- Watch live and recorded TV
- Access your photos, music video
- Windows 7 compatible
- Supports PCs w/ or without TV tuner
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Better and worse than Xbox360 03/01/2014
Small footprint, hardly noticeable in shelves/entertainment cabinents, uses very low power and absolutely no noise.
The biggest con is the remote control. I have a Rose will WMC remote that is almost just as bad but this one is worse. The buttons are so small, its hard to push the correct buttons on the number pad. The only other thing is boot time, it takes a lot longer to get started watching TV than the Xbox but this is an exceptible compromise for low power consumption.
I purchased these (got two when they went on sale) to replace my Xbox Slim Extenders. The Xboxes worked great as extenders but they generate so much heat in my entertainment cabinet that my TV sits on, I was afraid they would burn out. Plus, the heat caused the cooling fans to run at full speed so they were very noticeable in some instances when TV volumes were low. Another thing that annoyed me about Microsoft is that they you can't use the same user ID on more than one Xbox and they force you to log in if you wanted to use a plugin to watch certain video formats (camcorder family videos) on my HTPC.
The Xboxes are definitely faster but the power consumption (+300 watts vs. -10 watts) made these Echo's attractive; this my main reason for getting these. At least 3-4 times a week my wife or kids would turn the TV off when they were done but would forget to turn one or more the Xboxes off and sometimes would be left on all day long multiple times a week. Reminding everyone to turn off the Xboxes didn't always work with young kids. Over time this was such a waste of electricity, I was looking for a more power efficient device and this was it! Now I don't mind as much when one of these are left on... Unfortunately the HTPC will never go to sleep if an extender is on and connected but at least I've reduced the waste.
In comparison to the boxes, yes these are slower but its mainly confined to the boot process. Once the echo is booted up and running WMC, there's just a minimal lag in navigating the menus, starting/stopping video and changing channels. Don't let speed sway you from getting one of these. Reading some of the negative reviews made me weary about purchasing one of these. But I decided to give it a try because of the reasons I mentioned earlier and when these dropped to $99 on sale. I don't regret it!
The reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is that both the Echo's had a flaky software moment within the first week. They booted up without reason into "Recovery" mode and reset itself to factory condition. I have to re-add the extenders in WMC and it was a hassle because one of the Echo's didn't recognize the ceton plugin that was installed on my HTPC, this meant that I had to deal with 720p output until I worked through the issue with ceton support. They were very responsive and the issue was resolved; I'm going give ceton the benefit of the doubt and blame the plugin issue on Microsoft Windows since the problem was confined to only one of the Echo's with that particular "User" profile files, which had to be deleted on my PC. I'm still dinging ceton for the Echo randomly going into the recovery mode to begin with. It hasn't happened again so I'll blame this on buggy firmware which was updated since so I'm assuming this won't happen again. At least I know how to deal with it if it happens again.
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