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View Full Version : Transporter vs ??



bflatmajor
2006-10-12, 13:06
I saw this little thingy and was wondering if anyone else had seen it.

I also wondering if an audio only comparison could be done?

http://www.neodigits.com/new/body/products/Xline/x5000.asp

Just so the SlimDevices people don't get mad at me..

I really like my SB2... just ask my wife!! :-) Whole house audio is great now!!

JJZolx
2006-10-12, 14:07
Wow. Nice little unit for $579.

Obviously not audiophile quality - the price is way too low. :) But it certainly looks the part in that case. However, the inclusion of HD video immediately eliminates it from any audiophalic aspirations. What audiophile would be caught dead with a piece of home theatre kit in his audio rack?

Plays Flac. Which is nice.

802.11g and WPA. Hmm.

Very little to no geek appeal, though, since the optional software requires Windows. But it will run straight from a UPnP server. I'm guessing at its core is more or less a general purpose computer, probably running Linux, so there could still be some geek porn appeal to it.

Probably the biggest downside for SB users (at least from what I can gather in these forums) would be the lack of a graphic screen. So that means no BBC news feeds, baseball scores, snowflake screen savers or other important eye candy displayed on the front of the unit.

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-12, 14:43
I gotta admit, that's pretty nice. It looks like there's USB input as well.

But yes, severely lacking in the display department, not really any better than a DVD player. Also one wonders how much of the cost went into the video section (it's even got HDMI) and what would happen if that money was all put into the sound section. All-in-one units are often passable at everything they do but not as good as a dedicated unit.

The Transporter has it beat in the DAC department. Plus Transporter has digital inputs as well as balanced inputs/outputs.

And as much as people are knocking SlimServer lately, it's been 6 years in development and is very, very sophisticated. One wonders how capable "NeoLink Server" is. Good hardware is often hampered by "look at our coding skillz!" software.

Still, I'd get that over a Roku.

CatBus
2006-10-12, 14:55
Looks like a pretty good device. I obviously can't comment on the sound quality, but the Transporter certainly looks MUCH nicer.

Feature comparisons are also needed (does it even measure up to a Squeezebox?): Does it do gapless playback? Replaygain? Does it support ARTISTSORT tags? Multiple genre tags? Etc etc. Just because it supports FLAC and Vorbis does not mean it supports all of their features. Other features like multi-player sync are also worth looking into.

But the showstopper for me is the server software. Should this company ever go belly-up, I do not want to be stuck running their old Win32 executable in legacy emulation mode on Windows 2038 SP9 [MSRP $500]. I love SlimDevices, but God forbid they should go out of business some day, their open-source SlimServer software can be kept up-to-date forever, requiring no additional software purchase now or at any point in the future. And you really can't do better than that.

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-12, 15:16
(does it even measure up to a Squeezebox?)

Good question - if we look at them from a price point perspective, it's equivalent to a Squeezebox or maybe cheaper. It costs $280 more than the Squeezebox, so roughly twice as much, but it adds the following to the Squeezebox:

- DVD-ROM and DVD/CD playback
- HD video playback and all its associated connections including HDMI
- USB input
- better power regulation
- possibly a better DAC
- nicer remote

Is all that worth $280? Probably.

So a better comparison would be against the Squeezebox, and it could be a tight race. Squeezebox still has the display and software advantage though, plus it's built by a company with a wee bit of experience in this area. Some of the specs of the X5000 are impressive, but what do we know about the company? Not much. Slim Devices were the pioneers of the field.

I'd like to replace my DVD player with this thing, but I'd rather not run their software and I have no need of particularly high-end audio in a DVD player since my receiver will be doing all the work. But $579 makes for an expensive DVD player - might as well get an HD-DVD or BluRay player, they'd only be twice as much.

JJZolx
2006-10-12, 15:31
But the showstopper for me is the server software. Should this company ever go belly-up, I do not want to be stuck running their old Win32 executable in legacy emulation mode on Windows 2038 SP9 [MSRP $500]. I love SlimDevices, but God forbid they should go out of business some day, their open-source SlimServer software can be kept up-to-date forever, requiring no additional software purchase now or at any point in the future. And you really can't do better than that.
But it doesn't even require outside server software. That's one thing I like about the not-so-slim-device approach. It has some intelligence on its own.

I think some of the shortcomings of the slim approach become increasingly apparent as the developers try to do more and more with SlimServer. Things like the FWD/RWD issues will probably never be solved due to the curcuitous route that a simple pressing of the remote button must travel before any action is taken. The reliance on the health and responsiveness of SlimServer and the machine on which it runs is just asking for trouble, a lot of which we've seen posted to these forums. Don't get me wrong, I like most of the Slim approach, but the dumb device angle isn't one of them.

CatBus
2006-10-12, 15:41
That's one thing I like about the not-so-slim-device approach. It has some intelligence on its own.

