My take on the matter...
Had a big network to do today that got put off by a earlier flight. So I had a whole day to just mess about. Well wandered in here and was checking out the goings on. And saw this post about the NEVO. Got a little curious then saw the my local distributor had a special that announced the release. Well they often let me test thing for my "Unique view of stuff." AKA "The guy is a little nuts and has his own way of looking at things. But he finds bugs and solutions. We mostly put up with him." That is a quote from the rep to one of my cohorts... The rep and I joke about it all the time.
Bring home the NEVO sl and put it on the charger. Start reading the little guides but they really are not all that informative... but no worse then other Universals. But the screen doesn't light up. Kind of tap on the thing a few times to figure out whats up but nothing. Eventually move the USB cover and see the reset button, a USB mini plug, and a recessed toggle switch. Find a small screw driver and get it flipped to the on position. Unit lights right up.
Calibration with stylus.
Decided to give it a little time on the charger and take a brief look at the sample config. Pretty run of the mill as templates go. But the scroll thing at the bottom of the page.. takes some getting used to.
Go to the settings menu to try to enable WIFI. No option there. Find out that you have to enable that in the software from the PC first... No big deal. Will let it charge for a while.
Load up software on my desktop computer. Install seems to go smoothly. Try to add a device... Dish Network Sat receiver... what are those numbers??? The wizard is reminisant of the MX series from URC except that there are no specific model numbers. There is an option to test it but the desktop is upstairs and my test system is downstairs. So I guess we will just hope for the best.
Folllow same thing for my Samsung DLP. DVDO doesn't seem to be in there so I will mess with that later.
Use the loader to install the 2 devices. Set time outs for screen and WIFI wich I enabled at this point. Just wanted to get an idea for the emitter and touch screen at this point.
The Dish codes are money. Even descrete on off. Emitter seems to just flood the room. No aiminig needed. Not bad.
The Samsung gets all the majors but the inputs are not right. Probably just used the wrong code group.. will mess with it later.
So now I try to set up WIFI. Using the Stylyus I type out the SSID of my network and fill in the 128 wep key.
(It would be a great addition if somehow this could be done on the computer software and just loaded to the unit with the configuration file. Just a suggestion.)
Takes a few tries as typos happen with those little keys. But after I get around my lack of dexterity I get it done. Select connect and connects right up using DHCP. Is assigned a class C addy ending in XXX.103. Well it says its connected... where is the browser? Or somehting to let me locate network places??? RTFM MAN! No browser. Well it is windows CE I mean if I have to have it I can probably get Minimo or somehting on there... maybe?
Mess around with the thing some more and read the manuals online. Registered for the web forum and so forth. (It is pretty dead in there. But the thing just got released so I am sure that will change.)
I held off from installing the server software on the PC as in the field we don't generally have Windows computers... we have things like Escients and reQuests... right? Well there is a fill in location of media here____ and fill in playback device here___. Well lets see if it can see the samba share on my linux box... It accepts the values in the programing software but doesn't seem to do anything when I try it out. It was a long shot I know...
Well kind of bummed that I don't have a browser as that would let me use slimserver from the remote. Seems like it should be dooable. I mean there is that specific program written for pocket PC that works... and I have been able to control slimserver using the browser on my cell phone. BUT GET OVER IT... THERE IS NO BROWSER INSTALLED. (It doesn't matter how bad I wished it was.)
Seriously considered installing Minimo. But install would take a while and I have other stuff to check out.
Well looking around there is not a list of UPnP devices that this thing works with. You know... like a we have tested this and we know it works with this... so go buy it...
So I check around ther user forum and find little help. HEY A HOTLINE NUMBER. Cool. Lets see if I can get some answers on the phone.
Call in and am registering with a very nice CSR when a sales call comes in so I have to give up the phone for a few minutes. Call right back and get the same guy. We talk the registering of my company and email address. I then asked him if he could just tell me a bit more about what this thing can do.
We go over several of the things I have tried and he tells me what will work and what won't work. But we really don't seem to get real far with the sort of things that this is tested to work with. I mean we sort of mention Linksys and D-Link. I stop and ask if linksys referes to the Media extender or the Media adapter.
CSR: Couch products.
Me: huh? The media extender?
"You have to have the software running on a Windows XP PC... can be home, pro, or media edition." Ok.
I kind of point out that we don't usually use Windows PCs in our installs. I ask if there is any compatability with linux based devices. I list of Redhat and point to my SUSE box. Both are dismissed. Ok. I try to point out that in the custom world we use prebuilt devices like Escients and Request (buried linux). I also try to make clear that many installers are not comfortable with becoming Windows admins. The CSR listens to my comments and says that he is writing them down.
The only compatable devices being the media extenders and windows computer, I express that it seems this product might be more aimed at the Do-It-Yourselfer who is comfortable messing around with networking devices. Yeah I said it sounds like this would be well suited for sale at the big box stores like Best Buy or Circuit City. It seems poorly planned to only test it for compatability with things that DYIs like to buy and mess with temselves. The market it as a CIs device. It just seemed poorly layed out and planned. I thought.. sell it right next to the Media Extender at Best Buy.
