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Chameleon firmware 1.0.27 and 1.0.33 - My feedback (includes bugs and suggestions)
11-23-2015, 09:07 PM (This post was last modified: 11-29-2015 02:42 AM by GFORCE100.)
Post: #1
Information Chameleon firmware 1.0.27 and 1.0.33 - My feedback (includes bugs and suggestions)
Fellow OHC owners and Cloud Media staff (should the latter read this also),

I as others like you on this forum and elsewhere throughout the WWW have also bought an Open Hour Chameleon. Instead of venting my sincere roller-coaster emotions about the various bits and pieces that need work concerning its firmware (and explicitly why they haven’t been fixed already given a year since OHC’s launch), I have instead decided to put my time in effort into compiling a list of bugs (the way I see them) and suggestions (my ideas for improvement), which can hopefully be used to enhance the OHC firmware by giving it a well needed revamp and polish. Fingers crossed someone at Cloud Media reads this and specifically what’s depicted below, which may then be taken on-board to potentially yield better usage capabilities for all OHC owners in all parts of the globe (a society of happy campers if you permit me calling us as such). The aim of the game (for a better term) as I see it is to bring about an improved OHC user experience. While I do think it’s in the best interests of Cloud Media do exert greater effort in achieving OHC firmware maturity (from a business / financial / continuity standpoint and all this entails), my role is not to judge Cloud Media as a company, or even its management, yet to offer my input in helping them as a whole (potentially) to achieve the above (them willing), that is the OHC user experience all of us would care to observe (and perhaps even deserve). After all a great business is that of a human resource within the company and an active customer base beyond its doors. Where both meet innovation fosters and inadequacies fade. Yes, I have also felt emotions such as dissatisfaction, anger and puzzlement when spending time with my OHC with remote control in hand, though frustration alone is not what will render desired results.

If others on this forum agree with me, I suggest adding your own bug findings and recommendations, which aren’t already known to Cloud Media. To my best knowledge all I depict below concerns new information, at least new in the form that I haven’t been accustom to reading or hearing about it. I have deliberately left out issues concerning Kodi, 24fps playback, DTS et al. since these have already been made vocal, and it’s my personal understanding that Cloud Media staffs are well aware of these shortcomings (and hopefully will also address them in the foreseeable future). It’s my personnel belief that what’s currently lacking in regards to reporting OHC bugs is to nest them all in one place. As it stands they’re all scattered throughout this forum and over other websites. This makes it cumbersome for anyone truly involved at Cloud Media to place their fingers on what actually needs to be done and why (the nitty-gritty details of what’s going wrong and when). Because I advocate the notion of “what goes in what comes out” I believe a central repository is classifiable as good idea. Perhaps Cloud Media should consider how to streamline the bug reporting process so it always ends up in a central store that their own developers can then access and not need to over consume on the coffee while doing so (for health benefits, naturally). This is however something for them to decide. For now I am associating all my bugs and suggestions in one single thread on this forum to make it easier on the brain, eyes, index finger (fewer mouse clicks) and liver (assuming most of us drink coffee) for all those concerned.

Hence unless otherwise stated, all these items mentioned below refer to firmware versions 1.0.27 (official) and 1.0.33 (beta). I am only human, though what I write in the text that follows I believe to have sufficiently validated as genuinely occurring in the above firmware versions (specifically bugs). With that said I can make a mistake here or there. Should I conclude that what I have written below differs from actual state of affairs concerning firmware X.Y.Z then I will edit the corresponding text to reflect new information, which in turn will derive from me having re-tested the same issue on my OHC. Of course the more of us doing this the greater chance of churning out 1:1 “perfect” information. Programmers can only fix what they are aware of and understand fully prior to editing code. For this reason, feel invited to join in by adding your own insights into the mix.
Without much further ado let me begin with the following findings (bugs) and thoughts (suggestions)…

