Review: Dune HD TV303D

by Damian on February 7, 2013 · 253 comments

in Reviews

I know there have been people patiently (or impatiently lol) waiting for my Dune HD TV303D review, so the time has finally arrived :D . How does it fare against the previous Dune models such as the Smart D1 or BD Prime 3.0? Well, you will need to read below!

Specifications:

Price: USD 199 (available here)

  • Processor: Sigma Designs 8672/8673
  • RAM: 512 MB
  • Flash memory: 256 MB
  • Connectors: HDMI 1.4, 2x USB 2.0 (1x rear, 1x side), composite, component, analog stereo outputs, optical S/PDIF, coaxial SPDIF, USB 3.0 slave, Ethernet 10/100/1000 Mb/s, Wi-Fi 802.11n, SD card slot (side), power input, power switch (back), LED indicator (front)
  • Internal storage: Internal HDD rack with hot swap function for SATA HDD 2.5″. USB 3.0 slave interface and provided USB 3.0 (slave-host) cable allow fastest possible way of transferring data between PC and player
  • Media sources: external HDD (USB), external optical drive (USB), USB devices (USB flash drive, USB card reader, etc), built-in SD card reader (SD/SDHC), PC and NAS in local network (SMB, NFS, UPnP, HTTP), other Internet and local network media sources (HTTP, multicast UDP RTP)
  • Web Browser: Opera, WebKit
  • DLNA: DLNA (1.5 or 2.0) client support
  • Adobe Flash: 3.1 (Lite, standalone) supported
  • DRM options: PlayReady, Verimatrix, Secure Media. Other DRM can be added by request
  • Video codecs: MPEG2, MPEG4, XVID, WMV9, VC1, H.264; support for very high bitrate video (up to 50 MBit/s and higher)
  • Video file formats: MKV, MPEG-TS, MPEG-PS, M2TS, VOB, AVI, MOV, MP4, QT, ASF, WMV, BDMV, DVD-ISO, VIDEO_TS
  • 3D Video Support: MVC, Side-by-side, Top/Bottom
  • Video output modes: wide range of supported output resolutions (up to 1080p) and framerates (including 23.976p, 24p, PAL, NTSC)
  • Video output framerate: automatic (according to the played content) and manual
  • Audio codecs: AC3 (Dolby Digital), DTS, MPEG, AAC, LPCM, WMA, WMAPro, FLAC, multichannel FLAC, Ogg/Vorbis; support for very high quality audio (up to 192 kHz / 24-bit)
  • Audio file formats: MP3, MPA, M4A, WMA, FLAC, APE (Monkey’s Audio), WV Pack, Ogg/Vorbis, WAV, AC3, AAC
  • Subtitle formats: SRT (external), SUB (MicroDVD) (external), text (MKV), SSA/ASS (MKV, external), VobSub (MP4, MKV, external SUB/IDX), PGS (Blu-ray, TS, MKV)
  • Hardware 3D Graphics Acceleration: OpenGL support
  • Picture file formats: JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF
  • Playlist file formats: M3U, PLS
  • Photo viewer functions: slideshow, transition effects, picture rotation, zoom, browse playlist, repeat, shuffle Audio playback functions: browse playlist, repeat, shuffle, ID3 tags, plasma TV burn-in prevention
  • Filesystems: FAT16/FAT32 (read-write), EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 (read-write), NTFS (read-write)
  • Ethernet: 10/100/1000 Mb/s
  • Wi-Fi: Internal Wi-Fi (b/g/n) module
  • Dune Network Playback Accelerator: special optimizations ensuring best-in-class network playback performance for the Sigma Designs 864x-865x-867x platform and enabling smooth playback of any supported kind of media content via any network protocol (including NFS and SMB) even in 100 Mbit/s Ethernet networks.

Hardware:

The box …

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At the front of the box you will find the IR LED

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On the left side of the case is a bay to slide in an internal 2.5″ hard drive.

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On the right side is a USB 2.0 and SD card input

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To the back you will see your usual array of inputs and outputs.

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Here is a picture of all the goods, which includes a USB 3.0 slave cable, HDMI cable, Wireless antenna, IR extender cable, remote control w/ batteries, and power plug.

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You may be thinking that the case looks awfully familiar, and you are right, as it is the same case used for the TV301 I reviewed last year. It is a very simple and sturdy fanless aluminum case. It won’t win any awards for design, but has the perfect form factor to hide away in a cabinet or even attached to the back of a TV (with the benefit of the IR extender).

UI Appearance:

The UI has undergone a bit of an overhaul from the previous Dune series, going with a simpler icon view (although you can switch back to the previous UI by changing the skin)

Screen

Once you get past the main menu though navigating around has the same look and feel as the previous Dune models.

Screen1

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One of the biggest changes with the TV303D versus the previous Dunes (with the exception of the previous TV series) is the removal of full BD Menu support (thanks to Cinavia). This means that the TV303D relies on BD lite when playing back Blu ray folder rips. When you go to play back a Blu-ray folder rip (or ISO) you will be greeted with all available playlists to choose from (sorted by timecode, so the main movie should be the first playlist).

screenshot15

Since there is no full menu support, while watching a Blu-ray folder rip a simplified BD Lite menu will appear that will allow you to navigate between chapters, audio tracks, subtitles, etc… The only downside I can see from this, if you are watching a full disc rip you will need to stop and re-select the movie if you want to choose a different playlist.

screenshot16

So as you can see, the UI is relatively basic and clean. One of my biggest criticisms in the past has always revolved around the UI, where the user is forced to navigate around in hopes of getting to a jukebox. Well, with the TV303D (and hopefully coming to all other Dune players in an upcoming firmware update), there is a new feature which allows you to boot directly into your jukebox of choice (see the Third Party Jukebox section for more information).

Responsiveness/Remote Control:

The remote control is IR based which means direct line of sight is needed. The layout is basically the same as all previous Dune remotes, with just a few different buttons (There is a “TV” button in place of the “Eject” button). Previous Dune remotes work without an issue as well with the TV303D. Also included is an IR Extender which I am a big fan of, especially since due to the size of  the TV303D you could easily mount it behind a TV or out of site.

Navigating around I found the TV303D to be relatively snappy, feeling a little quicker then the previous Dune models in moving around the various menus/settings. There was not a big jump in performance, and I saw no difference when accessing my jukeboxes which are stored on the network.

Network Performance:

The TV303D has a gigE NIC and was able to recognize smb set up on my Windows Home Server. For whatever reason though I could not get it to see my nfs set up (nor have I ever been able to with any of my Dunes), so testing will be done solely via smb. Using the infamous “bird scene” from Planet Earth I was able to play back without issue the 100 Mbps clip via smb, with the same results using a jellyfish clip. The smb performance is markedly improved via smb over the previous Dune models (where I would top out at 70 Mbps).

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Of course, the main question, how does the TV303D handle playback of high bitrate content over the network, in particular Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray rips (both ISO and folder rips). Using smb, 2D Blu-ray played back with very little issue, which was to be expected. Since I couldn’t get nfs to work (which has been the only protocol I have been able to stream Blu-ray 3Ds effectively) I was concerned that smb wouldn’t cut it. I was pleasantly surprised to see that smb on the TV303D was up to the task, playing back Blu-ray 3Ds. I won’t lie, I am still a little skeptical about Blu-ray 3D over smb (maybe because I have seen it fail on the other players I have tested), but it appears that Dune’s outstanding smb performance on its previous players carries through here.

Audio/Video Playback:

I tested playback using the latest TV303D public firmware at the time of this post , and below are the results:

  • mkv w/ chapters – (PASS)
  • mkv w/ 480p internal IDX/SUB subtitles  (PASS)
  • mkv w/ 1080p internal IDX/SUB subtitles  (FAIL-1)
  • mkv w/multiple SSA subtitles – subtitles are not displayed properly (FAIL-2)
  • mkv w/ internal PGS subtitles (PASS)
  • HD Audio downmix to stereo – DTS(MA) (PASS) / TrueHD (PASS/FAIL-3)
  • HD Audio downmix to multi channel PCM (over HDMI) – DTS(MA) (PASS/FAIL-4)/ TrueHD (FAIL-4)
  • mkv w/ forced subtitles –  (PASS/FAIL-5)
  • mkv/(m2)ts with DTS(MA) – bitstreamed - (PASS)
  • mkv/(m2)ts with TrueHD Audio Track – bitstreamed - (PASS)
  • mkv/(m2)ts with Dolby Digital Plus – bitstreamed  - (PASS)
  • mkv w/ VC-1 encoded video – played (PASS)
  • Forced Subtitles in a BluRay Structure (2D and 3D) – (FAIL-6)
  • BluRay ISO (main movie only) – played (PASS)
  • BluRay Folder/ISO (entire disc, both 2D and 3D) – played movie, only main movie with bd lite menu support (PASS). However, if the BluRay is a seamless branch (i.e. the main movie is broken up into multiple files) playback issues were encountered (FAIL-7)
  • DVD ISO and/or Folder Structure – played with full menus (PASS/FAIL-8)
  • 1080p quicktime (.mov) trailer – played (PASS)
  • 1080p WMV w/ WMAPro Audio – (PASS)
  • avi/mpeg/m4v/mp4 clips – played (PASS)
  • mkv w/ FLAC – played w/ multi channel PCM (PASS)
  • mkv w/ header compression – played (PASS)
  • 3D SBS mkv – played (PASS), and signal to switch TV to 3D mode sent as long as file is named properly (filename.3DSBS.mkv / filename.3DTAB.mkv)
  • 3D mvc mkv – audio but no video (FAIL-9)
  • 1080p60 mkvs- played (PASS)
  • L5.1 mkvs – played (PASS)
  • 16 Reference Frame mkvs – – played (PASS)

From looking above you can see there are some interesting test results.

1) No surprise but 1080p IDX/SUB subtitles don’t even appear an an option to choose in an mkv. I don’t know though how common these subtitles are since 1080p PGS subtitles would most likely be more commonly used (if I recall IDX/SUB subtitles are typically what is used with DVDs).

2) The subtitles in my SSA sample appear, but just as standard text (if played back correctly the subtitles would appear in multiple colors, sizes, and positions)

3) DTS(MA) in both mkv and Blu-ray structures downmixed to 2ch stereo. TrueHD in a Blu-ray structure downmixed to 2ch stereo. However, TrueHD in an mkv did not get downmixed, but instead was bitstreamed through. This has me thinking that downmix of standalone TrueHD tracks is not supported (in the case of a Blu-ray structure there is an embedded AC3 track which the Dune can use to downmix, no such track exists in a TrueHD mkv).

4) For HD Audio over HDMI, the TV303D does not downmix to multi channel PCM natively, only 2ch stereo. Using the custom patch you can add back multi channel decoding of DTS(MA), but for TrueHD you still only get the original TrueHD track bitstreamed (as mentioned above)

5) The TV303d does not support forced subtitles in mkvs natively. However, user ScottJ comes to the rescue with a custom patch that brings forced subtitle support.

6) Forced subtitles did not appear to work on Blu-ray folder rips (using District 9 as my test). This is a common issue with BD Lite. This applies to both 2D and 3D Blu-ray rips (Folder and ISO)

7) Using my Toy Story 3 Blu-ray rip for seamless branch testing, the TV303D would pause for a few seconds in between each jump to the next m2ts file. Right now this seems to affect all players  that rely on BD lite for playback. This applies to both 2D and 3D Blu-ray rips (Folder and ISO).

8) I wasn’t expecting this one, but playing full DVDs caused some issues. For one DVD ISO the menu would freeze. During playback there was stuttering or jumping (possibly during the transition from one VOB to the next). I should note that I was experiencing some hard drive issues at the time that may have affected this, so I need to go back to reconfirm my results, and once done I will update here.

9) 3D mvc mkvs are a relatively new product. Currently  the TV303D plays this file with only audio and no video.

To further clarify, HD audio tests and tests on Blu-ray structures apply to both 2D and 3D structures (both as ISOs and folder rips)

*** There is one issue not highlighted in the tests that needs to be mentioned. For anyone who has owned any of the newer Sigma players, one consistent bug has been severe audio drops with DTS(MA). Unfortunately the TV303D suffers from the same bug. Playing back my Star Wars I Blu-ray, within the first minute I started getting audio dropouts. I had to shut off the player quickly because the pops on the dropouts got so loud on my rear channels that I thought I was going to blow a speaker. Switching to a secondary AC3 track fixed the issue, but obviously this is not an ideal situation.  Sigma only recently fixed the DTS(MA) dropout bug in the SMP8911 chip, but it appears they are just dragging their feet on the previous Sigma chips for over a year. Hopefully Dune can start pressuring Sigma to fix this bug as it has a pretty negative impact on the player in my opinion.

Now keep in mind, there is no way I can test every possible file, and once you start getting down to files that have been encoded there are a myriad of variables involved that can affect the playback and compatibility (so just because I show for example an mp4 file as passing doesn’t mean all mp4 files out there will pass since an mp4 is simply the container). To be consistent I try  to use the same files for all my testing while adding in some new ones over time.

