Computers & Electronics

Patriot Box Office Owners Thread

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Patriot Box Office Owners Thread

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Update 6/11/2012 with the last viable offering of the PBO going "unavailable" the PBO is officially discontinued. Thread has been going strong for the last 2 years, thanks for everyone who participated, thread is now moved to the "Electronics" forum for existing (and potential) owners to make use of the wealth of information all over the thread.

The following N-adapters are compatible with the PBO:
- AWLL6075 Airlink101
- AWLL5077 Airlink101
- Patriot PCBOWAU2-N
- DLINK DWA-130 HW version E1
- DLINK DWA-131
- Rokland's
- Zonet ZEW2546
- dealextreme branded (2R1T)
- dealextreme branded (1R1T)
- monoprice branded
- meritline branded
- TEW-648UB (Rev 1.0)
- TEW-649UB (Rev 1.0)
- Asus USB-N10
- Belkin F5D8053 (v. 5000/6000)

The following wireless Realtek chipsets are compatible with the PBO (11N8709, RTL8187 and RTL8191SU)
Support for the following wireless RaLink chipsets can be added manually to the PBO (RT2571,RT2571W,RT2572,RT2573,RT2671,RT2770,RT2870,RT307x and RT3572USB)
==========================================================================================
Reviews:
- Hardware Canucks (Damn Good Value Award)
- Tweak Town (Video Review)
- Future Looks (Value Added Award)
- [H]ard|OCP (Editors Choice Enthusiast Gold Award)
- Pure OC (Great Hardware Award)
- aph networks (equal.balance Award)
- Techware Labs (Approved Hardware Award)
- Missing Remote
- The Gadgeteer
- Hardware Secrets
- Raiden's Realm
- Maximum PC
=============================================================================
Customizing the PBO: a mini-guide
Initial Setup:
- get the Euro ACRBO or MedeBO latest version from here, make sure you read the background info to know what you are getting yourself into.
- follow the official update instructions here.
Navigation Setup (for ACRBO GUI 1.0 only):
- There is three pictures in post#2
- First to get dropouts for background browsing (without a jukebox): Download Thumbgen (check the thread here and the quick guide here).
- Second to get both dropouts and movie wall (picture 2): Download YAMJ installer here, the quick guide from here and finally further details if needed here.
- Third, to get a much neater looking and faster jukebox than YAMJ (dropouts + wall .. picture 3): Get the TViXiE2Playon!HD (how to here), if you have metafeeds/HDD installed follow the instructions here.
Online Content Setup:
- Install metafeeds and then xLive as described in my post here (this will get you online contents).
- The above assumes that you have HDD installed inside the box, installing metafeeds and xLive without an HDD can be done but requires extending workarounds.
-------------------------------------------------------
NEW Semi-official Alternative route:
For those interested, I have compiled several custom firmware versions based on the latest PM firmware:
- latest PM firmware so comes with HD-Audio downmix ability (missing from ACR custom firmwares).
- Online access modules from Patriot, ACR, metafeeds, xLive, YouTube(HD), Shoutcast.
- RSS based jukebox.
- YAFFS2 based thus fully moddable (supports optware and all other add ons).
- Compatible with older bootcode 16 unlike the official release.
- Fully functioning without the need to install HDD for metafeeds/xLive.
------------------------------------------------------
Might want to also check the excellent hands-on by Midevilshadow here.
=============================================================================
Its ok to press the thank you button if you feel the need to :)
=============================================================================
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[OP]
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UPDATE Oct 1: Been a while since this player sale price ever went above $50, time to update the post title
UPDATE August 25: DD+ chipsets are showing up at most major retailers: ME, NCIX and CC.
UPDATE Feb 3: There is some PBO units that is reported to have the 1073DD+ chipset (HD-Audio capable), apparently all newer stock will have the updated chipset.