Bugs:
B1) UI Wallpaper may disappear (black background) when playing video file with MXPlayer PRO and then exiting this App back to the main menu. This bug occurs when there is trouble (i.e. delays) reading from a USB hard drive
B2) When viewing a movie from a USB hard drive sometimes playback will jam due to USB access related issues (USB hard drive fully operational, no SMART errors)
B3) In Settings >> Advanced Settings >> About Device the line "Model Number" should read "Open Hour Chameleon".
B4) When installing a new App via Apps >> Apps Installer, prior to installation a window should pop-up asking where the App is to be installed (i.e. local storage (OS SD card) or Micro-SD card installed in the read Micro SD card slot)
B5) Under Settings >> Advanced Settings >> Apps >> Move to SD card, a pop-up window should show asking to which SD card the App should be moved (by default this should be the Micro SD card installed in the rear Micro SD slot on the device, unless of course only the OS SD card is inserted)
B6) Beta firmware should still allow down-grading firmware to a different beta or official version. At the moment when Beta firmware is installed it no longer always detects the update.img file when inserted via a USB device or SD card
B7) Following a successful firmware update and system reboot, the current message should read "Congratulations, upgrade has completed successfully. New firmware version X.Y.Z." instead of "Congratulation, upgrade succeed!"
B8) When de-activating mouse mode via the remote control, the mouse cursor won't disappear until later (delayed reaction?)
B9) Sometimes MXPlayer PRO will exit back to the File Explorer menu when playing a MKV H.264 files (this is true if the option "Framerate Sync" is enabled under Settings >> Advanced Settings >> Display). Any attempt to play back the same MKV file or indeed any other valid (correctly encoded without errors) MKV results in MXPlayer PRO displaying the error message "Cannot playback this file". Following such error and pressing the on/off button on the remote control, the device does not respond to this command, but after a while reboots itself - After a fatal system crash and automatic reboot as depicted above concerning MXPlayer PRO and playback of MKV H.264 file, a USB attached hard drive is no longer detected. Such USB hard drive is only detected in and visible (i.e. in File Explorer) once the USB cable is physically removed and re-attached to a valid USB port
B10) The frequency of the deployed Rockchip RK3288 SoC is detected as 1.8GHz and not 2GHz. Is this correct?
B11) When returning to File Explorer from playback of a video file via pressing the "Back" remote control button, focus of the previously highlighted file is lost and the highlighted bar returns to the top of the list (“...” is highlighted and not the last played file)
B12) Despite changing the set language to English (United Kingdom) under Settings >> Lozalization the spelling for the word "Localization" is still incorrectly spelt with a "z" instead of "s"
B13) When exiting an App started through the "All Apps" list and pressing the "Back" button on the remote control, the view should return to the All Apps list and not the home screen forcing the end user to once more open the "All Apps" list in order to start a different installed App
B14) Improve USB read speed and acoustics. There is clearly something not quite right and what causes periodic delays and loud hard drive head movement (thrashing - hard drive is not at fault i.e. not SMART errors) when seeking (FF/RW) via remote control during video playback (even during playback at 1x speed the hard drive can be heard constantly being thrashed) when playing video with MXPlayer PRO 1.7.41. Maybe this is an Android 4.4.2 issue and porting to Android version 5.1 in the future will solve this (I can confirm this issue does not appear on an Android 5.1 media player device that also uses a Rockchip 3388 CPU (eight core variant of the 3288). This could also be due to the fact that USB devices (especially affects USB hard drives) are allowed into sleep mode after a certain period. If so, USB sleep capability should be disabled, or at least such an option (enabled/disabled) should exist under Settings >> Advanced Settings >> USB. Needless to say disabling the "USB debugging" option under Settings >> Advanced Settings >> Developer options does not provide remedy
B15) When the device is powered on from a cold boot, change the Android images that appear in the middle of the screen to a correctly sized Cloud Media and Open Hour images to build brand awareness and customer loyalty. Otherwise this is a lost marketing opportunity.
B16) Fix 4K H.264 & H.265 playback. Neither the installed Kodi or other 3rd party Apps (of which MXPlayer PRO is best) cannot playback most 4K video files that other Android TV media players can handle just fine (with some minor exceptions - tested on HiMedia H8 Octa running Android 5.1 using in-built video player)
B17) Attached USB hard drives are not powered off when the device is powered off via the remote control
B18) When launching eHomeMediaCenter via Media >> DLNA it always displays the following message "Start DLNA need to open WLNA, confirm to open?" even though Wifi is available and connected. Furthermore, when clicking OK it simply displays the Android settings page, where it is also confirmed that Wifi is connected. Furthermore, eHomeMediaCenter cannot be used, navigation works via selecting Media Server, Media Player or Settings, but pressing OK on the remote control doesn't open up any of these options
B19) Despite Automatic date & time being enabled under Settings >> Advanced Settings >> Date & time, the date and time isn't synchronised online
B20) In FileExplorer App navigating between the options on left (Internal Flash, SD Card, USB, SAMBA & NFS) is performed with a transition animation when highlighting the different options. Unfortunately the items on the right side of the menu are no longer animated when moving (highlighting) between items (the green border simply jumps from one item to the next)
B21) Sometimes MXPlayer PRO will pause when seeking through a video file (i.e. user performs FF on file). It will usually stay in this stay indefinitely. If the user FF again the App will terminate itself. Upon re-launching it (MX Player PRO) from FileExplorer via selecting it from "Complete action using" list, the error message "Cannot playback this file" will pop-up. Only turning the device off then on via the physical switch on its rear (this rebooting it) will return things to normal (until the error occurs again). It is very possible that this is related to the USB slow seek speed/loud hard drive thrashing mentioned elsewhere
B22) When performing the action "Clean up" from the Tools menu section, the caption should read "Freed Up: XYZ MB" and not "Free Up"
B23) A USB storage device may sometimes become unmounted following un-installation of an App from within Settings >> Advanced >> Apps >> App Name >> Uninstall
B24) When in "App Installer" App following a situation whereby a USB storage device has been auto-unmounted (as outlined in B23 above), after unplugging that storage device's USB cable out then in (to thus force trigger the volume being mounted once more), the following labels (font colour) in "App Installer" App incorrectly turn black from white, but can still be selected and navigated as normal via remote control: Internal Memory, SD Card, USB Disk
B25) When starting playback of a movie via the Media >> Video menu option, the movie will play but without sound (DTS audio does not work - complete silence). Changing Audio settings under the menu option Settings >> Audio between the available options has no effect