Third Party Jukebox:

All third party jukeboxes that worked with the previous Dune models (such as Zappiti, yaDIS, and 10Muse to name a few) function in the same manner with the TV303D. Since I have gone into detail already on some of the 3rd party jukeboxes I won’t focus on with this review.

However, there is one item worth nothing. The biggest complaint with the 3rd party jukeboxes is that the user still had to navigate to and launch the jukebox manually. Well, now you will have the ability for the user to have the TV303D boot directly into your jukebox of choice. I think this is important as it makes the TV303D more user friendly (in particular family friendly) and seamless since the user never has to see any of the other Dune related menus. To do this all that is needed is to add your jukebox of choice to your favorites, the same process used for the previous Dune models. Once this is done, simply hit the “Pop Up” button with the jukebox in your favorites selected and choose the “Launch on Power On” option

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You can also manage this from the Power Management settings:

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Now when I turn the TV303D on I am greeted by the familiar Zappiti jukebox:

screenshot4

Online Content

Really not too much to talk about here. There are just some basic apps available right now. Of course, the answer to the question everyone wants to know is no (is there Vudu, Hulu +, Netflix, etc…)

screenshot9

Misc:

There are a couple other items I wanted to touch on:

1. 2D / 3D Playback – I had mentioned a similar note in my PCH A-400 review. One thing I liked about the Mede8er 1000X3D is the ability to switch between 2D and 3D by simply bringing up the BD Lite menu during movie playback. With the TV303D the only way to do this is to manually turn off 3D on your TV. This is a PITA in my opinion. I never use my TV remote, and with my TV you actually have to navigate through the settings to turn off (unlike some other TVs that have a 3D button on the remote) . Hopefully this is something that can be implemented into the BD Lite menu down the road.

2. Full Blu-ray menu support – As mentioned already, the TV303D does not support Blu-ray menus. This is expected as adding support for would mean also bringing in Cinavia, but is a big departure for current Dune owners who are used to having full Blu-ray support.

Final Thoughts:

Overall I would say I have some mixed thoughts with the TV303D. On a positive note, network performance is excellent which is critical for anyone looking to stream HD content (especially Blu-ray 3D) over a network. However, there are some critical issues that need to be addressed. The most notable one is the DTS(MA) audio drop out issue. This falls squarely on the back of Sigma as they have been releasing chips with this bug for over a year. Hopefully now that Dune has a lot riding on the newer Sigma chips, they can pressure Sigma into providing a fix relatively quick.

The next issue revolves around the use of BD Lite, which is affecting all players that use currently. The two issues are proper support for seamless branch and forced subtitles, and it is not entirely clear if either of these issues can be resolved.

Lastly, from my testing of mkvs with TrueHD audio it would appear that the TV303D does not have a license to decode TrueHD. I find this to be a big issue because I see the TV303D as being an ideal secondary player because of its size. Odds are though if using as a secondary player you would be connecting directly to a TV which means if you play back a TrueHD mkv you will get no sound. The then developers of the SageTV 300 had a creative fix, where as long as you had a secondary AC3 audio track the device would automatically switch over. This may be something worth investigating by the Dune developers.

With all this, this is where I think things get tricky for Dune. One of the biggest selling points for myself as well as other current Dune owners is reliability/stability of their players, as well as the ability to seamlessly handle playback of Blu-ray rips (folder and ISO). Now that BD Lite has to be relied on though, all this comes into question. Unfortunately I don’t know much about the behind-the-scenes of BD Lite to know if this can be fixed. If it can be fixed then hopefully Dune can throw their resources behind quickly to get working as this would allow for the smoothest transition for folks who already use the current Dune media players. If not then focus should be placed on getting mkvs working 100%, which means native forced subtitle support and support for mvc mkv.

I don’t mean to paint such a bleak picture as I feel the TV303D did a relatively solid job at launch where aside from some of the bugs I could still use it for normal use (as opposed to some other players which were essentially paperweights for me at launch). With Cinavia we are in sort of a transition period for media players, so it will take some time for the dust to settle. For now if you currently own a Dune based on the SMP8642/8643 and don’t need Blu-ray 3D support, I would hold onto that player for dear life and even possibly pick up another as the supply is getting thin. The TV303D has the potential to be a great little media player if some of the issues I brought up get addressed in a relatively quick manner.

Also, 2 things that have been asked of me before is how does picture quality compare and why don’t I focus on music/photo playback. When it comes to picture quality I just go simply on how it looks to my eyes. There are so many variables that could affect picture quality that it is really hard to give a concrete answer. I know there are a variety of PQ tests I could run, but honestly I am just the type of person who likes to pop on a movie and enjoy it without over analyzing every detail. If there is something that sticks out I would definitely point out in a heartbeat.

With Music/Photos, this is an area that I just don’t use media players for (I use Sonos for all my music playback). I prefer to keep my reviews focused solely on how I use the player as I feel this allows me to give the best, most detailed feedback. I do understand that for some people this leaves my reviews feeling a little incomplete, but for the most part I feel that most folks reading my reviews are probably using their media player in the same fashion as myself.

Thanks to Mike and DunePlayer.com for providing me the TV303D to review.





Article by

Hi, my name is Damian, and I'm tech gadget addict! Although I always had some interest in technology, it wasn't until I got my EX470 and more importantly found Mediasmartserver.net, that my interest became an addiction. My goal, aside from world domination and to see the Mets/Broncos win another championship, is to set up the perfect digital home where all my media is available at the click of a button. When I am not writing for Mediasmartserver.net you can find me over at my blog at http://www.adigitalhomeblog.com or follow me on twitter


{ 251 comments }

Jon February 7, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Hmm. The decision between this and the Mede8er is a very difficult one.

May even consider just building a HTPC for a bit more (like I asked you about in another forum).

Thanks for the review!

stx March 29, 2013 at 6:23 am

I got it 2 weeks ago.
It is perfect; on Gigabit LAN, I tested it with a 120 Mbit/s mkv (jellifish) and the streaming was regular without any problem

Only issue with True HD 7 channels audio

Gus February 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Thanks for the review. I’ve been waiting for it patiently. I’m still pondering about selling my PCH-A210 and get another Dune Smart Series….anyone want to buy it? Lol.

Johnny February 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Good job on another great review.

If you don’t want to answer this question just tell me to go pound sand as I completely understand. :)

If you could only use one media player for the next year, and didn’t need 3D support, would you choose a Dune Smart H1, Dune TV303D or Mede8er MED1000X3D?

Thanks and keep up the good work.

Gus February 7, 2013 at 5:25 pm

That’s an easy one specially if you don’t need 3D support. It would be the Dune Smart H1.

Damian February 7, 2013 at 5:29 pm

If you don’t need 3D, as Gus said, that is an easy one. Dune Smart H1. The Dune Smart B1/D1 get used every day, and have been in use for a while without issue.

Johnny February 7, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Cool and thanks for the quick replies. The only thing that concerns me with respect to the H1 is how long before it’s discontinued. Someone at avforums.com reported that he got an email from HDI Corp stating the Smart series was being disco’d, but then a reseller from the UK contacted the HDI CEO who said it wasn’t. It makes a guy wonder if the news was leaked prematurely. I don’t mind spending the money for the H1 but it does aggravate me when I pay full boat something shorty before it’s disco’d.

If I took the H1 out of the equation would you pick the TV303D or the 1000X3D?

Damian February 7, 2013 at 5:51 pm

My understanding the current Smart series is discontinued, whatever is left in stock is what is left. Still wouldn’t stop me from purchasing, there are very few if any bugs, it is a very mature platform, so really wouldn’t expect much else. The Dune folks are still very committed to the Dune Smarts since they are a core portion of the user base.

However, I understand your concern. Between the TV303D and 1000X3d I would choose the 1000X3D simpy because of the HD Audio bug in the TV303D. Otherwise, the TV303D could be a solid player, and I prefer the Dune jukeboxes over the Mede8er one.

Johnny February 7, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Thanks for the feedback on the disco rumors. Now I guess I just need to decide if the Smart is worth an extra $145 to me. I think I might be reaching the point of over thinking this. :)

Thanks again for the reviews and for taking the time to answer questions.

Alex February 7, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Hey damin. Thanks for the review. Please dont forget to test the double audio analogue bitstream for the headphones. My grandmma counts on you :p

Damian February 7, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Crapper, had it written down in my notes to check. Will get t o it by this weekend and post back. Real sorry this slipped

Alex February 9, 2013 at 1:35 am

No probmen.

Can you please test it on the d1 or h1 and the a400 too ?

So basically you should have audio on your headphones and the light for bitstreaming should light up on the avr.

Cheers

Damian February 11, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Just realized, not sure if I can test as none of the players have a headphone jack output ( I assumed at first I could just plug in some headphones to test)

Alex February 12, 2013 at 3:23 am

My headphones have red and white jacks to plug in the rear.

If you have only 3.5mm jacks, you can buy a converter that does red/white to jack female, and you plug the male in them. They are about 5 dollars or so.

But I understand, thanks anyway for trying.

Cheers

Damian February 12, 2013 at 11:25 am

Alex – I asked the question and here is the response I got:

i think you’re correct that some devices out there won’t do that. but the dune is not one of them. i’ve done hdmi to tv and analog for sound and can confirm it works. just make sure you set hdmi audio to “off” in the dunes menus, otherwise you’ll get the audio twice: once over hdmi to your tv’s speakers (unless of course you have those turned off), and a second time over analog to the receiver.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1270503/new-dune-hd-max-and-hd-smart-anticipation-thread-q3-2010/2490#post_19864480

Aex February 14, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Hey !

Thanks a lot. Actually, thats what i want. The family listens thru the tv and my grandma has the headphones set on loud cause shes hard to hear.

Does the d1 do that ? Planing to get that instead of the 303.

Damian February 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Hi Alex,

The thread I linked you to was in relation to I believe the Dune Smart players and not the TV303D

Gus February 7, 2013 at 6:26 pm

I wouldn’t mind having my D1 starting up with the Zappiti jukebox. That would be awesome if it is implemented on the Smart Series.

kamuta February 8, 2013 at 7:41 am

Great review as usual from Damian. Thanks a lot!
I have just bought MED600X3D. Sweet little box. It accompanies my HDX BD-1 flashed with C200 firmware. Shame new players can’t handle full BR menu. I will keep HDX BD-1 only for 2D BR rips and for the rest will use MED600X3D since it’s faster to operate and 3D compliant.

Will keep my current setup until Dune fixes DTS MA bug and then replace one of the players.
Dune TV303D SMB performance is impressive indeed. May I know which OS you are using on your Home Server? WHS2011 or WS2012E?

Thanks!

Damian February 8, 2013 at 7:46 am

I do like the Mede8er (I have the 1000X3D). My biggest issues with that one is no forced subtitle support at all (i.e. mkvs) and no proper TV Show support for the jukebox. The new beta 2.0 firmware does bring some new enhancements, so hopefully they can build on.

I am still running WHSv1 (right now at 20 HDDs and approx 36TB). I am strongly leaning towards WS2012E as an eventual replacement, I just want to make sure the data redundancy plugins are completely tested on first (DriveBender, StableBit, etc…)

Cheers
Damian

kamuta February 8, 2013 at 7:51 am

Sounds logical to jump directly to WS2012E. Storage Spaces are not good enough? Why not to use tools provided by MS?
I have WHS2011 machine and use DrivePool by Stablebit. Nice and lean but no NFS unfortunately.

Damian February 8, 2013 at 7:52 am

Heard horrible things about Storage Spaces.

You can use NFS with WHS2011 but I guess it doesn’t work with DrivePool?

kamuta February 8, 2013 at 8:13 am

NFS doesn’t work with any DE replacement..

DJ February 8, 2013 at 8:16 am

So this is going to make an excellent lower cost solution to a secondary tv room? That’s what I think I read…but I can’t reed so gud…

Damian February 8, 2013 at 9:08 am

It would be except for the fact that it cannot decode TrueHD in an mkv (so if you have that type of file in your library and assuming a secondary room would mean you are connecting direct to a TV, you will get no sound when playing that file)

aaronwt February 8, 2013 at 1:42 pm

As usual, a great job. Thanks for the review!!

Johnny February 8, 2013 at 2:03 pm

With regards to the DTS(MA) audio drops/pops issue will the DTS patch you mentioned above fix that issue? If I plug the 303D directly into my TV via HDMI will I have to live with the DTS audio drop/pop issue?

Damian February 11, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Supposedly the fix will be in the next fw update

Johnny February 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Regarding the DTS(MA) audio drop/pop issue, will the patch mentioned above fix that issue? If I plug the 303D directly into my TV using an HDMI cable will I have to just live with the DTS audio drop/pop?

