Your favourite things


#1

Interesting conversation in one of the blog posts. First is the idea that only a few people frequent this forum, the second is a list of things they really like / don’t like about Slice and things they want to see next.

I was thinking of drawing up a survey to ask people why they first bought a Slice, which of it’s unique points made them hit the ‘buy’ button, but first would need a list of items for people to choose from… So here’s your chance, why did you buy Slice and what would you like to see next? Lets add some options to the list below:

Up front points:

Custom CNC’d aluminium case
LED lights
Raspberry Pi Compute module
Open Source operating system
Glitch free media playback quality
Integrated hard drive
High quality sound output with optical output

Future wants / would have preferred

Compute module 2
IR blaster option
Presence detection
Plastic case cheaper option
Ability to install other operating systems like Raspbian / Arch etc.
Reactive lighting system (a la Ambilight)
Slice 2


#2

Personally I backed Slice because it was a Kodi implementation, with a hard disk in a decent case developed by a known individuals.

I would like to see:

CM2 module with dual raspbian boot
A remote that doesn’t double click

Andy


#3

@Gordon In addition to the points of likes that you mention, I’d add the calibre of the team that made me want it.

Future wants in order of preference:

  • Reactive lighting system
  • Ability to install other operation systems
  • CM2
  • IR option

#4

I agree with the suggested list, I bought it for the size, case quality and ability to have high quality audio available. The idea being to remove the need for a huge number of CD cases in the living room (not spouse-approved!). The Slice has been spouse-approved: another big plus!

I would like to see the PCB available on its own to provide some ability to custom build into other cases at a cheaper price than with the case. No point in having such a beautiful case and hiding it away!

Roger


#5

For me it was having a complete and full-featured media player in one small box

For the future, CM2 and dual-boot with Volumio.


#6

I bought as needed an all in 1 solution, have been using Intel NUC in the past which are more expensive.

The CNC case is great but think an option of having plastic will open it up to the people that buy things like the Wetek Play

As for going forward i think the biggest move forward will be when the CM2 module comes out, you will be able to add a few more bits to the skin without hurting performance, i miss things like sorting by genre, recent added items etc


#7

Gbit ethernet but its unfortunately limited by the raspberry :pensive:


#8

Before I heard of Slice, I had built my own. It was a bit like Mo’s prototype but in a plastic rack mount case. I was looking at providing customers with a decent streaming solution and a ripping service for all their DVDs and Blu-rays. When a friend posted the Kickstarter on Facebook I thought that would be nifty with the LEDs and the quality of the metal case etc.

Here’s my attempt, it was fun to make:


#9

The main feature that attracted me to back the Slice was its portability & independence from the internet.
As I work away from home a fair bit, hotel stays are made less nauseating having a large proportion of my must have media with me. Although I do need to carry a universal remote control to be able to change over the TV to a HDMI socket (Often it will not select automatically).
The portability is enhanced with the superb quality CNC case, although I still need to buy a suitable carry case.
The next best thing is that anyone in the family (including Grandparents) can actually operate it without instruction. The sign of a well designed interface is that you shouldn’t need to go on a course to use it :smile:

Things I would like to see:
Reactive Lighting kit.
A separate power supply to aid portability.
A 12v car power supply.
Improved “search” (by genre, latest added etc).
A matching Blu-ray/DVD drive that sits under Slice and could rip your own media directly to the hard drive (although I think this has been made illegal again! - Operating a bit like the Kaleidoscope system, without a £20k price tag).
A Slice quality version of a Synology, with a RAID setup, including the ripping capability above would be awesome!.
A rack mounted slice?

We still haven’t had the blender attachment yet either!!


#10

USP (unique selling point ;)):

  • the case.

Want:

  • CM2
  • Slice2 - whatever that may be!

