: Do you know about the current rumor floating around the Internet about Digitech going out of business? Do you wish to address this rumor?

Wood: First of all, the rumor is wrong. Digitech is still alive. The disaster is triggered after Alex booked a trip to China. He has experienced an under-staffing issue and two rounds of hacker attack. The delay in getting DTS license also disappoints people. We apologize for the inconvenience and we have surely learned a lesson. I know you (AmperorDirect) have people browsing through different discussion forums periodically. Next time, please inform us as soon as you hear something wrong on the Internet. We’ll surely take the appropriate action early.

(Howard: I don’t know when Wood and Sam started to realize about the communication issue.)

Q9: What does the future hold as far as the HDX series or other NMT development?

Sam: We expect to see the next generation NMT player has the ability to playback Bluray discs. For the Chinese domestic market, we want to have a unit which can decode the DMB-TH TV signal.

Before leaving, Kevin took another picture with Wood and Sam. In this picture, you can see the typical figure of salesman, procurement and engineer. Sales person is always trying to be friendly. Hence, he will have the arm around the other people. Procurement is always the king. They will stand in the middle of the photo. And, the engineer is always the shy guy standing at the side. But, don’t be fooled by Sam’s appearance. After he opens ups, it is not easy to stop him… :)

Check out HDX 1000 on AmperorDirect website

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The HDX 1000 Free Drawing Winner and a Picture of his Setup

The winner of our HDX 1000 free drawing is Glenn. He has already received the unit and has started enjoying viewing Bluray backup by using the HDX 1000. Here is a picture of his setup:

The black box underneath his hand is HDX 1000.

On right - from bottom a Laser Disc Player (out of view), Panasonic Blu-Ray, Toshiba XA2 HD Player, Onkyo 875, Sci Atlanta HD Cable Box, Viewsonic Satellite receiver.

On left - Direct drive Pioneer turntable at bottom, TEAC reel to reel, HDX1000 & Marantz mono block amp for subs.

Thanks for his picture with detailed explanation on the setup!