Johnny February 8, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Sorry about the double post. I didn’t see the original post when I came back to the page and I though that perhaps the NoScript plugin hosed something up. It must have just been a refresh issue. :(

beringin February 9, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Thanks Damian for a thorough review. I have tried my Dune 303D by connecting it to my AV receiver using an HDMI cable and setting the audio ” hd adio enable”. My receiver can detect DTS HD Master Audio but I also experience audio drop outs in some of the scenes, especially when music is being played in the movie(i.e. start of Death Race 3). Hope this bug is fixed soonest.

Damian February 13, 2013 at 9:12 am

Hi beringin,

I was informed this bug will be fixed with the next fw release (not sure when, but good to hear that they have identified the issue)

Matt February 9, 2013 at 10:49 pm

I guess congratulations are in order to Hollywood and Cinavia for killing this market from here onwards.

A shame too, because the large majority of people I know who own media tanks like these are Home Theatre enthusiasts who are ripping their own collection for convenience — not piracy.

Digital Copy and Ultraviolet are not acceptable solutions. Both are crippled in quality and allow movie-only copies.

If some happy medium could be found where law-abiding owners could rip and register full 1:1 copies of the discs they buy, then sign me up.

For now, I guess I’ll just buy and store a few more H1′s for a rainy day.

Brajesh February 10, 2013 at 4:44 pm

True only if you need/want full menus. I just want the feature films, so I do 1:1 rips to MKV with HD audio and Cinavia bothers me not.

marc February 11, 2013 at 1:18 am

thnx again Damian for the good review. I stick to my dune D1 for a while longer.
Its a very reliable player and still plays 3D HalfSBS for when I really want 3D.

start-up in jukebox will be added soon they say

J Price February 12, 2013 at 5:18 am

So just to confirm, without the patch it will play HD audio if bitstreamed to an AV reciever that supports the format. But DTSMA has audio drop out issues.

Damian February 12, 2013 at 6:42 am

Correct, no need for a patch to get HD Audio bitstreamed. The DTSMA audio dropout should be fixed in the next fw release

Andreyy February 12, 2013 at 10:10 pm

I’m wondering if MED1000X3D is a better choice (from stability and performance points of view) comparing to TV303D?

Damian February 13, 2013 at 9:17 am

Hard to say. With MED1000X3D to stream reliable Blu-ray 3D you need to use NFS and not SMB (whereas the Dune handles SMB well). With both devices you will still run into the same limitation (no support for seamless branch and forced subtitles in Blu-ray folders). The MED does support mvc mkv whereas the Dune does not currently. The Dune does support (via 3rd party patch) forced subs in mkvs, the MED does not. Obviously there is the DTSMA bug in the Dune currently. The Dune jukeboxes have full TV show support whereas the MED does not. The Dune does not support downmix of TrueHD in mkv whereas the MED does.

So as you can see, no clear cut winner. MED is the more stable/developed platform simply b/c it has been out a while longer. I don’t think you can go wrong either way as long as you understand your needs and what limitations the player you choose has.

C-dog February 13, 2013 at 12:20 am

Can I get a N00b question in. Your review is so highly technical I found it a bit difficult to assist in my purchase decision. How would you rate this player for 5-10 GB MKV for a casual user. If I don’t care about subs or full BD menu, would this player be a good option.

Damian February 13, 2013 at 9:19 am

Umm, hard to say. What type of audio do you have in your mkv and how will you be playing back?

dbknightx February 13, 2013 at 9:08 am

Damian, thanks so much for the thorough review. I’ve been waiting eagerly for it.

I am so disappointed that this player won’t handle 3D mvc MKV rips (which are trivial to create using makemkv). I had read somewhere that this was going to be a day one feature for the Dune 3D players, so I’ve been ripping all my 3D BluRays to that format in anticipation. This really stinks, especially with the issues with “seamless branching” titles that are kept in .isos.

So I guess my question is what is the best format to remux 3D BDs to that will be compatible with this player? I don’t want to reencode or lose any quality. I just want to grab the movie title with the best soundtrack and possibly a subtitle track.

Ideally some software with a Mac OS version, but I can always bring up a Windows VM if I have to…

Thanks!

-David

Damian February 13, 2013 at 9:23 am

Hi David,

I know the Dune folks are looking in to adding mvc mkv support (I just don’t know how long it will take or if it is possibly a chip limitation). To me mvc mkv support is key as it solved the seamless branch issues as well as the forced subtitle issues.

On a separate note, the Dune developers are also aware of the seamless branch issues and are investigating if it can be fixed.

Right now for 3D Blu-rays I just use AnyDVD and rip to a full disc ISO. If you just want the main movie you can use DVDFab which I believe has that option. Ideally I wish we had a solution like Clown_BD, where you can create main movie rips but it also solves the seamless branch issues.

Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

Cheers
Damian

dbknightx February 15, 2013 at 7:50 am

I asked Mike at DunePlayer.com about the lack of 3D mvc mkv support and he told me that it is being added to the next firmware (involves a change by Sigma). Sounds a bit too soon to be true, but he has close ties to Dune so he should know what he is talking about. Of course, we may not see the “next” firmware for months, but the DTS HD dropout problem is huge so I can’t see them waiting too long to at least fix that.

Based on his comments I bought one and should take delivery tomorrow. I’ll probably hold off installing it until the firmware does get released.

-David

Damian February 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Agreed, same I heard from Mike. I would expect the next FW update to be sooner then later since it would have the DTS(MA) audio dropout fix

Manoj February 14, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Hi Damien,
Nice review. I am looking at PCH-A400 and this. Mainly looking for a player that can be either controlled over web or a tablet/iphone etc. Can this Dune be controlled that way? I want to play my music without turning on display.

Damian February 15, 2013 at 5:31 am

There are tablet Apps for the Dunes. However, I don’t know if there are any that allow for music playback (the Apps that I know of are geared towards the video jukeboxes). I know Zappiti just added their Music Jukebox which I assume will eventually make its way to the iPad App. ALso, I believe 10Muse is looking at adding music functionality as well.

mesmer February 15, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Damian,
I need to buy a player that can take an internal hard drive. I don’t have, or plan on getting a 3d tv. I need to use WiFi, so I plan on not streaming, and only playing off the internal HD. I’m looking at this Dune 303D, vs the PCH A300. I could probably afford an A400, however the Dune Smart H1/D1 are too expensive for me.

I don’t watch too many BD isos/folder rips now, but may in the future.

Which would you recommend for my needs? Thanks!

TAdams February 17, 2013 at 10:35 am

Damian,

Thanks for the info! I am curious if the player, or a 3rd party app supports Netflix/Hulu. I am curious, with your experience using Dune products, what are the chances (or what percentage) of the problems you ran across in your testing can or will be corrected in Firmware updates (no I will not hold you responsible, just looking for a ballpark here)? I have no past history with Dune Media players to draw on here. So in your experience does Dune provide firmware updates reliably? I do not expect perfection, but if they could correct 80-90 percent of the things you listed I would be ok with that. And some of it would never effect me – knock on wood. Thanks again!

Tom

Damian February 17, 2013 at 10:39 am

Hi Tom,

Unfortunately no Netflix or Hulu. I think you can get via PlayON which uses UPnP, but honestly not sure how well it works

I expect most of the issues to be addressed in the next few fw updates. From my discussions the HD Audio dropout issue will be fixed in the next fw release. They are also looking to add full mvc mkv support (as long as it is not a chip limitation). The two issues I am not sure if it can be fixed is the seamless branch/forced subtitle issue in Blu-ray structures (this is an issue with BD Lite).

Any issue in particular you are worried about?

Cheers
Damian

TAdams February 17, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Damian,

Thank you,

I was curious if the Netflix/Hulu type apps would be supported via flash lite apps (I believe that is how they would be implemented). Is this something that would be done by Dune, or 3rd party – if at all? For Netflix (the only one we have a subscription to) we currently use our Wii – which works, but is very limited (max 480p). I almost got a WD Live TV, then I read reviews and my concerns grew. They seem to be doing a bit better now…

My concerns are primarily with issues with mkv files as that is my primary storage container. It appears they have a fix in the works for the HD Audio dropout, so that is excellent news. Currently I have no BR data, so while those issues do not concern me now, they could in the near future. The only other issues (which you have provided information on) would have been SMB support. Have you had any opportunity to test the Wi-Fi capabilities?

Thank you for the information!
Tom

Damian February 17, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Netflix/Hulu is not coming anytime soon, you have to actually get approval from Netflix/Hulu first. That is why you only see a few hack type tools (such as PlayOn)

SMB has always been a standout with the Dunes, and it is no different with the TV303D. As far as Wifi I never tested as I only use WiFi for streaming to my mobile devices. If you have high bitrate mkvs (or BD Folder rips) you will most likely not have much success streaming those over wifi

Cheers
Damian

Jeff February 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Damian – can you check to see if the TV303D has the same firmware update to fix the HD audio and MVC like the Base 3D?

Any reason to buy the Base 3d over this for playing lossless MKV rips from a NAS with a receiver that can take all the HD bitstreamed audio?

Interestingly, while the detail page on the 303D does not include info about HD audio, the Dune HD website says “Supporting most all digital audio and video formats, codecs and file containers, including all modern 3D video standards such as MVC, SBS and Top/Bottom, audiophile uncompressed HD audio with high resolutions up to 24 bit /192 kHz, the Dune HD TV-303D sets an entirely new standard. ” http://dune-hd.com/eng/products/full_hd_media_players/36

Thanks,
Jeff

tertm141 February 22, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Seems we have a new firmware coming, hope this fixes the DTS-HDMA drop out problem
http://dune-hd.com/firmware/online_upgrade/base3d.txt

beringin February 23, 2013 at 12:46 am

I have tried the firmware update(beta version) and it has addressed the audio drop out. I have tried it only in the opening scene of Death Race 3 where I previously experienced the problem, now it’s working flawlessly.

Jason February 28, 2013 at 7:45 am

Thanks to Damian, I just picked up one of these from Mike at DunePlayer. I see that the new firmware has solved the DTS-HD issues.

Dune HD also mentioned this past Monday that Netflix is now the number one priority to implementing in their future firmware updates. XBMC for the Max 3D is still under development and not yet ready.

Looking forward to getting my 303D.

Cheers,
Jason

Strandh March 11, 2013 at 9:17 am

Is this really true? Netflix comming to the Dunes? Have Damien heard anything about this?

Jason March 11, 2013 at 9:48 am

Strandh, I read this on the Dune HD Facebook page on Feb. 25th I believe.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dune-HD/169066499771329

Cheers,
j

Damian March 11, 2013 at 10:07 am

Netflix topic has been brought up for a while (along with Vudu which was supposed to be added already). Honestly my view, until we actually see it being added I won’t expect it

Gus February 28, 2013 at 11:06 am

I am getting more interest on this unit to replace my PCH-A210 for my masterbedroom.

I think I am going to put it for sale on fleebay and see if I can get at least what I pay for it.

Tony whalley March 2, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Re: Dune HD Base 3D!
I play all my blurays converted to 2D mkv’s via a networked Zappiti library thru my 4 year old Prime 3 onto a Panasonic 2D plasma. I have just picked up a 2nd Prime 3 to run from the same library to a 3D Panasonic plasma in another room.
Both go via Onkyo amps via hdmi to the TV,s.
…. But I would also like to play 3D mkv,s in this room….. Will the Dune HD TV303D suffice or is the Base3D a better option? Apart from price cannot see a lot of differences between the 2 boxes. – would like to stay with Dune because of Zappiti library . -otherwise would look at med8er 600/1000.
Last edited by twol; 02-03-13 at 20:11.

Damian March 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm

The Base3D and TV303D are basically the same player with just a different case.

JCH March 2, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Damian,

Do you have any plans to pick up one of Intel’s NUC devices and load something like XBMC? I know you prefer the ease of use of these media players, but something like Intel’s device looks very, very promising for playing back all types of media.

Damian March 6, 2013 at 12:30 pm

The NUCs do look very interesting and at that price I may pick on up to test. However, it is still an HTPC which so really would just depend on whether or not that is what you want to work with (as someone who was a big HTPC person but slowly moved away from)

jason March 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Well, I am truly impressed with the 303D unit. I’ve had no issues of lag or dropped audio while streaming BD or BD3D ISO’s. The interface seems to be snappier than the Smart series and the Zappiti launch on power-on is super nice!

I’m going to recommend this player to friends and family. The price is right, Zappiti launch on power-on and the stability of Dune; you just can’t beat it.

Thanks again for your review and recommendations Damian!

Cheers,
Jason

Gus March 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm

I wish my wife would let me buy one of these. I’ve been trying to sell my PCH-A210 so I can buy one, but so far I haven’t been able to do it.

Anyone know of anyone who wants to buy a PCH-A210 for $130 shipped to lower 48 states!