#11

A short introduction to my Mediaplayer experience.
About 8 years ago I bought a conceptronic NAS and was quite happy with it although it was not much more than a networked harddisk. No scraping – nothing else!
In the meantime we had bought an HD TV and I thought streaming would require an internal hard disk to avoid stuttter. Then I discovered Mede8er and bought the 1000. My son who at that time was an adict on-line RPG gamer had already made clear to me that Wifi is not the way to go, so through our whole house we laid 1GB wiring.
In our household streaming video and music became normal and I had copied all DVD movies and CD’s (flac) to our NAS (QNAP 469pro). A few years ago I had also started to play around with XBMC on my PC but I gave up on it. It was clear it had lots of possibilities but the simple way to use the M8R was a clear advantage. Someone on the M8R forum once said something like: the “my wife can use it too” factor is high with M8R.
When I found the Slice on kickstarter I grabbed the oppurtunity as it had as you mention:
Beautiful - Custom CNC’d aluminium case
Fun -LED lights
XBMC with (all) its options and a hopefully better UI
Since delivery of the Slice would take quite some time, I bought a complete RaspPi mediaplayer set from a Dutch reseller (SOS) and started playing around with XBMC as a sidekick to get some experience using it. Immediately updraded to the RaspPi2 when that became available and I was real hapy with the little player. Unfortunately, since the ”mwcuit” was still low, it stayed second choice after my M8R. So when finally the Slice arrived, I thought it would take over from the M8R. Well, it did not - it could not! Why introduce my family to a system that had clearly:
Slow response ( menu’s, access etc)
XBMC/Kodi features that are not implemented.
A Harddisk disapearing from the scenery.
Remote control irresponsive or double klicking.
You may expect a negative write up but no, since this afternoon things have changed. A few days ago I bought an external casing for my 2,5” 2T disk that came in the Slice. I thought to put the Slice away untill the RaspPi2 board would be available and just use the disk in the meantime. When a friend of mine connected the “formerly” Slice 2TB disk to is Apple laptop, he noticed it was formatted EXFAT and did not understand why. He formatted it FAT and I copied some of my music files from the NAS to it. Everything went fine since then, connecting and disconnecting it introduced no problems. I decided to built it back into the Slice. The Slice saw the HD immediately and all of its files and I have been switching it on and off and playing and adding files from it since then. I have no knowledge of HD file formats but this may have solved the problem of loosing the HD connection in the Slice. BTW, I have also started to use a USB disk ejector program as the M8R support team has adviced users to use this as Windows Eject is not compatible with Unix file systems as they said.
The other problem was still the remote control. I had a few MS mediaplayer remotes from HP and Toshiba laying around and connected the Toshiba IR reciever via USB. Forget it! At first since I was messing with the Slice sitting in from of it. Double klicks galore from all MS IR-controllers! Sitting on the couch about three meters away made it a lot better but pointing straight at it still gave double clicks. Pointing to the wall behind me so the signal would bounce to the IR unit made it pretty reliable. Then I connected the M8R remote keyboard with its (2,4) dongle. Everything worked OK, no double klicks or so. Then I connected the small keyboard that came with the SOS Pi mediaplayer and it worked like a charm! In my opinion it is not the remote control that is faulty. I think there must be a problem with the software for the Slice controller as also IR remotes give double clicks, there must be something tricky in the sofware. To me it looks like that the software does not immedately stop listening when it has received a valid input. It seems to accept one or max. two input clicks at the same time but not more. I believe the Slice remote may even send more inputs and is therefore ignored so often (my Slice remote often goes down- arrow but not up-arrow unless first one or more downs again). Also processor load may cause bad remote readings.
Anyway, since this afternoon I am finally happy with my Slice. I would still want the PI2 board asap as I noticed that the processor is extremely loaded. Booting will show a processor load of 100%. 3D movies around 75%, music and 2D movies 65%. I am using the Confluence skin and OS version 15.2 of 14 Nov.
PS
Sorry for any misspelled words. I did not seem to have installed an English spell checker.