Fair enough, but I suppose I'm personally most interested in features that require a backend server, so from that perspective the device with the better backend wins. I can see your POV though.

Simon Still
2006-10-15, 15:13
Weighs more than 8KG

never mind the sound quality, feel the weight. I remember taking apart a
set of dj gramdecks a few years back (having wondered why they were so heavy
when made of plastic) and finding a gert big metal plate in the bottom.

Maybe that's what the squeezebox is missing - a lead plate on the bottom
would make all the difference. Maybe somone could offer it as an
aftermarket mod. Cant' be that hard with a bit of superglue.

Yes, i have been drinking.

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-15, 15:35
Some audiophiles do go by weight.

It can be an indicator of build quality - discrete components and metal construction rather than integrated components and plastic construction obviously weighs more, but as you noted, manufacturers can cheat.

In the case of a turntable though, I'd say it's probably there for stability.

The Transporter is made from aluminum. Maybe they should have made it out of depleted uranium? :-) There's no weight listed for the Transporter. That could be good (no "faux audiophile" gimmicry of listing it prominently when it really has nothing to do with the sound) or it could be bad when competing against an 8 kg device.

I'd prefer to get something where the manufacturer isn't too concerned about the weight and concentrates on the sound rather than specifically engineering the product to be heavy, perhaps at the expense of something that actually impacts the sound.

tyler_durden
2006-10-15, 18:00
I don't get what this thing does. I assume it uses a TV as the display- that's just what I want when I'm listening to music, to have a TV on! Ugh!

What is the DVDROM drive for? Am I supposed to rip my discs with this device and stream the files to the HDD on the server and when I want to play the video I stream the data from the HDD to the box?

Is 802.11g adequate for streaming HDTV video signals?

Hmmmmm.

TD

radish
2006-10-15, 18:09
I don't get what this thing does. I assume it uses a TV as the display- that's just what I want when I'm listening to music, to have a TV on! Ugh!

Well yes, a lot of people seem to think a TV is a good display for a music player. I've tried it, and I changed my mind. That's why I love my Transporter :)



What is the DVDROM drive for?

Playing DVDs.



Is 802.11g adequate for streaming HDTV video signals?

Yes, but barely. Your average wireless router is going to have a lot of trouble keeping an HD stream going, but it is possible with the right gear. I just spent the weekend on the SlimDevices stand at DigitalLife and we had Ruckus Wireless with us showing their new 802.11 compatible routers which are optimized for video streaming - we had an 18mbps HD stream going all weekend with no glitches. That demo attracted a _lot_ of attention, and those who saw it know why ;)

ehlarson
2006-10-15, 18:52
Well, audiophiles aren't going to like the opamps - discrete is what they are looking for. That's why I use a Lavry instead of a Benchmark DAC on my SB3.

The HD stream is interesting, however I think it is a little premature. When I can go out and buy a 2 TB hard drive for $1-200 and I have multiple HDTVs then let's talk.

cashman
2006-10-16, 04:29
Well, I actually own one of these and although it's a very new product on the scene, I can tell you that it is very promising.

The UI needs LOTS of work, but it will operate over UPnP and access a UPnP NAS directly (I have an Infrant ReadyNAS NV using same music library for my SBs) and it will play FLAC, AAC, MP3 and a couple of other formats.

I'm told this has been designed as an audiophile device (it runs a Wolfson DAC) but I have not done any A/B comparos yet.

It is primarily for video and no, you cannot stream HD video at high bit rates over 11g - it just doesn't work. Even ripped DVDs have trouble over 11g. But with a wired Ethernet connection, HD video on a HD panel is just stunning :)

And yes, it's very heavy!

Oh, I tried the Ruckus Wireless router and it definitely is optimised for video. Works beautifully....

Mark Lanctot
2006-10-16, 05:44
Interesting comments, but I'm a little confused by this:


I'm told this has been designed as an audiophile device (it runs a Wolfson DAC) but I have not done any A/B comparos yet.

It is primarily for video

So it's an audiophile device primarily for video?

<scratches head> I'm confused.

Marc Sherman
2006-10-16, 05:48
Mark Lanctot wrote:
>
> So it's an audiophile device primarily for video?
>
> <scratches head> I'm confused.

It sounds like it's a consumer video device, where the designers asked
an audiophile friends for a checklist of "audiophile features" and made
sure they could list them on the box.

- Marc

radish
2006-10-16, 06:01
no, you cannot stream HD video at high bit rates over 11g - it just doesn't work.


and



Oh, I tried the Ruckus Wireless router and it definitely is optimised for video. Works beautifully....

Well, which is it? Like I said, I believe my eyes which saw an HD stream running perfectly over wifi in the middle of a conference hall. You can imagine the interference levels but it worked just fine. If _this_device_ can't stream HD then that's fine, but it's not a limitation of the network.