Battles March 10, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Hi Damian,

Well I should have read your reviews on the recent streamers more closely! I ended up purchasing the Mede8er1000 which I had been pretty pleased with until I noticed that it wasn’t down mixing DTSMA/DolbyTrueHD into multi-channel PCM (just 2.0 as you describe in your review). Unfortunately my surround sound processor only accepts PCM so this is a non-starter for me. Are you aware of any streamers that do downmix both DTSMA and Dolby TrueHD to multi channel PCM? I really don’t want to revert to using a computer based player because of the reliability factor, WAF, etc., so hopefully there is a streamer solution! As always, I would greatly appreciate your thoughts!

Many thanks,

Battles

Damian March 11, 2013 at 8:52 am

Hi Battles,

Unfortunately this is becoming common now. It appears no one wants to pay the licensing costs to decode HD audio to 5.1ch PCM. Right now I can’t think of any of the newer players that support this, so you would probably need to look at the older gen players

Cheers
Damian

battles March 11, 2013 at 9:10 am

Thanks Damian. Are there older gen players that support network streaming that do decode HD to 5.1PCM that you have used or reviewed in the past?

Separately, have you built a DYI computer based server that (i) is highly stable – always works as it should, (ii) has a low power footprint…so you don’t feel guilty about keeping it on 24/7, (iii) is silent / uses passive cooling, (iv) has a very small footprint and (v) is powerful enough to use JRiver, et al, to decode to 5.1 PCM? Just curious, as if I can’t get 5.1PCM using a streamer, I may need to revert to a computer based system. If you have done this, what CPU and graphics card do you recommend (again, just need enough power to satify Blu-Ray / HD Audio decoding playback).

Thanks Again!

Damian March 11, 2013 at 9:22 am

The Dune Smarts due (there is a patch you need to apply to get, I think only for the D1 and H1 but it works).

As far as the PC stuff, my server is separate from my HTPC. I would not say my server has a small footprint (i.e. 16 HDDs, replacing with a 30 HDD beast lol).

For playback though you could easily built a small footprint HTPC. I built a mini ITX HTPC using the AMD Llano chip (so didn’t need a dGPU). However, mini ITX makes passive cooling a bit more challenging. If you want to go with a combined HTPC/Server then go with a micro ATX build which should allow for better air flow so you could look towards passive cooling or have better luck with silent fans (even the fans I upgraded to in my mini-ITX case get loud, not really an issue for me though since I set that HTPC up outdoors).

battles March 11, 2013 at 9:40 am

Thanks Adrian, does the Dune you mention above support PCM 5.1 decoding for both DTSMA/HD and DD TrueHD? Or just one of these formats?

I should have been more specific re my HTPC. All of my movies reside on a Synology server, so what I really need is a player that has no internal storage that meets the specs I described above. Assuming that I was fitting my HTPC into a 4U rackmounted chassis, would you still go with the AMD Lanno chip? This is the chassis that my existing HTPC fits into which uses a 1155 socket with a sandy bridge 2600K. That said, I want a configuration that is dead silent if possible! Also, it would be nice to continue to use my existing motherboard vs. having to replace it. Based on your research can the 2600K decode to 5.1 PCM and provide good quality video?

Damian March 11, 2013 at 10:19 am

Sandy Bridge should work without issue (I think it uses the Intel HD3000 gpu). You would then just need to use something like FFDShow, Lav Filters, etc… which will downmix your HD audio to 5.1 PCM. As far as PQ, your best bet would be to run with the current Intel GPU, and worse case if you aren’t happy with you can always as a dGPU afterwards (NVidia or AMD)

The Dune Smarts I mention support 5.1PCM for both TrueHD and DTSMA

battles March 13, 2013 at 10:56 am

Thanks again for your advice, Damian. Just one more follow-up question regarding the Dune models your reference above…considering that they are not the latest offerings from Dune, are there certain features that they lack that the newest offerings from Dune support (such as the TV303D)? Separately, can they stream 2D (3D is less of an issue) Blu-rays from a a NAS (such as my Synology Sever) without issue?

Jason March 13, 2013 at 11:38 am

Hi battles,

First off, Damian knows far more about this technology than I do. I did want to let you know though that I also have the Dune Smart and 303D units with a Synology 1511+ and I have no issues whatsoever with streaming 2D content and even 3D 1:1 BD-ISO.

Jason

battles March 13, 2013 at 11:50 am

Thanks Jason. That’s good to hear. The big issue I’m having is that I rashly purchased two Mede8er 1000s without first determining whether they could dedode the HD Audio on my blu-ray collection to multi-channel PCM (the only HD Audio format that my surround sound processor understands…it won’t accept HD Audio bitstream). Based on Adrian’s reviews of the latest network streamers (Mede8er, Dune, Popcorn), it doesn’t look like any of these devices will decode to multi-channel PCM which is a BIG problem for those of us who own AVP’s that won’t accept anything but multi-channel PCM for HD Audio. Adrian recommended two Dune players that do in fact decode to multi-channel PCM which is great…my question back to him is whether one gives up any functionality by purchasing a Dune H1 or D1 vs. the newer Dune models such as the Dune TV303D, etc.

Damian March 13, 2013 at 11:55 am

Well, I can’t speak on behalf of Adrian (although he sounds like a swell guy :) ), but basically consider the Dune Smarts H1/D1/B1 the complete package (if you don’t care about Blu ray 3D). The difference between the H1 and D1 is simply hot swap tray vs. LCD screen. To get the multi PCM decoding ability for the H1 or D1 you just need to install a public patch that takes 2 seconds.

Cheers
Damian

battles March 13, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Sorry Damian! It’s one of those days. Adrian’s a swell guy, but just not as swell as Damian! Regarding the Dune, is there any reason to consider a model in Dune’s Premium Series or do these models not provide the critical PCM decoding feature that I need?

Damian March 13, 2013 at 12:24 pm

No need to go with the premium series over the smart series unless you are particularly drawn to the form factor (i.e. the premium series has more of a true A/V look) or require more internal drive space. The Dune Premium Max, Duo, and all the Dune Smarts (d1/B1/H1) all provide Multi PCM decoding. The Base3D (Premium) and TV303D (compact/TV Series) do not

battles March 13, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Great. I assume that they all share the same UI at this point? Is it also fair to assume that the Max and the Smart series will likely not receive 3D support via a firmware upgrade (but instead through newer models that have not yet been released?) Finally, is it your guess that the successor to the current generation of the Max series (say Max3d) will likely drop the multi-channel PCM decoding? Just trying to figure out whether it’s worth waiting for the next generation Dune’s or if I should go ahead and purchase the 2D Smart Series model. Sorry again for all of the questions…I promise to give you a break after this message!

Damian March 13, 2013 at 12:54 pm

The UI on the older models is slightly different (but you would use the same exact jukeboxes, no difference there). The Max and Smart will never get Blu ray 3D, this is a hardware limitation, not firmware.

The speculated Max3D will actually be running XBMC and will supposedly have all the bells and whistles (price tag around $500-700+, and as of now it is pure speculation).

battles March 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Thanks Damian. I was just reading about the Max3D…sounds very nice. I’ll likely just wait for it to be released later this summer. In the meantime, the legacy DD/DTS formats will just have to do!

battles March 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Well Damian, my impatience got the best of me… I just ordered a Dune Smart H1 that is being overnighted to my home tomorrow. Just had a quick question for you before I embark on readying my movie collection for the Dune platform. Currently, I scrape / manage my movie collection through MyMovies. That being said, it looks like I’ll need to switch over to Zappiti or yaDIS if I want to spiffy up the UI (unless MyMovies can srape for those applications as well). To this end, I wanted your recommendation on whether you still prefer Zappitti over yaDIS before I re-scrape my collection for the 1000th time! If it has any bearing on which application you recommend, I do have a large collection of “box set” DVD and Blu-ray documentaries which are comprised of multiple discs / folders for each particular episode (however, I don’t have many TV series in my collection). Finally, where would be the best place to find the PCM “software” patch you referenced in our earlier correspondence?

Thanks again!

Battles

Damian March 14, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Lol, patience is not my best trait either!!! You can actually use MyMovies for the Dune, there is a setting in the collection management to create the necessary Dune metadata / jukebox. However, I prefer Zappiti over all of the options

However, since you mention box sets, I am not sure how those are handled tbh, so I really can’t offer any advice there.

Look at #4 is the A/V section of my review, I think I have a link to the patch there

Tony whalley March 15, 2013 at 4:14 am

As a looooong time zappiti user and having seen many trial and tribulations I would say it is now a pretty good package for the Dune with an excellent Ipad app – typically I run both Dunes and Zappiti from the apps, meaning I can just put the LAN attached dunes in draws and forget about them.
Regarding boxed sets, as long as each references one episode I would keep them as ISO, others go straight to MKV as they are more straight forward with Zappiti

Battles March 15, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Hi Damian,

Quick set up question for the Dune. If I have my Blu-ray videos stored on my Synology Server under the network share: \\servername\video\all movies\blu-ray) and my server network share folders are password protected, how would I set up access to my blu-ray folder in the Dune? I realize that I could use a guest account, but for security reasons I would prefer not to. If this has been discussed in your blog, would you kindly direct me to the right article?

Thanks

Twol March 15, 2013 at 1:16 pm

If you setup nfs and on this share folder specify the IP of your Dune box then you will have secure access (I specifically allocate IP addresses to my Dune boxes so that I can define access otherwise just speciffy *.*.*.* which should allow everyone access via NFS)

battles March 15, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Twol,

Thanks for your help. Would you mind walking me through how I would set up the NFS folder in the Dune settings? I assume that I create a new network folder and then in the set up menue point to my blu-ray folder which is located at \\servername\videos\blu-rays…however, I have heard that Dune won’t recognize “sub-folders” of network shares (where my Blu-ray folder is located); instead, I have heard that that it only recognizes the root folder of the network share. Is this true? If you could provide little more clarity on how this is done, I’d greatly appreciate it!!!

Jason March 15, 2013 at 2:09 pm

This is how I setup my config.

I took the defaults and created a ‘volume1′ on my Synology NAS. I setup shares on my PC to the Movies folder (SMB) and copied my movies over to my NAS as so (Movies > Drama > Glory). Then shared these folders via NFS Privileges just as Twol mentioned earlier in this discussion. within your Diskstation admin page.

Once that was done, I installed Zappiti onto my PC and added the PC shares to Zappiti’s config (Movies > Drama / Movies > Comedy / etc) and during the setup of each of these shares within Z, I setup NFS for each one. The path for my Synology NAS via NFS is /volume1/Movies/Comedy or /volume1/Movies/Drama. No credentials required.

Then, Z scanned my movies on my Synology, generated movie info and art.

Lastly, I created a Zappiti folder on my Synology in the root of the Movies folder along with Drama, etc. Within Z I configured an export path to export Z info to the Zappiti folder I just created.

Now from you Dune….next comment

battles March 15, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Thanks Jason. Did you have to add your NFS network shares to the Dune in the Dune Settings?

Jason March 15, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Now from the Dune, I navigated to Sources > Network Browser and pressed the Pop-up button on the Dune remote which displays a small window. From there I selected the New Network Folder.

From within the New Network Folder window I gave my connection a name (Movies) and set the type to NFS. Entered my Synology IP address and below that enter the NFS path to my movies (/volume1/Movies) and the protocol to UDP (I’ve used TCP as well without an issue). I then had a new connection beside the Network Browser with the name Movies I specified above.

Lastly, I drilled into the new Movies connection Movies > Zappiti and Dune loaded Zappiti which allows me to view/select/play my movies.

The Zappiti folder that you drill into that actually loads the Z application on your Dune can be selected and a shortcut created to place into your Favorites. Set that Zappiti shortcut to Launch On Power-On so when you power up your Dune, you will see Zappiti with no need to drill into a specific folder.

There may be better ways of configuring all this but it worked for me.

Cheers,
Jason

twol March 15, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Ok there is a great learner’s video by Hi-Jack from MPCCLUB.com http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnREgyxL6HM
that will show the basics on settings up NFS.
The important things is to change server name to IP address, and then make sure that the folder name includes the base folder.
e.g my Synology server name is 192.168.0.170
folder /volume1/video where if you log into the Syn server you can see the root name for the folder
I am guessing that you will have server name:whatever your IP address
folder: /volumex/videos/blu-rays

I have 3 NAS boxes and they all use different root folders, 1 is nfs, and the others are VOLUME1 (yes uppercase) and volume1 (lower case) fun isn’t it!!!! You need to log in and see how the shared folders are set up.
I have dsm 4.2 but the others are the same, log in, click on Control Panel -> shared folder and at the RHS you will see the root folder name.

battles March 15, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Thanks twol. I had actually just finished watching the video when I saw your reply…what a coincidence!

