Noontec MovieHome V7 media player (English)
Well, I’ve decided to write this post in English (mainly because Noontec is sold in Australia and New Zealand) hoping that some things will change somewhere, somehow.
So, last year I’ve decided to buy a media player in order to watch movies on my TV, instead of watching them on the PC’s LCD standing on a chair. The choice wasn’t easy, I had to choose between specifications and the price range. Finally I’ve bought a Noontec MovieHome V7 media player. From the specifications, it seemed to be a very good choice for $80 price:
– 2 USB ports
– 1 HDMI port
– 1 USB to PC port
– supports an internal 3.5″ SATA drive (which is not included in the package, but it has built in connectors and cables for SATA power and SATA data)
– pretty large and comfortable remote control (powered by 2x AAA batteries, included)
– CVBS and stereo output for older TVs
– 1 coaxial digital sound output for multichannel audio (from the menu you can select the downmix to 2.0 or the passthrough of 5.1 digital audio)
… also in the box there are included 10 screws: 4+1 (spare) for the bottom lid and 4+1 (spare) for securing the HDD.
Nice, huh? Well, the show starts after watching 5 to 10 movies because it will drive you nuts:
– it can only read .srt external subtitles (.sub are not accepted)
– the subtitle must have the same name as the movie file
– not all the subtitles embedded in .mkv files are read
– movies that have a total play time over 2 hours will not be played completely, after reaching the 2:00:00 mark the movie will restart and it’s very very very frustrating. Imagine that when you are cozy on the sofa and you’re waiting breathless to see the ending, bam! … you need to go to the computer to see the last 2-30 minutes.
– if you have fitted the media player with an internal HDD and you plug in an external device like an USB stick, you’ll notice that from 10 to 10 minutes the HDD is powered down and then powered back on … and it makes a lot of noise (plus the wearing of the drive).
– you cannot copy/delete files from the media player’s menu (you’ll have to connect the MovieHome V7 to your PC in order to do that)
– there is no Firmware Upgrade option in the menu
– no 12 bit color over HDMI
These issues were found on V3.0_Cedar1112_R1.0 firmware. Later on, after the the new firmware release, I’ve found that I need a memory card + a memory card reader in order to copy the firmware on my PC. Done! I’ve bought both devices but the software provided isn’t able to decompress the files, it outputs some kind of information but it’s in Chinese!!! So, it doesn’t work!
So, if you need crappy tech support, Chinese based bugged software brought in a fancy box, just go ahead and buy a Noontec MovieHome V7 media player. You may find some interesting things about it:
+ a very quick menu response
+ an adjustable size, position and color (white, gray, red, blue, green … no yellow) of the subtitles
+ a discrete 2 color (red – off, blue – on) LED on the front
+ black simple case with a black semi-transparent front
+ good IR sensor
+ cool when operating
+ „GO TO” function so you can skip some part of the movie
+ auto-resume of the movie from the point it was stopped
+ pretty heavy, when fitted with an internal hard drive, with a large and sturdy base (with rubber feet)
My opinion is that the concept is good, the price is good, the Noontec support sucks (both Australia and China) … and overall, this device (firmware) should not have been released until all the bugs were fixed. There are rumors that full HD content (1080p) has some glitches during playing.
UPDATE 2nd of January 2013
An update is available, unfortunatelly the http://www.noontec.ru website isn’t available. The file is called update_dvd_20110308.nsi.
Speaking of which, I found a new update file on the Noontec Thailand website, but it’s an .img file and doesn’t install.