Echo & Android Update

Talk about Ceton's Media Center Extender.
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Echo & Android Update

Post#1 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:28 pm

Obviously there has not been a lot of news recently on the Echo. Unfortunately I do not come with the update that everyone is looking for. You can read the official post here: http://cetoncorp.com/blog/ceton-echo-android/ I will simply post it below as well:

Ceton Echo & Android
Several months ago we first talked about our plan to add Android to the Ceton Echo as a path to enable new capabilities. Since then the Echo team has been working incredibly hard to make that happen and they've made excellent progress. Most of us here have been running Echo with Android at home for months now. A few weeks ago we started beta testing the Android upgrade with people outside of the company as well. Unfortunately the testing results have not been what we expected and we are announcing today that we will not be able to bring Android to the current Echo hardware as we had hoped.

You’re no doubt wondering why. In a nutshell, while we have Android up and running quite well on the Echo hardware in our labs, the in-home upgrade process fails at a higher rate than is acceptable. The failure is caused by one of the third-party components that Echo uses. The issue doesn't affect using Echo as a Windows Media Center Extender at all, and only occurs during the Android upgrade process. The issue wasn't known when Echo launched and didn't surface until in-home testing of the Android upgrade started. We have been working with the component manufacturer to try to help them develop a fix to enable in-home upgrades on the current hardware but they have unfortunately not been successful. As a result, we have no choice but to cancel the Android project.

We know this will be a big disappointment to folks. No one is more disappointed than us. The Echo team have put their heart and souls into the Android project for the last several months. Sometimes things are simply beyond one’s control and tough decisions have to be made.

We’ll continue to sell and support Echo as a Media Center Extender, as we have all along. While we won’t be able to add new the capabilities Android would bring, Echo remains a great solution for anyone that wants the core Extender feature set of whole-home TV, DVR, movies, music and video in a great looking, small, silent device that consumes a fraction of the electricity used by other extenders and set-top boxes.
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Post#2 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:40 pm

So can we expect base firmware updates now? With all the claimed effort that's gone into Android, why not release a Revision 2 of the hardware?

Edit (again): Why can't we just ship them back to Ceton for update if there is an issue with home upgrades? I would be happy to pay for shipping after all...this really blows.
Last edited by th3Pil0t on Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post#3 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:42 pm

I sense a storm coming. I've been pretty patient but I'm beyond frustrated.
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Post#4 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:43 pm

oh dear.....

I think i'll give this place a miss for a few days....

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Post#5 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:48 pm

Wow, I've been pretty pessimistic and critical of Ceton, but I wasn't expecting this. Freescale comes in and ruins the party once again.

While I want to feel sorry for Ceton, and the many hours their developers put into this failed effort, I have to say Ceton's actions throughout this entire process have made that rather difficult.
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Post#6 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:55 pm

There are no other options? How about an exchange program and you update them in house? I bought my echo during the beta. I was disappointed with bugs and lack of features. The only reason I did not return it was because of the promised improvements. I would have been much better off with an xbox. Can you at least release the update as open source? I'm more than willing to take my chances trying the update.
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Post#7 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:01 am

lithium630 wrote:Can you at least release the update as open source?


They can't do that because of the required 'extender' parts of the software.

lithium630 wrote:I'm more than willing to take my chances trying the update.


I don't know what you would gain. It was unfinished and the WMC code part was pretty much the same.
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Post#8 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:04 am

Question: is the field update failure one that can be recovered from, or is it a one-way ticket to unit death?

If I try to upgrade to Android but my unit fails, and if it can then be set back to non-Android, functioning status, then I for one would be happy to attempt the upgrade and see what happens. Make the upgrade available for us to try.

On the other hand, if upgrade failure means bricking the unit permanently, then just leave well enough alone.

If field upgrade failures can't be recovered from in the field but can be recovered from in your facility, then I'd jump in and take those odds even if it meant having to send it in and pay for making the upgrade happen.

My $0.02. I don't expect life to be perfect, and understand this situation. But can we not throw out the baby with the bathwater?