I don’t mean to be dense, but would you spoon feed me through what entries I need to type into the network folder set up in Dune assuming the following:

1. my sinology server shares are password protected (and are therefore not “seen” by the Dune when I browse in Dune to my sinology sever)
2. I have enabled nfs on my shared folders video, photos, music, etc.
3. all of my shared folders are on volume 1
4. my blu-rays are located at \\servername\video\all movies\Blu-ray
5. my server shares are not visible to the dune because they are password protected

Specifically, I don’t know what to type in the Folder section of the Network Setup since Blu-ray is a sub folder of my network share “video”. /video/all movies/Blu-ray doesn’t seem to work? The dune tells me that it can’t access the network share?

Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jason March 15, 2013 at 2:52 pm

battles,

If you follow my second comment you should be successful in setting up the NFS shares. My Dune doesn’t see my shares via the Network Browser either but its of no consequence since I manually setup the NFS share within the Dune.

Also, you won’t use \\servername but instead use /volume1/video which is the standard for NFS.

I hope this helps.
Jason

battles March 15, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Thanks guys, I really appreciate it. I successfully set it up using SMB. I’ll try NFS again but I think SMB should be adequate for my purposes unless you disagree.

ANtonio March 16, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Ciao Damian,
Ho acquistato da poco un Panasonic TXP55VT50
Ho un media center Kaiboer 200 non mi ha pienamente soddisfatto
è anche lento e vorrei passare ad altro.
Io avrei bisogno di un media center che legga tutto i tipi di file
mkw, mov. mpg, iso, iso bluray, iso 3D, iso 3Dsbs ecc…
che abbia il firmware 1.4, Audio DTS HD e 7.1 True HD
Soprattutto veloce e che non abbia problemi di connessione e che legga
hard disk esterni 2,5 – 3,5 senza rallentare la riproduzione del film o altro.

Sono orientato verso questi modelli
potete dirmi gentilmente quale prodotto acquistare?
Popcorn Hour A400 + WiFi ma costa troppo…
Popcorn Hour A300 + WiFi n
Xtreamer Sidewinder 3 (ma ha qualche bug per colpa del chipset realtek?)
Xtreamer Prodigy Silver/black
Mede8er MED1000X3D
Mede8er MED600X3D WiFi
DUNE HD TV303D
questo modelli leggono tutti i formati mkv, mov di alta qualità, le
ISO 3D con menù, ISO bluray lite ecc…
rilasciano aggiornamenti continui e assistenza?
Scusate per le 1000 domande ma vorrei esserne sicuro per non avere
brutte sorprese!
Ti ringrazio in anticipo
Antonio

Damian March 16, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Antonio,

I would go with the Mede8er or DuneTV 301. Your post is in italian which I don’t speak, so not sure if Google translate is translating properly. You mean Blu ray 3D menus, no players actually play back Blu ray 3D with menus. Right now you can only play back Blu-ray 3D with BD Lite with means main movie only (no menus), no forced subtitle support, and issues with Seamless branch. Hope this helps

Cheers
Damian

ANtonio March 16, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Hi Damian,
my english is bad :(
This model? Mede8er MED1000X3D or Dune HD TV 301? or
MED8ER 600X3D read ISO BLURAY 3D, MKV 3D, folder BDMV bluray
Thank’s a lot
Antonio

Damian March 16, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Hi Antonio,

No worries about the english. The Mede8er MED1000X3D and 600X3D are the same player, just a different case (the 600X3D is cheaper and I believe only holds a 2.5in drive whereas the 1000X3D holds a 3.5in drive). These Mede8er models play back mkv 3D, the Dune TV301D does not play back mkv 3D yet

Cheers
Damian

ANtonio March 16, 2013 at 6:11 pm

well :)
Thanks Damian. I was just reading about the MED1000X3D!
Video Fomats Supported
AVI/BDMV Light/BDISO Light/MKV/TS/TP/TRP/M2TS/MPG/MP4/MOV/DiVX/ M4V/VOB/ISO/IFO/DAT/WMV/ASF/RM/RMVB/FLV resolution up to 720p/1080i/1080p
Video Codecs Supported
MPEG-1-2/MPEG-4 SP/ASP/AVC (H.264)/XviD/WMV9 (VC-1)/RealVideo 8/9/10 (up to 720P)
3D Video Full 3D/3D BD ISO/Side By Side/Top
I think to buy MED1000X3D :)
Thanks!!!!!!

Pete March 19, 2013 at 4:54 am

Damian,

Many thanks for your great review. I don’t need to play 3d and I will be just playing my media from the internal hard drive.

2 questions – would you still recommend the Smart series over the 303D with the recent firmware update? Does the Hot Swap hard mean its in a case that I can take out and plug directly into the PC to copy media?

Cheers

Peter

Gus March 19, 2013 at 8:01 am

1) The smart series play full menu ISO’s. The 303D only does lite. So, if you want full menus the smart series would be your choice.

2) Hot Swap doesn’t meant that you can plug in to your PC. It just means that it is easier to take out of the Dune Media player.

Pete March 19, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Thanks for the quick reply Gus.

TBH full menus are not that big a deal for me. So I would need to buy a spare power supply and move the entire unit to the pc to copy over media?

Gus March 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm

If you are going to connected via USB yes. Or you can buy a hard drive docking station. That way you can take the HDD our of the Dune rather than taking the whole unit.

TBH, I don’t use internal drive in any of my media streamers. I like the Server / NAS option better.

Pete March 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm

A hdd dock is a good idea. As long as the movie scraping works well then all will be good.

Thanks again Gus.

Gus March 19, 2013 at 3:51 pm

No problem. Glad I could help!

Sergey March 20, 2013 at 7:12 am

Good day,
is there or not, the SPDIF coaxial 303D?
How to connect to coax SPDIF to AV receiver?

Bytebuster March 21, 2013 at 9:30 am

Hey Damian,
Is a firmware update available for the DTS dropout fix?
Waiting on this before i purchase the player

Damian March 21, 2013 at 9:31 am

Yes, the fw update was released that fixed the DTS Audio bug

Bytebuster March 21, 2013 at 9:34 am

BTW, you mentioned that the player felt slightly snappier in comparison to earlier players. Does that include the smart players?
I am trying to think, if the dts dropouts are fixed, would u recommend this player over the smart ones (assuming i dont have a need for internal storage)?
I like that with the new players you can boot straight into the jukebox.

But at the end of the day, reliable playback is most important

Jason March 21, 2013 at 9:42 am

I agree with Damian in that the new 303D players seem to have a faster or snappier UI when compared to the Smart series. There is still no ETA on the firmware for the Smart series to allow Launch on Power-On for the jukebox Zappiti.

Jason

Damian March 21, 2013 at 9:44 am

Yes, I am comparing against the Smart players. It is not dramatically snappier, but I could notice some difference

As far as the Smarts vs the TV303D, it in part I think depends on your video library. The Smarts are undoubtedly the most reliable players out there. So for example, do you have a large Blu ray library (ripped to folder or ISO structure)? If you use mkvs do you need TrueHD downmix to stereo?

Bytebuster March 21, 2013 at 9:50 am

My library consists of mostly mkvs with the hd-audio stream.
Not interested in down mixing since I will be hooking up the media player to my receiver

PS: Cannot say enough about your contributions here and on avsforum. I am sure everyone appreciates it

Bytebuster March 21, 2013 at 9:46 am

Forgot to add that 3d playback, menus are not a must-have for me

Assuming forced subtitles are correctly marked in the mkv header, is Scott’s workaround still needed for subs?

Damian March 21, 2013 at 9:49 am

Yes, Scotts mkv forced sub workaround is still needed. If you don’t care about 3D and full BD Menus, and don’t have a big blu ray library (where seamless branch and forced subs would be an issue), then the TV303D would fit in perfectly

Bytebuster March 21, 2013 at 9:53 am

Ouch! Its all blu ray :(
It sounds like the smart series is more in line with what i need

Damian March 21, 2013 at 9:57 am

Yeah, that is why I was asking. The two big issues with Blu ray playback is seamless branch and forced subtitle support (assuming you don’t care about menus). I don’t care about menus, and since I create main movie Blu ray structures I don’t have to work about seamless branch, but still lose out on forced subs. Also, to clarify, when I saw Blu ray library I am talking about ripped in Blu ray structure/ISO, not Blu rays that have been ripped into mkvs (in which you would avoid the seamless branch and forced sub issues)

Damian March 21, 2013 at 10:02 am

So actually I didn’t see your earlier post about an mkv library. If I had an all mkv library with HD Audio and didn’t need downmix I would go with the TV303d.

Tony Whalley March 21, 2013 at 10:22 am

If you don’t need 3D and you have only MKV, then TV303D benefits are really Jukebox at power up and SMB is better.
You can certainly sustain higher transfer rates using nfs on the TV303D, but I have never hit these rates running my BluRay MKV’s from NAS to my Prime, only 3D to the TV303D.

JCH March 21, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly is the benefit of using BR Folder structure? I really am only concerned w/ the main title, thus I don’t need full or lite menus, and as far as 3D goes, I’d just rip to ISO. Am I missing something?

JCH March 21, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Ah, I misread. So MKV suffers from seamless branch issues, but not from forced subs? I too would be bitstreaming to my receiver.

Damian March 21, 2013 at 1:05 pm

No, mkv does not suffer from seamless branch or the forced sub issues. It is the alternative around the seamless branch/forced sub issues with BD Folders/ISO. The tradeoff right now is you cannot play back 3D mvc mkvs and you can only do main movie (which is fine with me but others want full disc support)

Damian March 21, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Well, typically the ISOs you hear about are actually BD Folder rips, just all contained within the ISO container. I just prefer to keep as a folder rip (using Clown_BD I do a main movie rip so I don’t need to worry about menus or the extra stuff). People use ISOs usually because it looks cleaner (on your drive you just see one file instead of a folder structure with multiple folders/files).

jason March 21, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Before I sold my PCH A-300, it was able to play BD movies from a folder better than from an ISO. For some reason it took more resources to process the ISO. I ended up having to extract my ISO’s to folders in order to even play some.

My Dunes on the other hand have never had an issue with any ISO I’ve ripped to date.

Sergey March 21, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Hello.
There is a coaxial SPDIF or not???

Damian March 21, 2013 at 2:27 pm

I think it was changed. Someone mentioned to me that the coaxial SPDIF is actually for the wifi antenna.

Sergey March 21, 2013 at 2:41 pm
JCH March 21, 2013 at 2:28 pm

So for ripping to MKV, do you still recommend the procedure in your guide? Anybody have any other tips?

Damian March 21, 2013 at 2:31 pm

I personally prefer my Clown_BD + MKVMerge method, gives me the most control and always had great results with. Others find MakeMKV to be more convenient (and if you want a 3D mvc mkv you will want to use MakeMKV)

Tony whalley March 21, 2013 at 3:46 pm

If you have decided to use MKV, probably want only the main film and want a 1:1 copy to MKV, then Makemkv is a fast and easy solution. With the advanced options you can define language(s), sub title and audio options and whether you want a MVC MKV if it is 3D. Some smarter guys even run batched conversions of their libraries.

Damian March 29, 2013 at 7:21 am

Really hope Dune adds support for mvc mkv. The benefit is that the file could be played as either a 2D or 3D file (for those people who keep separate 2D and 3D files because of compatibility issues)

Chico March 26, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Dune has the problems with DVD UDF format I do not get it back, he shows me the data in the VIDEO_TS folder only blank
DVD from HDD no problem and the BluRay drive no problem!

Can someone test the times?

Shulman March 29, 2013 at 7:13 am

Hi, great review.

I just bought a Dune HD Tv-303D and I was wondering if it is possible to get it to display styled ass/ssa substitles?

My Dune shows the subtitles. But only as plain text. No colors, alternate placement etc.

If I play the same file in vlc on my PC it would look something like this:
http://baudattitude.files.wordpress….b_example1.png

Would love if anyone has an idea if there is a way to get Dune to do this.

Damian March 29, 2013 at 7:18 am

I believe that is one of the tests that failed for me, as I just get the static white subs, same as you . I haven’t seen a work around for, hopefully someone else can chime in with a possible alternative

Shulman March 29, 2013 at 7:28 am

Thanks for the quick reply.

This and the lack of Hi10P play is my only problem with the player.

The lack of Hi10P was expected, but I really hope there is a way to get styled subtitles.

The link in my previous comment was supose to look like this:
http://baudattitude.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/toradora_sub_example1.png

Damian March 29, 2013 at 7:33 am

Well, I have mentioned to the Dune folks about the SSA subtitle issue, so hopefully it is on their radar to fix.

Shulman March 29, 2013 at 7:40 am

Thanks again for the reply.

Would be great if it is something they can fix :)

Paul April 1, 2013 at 10:09 am

Yes a superb review and thanks to all posters so far.

I simply want to know if either the Dune TV303D or Base 3D models output decoded LPCM. Yes I have read the specs and read the reviews, know that DTS MA drop outs have been fixed etc etc but there is supposed to be a patch which restores Multichannel LPCM decoding on these Dune models is there not? My legacy amp only accepts 7.1 analogue audio but my HDMI switch can accept “decoded LPCM” into it’s HDMI input and output HD audio out through its 7.1 outputs to my amp. I believe that maybe Dolby Tru decoding is out but what about the decoding of DTS MA LPCM ??