Suggestions:
S1) When powering off the device via the on/off button on the remote control a black screen with the words "Shutting down" and Cloud Media / Open Hour brand image should appear in the centre of the screen
S2) Permit "All Apps" list to be displayed either as a list (as it is now) or grid. This setting option should appear under Settings >> Advanced Settings >> Display. To speed up implementation of viewing installed Apps as a grid you (Cloud Media) can re-use the source code from your Settings screen. Instead of 6 square spaces on-screen, the code can be re-written to show 8-12 square per screen meaning 8-12 App icons and titles. The selection/navigation code would then stay the same, i.e. semi-transparent square, which could then be navigated via the arrow buttons on the remote control.
S3) Do not force upon end users gray UI menu icons via using an overlay (artificially forcing colored icons to appear gray versions). This setting option should appear Settings >> Advanced Settings >> Display
S4) Test, verify and publish a more refined list of supported third party Bluetooth and USB devices such as Bluetooth mice, air mice, USB cameras (for Skype), USB/Bluetooth gamepads etc. If Open Hour can support an array of external devices then this should be made public as this then is a marketing opportunity made to work for Cloud Media. People are more like to buy and use OHC if it’s proven as a versatile and proven solution for their various needs (beyond just playback of video files)
S5) In file explorer make it such that when viewing a folder containing various files, the up arrow on the remote control when pressed automatically highlights the last file in the given folder (this then voids the need to scroll all the way down manually)
S6) Allow manually forcing a system update from a local update.img file through Settings >> System >> System Update. As it stands it only allows checking online for new firmware
S7) In the included Wallpapers present under Settings >> Wallpaper include an attractive Cloud Media / Open Hour themed (with logo in bottom right corner) Wallpaper and make it the default wallpaper when the device is restored to factory settings via Settings >> System >> Factory reset
S8) When rendering the main menu HW anti-aliasing should be enabled to remove jugginses visible on diagonal line (on main menu screen) and to smooth appearance of font. Antli-alising seems to be used for the Settings >> Advanced Settings menu as the UI quality there is superior to the main menu
S9) Following a successful firmware update and system reboot, a message should show detailing the new firmware version installed
S10) The currently installed firmware version should clearly be depicted under Settings >> Advanced Settings >> About Device. At the moment the version text is difficult to understand than if it were in the format i.e. "1.0.33". This of course can be checked when selecting "System updates" under "About device" but this requires end users need to know where to look, and it also makes it harder for them (things need to be so that the general public can understand with little effort)
S11) Cloud Media needs to write their own media player software (the same is true for music player and picture viewer) and not rely on 3rd party software in the form of Kodi and MXPlayer (including others obviously depending on what users install). As it stands Chameleon is just another Android box with a high quality enclosure and very good hardware specifications, and a overall "civilized firmware look and feel" (especially compared to the Designed in China Android TV boxes out there). To provide Added Value but also Unique Selling Point and build/maintain end user loyalty, Cloud Media needs to offer its own unique features not available elsewhere. In today's world hardware counts, but its software that really sets aside company A from company B etc., assists in organic sales growth and drives profits in the long run
S12) Under Settings >> System there should be an option to reboot the device without the need to physically power it on off and on via the rear switch
S13) As it is now each menu section has an Add Shortcut option. This is good (user friendly), however each menu section should also have a Remove Shortcut option to allow removal of user added shortcuts