#12

Main reasons, kinda in order:

  • Support to all kinds of files and codecs (1080p + DTS)
  • Kodi
  • WiFi (although in my current setup it is not good enough for proper 1080p playing)
  • Portable
  • Internal HD
  • Cool Case

Would like:

  • Skins with film artwork and more info on the list view (CM2?)
  • Faster (CM2?)
  • Non-Y USB Connector (inconvenient in my setup and harder to replace)
  • Better WiFi (maybe I’ll just buy one) / GBit Ethernet
  • Better QuickStart/Wiki (I’ll try to contribute to the wiki with the issues I had and their respective solutions. It was frustrating but I got all of them solved in this forum :smile: )
  • Power brick + Cable instead of Power brick with a Plug (illustrated bellow)

#13

I bought the slice because I liked the idea of having a media server that wasn’t locked down and which looks great and at home sitting next to my other ‘set top boxes’.

Before I had Slice, I was limited in what video and audio formats I could simply play through my setup without having to hook up the laptop.

I don’t know if any of these are possible, but features I’d like to see for the future would be…
a sharper upscaler for SD content
bitstreaming of Dolby and DTS HD audio formats.
glitch free media playback
GBit network card
Wifi ac
Official device registered in Harmony remote database
On/Off button
more themes/colours
a single USB lead for connecting to laptop.

Having said all that, I’m a very happy Slice owner.:grinning:


#14

I bought a slice because it was the kind of box I wanted, and was beginning to realise that I would never find the time to build on my own.

What I would like to see:
Hardware:

  • CM2 (maybe I can wait for CM3 if that’s going to be compatible)
  • On/off button
    Software (not really slice)

#15

My wish list:

For the current Slice:
Reactive Lighting / Ambilight
CM2

For Slice2:
4K output
A software on/off switch
Universal remote compatibility out of the box

My Slice replaced an ageing Boxee Box, which also had a silly RF remote, although at least that one was good quality! The Slice is much better than the Boxee. All of my media is on a Bufallo 8TB NAS, which has so far been rock solid, and streams high-bitrate 1080p to the Slice with no problem.


#16

The reason we use exFAT rather than FAT is because of the 2GByte file size limit of FAT. Since it’s quite easy to get video files > 2Gig then it’s just not an option.


#17

One reason that I supported the Slice project was because that I knew that two members of the RPi foundation were involved in the project at a low level. I know that their work on the Slice as been a help to the foundation both in terms of better understanding other CM customers needs and that relevant fixes for the Slice have found their way back into the core Pi code where it makes sense. I’m sure that a better understanding of how Kodi works is useful too.

As for my likes then the case and the whole integrated package is top for me.

In terms of new features CM2 when it’s available and maybe a dual boot option with raspbian.


#18

I wanted a streaming player for my files. I owned the Apple TV 3 before and it was pretty solid except that my Mac has to run at the same time which was very annoying.

  • metal casing giving it a premium feel
  • much file support
  • HDMI-CEC
  • possibilty of integrating a HDD

– remote
– no standby button to turn off tv


#19

For me I loved the look of the whole unit, also the fact that nothing else needed to be on (computer, external drive) for me to play media. I also like the way I can watch the media else where (via infuse) streamed from slice.

The lack of a switch on is a negative (I know you say it’s very low power but…) and the laggy double pressing remote.

What I’d like to see is the ambilight setup, a second power supply as well as a way to use it in the car to entertain the kids.

Overall I am very chuffed with the whole unit!

Well done


#20

@ Gordon: Indeed, copying a large movie file does not go. Small oversight, I was just bussy with music.
In the meantime I reformatted to NTSF which works great. It was the only option the MS diskmngr showed. Also, no problems with moving from Slice attached to PC back to Slice on its own. However, copying files over the Network is extremely slow. Maybe a 1GB In network connection would have given better results as I have 80MB/sec copying from my NAS to my PC.
One of my wishes would also have been an on/off switch. I use CEC and sometimes Slice starts doing something in the background and takes over the TV and amplifier, while my wife is watching TV! So now I have the Slice connected to a separate outlet with On/Off switch. BTW: For the Pi you can get a micro USB cable with switch - so apparently there is a need for it.