I would appreciate a detailed response, if you have the time :) :)

Damian April 1, 2013 at 10:14 am

Hi Paul,

The patch does work for DTS(MA) to decode to multi ch PCM. However, I only use a 5.1ch setup, so I can’t confirm with any certainty if 7.1ch is handled properly. See point #4 is the a/v test section where I mention the patch and link to

I would not expect TruHD decoding to happen, my understanding this would require paying for the license.

Cheers
Damian

mikilpz April 1, 2013 at 12:25 pm

What is the maximums storage for hdd drive that you can put in the Dune player? Thanks

Gus April 4, 2013 at 8:49 pm

I sold my PCH-A210 today. I’m considering buying this media player, but I’ve got one question, does it play DVD ISOs with menus or not? My TV Shows are DVD ISOs. That’s why I’m asking. Thanks.

Apw2607 April 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Yes it plays DVD iso’s with menus no problem.

Gus April 7, 2013 at 5:56 pm

I was unable to find a good deal on a H1 or D1. So, I will be ordering a TV303D tonight. Hopefully, I’ll get it by next weekend.

Gus April 14, 2013 at 4:05 am

I received my TV303D yesterday. I tested a few files, and they all play fine with the exception of Wreck It Ralph. This movie has audio drops every 30 seconds or so. If I switch it to the AC3 track it works fine. I bought this media player to replace my PCH-A210 in the master bedroom. I don’t have an AVR there so it isn’t a big deal since I will be decoding to 2channel stereo. I only have one movie that is MKV with True HD, which I am re-ripping to BD Folder format with ClownBD. So far, I am satisfied with it as a SECONDARY media player. My D1 doesn’t have any audio drops.

Gus April 14, 2013 at 4:27 am

Well, I forgot to change the firmware update setting to NOT to ignore beta firmware updates. So, now it is download the B5 beta firmware, which is supposed to fix the audio drops. If it does fixes the audio drops, I will leave it in the living room since I like being able to start up Zappiti after starting it.

Damian April 14, 2013 at 4:31 am

Man, sounds l ike you have someone on call 24/7 to give you some good advice :)

Paul April 18, 2013 at 10:55 am

Hi again Damian
Following your most helpful responses to my question about MultiChannel LPCM, I went ahead and bought the Dune HD Base 3D model which I gather is essentially the same but I liked the concept that the specs at least suggested more compatibility with a larger number of Audio formats and the fact that it will take a 3.5″ internal HDD.

OK after applying the latest firmware updates including the beta B4 & B5, I am only getting downmixed 2.0 PCM – please read up to 1st April for my post on this matter.

I would like to know if the “Enable Multichannel Decoding” Patch which I have downloaded, will work for my Base 3D model also? If so, how do I apply the patch please. Do I simply copy it to the root of a USB Memory stick, stick this into the Dune’s front USB socket, browse to the file and then just “select” it? I am afraid to try to apply it until I hear from you – if it won’t work then the unit is going back via Amazon as it is a deal-breaker.

Thanks for your further help :-)

Damian April 18, 2013 at 10:59 am

Hi Paul,

Yes, the multi patch will work. However, keep in mind it will not work for TrueHD. Save it to a USB stick, or on a network drive. You simply navigate to the file and select it, it should install quickly after.

Paul April 18, 2013 at 11:02 am

Blimey Damian that was quick !!!!!!!!!!!!! Many thanks – I will give it a try later and report back :-)

Paul April 18, 2013 at 11:44 am

It worked perfectly :-) :-) :-)
For others installing this patch, it will disconfigure your audio settings that refer to the PCM output. Application of the patch reverts the setting back to Stereo – you need to select 5.1 or 7.1 once more – had a touch of disappointment for a few moments until I went into the settings, because I couldn’t remember where I had left them lol!
I’m falling in love with my new Base 3D :-)

Gus April 18, 2013 at 11:07 am

Well, it has been almost a week now, and the TV303D has been performing well. I’m so glad that now I only have to maintain one jukebox. For $200 + shipping this is an pretty good deal for a Dune player.

NOTE: I do not use this player for 3D movies only 2D as single file main movie only BD folder structure and MKV for SD and TV Shows.

Nathan April 18, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Damian,
Im rather new to the media player/server game, but i recently got a kdlinks hd700. I mainly got this for transporting movies via USB and playing them at friends and relatives through the kdlinks. I did a little research and went with this mainly because of price and my lack of experience with the players. Now I’m interested, a lot. Hearing nothing but good things about all Dune players. Trying to decide between Dune, Popcorn Hour, and Mede8er. (seems to be everyones dilema). I have absolutely no interest in 3D, not concerned with BD menus. Im thinking I want to put my movies on a internal HDD that can go in the media player, UI is a concern (want a jukebox badly). Streaming isnt a concern either. Is there one you would reccomend (model and brand)? Within the $300 price range. Thanks in advance.

Damian April 22, 2013 at 7:14 am

Nathan,

So here is a question, what type of content and what containers will your library be in? Will it be Blu Ray rips (and if so in mkv format, BR Folder structure, HD Audio, etc…)? Will you have TV Shows?

This will help narrow things down a bit and then we can look at the options

Cheers
Damian

Nathan April 22, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Damian,

Most of my older library is in DVD, ISO, and VOB. More recently it has been MKV container, AVI, and H.264 format. I do have TV shows. Only about 8-10 with average 5 seasons each. I’ve been leaning towards Dune because I’ve downloaded Zappiti and like the look of it. Which then also bring in the newer Zappiti player they offer. My current player the Kdlinks hd700 doesnt like my folder structure I have currently (“Movies\Avatar\dvd\VOB file”) I have to browse through the directory in order to see the folder name to know which movie it is, otherwise if i choose “movies” option out of the interface they all say “dvd”, because it just searchs for the video files and displays them (im guessing). I think Zappiti would solve this.

Also a question about Zappiti is there a way to get TV show season disks to show up. I have “Tv shows\Game of thrones\ Season 1\Disk 1″
I cant get Zappiti to display this.

It seems the Dune TV303d would be good for me and fits the price range. I just dont want to regret not going for one of the Dune Smart series or the newer Zappiti model.

Thanks!

Damian April 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm

OK, so that helps, but of course I have a few follow up questions:

I assume since you travel with your player there is a chance you would be hooking up directly to a TV and not an AVR, correct? The reason I ask, if you have an mkv with TrueHD audio and connect directly to a TV you will not get any sound with the TV303D / Zappiti player. Is that a possible scenario for you?

FYI, the TV303D and Zappiti player are the same exact hardware with the exception of the case

Nathan April 22, 2013 at 2:59 pm

I use my current one for travel. The one im looking to purchase wouldnt leave the living room. I havent ran into that no sound problem. I will always be hooking directly to my TV. Im assuming I won’t run into truehd audio since i havent yet. So I guess the Zappiti player wouldnt make sense due to the price and no difference in the tv303d…

Damian April 22, 2013 at 3:04 pm

I think all the Zappiti player right now really gets you is the music jukebox.

What I always do when I rip a Blu ray is I add 2 audio tracks (the original HD Audio track and a secondary AC3 track). In the case there is TrueHD and I need to connect direct to a TV I can just switch the audio track.

The Dunes support forced subtitles in mkv (with the patch) and also have full tv show support in a jukebox (the Mede8er currently doesn’t have either).

As far as your TV Show question, I believe Zappiti requires TV shows to have the S##E## naming scheme. So for your Disk 1 example maybe a way around would just be to name is S01E01 (instead of Disk 1). I rip all my tv shows to individual episodes so I don’t run into this issue.

J Price April 22, 2013 at 6:54 am

I currently have a Dune Smart H1 with a collection of SBS 3D movies, but due to the downgrade in picture quality I usualy watch the 2D blu-ray version. What are the other possible ways of watching 3D movies on this player.
1. 3D Blu-Ray ISO
2. Remux of just the 3D movie.
Are there any other ways? and apart from the seamless branch bd lite problem are there any others to consider?

Thanks

Damian April 22, 2013 at 7:00 am

3D Blu-ray ISO right now is the only way to watch a full 3D BR Rip. It would be nice if they added mvc mkv support, but not confident we will see anytime soon.

Seamless branch and forced subs are main issues with 3D BR Iso, as well swapping of left and right eye (some 3D Blu rays are authored different in terms of 3D, normally the player should handle this natively or allow you to manually switch, but right now the Dune doesn’t)

J Price April 22, 2013 at 9:43 am

Thanks as always for the quick reply.

The percentage of Rlu-rays authored with seamless branch is it quite low? i’ve learned to live with turning subtitle on and off so thats not an issue and i believe on my TV itself i can select right eye first.

Last other question in reguards to the Dune Smart H1 does labelling a film movie.3dsbs.mkv give the same result as with the 303 and send the 3D signal? it will save me doing in on the TV remote

Damian April 22, 2013 at 10:27 am

The seamless branch issue is low, most are present in Disney animation movies from what I have seen.

I can’t remember 100% but don’t think the smart series supports the 3Dsbs setting (I think I had to manually change this on my TV when I tested briefly)

Cheers

Tony Whalley April 23, 2013 at 2:16 am

Nathan – Zappiti TV shows – to get all the art work and descriptive text for each episode try e.g.
Games of Thrones s01e01 s01e02 s01e03 s01e04.iso

where you have to specify each episode in the series (in this case 4 episodes in series 1)
You might find that s01e01-s01e04.iso also works (its a long time since I have scraped a TV series and I use mkv’s)

nathan April 23, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Thanks Tony worked like a charm!

Peter April 24, 2013 at 5:27 am

just bought one, found it has problems with playing audio on most of my DVD files when using composite output. Who uses composite output anyway you might wonder, well, me :P

Tony whalley April 26, 2013 at 5:59 am

Hdland have just announced as the Zappiti player mini for availability May -specifying 3D ISO, which makes me think 3D MVC Mkv is a long way off, if ever.

DJ May 2, 2013 at 7:36 am

Bought this…love it so far..but. I’ve got a small host of AVI files that can play on my H1, can’t play on this. Updated to the latest beta firmware, but my son is Season 2 Yo Gabba Gabba-less on the TV303d for the time being…

Michael May 4, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Hi Damian,

awesome review! I bought hat box because I do everything in MKV with makemkv from original (bought, of course ;-) discs. As PGS support was/is still an issue with realtek based boxes I was happy to get this box.

DTS HD/TrueHD isn’t an issue, I thought because I use FLAC transcoding in makeMKV. No I notice that this box doesn’t recognise them “no audio tracks”. I have b6 Firmware.

Any ideas/settings I could try?

Thank you!
Michael

Gus May 13, 2013 at 4:57 am

I don’t use FLAC for any of my movies at all. So, you might be able to add a sound track with MergeMKV or remux them.

Choi mo hinh May 9, 2013 at 2:10 am

Hallo guys,

Thanks for a great review!

I just got Dune TV-303D with USD183,65 in Vietnam – I love it.

My HT : LG 32LH60 + Denon AVR-1713 + Jamo S606HCS3 + Polk PSW-110 Subwoofer

Regards,

Choi mo hinh

Bytebuster May 18, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Hey Damien, any idea about the new mini player from zappiti? What’s the underlying hardware?

Damian May 18, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Same hardware as the TV303d

Bytebuster May 19, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Thanks Damian. So I guess there is no real benefit for going with this over the 303?
Also, any idea when the mini will be available in US?

Aaron May 20, 2013 at 3:28 pm

I might pick up the 303. I’m not a big fan of BD lite. Anyway around the forced subs issue? I guess it only affects a handful of movies but still, I’d like to jut run everything through clown and be done! I also wish Clown could handle 3D movies.

Aaron May 21, 2013 at 10:48 am

Do you still need the custom patch after the latest firmware is installed? Does the patch affect the firmware?

Damian May 21, 2013 at 11:00 am

I haven’t gone back to test, but you should just need to install the patch once and be done with (at least I hope!)

Aaron May 21, 2013 at 11:21 am

I’d hope so too..but you’d need to know what the patch is doing. If it is writing to the firmware then when the firmware is changed, I’d think the patch would have to be reapplied.

Paul May 21, 2013 at 11:59 pm

I wondered about this also. However after applying the firmware update I could still receive 7.1 multichannel LPCM surround sound via my Dune HD Base 3D – which is basically the same model as the 303D and which deployed this same patch :-)

jason May 30, 2013 at 6:26 am

Damian,
What’s the maximum external hard drive size compatible with the 303D? 3TB or 4TB?

Thanks,
Jason

Damian May 30, 2013 at 6:30 am

TBH I am not sure. I have a 3TB external drive that works fine with the 303D, so I would imagine that a 4TB would be fine as well (the issue I believe had more to do with players supporting Advanced Format drives greater then 2TB)

Jason May 30, 2013 at 7:22 am

Thank you sir!