Can/will Ceton alter the hardware down the line, such that Rev2 could get the Android update without hassle?
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Post#9 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:08 am

staknhalo wrote:
lithium630 wrote:Can you at least release the update as open source?


They can't do that because of the required 'extender' parts of the software.

lithium630 wrote:I'm more than willing to take my chances trying the update.


I don't know what you would gain. It was unfinished and the WMC code part was pretty much the same.



We don't really know how far along it was, but it was good enough to beta test. What I would gain (possibly) is a box that did some of what I have been waiting for for 8 months.
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Post#10 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:14 am

I do, I was a beta tester.
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Post#11 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:32 am

staknhalo wrote:I do, I was a beta tester.


Interesting. So it wasn't far enough for prime time in your opinion? Media Center has been getting a little long in the tooth for me. I've been debating making a change but I had high hopes for the echo. I'm frustrated that I have waited so long for nothing. I have been pretty positive despite the delay so now I feel like I was kicked in the nuts. I realize that this is a big blow for Ceton also but I feel like there must be a better way.
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Post#12 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:34 am

This thread ought to be entertaining for the next few days/weeks...
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Post#13 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:39 am

lithium630 wrote:So it wasn't far enough for prime time in your opinion?


The functionality of everything they wanted to do was there; but there were just a bunch of little UI/interface bugs/quirks that weren't ironed out yet that would have put it behind regular WMC interface. Like I said, playback functionality was the same so it was just a new interface + Android apps to put it lightly.
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Post#14 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:41 am

Uhh.. WOW... This news does kinda suck. I was really hoping things were moving in a positive direction. I hope Ceton can do something for the consumers that bought into these with hopes for expandability and updates. Bummer =(
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Post#15 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:49 am

staknhalo wrote:
lithium630 wrote:So it wasn't far enough for prime time in your opinion?

Like I said, playback functionality was the same so it was just a new interface + Android apps to put it lightly.


If we could get WMC + apps, that would be miles ahead of where it is now. I don't think we are being told the whole story though, if it is working but the update process is wonky, there should be an alternative. I have $360 invested in Echos, I'd be happy to pay shipping + labor for in house update to android.

If the current state of the Echo is as good as its going to get, I'll be done with Ceton.
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Post#16 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:57 am

th3Pil0t wrote:So can we expect base firmware updates now?


This.

This!

A thousand times, THIS!
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Post#17 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:59 am

th3Pil0t wrote:If we could get WMC + apps, that would be miles ahead of where it is now.


It wasn't as seamless as you think. You had to use a mobile app or m&kb with almost all the third party Android apps. There was no 'remote only' solution. If you use a m&kb @ ur setup then not a big deal I guess. I wasn't a big fan of that part.
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Post#18 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:22 am

Motz wrote:We’ll continue to sell and support Echo as a Media Center Extender, as we have all along. While we won’t be able to add new the capabilities Android would bring, Echo remains a great solution for anyone that wants the core Extender feature set of whole-home TV, DVR, movies, music and video in a great looking, small, silent device that consumes a fraction of the electricity used by other extenders and set-top boxes.


Now that the silence has been broken, can we find out what exactly those mysterious capabilities were supposed to be? The only thing said specifically was Windows 8 compatibility, and everything else was just vague marketing speak.

And one last vent, them I'm done...

Ceton in the SotE#3 wrote:So, rather than release the beta too early, we've been doing a lot of extra work to bring Android to the next level for TV.

Oops. Looks like instead of releasing the beta too early, they did it way, way, waaaaay too late. Hindsight is 20/20 but I bet it would have been nice to know 6 months ago that you can't do an in-home upgrade, eh?

And staknhalo, I'm dying to know... with all of the tinfoil hat talk in the Ironically named Android doubter thread, were you already part of the double secret beta at that point, or did that come about later?
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Post#19 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:24 am

Yes.
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Post#20 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:26 am

Ahhh... that makes that thread so much funnier in hindsight. Thanks, that at least gave me a little something to smile about. :)
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