Thanks for taking the time and interest to read this post.
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11-24-2015, 12:19 AM
Post: #2
RE: Chameleon firmware 1.0.27 and 1.0.33 - My feedback (includes bugs and suggestions)
http://forum.openhourlab.com/showthread.php?tid=1079

Some focus on problems and faults others on solutions and success... no question who is the happy one.

Chameleon 16GB SD 32GB micro SD <-->HDMIv1.3<-->Onkyo TX-NR1010<-->HDMIv1.3<-->Panasonic TX-P46S10 + 6 Bowers & Wilkins speakers.
10 NTFS 2TB USB drives on 3 hubs attached to a A400, 2 Seagate blackarmour NAS 3TB, 2 Seagate Central NAS 4TB.
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11-24-2015, 09:16 AM (This post was last modified: 11-24-2015 09:23 AM by chris57.)
Post: #3
RE: Chameleon firmware 1.0.27 and 1.0.33 - My feedback (includes bugs and suggestions)
I like it.Smile

Some of the B's are actually S's IMO and I can concur with some although not others. For example the time situation, I can get online updates to my time and set the correct time on the OHC including British Summer Time. On the Gecko it would not allow for BST no matter which time setting selections I picked in Android > Settings. However in the scale of things.

You seem very Pro MXPlayer which very few use. Most preferring to use the Kodi or inbuilt player. Have you set MXPlayer to be your default player in Kodi or are you just playing using it with the likes of mizuu or something? I have nothing against MXPlayer and have paid the Pro license as I to think its a great player but it's not something that's as easy nor gives as much control I find as the others during playback.

Please work with Willem and I though as we do have a list and I believe that list is reviewed by CM so we dont want to dilute into everyone having a list and no one reading any of them. Sure you understand.

OHC > HDMI > TV (Panasonic 42G20)
Downmix stereo using standard Kodi(MC) 15.2 no hware/acc OK
Downmix stereo 1.0.40/RK Kodi(RKlib) 15.2 infrequent audio gaps hware/acc OK

No DTS downmix available for inbuilt eMC player

Gecko> HDMI > TV (Panasonic 42G20)
Downmix stereo using Gecko Kodi 15.0 OK
Downmix using inbuilt MediaCentre OK

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11-24-2015, 06:10 PM (This post was last modified: 11-24-2015 06:14 PM by GFORCE100.)
Post: #4
Chameleon firmware 1.0.27 and 1.0.33 - My feedback (includes bugs and suggestions)
(11-24-2015 09:16 AM)chris57 Wrote:  I like it.Smile

Some of the B's are actually S's IMO and I can concur with some although not others. For example the time situation, I can get online updates to my time and set the correct time on the OHC including British Summer Time. On the Gecko it would not allow for BST no matter which time setting selections I picked in Android > Settings. However in the scale of things.