Carlos June 5, 2013 at 7:21 am

Is there any place here on this site where media servers are compared?

Enrico June 16, 2013 at 11:27 am

Hi Damian,
Nice review. Official documentation is quite poor and you have given idea of what it does.
I have noted you have not reviewed audio only features. E.g. I have read somewhere of limited audio flac/Mp3 gapless support, and about .cue support. Are you aware of any forum of people using HD TV303D also for audio I might redirect my questions?

Gus June 16, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Damian, already address this question. He mainly does reviews for video playback not audio.

I wouldn’t recommend the Dune or any media player for audio file playback at all. Media player are mainly for video. I’ve tried it, and I didn’t like it.

Enrico June 16, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Thank Gus for you feedback.
Have you shared somewhere your reasoning for that?
I am using a Netgear NTV and what I am missing is a good web/android user interface. Anyhow I like it enough as streaming media player.
In general, when I look to audio players I see high prices and poor user interface (i,e, the jukebox). The low native analogue audio quality of media players can be overcome with external HiFi boxes (DAC/theater amplifiers)

Paul June 16, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Gus – that was unfair and IMHO wrong to say that. The whole point of media players is to stream movies but what is the point if the sound is crap? No this player (or in my case the HD Base 3D – essentially the same player) is absolutely first rate – it plays HD sound perfectly up to multichannel 7.1 and flacs play beautifully. Mp3′s are great but I haven’t tried gapless playback yet so would go with what Gus or Damian says in that respect. The sound from my Dune is the best I’ve heard to date and have researched a lot over the last 6 months before buying, which I did 2 months ago. I am basically an audiophile and demand high quality – this Dune delivers in spades.

Enrico June 16, 2013 at 11:38 pm

What concern me of HD base 3D is presence of fans. In an ideal approach I would try to keep the room I listen music as quiet as possible.
For the rest it looks like a great hw,

Gus June 16, 2013 at 11:29 pm

In my personal opinion and experience the Dune is one of the worse media players to use for music. You have to have your TV on in order for you to be able to navigate.

My AVR has network access and I can access all of my music files that way. If it was possible to navigate the Dune headless, then I would say it is good for music.

However, if you don’t mind having a TV Or monitor on then that’s another matter.

Enrico June 17, 2013 at 12:12 am

Have a look here:
iOS apps:
http://itunes.apple.com/ru/app/duneremote/
id408868276?mt=8
http://itunes.apple.com/ru/app/mydune-
remote/id413244927?mt=8
Android apps:
http://tinyurl.com/androiddunerc

Paul June 16, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Thats’s ok with me Gus – I was talking purely in terms of sound “quality”, which is what is important to me – this player is the best in that respect.

Gus June 16, 2013 at 11:41 pm

I think the best solution would be to get a Zappiti media player. You can use the music Zappiti jukebox via iPad.

There is someone building a new product with an excellent DAC, metadata and can be control via AirPlay. It is on the expensive side $600 dollars or more.

I’ll get the link and posted here. He’s on the AVSForum.

Gus June 17, 2013 at 12:45 am
Enrico June 17, 2013 at 1:34 am

There are RC for Dune both in iOS and Android.
It is note only RC emulation, but some level of interecation, as from the screens it looks you have view of the files to be played.
Zappiti should have also an Android interface.

What looks unsorted is gapless playback.

Enrico June 17, 2013 at 1:46 pm

It looks like something inserted in Dune fw since end 2011.
I would be curious to know how it interacts with Zapiti

————————————————-
* Added support for CUE-sheet playlist files.
– When playing an audio file, is there is an associated CUE-sheet file
(should have the same filename as the audio file, but with “.cue”
extension), the CUE-sheet file is automatically used.
– “PREV”/”NEXT” RC buttons allow to switch between tracks.
– The OSD menu (“POP UP MENU” RC button) allows to see the list of
tracks and switch to the desired track.
– When the playlist contains multiple audio files, CUE-sheet files are
also detected and used for each audio file (the detection is performed
when an audio file starts to play for the first time). The OSD menu
groups all tracks by the corresponding files.
– Also added support for built-in CUE-sheets in FLAC, APE and WavPack
files.

Damian June 17, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Hi Enrico,

The music area tbh is something I have never really paid attention to (I have a separate system I use for music that does not require a TV). I know gapless playback has always been an issue and I don’t believe it has been corrected in the latest players. Otherwise I am probably not a good source to answer those questions.

You could try asking here as there may be other TV303D owners who use for music:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1460594/official-dune-hd-tv303d-base-3d-streamer-thread/360#post_23437332

Apologies that I can’t be more help.

Cheers
Damian

Andreas June 19, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Hi, thanks for the great review! One more question: Is there a Sata-III support for intern HDD? Is it useful to connect dune-hd-tv303d with a Sata-III HDD? Thanks a lot, greetings from Berlin

vale69 July 4, 2013 at 4:32 am

I can’t get any sound from my Dune digital outputs (coaxial/optical) of ALL my DVD rips.
The DVD image/video_TS file is correctly reproduced with full menu but with absolute NO audio.
I can see and select the different audio tracks but nothing is heard.
Audio works fine only from HDMI.
Firmware is the latest.
I tried different audio settings for digital output but again no result.
The DVD rips/images are made with ANYDVD HD and they work fine on PC or other media players.

Can you please advise ?

Many thanks in advance.

Enrico July 4, 2013 at 1:56 pm

You should better post here for help (indicating your configurations)
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1460594/official-dune-hd-tv303d-base-3d-streamer-thread.

In principle it depends on how your SPDIF interface has been set and how it matches the capabilities of your DAC. E.g. if sound is DTS and sent transparently to a DAC that support only 2.0 PCM, then silence will be the outcome!

vale69 July 5, 2013 at 2:21 am

thanks, it works fine after installing the new beta firmware.
strangely enough but it does….

Jason July 5, 2013 at 6:01 pm

I hope someone here has similar hardware and can help me. I have just now gotten around to tweaking my audio. Never messed with it to be honest until now.

I can’t for the life of me, figure out how to passthrough untouched audio from my 303d to my Sony DH520 AVR. I’ve enabled HD Audio and set my 303d to bitstream (as well as other settings) but for some reason I can’t get the audio track from a blu-ray iso to give me sound.

I have to turn HD audio off in order to get sound out of my DH520 but the A.F.D. setting (pure audio passthrough per the manual) doesn’t give me 5.1 but only stereo with a subwoofer.

I’ve tried using an optical cable and coax cable from my 303d to my AVR with no success. Any ideas?

Many thanks!

Damian July 5, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Hi Jason,

Have you tried connecting via HDMI (you only mentioned optical and coax)?I thought for some reason that you could only Bitstream the full HD audio track via HDMI (I could be wrong though since I don’t optical). Maybe you are mixing up the HDMI settings with the optical ones?

jason July 5, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Hi Damian,

Sorry I forgot to add that.

Yes, I’m using HDMI. Withi HDMI only, I’m getting sound but not full 5.1 when I set my receiver to A.F.D. I can choose Pro Logic II and the other sound fields but I’m not sure I’m getting the sound I should so I thought I would set the 303d to send the audio as-is to my AVR. the A.F.D. per my manual states that it should play what is delivered to it.

I know this is more than a 303d question as my AVR is in the mix but I’m honestly stumped at how I should have everything setup.

If you clear up how my 303d should be setup, I should be able to get my AVR setup correctly.

For instance, Star Wars Episode I, gives me no audio when using fiber of coax and HDMI and m y DH520 supports DTS MA. The audio stream DTS MA gives me no sound.

I apologize for my ignorance withi audio and thank you kindly for your help Damian!

Best Regards,
Jason

jason July 5, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Damian,

I’m almost there!

I did what you suggested and used an HDMI cable only, enabled HD audio, set it to bitstream and now my DH520 displays the correct audio format that my 303d is set to!!!

One last thing. DTS MA works but when there is a lot of sound, the audio drops. I turned off volume control and that seemed to lessen the times audio dropped out.

I don’t think its a bandwidth issue as I can stream 3D content from my Synology and gigabit network without an issue but I would like to know what your thoughts are on this.

Many thanks my friend!

Jason

jason July 5, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Sorry,

I forgot that I needed to install the patch to correct the DTS MA audio dropouts.

I’ll install that and hopefully be good to go.

Thanks again,

Jason

jason July 8, 2013 at 8:26 am

All working now. Thanks Damian.

The latest firmware update solved it all as you have listed here. I got ahead of myself and didn’t go back through the thread of comments like I should have.

Thanks again.

Jason

Slanotran July 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Hi, everybody. First of all, sorry for my bad English :)
I bought 303d, but I’m a little bit disappointed. I have stereo receiver Onkyo, which is connected to Dune’s audio output with chinch cable. When I played blu-ray or mkv concerts there isn’t any problem with sound on my tannoy mercury v4 floor standing speakers. When I played DVD concerts I have no sound on the same speakers. But I have sound on my TV’s speakers- my Dune and TV are connected via HDMI cable. So I think the problem is with my cables, but this is very annoying, because now it’s not possible for me to buy new receiver with hdmi input. Please, can you tell me is there any solution for my problem with sound ?

Gus July 20, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Connect your TV to your AVR via SPDFI. That is if your AVR supports SPDFI, which it should. Just be aware SPDFI doesn’t support DTS-MA or True-HD. You will have to settle for DTS and DD.

Romashk July 24, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Hello. I’ve read a little bit of your reviews and replies in comments and I became interested in media boxes. I have a problem. Well, more like a difficult decision to make. Bought a “smart” tv(UE40ES6540S) recently. Had a NAS(dns 320). Forced them to speak to each other trough my pc via Lan(you have to be an engineer to setup the friggin dlna and a masochist to enjoy the bit rate). Anyway. I want to take the pc out of this equation. And I want to finally attach 5.1 speakers to the system. I assume this 303 or smart b1 are what I am looking for, right? What type of box should I buy? Oh, and preferably 3d movies and choosing audio language supported. I’ll keep on reading your site, but I’ve got little to no time to sort trough it all, as I want to get this done before my fathers birthday. I’ll be thankful for any advice.

Gus July 25, 2013 at 2:35 am

If you want 3D then you might want to look at the Mede8er media players. They are currently the best at that, but their jukebox is lacking compared to Zappiti or Yadis.

Romashk July 25, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Something like MED1000x3D?

Gus July 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm

The 1000 or 600 models would be fine.

Paul July 28, 2013 at 6:11 am

Gus – here’s a response from someone on another forum: -

“On a sidenote, I’ve decided to cancel my order with the MEDE8ER’s MED600X3D, for a Dune HDTV 303D. I couldn’t turn away from Dune’s superior Jukebox interface, along with vast resources and software available to customize the jukebox, and the TV Series support is great.”

You seem to be quite outspoken on this review – I have no reason to enter into debate but my findings have been quite the opposite to yours. Would be interested to know your credentials. I am not related to any manufacturer and I trust you are not either. I just want to clear this up.

Gus July 28, 2013 at 8:30 am

I do agree that Dune has probably the best jukeboxes. However, for 3d playback Mede8er at the moment is the better media player. My credentials are as follows: super duper ex-mede8er owner and super duper Dune current owner.

Damian July 29, 2013 at 6:38 am

HI Paul,

I agree with Gus as it seems that Mede8er right now has the best support for Blu ray 3D playback, especially if you want to use mvc mkv.

Although 3D playback is a nice feature, having a fully manageable jukebox is my top priority which is why Dune has stayed as my primary players at home.

Enrico July 25, 2013 at 12:26 am

I would first investigate what to do on the NAS for allowing UE40ES6540S to play movies directly from it. My advice is a look to dns 320 fora, maybe some users explain how to do that.

For attaching 5.1 speakers you need a home theater amplifier/receiver. I think you can connect it to the HDMI of your TV (check on the manual)

Romashk July 25, 2013 at 11:56 am

Yeah. About that. The TV has a crappy(that’s the official term from most forums) capacity to playback anything other then avi trough lan or wifi. The nas is not gonna pick up that slack. If I take out PC now both will become just a cable tv monitor and a big usb shtick. So I was considering buying Bd player that’s capable to enhance this relationship. But as I’ve read most affordable BD players have issues. And then I found this site. So, audio I was just wondering. -Buying an amp is not a big deal, but the media issue won’t go away with that.