The IP addressed IR units need to be conncted to the network. Well there are two options for this. Hardwire it or buy a WET based unit. So a wireless bridge is required to use this in a cabinate or out of site install. The IR ports are not addressable like the MRF300 but more like the RFX6000. Well that and you need a
Linksys WET11B [Link: compusa.com]
or a Linksys WET5GS5 [Link: compusa.com]
To plug into it or a hardwire from the network to make this work.
80 bucks or a 180 bucks depending on wich you need.
Add that to the price of a device that costs more then the RFX6000 and a the MRF300 together. Well I pointed out that the MRF300 was addressable for less money. He stayed cool.
The other issue I stumbeled onto was when I got currious as to what sort of webserver was on the remote at it's IP. When I typed the IP into a browser I was given a page that is part of Windows CE that says in no unclear terms.. "This is a temporary page and should be replaced." There are a couple of links on there that leed to Microsoft and even to Builder tools for Windows CE. Seriously... real informative stuff. How to build the operating image and nuts and guts of CE. Like I said it was kind of neat.
Well I told the CSR about this page spat out by the webserver and reccomended removing it.The link lead to tools that could be used to seriouly hack the Nevo or down right break it. If you don't know what you are doing and decided to play, you could distort the image and the NEVO and render it inoperable. (Would cause returns because, "It just doesn't work." Who cares if the customer accidently broke it???)
Well I covered all this with the CSR and he seemed annoyed but was still polite and stated that the device was still under developement. Well sure... we have all been throught those updates with Pronto/URC/RTI you name it.
Mostly I was just kind of bummed at the lack of a browser of some sort. Plug ins and firmware changes could add all sorts of functions but right now its not like it can just connet to anything with an IP address. Its litterature implies this rather heavily... but with no training class, who knows what the offical take is currently.
Well the conversation kind of ended with me thinking that the is not a piece we will be able to use at my job. But I was still optimistic about what it might be able to do, I mean the staff seems "into it" wich always helps.
ME: Can I call you if I have more specific questions about the unit. I mean does this number go to you? My rep says that I can try it out for 7 days.
CSR: I would be happy to take those calls.
Me: Thank You
Well all seemed fine and later I checked my email... I find an email from the rep I talked to earlier. I am pretty sure he didn't mean to send it to me... body of message reads:
Customer is installer pretending to ask for information about wifi. He really called to complain becasue #1. Nevo is not compabitle with RedHat. #2. Nevo is designed for end users who "buy their products at Best Buy" and then marketed to installers who want to use high- end devices. He is unhappy that he is not able to use a browser on NevoSL to be able to hack NevoSL, but turns around and criticizes because Nevo gives ip address which could allow anyone to breach security of network. He was looking for instant answers and I told him that although UEI is committed to making updates needed to improve the NevoSl product, that major redesigning of software and hardware is not likely to occur. I told him that we have successfully tested NevoSl using many different configurations and end devices, and we are constantly adding new information. He said he would try it for another week and try to find something positive.
Here is a copy of my reply:
I am a little confused.. you slander and then send it to me?
Every question I asked was to try and determine suitability or even abilities of the product we discussed. I had no idea you were so offended by our conversation. I was trying to share my opinion with a professional who maybe could do something about some of the issues. I see now that is not the case. Please accept my apologies if I upset you.
Well the guy is passionate about the product and defends its perceived sort comings. Sure he got most of the info wrong in his email but I think the point was clear. He feels he has a solid product and my call was nothing more than to give him crap.
NOT MY INTENT AT ALL.
Now the conversation I will be having with his manager concerning his email... well my intent will be a little different then.
I think he probably is a great supporter of the product...
UEI called the next day to apologize for the incident. The CSR did write me a letter of apology too.
I am very sorry for the comments that you intercepted from the trouble ticket. They were totally out of line and there was no excuse for stating them in the way that I did. Those comments were not deliberately sent to you, they were meant to be internal. I understand that you had important questions about the NevoSL product. I may have misunderstood your tone in asking them, and felt that you were attacking the product and overreacted to those feelings.
I have been spoken to about this incident by my superior, and the incident will be handled according to our policies.
Again, I am sorry for the offence and I hope that you will re-evaluate NevoSL on its own merits.
Nevo SL Technical Supportwww.mynevo.com
I consider the matter concerning customer service closed.
Now lets get back to what we want to see in this remote.
A big one for me of course:a browser, with some way to make bookmarks to access things quick. Like a way to add an icon to the Home Control section that could lead to a samba drive. Or the ever popular bookmarks in the browser itself for things that we need to communicate with like...
Webserver for Tivo2s, Slimserver, Netstreams, basically things that provide a webserver interface.
The Nevo is slick looking. Might make a perfect hand held for Digilinx with some flash abilities, and a browser :)
(Both are handled by the same distro... might be a good match.)
What I am really saying here is: I see some real potential for this device, with some changes. Currently it is a remote control that really could appeal to the guy who likes working with Windows Media Edition and knows a lot about networking and extenders. Open up the connectivity and it could do so much more. Maybe some of my ideas are just way off? But I think all of us in this industry look for products that help us integrate things together. Sure we need to make a living... but we also need to keep our customers happy. This means providing them with products we are sure work and that we can hang our very reputations on.This message was edited by Springs on 08/12/05 09:59 ET.