You seem very Pro MXPlayer which very few use. Most preferring to use the Kodi or inbuilt player. Have you set MXPlayer to be your default player in Kodi or are you just playing using it with the likes of mizuu or something? I have nothing against MXPlayer and have paid the Pro license as I to think its a great player but it's not something that's as easy nor gives as much control I find as the others during playback.

Please work with Willem and I though as we do have a list and I believe that list is reviewed by CM so we dont want to dilute into everyone having a list and no one reading any of them. Sure you understand.

Thanks for the thumbs up. I personally have no practical knowledge of the Gecko hence can't comment. Haven't noticed time related bugs on the OHC, just spelling and grammar. As for the latter it's almost as if it's Singlish or Chinglish (i.e. Singapore or Chinese English), perhaps because the developers are from Asian countries? Either way such cosmetic bugs can be fixed quickly and cheaply, though it's in the hands of Cloud Media to decide if they want their products to have that refined touch.

Moving on to MXPlayer then. To be honest I tried about a dozen media players from Google's App store (well, actually found and downloaded the APK file directly so I could install them manually through App Installer) and no matter what I stumbled across MXPlayer seemed and still seems to be the best. I was even surprised VLC Player (such a popular and great media player for PC's) doesn't live up to this standing in its Android version. Either the the UI looks much in need of improvement, the remote control buttons don't work within the media player, or aren't intuitive, or the media Apps just didn't have settings to control this or that. Granted some of these shortfalls dissapear when installed on an Android phone, chiefly because then there's a touch screen supporting screen gestures to help things along. With Kodi not working properly on the OHC (i.e. the lip sync issue and DTS drop out issue) one is somewhat forced to seek rescue wherever possible (at least until the Kodi bugs are finally fixed and everything else is mere candy to sweeten the whole experience). With that said I'm all open ears and eyes as far as other Android media players I could install. Consequently all suggestions are accepted at this stage Smile

(11-24-2015 12:19 AM)Willem55 Wrote:  http://forum.openhourlab.com/showthread.php?tid=1079

Yes. I either saw that list and didn't think it was kept up to date, or thought it was work in progress given it's not very long. Things like this don't usually skip my mind. The best thing IMHO would be for Cloud Media to setup a Wiki page with restricted access and then we (whoever has permission that is) can keep it all together for ease of reference by all (including developers). Just a thought.
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11-24-2015, 08:39 PM (This post was last modified: 11-24-2015 08:41 PM by Willem55.)
Post: #5
RE: Chameleon firmware 1.0.27 and 1.0.33 - My feedback (includes bugs and suggestions)
Bug fix request list is kept up to date by users posting in that thread which is sticky... bug reports elsewhere will go under when the thread falls silent.

Don't let these basic rules shy you off

Definition of a bug: A functionality that was in the feature list or can be reasonably expected to be, that fails.
Everyone with the same Chameleon with the same hardware configuration and setup should be able to reproduce the failure.(otherwise it's a defect that needs repair)

A bugfix request thread is for serious reports on functionalities that are failing.
A clear and detailed explanation of your hardware setup and system settings is useful.
A clear and detailed description of the fault and the way it can be replicated/confirmed by other users and Firmware developers should be part of the bug report.

Some focus on problems and faults others on solutions and success... no question who is the happy one.

Chameleon 16GB SD 32GB micro SD <-->HDMIv1.3<-->Onkyo TX-NR1010<-->HDMIv1.3<-->Panasonic TX-P46S10 + 6 Bowers & Wilkins speakers.
10 NTFS 2TB USB drives on 3 hubs attached to a A400, 2 Seagate blackarmour NAS 3TB, 2 Seagate Central NAS 4TB.
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