Silver July 26, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Any update on the time frame for the ability to play 3d mvc mkv on the Dune Base 3D or 303D? I just bought a new house and I am looking to install a bunch of media players in rooms with gigabit connections to a large file server. I would like to use the mkv format with only the main movie (don’t care about full menus or the extra stuff)

Also, have you heard or tried using the Dune with Cinemar DVDLobby or MLServer software? Was going to use it to run my Blu Ray changer CX7000es as well as wanted it to be the 3rd party controller for all the Dunes as well…

thanks in advance,

Silver

Damian July 29, 2013 at 6:40 am

Hi Silver,

So far nothing on 3d mvc mkv. I believe this falls on Sigma and it doesn’t appear any push is being made on this ( I will try to confirm if there has been any progress made)

Honestly not familiar with Cinamar or MLServer

Cheers
Damian

Salus July 27, 2013 at 9:38 am

Hello Damian,

thanks for the great review. I got my 303d last week and use it to my satisfaction as a second player connected to a TV. My smart b1 remains as main player inside my home theater room :-)

The specs on the dune site speak about a dlna client support for the 303d, have you had any experience with that ? i was in the believe this player could be used as media renderer inside a dlna setup, which i have.. but no one of my other components seems to enlist it among the network components. is there anything to activate ?

also a question about BD ISO… i only have 2D so far, quite a large number and a few on folder structure, it appears unfortunately that a good number of them (Avatar, Cars 2, Inception, the Dark knight .. just to name a few) have a little pause from time to time .. probably this is about the seamless branch issue… or is anything else ? my smart b1 has no problems at all reading them.

Other than converting to mkv only main movie.. what other options are there to keep going with iso ? i use dvdfab mainly.. is there an option inside dvdfab to get rid of this issue ? is clown bd a solution ? i would really appreciate any suggestion before extending further my BD archive.

thanks.

Damian July 29, 2013 at 7:11 am

Hi Salus,

Same as you, my B1 is the main player and the TV303D I actually have as a secondary player for an outdoor viewing area.

As far as the skipping, it could be seamless branch (definitely in the case of Cars 2). Does the skipping always occur at the same point?

I personally prefer Clown_BD. The problem IMO with DVDFab is when you make a main movie from a seamless branch DVDFab still keeps the seamless branch. However, with Clown_BD it will actually merge the seamless branch into one m2ts file (so you no longer have any issues with seamless branch). I have actually been moving back to mkvs from folder structures (avoid seamless branch and forced sub issues on the TV303D)

Let me know if I can answer any other questions

Cheers
Damian

Jason July 29, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Does anyone know how I might be able to have and operate a 303D and Smart Series Dune players on the same TV? The remotes control both units and I don’t want to have to switch one off manually to use the other.

Does anyone else here use both units side by side? I like the ability to watch 3D and Full menus from my main TV.

Cheers,

Damian July 29, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Not sure it can be done. I have the B1 in my bedroom and I had the TV303D in there as well for testing. Sure enough when I operated one it operated the other as well. The only thing I did when testing is to power off (i.e. unplug or actual power switch) the one not being used

Gus July 29, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Most likely you will have to use a different remote such as Logitech Harmony and use different codes.

Jason July 29, 2013 at 1:42 pm

I have a Harmony One but not sure about using different codes. I’ll check in to that. Thanks Gus.

J

Gus July 29, 2013 at 1:44 pm

If the Harmony remote doesn’t work, the only other way is using the Dune App. This I know will work since both Dune players will have a different IP address, and the Dune App work according to the IP address of the player.

Damian July 29, 2013 at 1:48 pm

I think this is the only way you can do it. The Logitech Harmony (which I use) just gets set up with the same code for Dune, so no way to distinguish between multiple models. I use the Dune RC App at times (not really optimal for me except for a few occasions)

Aaron August 27, 2013 at 12:49 pm

You can do this through an iPad, iPhone, or iPod with the Roomie Remote Control program…all you have to do is make sure both dunes are plugged into your network with an ethernet cable and then manual input the IP into the Roomie app and then it would control each one seperately…it uses IP addresses to send commands so each unit would have its own address….

Mark Visser July 30, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Hi,

I have been looking for an answer to a question for a long time, maybe someone here can help me…i am getting somewhat desperate.

I am wondering of it is possible to connect the tv303hd to my tv through hdmi and then by optical toslink cable to my stereo. What i want to know is if the audio signal will be played simultaneous through both channels. That way i can listen to audio without having to leave the tv on and use the player for both video and audio.

Thx a lot for the help!!!

Enrico August 27, 2013 at 10:40 am

Noted now … I cannot guarantee anything as I don’t own it, but I would guess yes. For being sure I would post a question here: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1460594/official-dune-hd-tv303d-base-3d-streamer-thread

Anyhow, note that Dune might require some effort for playing music in a CD quality mode (gapless) and/or if you need jukebox feature (see http://www.avsforum.com/t/1480072/dune-player-for-streaming-music)

Michael August 26, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Should i get the popcorn hour a400 or dune 303d?
mostly playing 2-4gb mkv files and 700-800mb avis, few dvd isos here and there.

Basically from what i read dune is more stable but popcorn hour gets more constant updates, so my question is will the a400 catch up and become as reliable?

Im coming from a xtreamer pro which is garbage to me.

Jason August 27, 2013 at 6:27 am

I have never been more upset or unsatisfied with a media player as I was with popcorn hour. IMO, the reason they release so many updates is the fact there are so many bugs to fix.

I now own two Dune smarts and a 303D and couldn’t be happier. Save yourself the heartache.

Damian September 1, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I honestly want to give nothing but glowing remarks about PCH. However, for whatever reason I have just never had a stable experience streaming (from A110, C200, A300, A400).

I pretty much never have issues with my Dunes, and stability is the number one key factor.

Gus August 27, 2013 at 1:27 pm

You can do that with the free Dune remote app.

lefevre September 1, 2013 at 6:52 am

hi there.. im about to purchase an 303d.
Is the the problem with DTS HD drop-out solved now?
and is True HD still an issue while playing MKV’s and ok when doing BDMW’s?

Damian September 1, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I have not had any issues with DTS(MA) dropout with the latest beta firmware (I think b6)

Also, if you are looking to downmix you will still not get any sound with a TrueHD mkv (this is not a bug, this is a licensing issue that won’t be fixed). However, for BDMV it will play fine (using the embedded AC3 track)

Cheers
Damian

lefevre September 2, 2013 at 3:57 am

Ty for reply. Sine DTS HD is The most common audio track in HD out there ill take a grab on The 303d and just use my Old wd TV live for The trueHD in mkvs. :-) ty again

Ruben September 12, 2013 at 5:41 am

Hi,
I’m considering buying the tv303d, but it can only fit a small Hdd from around 1tb. But I have an external 2Tb Hdd which is Usb 3.0 and Usb powered. If I connect this via the Usb 2.0 input from the Dune303d will I be able to play movies (iso, m2ts, mkv) in full bit rate like the original blu-ray? Or will usb 2.0 cause frame loss or stuttering/pauses?
Thanks,
Ruben

ScottR September 14, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Hi all!

Am considering purchasing either this or a Med600x3D. Don’t need 3D ability, most files are rips of my DVD/BR collection using MakeMKV as x264 video. Audio is mostly AC3 5.1 or 2.0 for DVD’s and AC3(DD), DTS, DTSHD-MA in 5.1-7.1. Most include subs, but will RARELY use them. Also have a large MP3/FLAC music collection of 24,000+ songs(in album folders).

My files are stored on an external 4bay enclosure attached to my WD n900 router via USB port using JBOD. I will likely be connecting the player to my AVR (Yamaha RXV-473) via HDMI which in turn is connected to my Samsung 42″ LED TV also via HDMI.

Given the above info, which player would you all recommend? Does anyone know if I decide to, does the 303D support multiple drive externals connected via JBOD to its USB port or at least be able to read ALL the drives from router? Also, have read it has video stuttering problems and/or white noise through speakers when playing MKV’s. Can anyone hear verify or rebut this?

I’m currently leaning toward the Dune due to their reputation and the fact they’re made here in the US. Also believe I read the 600X3D won’t passthrough DTSHD, correct?

Sorry for long post!! But any help greatly appreciated!! Budget is tight so want to try and get the best I can for what I need. THANKS!!!

Mossier October 2, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Any experience accessing a PlayOn DLNA server from the Dune HD TV303D, or PCH A300/A400?
I’m looking for a better interface than my LG TV.
I’ve tried both a PCH A110, and C200, but neither worked well. They often lost access while moving through the file structures. A reboot of the box and/or DLNA server was needed to resolve.

Jason October 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Mossier,

I use my Dune Smart and 303D units with PlayOn to access ESPN3 and I have not had any issues with reliability. The UI is basic but works.

Jason October 15, 2013 at 2:09 pm

For some reason my 303D and Sony AVR are no longer delivering surround sound. I’ve tried a couple of movies and I’m only getting 2.0 stereo! I get sound but not the correct type. DTS MA gives me no sound but DTS 5.1 works at 2.0

I updated firmware (after the fact), double-checked my settings (HDMI audio on with bitstream).

Hard to imagine that the cable would be bad but still deliver a clear HD picture. I’ve tried from ISO and mkv to no avail.

Any ideas?

Jason October 18, 2013 at 6:53 am

Please disregard. I figured out what the problem was. I had to reset my AVR.

Cheers,

Damian October 18, 2013 at 6:57 am

Was just about to ask you about y our AVR, sounds like a similar situation I had as well. Glad to hear things are working again!!!

Cheers

Jason October 18, 2013 at 7:35 am

Thanks Damian!

I checked the HDMI port and cable to no avail. I then did some research online and found a guy who had the same problem on the AVS forums and it was suggested he reset his AVR (Sony STR-DH520) by holding down the power button for 5 seconds. That did the trick. I just hope the AVR doesn’t continue to ‘lose’ its settings. lol

Ciao

Paul December 31, 2013 at 4:05 am

Great thread
As a long time has passed since this started and new updates are no doubt improved failings in all players what are the pros and cons of going Mede8er or Dune ( or something new to the market). I have a popcorn hour C300 at the moment and it has been very unreliable.
I tend to watch TV series and films and not a lot of 3D

Many thanks

twol December 31, 2013 at 4:37 am

Paul, I have both a mede8er 600 and TV303D (plus 2 other Dune primes) and 90% of my rips are MKV (using Makemkv). I also use zappiti for the library.
Based on my infrastructure, If you want 3D then I would go Mede8er – constant firmware updates, supports MVC mkv (so avoids some of the Bluray issues), but (in my view) a crappy jukebox setup regardless of the updates.
If 3D is not an issue, then I would go Dune – infrequent firmware (and sometimes crappy) updates but on my setup, all my Dunes work without problems and Zappiti is a great library system.
However, if you are content with one off plays from a USB etc, then the 600 is the cheapest solution … and it works.

Paul January 1, 2014 at 9:14 am

Hi
I have over 3000 movies on external hard drive
all have been filed in separate folders and used thumbgen to get details.
I never set up a jukebox on the popcorn as always had issues with PC connection.
is this easy with either Mede8er or Dune.

is it better to use a internal drive or external drive.
thanks

twol January 1, 2014 at 11:38 am

All my movies sit on various NAS boxes with the jukebox control file on a USB disk attached to one of my routers, that way I can run movies from any of the Dunes/Mede8er.
Lifes too short to sort out Windows sharing issues!

Aaron January 1, 2014 at 1:04 pm

An update to my situation. It’s been about 6 months (maybe longer) since I have last posted on here. I sold my zapiti player because I wasn’t happy with and ended up buying a Dune Smart H1. I have an NAS that I use Windows Server 2011 and have about 20tb in a raid configuration. I save all my blu ray rips as .iso’s and have about 450 to date. I use zappiti on the NAS and stream to 5 Dune Smart H1′s (I bought 4 more) and stream through a gigabyte network. Everything is hardwired. I use ipad minis as remotes and have zappiti loaded on them also. I pick the movie from my ipad and then it plays on whatever TV I choose. The ios interace is sooo much faster then using the on screen zappiti interface. The only thing I don’t have is 3d and I really don’t miss it. I couldn’t be happier with the system. It is extremely reliable and my girlfriend, her mom, etc etc can all use it with ease… I think the dune smart series is the way to go and can’t be beat by any product right now…

yair January 4, 2014 at 1:14 pm

How to switch folder to picture at the dune tv303d

Willmi January 11, 2014 at 4:54 am

I like to buy a mede8er 600 or DUNE TV303D, but for me the video quality is the most important, (actually I have a Egreat r6s but I dissapointed by video quality) I play mkv and 3d ocassional, Can you help me to deccide???

Thanks & Sorry for may english.

Gus January 11, 2014 at 10:59 am

Mede8er will be the better media player with 3D. However, I don’t think Mede8er will recognize forced subtitles. So, you will have to either turn them on manually or only include the forced title track and leave the subs always on within the Mede8er settings.

I don’t like doing that. So, I’ve got a Dune D1 for 2D, and the dedicated 3D blu-ray player for 3D movies.

Twol January 11, 2014 at 9:34 am

Where possible I convert everything to mkv,s including 3D MVC mkv.
So I play the 3D on the 600 and the rest sit in a Zappiti jukebox and are played on the dunes, as the 303D cannot play 3D MVC mkv,s.
If you don,t plan to keep a jukebox of films, i would go with the 600… Quality between the 600 and 303D is the same in my view.

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