Updated GUI now available for PlayonHD!

by Nigel Wilks on March 9, 2011

in News

AC Ryan have finally released the long awaited Gui 2.0 update for the Playon!HD and Playon!HD Mini. Currently available as a Beta, v7.4.x.r2115 is available through the PlayOnHD forums.

The much improved GUI

Here is what they had to say about the Beta.

What you should know before installation:

First we would like to explain why it has taken us so long to get this firmware ready and apologize for the unexpected delay we had with this release. The main delay is caused because of the difference in chipset used in the different players we produce. As the original GUI is developed for Realtek’s 1055 chipset we had to make huge adjustments for our Realtek 1073 platform, the base for our Playon!HD and Playon!HD Mini. The speed of the chipset and the amount of memory in the older platform is less than the newer players. There are therefore less resources available to run the firmware. You will therefore still experience the GUI still to be slightly sluggish. This is because of the compression rate of the images. For 1055 platform we used a high compression rate as the NAND flash to hold the firmware is a lot smaller. For 1073 we used the same compression rate while this is, with the amount of NAND flash available on the players, not needed. As the high compression rate demands a lot of resources it will take a bit more processing time than normal. We are already working on improvements and we expect to present you all with a faster working GUI in a short while. We did however, not want to hold back a first glimps of this firmware from you.

We are glad to let you know that almost all audio and HD audio formats have been tested working successfully in HDMI and SPDIF. There are unfortunately still some small problems with Dolby Digital Plus in pass-through and FLAC (some files give random stuttering). We have however, already found the problem of Dolby Digital Plus which requires changes in the core coding. We therefore expect to have this fixed in a upcoming firmware.

Within Internet Media we have included new Internet Feeds from Yahoo Finance, different Video Podcasts, and BuddyLink (which allows you to use Google Talk on your TV). Also Youtube is back in this firmware version. However, due to the GUI compression some of these features will respond a little bit slower than it should be. We are aware of this and hope to present you with a solution for this soon. You will experience the same within the SHOUTcast Radio Feature.

Yet Another Movie Jukebox has been updated with the new GUI. We released a new YAMJ GUI version already before which matches with the new GUI of the firmware. You can download this YAMJ version on our support pages (v1.0.3):

http://www.playonhd.com/en/?upn=support

(available in 32 and 64bit version)

Things that still need implementation in this firmware are: DVD/BD folder playback popup. When you open a DVD or BD folder with DVD or BD folder structure it will not present you with a popup if you want to playback the folder or browse it. However, when you know this is a DVD or BD folder, you can press play on the remote control to start the DVD/BD without going into the folder structure. The blue key skipping / fast forward is not yet implemented. This will however follow soon. You can still skip frames with the navigation buttons but it will function as an instant skip instead of a frame/time search bar.

Other questions you might have:

Why is the firmware number lower than the previous one?
The firmware numbers behind the r are linked to the SDK version. The SDK version is represented by the second number in the firmware version. You will see that this has changed from 3 to 4.

Why a beta?
A beta for AC Ryan is a firmware that is considered a candidate for public release. Before this release it has been tested internally by our technical staff and the beta testing group. A beta can become an official release when there are no critical or major bugs detected. An official release is always included in new players as out-of-the-box firmware. Officials are therefore more carefully selected. A beta however is considered more than safe to install on your own player. And remember, when you do not like a firmware upgrade, you can always downgrade back to previous versions.

I’ve been running this a few days now and it’s definately improved the usability of the unit that I wasnt happy with in my review. Still missing is the direct shortcut request, but it’s a start!


Article by

I'm a Technical Architect based in the UK predominantly working on Windows Server and Active Directory based solutions. I'm also a Microsoft Windows Home Server MVP and moderator/author at http://www.mediasmartserver.net. I've released the FirePlay for Windows Home Server, WHS PHP Installer, MySql Installer for WHS and Wordpress Installer for WHS Add-Ins as well as co-author of the SanEncore and WHS Health Add-Ins with Alex Kuretz.


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