Here is what you might know about the PBO:
Pros:
[INDENT]- Realtek based (1073DD): enormous media compatibility list (same chip inside Asus O!Play, ACRyan PlayON, and the list goes on), DTS/DD stereo downmix.
- The support community : Excellent user based community, every issue has been addressed and resolved, every possible how to has been written.
- Manufacturer support : whether the PBO is a Chinese clone or not, Patriot memory headquarters are located in California and not half the way across the globe, they are very prompt when it comes to RMA like services.
- Firmware : 6 firmwares already released (latest released late August), with external DVD support, better TV compatibility, HD-Audio downmix support and internet based content.
[/INDENT]
Cons:
[INDENT]- Realtek based (1073DD): so and so wireless streaming, no support for BR menus, hardware bug rending it impossible to pass through HD-Audio.
- The support community : Being all fellow owners, they are all supporting the product out of thier own good heart and believe in the box, thus there is no obligation (for them) that your issues will be promptly addressed and there is also no guarantees that it will be resolved.
- Manufacturer support : if your issue isn't hardware related, good luck getting it resolved with Patriot, they simply don't know that much about the software side of the box, its just another hardware unit that they sell and thats as far as it goes.
- Firmware : due to the support point above, firmwares are released whenever they are ready, there is no change/bug/feature list included, NO one knows what issues is a firmware supposed to fix or when is the current reported bugs will be fixed if at all. The firmware released is always as close as it can be to the reference firmware that Realtek supply with the boxes (not that much customization except for PBO logo at the box bootup).
[/INDENT]

bottom line: though very comparable to any other Realtek based media player the PBO sinks deeply down the list with the lack of development support from the manufacturer and the crippled stock firmware that comes with it.

What you might (most probably) not know about the PBO:
Regardless of the lack of any real investment in the software development of this product, Patriot memory is offering what it can to satisfy their ranting and nagging customers. Thus PM (perhaps because they couldn't care less) has (and continues to release) manufacturer materials that is not typically released to average Joe media player owners.

Results : PM has shared enough knowledge and material with its users that made the box literally "unbrickable" (unless its a hardware failure), while other media players users don't even know what a bootcoder is, PM has released 4 different versions of RT bootloaders for 1073 devices, things like "I have bricked the box during firmware update" are no longer an issue, because you can resurrect your box for $6 of materials and 6 minutes in time. This enabled the PBO owners to liberally experiment with the underlying linux machine on which the PBO interface runs, adding functionality and even fearlessly testing lots of the "unlocked" firmwares available from other boxes (based on similar chipset).

Conclusion: With the proper mods, PBO can easily be cross flashed, and further unlocking lots of features, online content, support for external optical drives, even YAMJ and TVIXIE jukeboxes. Even for those who wont be interested in cross flashing there tons of free applications that will add features like more powerful torrent client, NFS server, UPNP server ..etc. This is all at considerably lower price than all the other RT based players and beside you don't have to worry about sending the box back to china in case you bricked it.

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Member
May 10, 2006
274 posts
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Gloucester
Memory Express, has the Patriot Box Office media player on a Father's Day sale for $79.99 with free shipping, and no PST as on-line orders ship from Alberta ($83.99 total with GST). They do have retail stores in Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg as well.

I've been reviewing different media player reviews, and the PBO looks to be quite a capable and hackable unit for a very reasonable price. It also has a slot for a 2.5" SATA internal HDD, so it can easily be equipped to store as well as stream.
Deal Addict
May 2, 2006
1336 posts
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excellent post, very informative.
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aasoror wrote:
Jun 20th, 2010 5:28 pm
with external DVD support

Hmm, will have to test with my external bluray drive. :-0
Hoping it will read the files.
.... I see, a bright past ....
but it's starting to dim.
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MeiserT wrote:
Jun 20th, 2010 6:25 pm
Hmm, will have to test with my external bluray drive. :-0
Hoping it will read the files.
You will need P05-B firmware.
It will read Data DVDs, Unencrypted video DVDs and Data BRs.
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PBO vs. Asus O! Play?
[highlight]__RFD iTrader:_______76|||0[/highlight]
[highlight]___HEATWARE:______16|||0[/highlight]
[highlight]_____EBAY:_______142|||0[/highlight]
[OP]
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Triad wrote:
Jun 20th, 2010 6:30 pm
PBO vs. Asus O! Play?
Depends on your needs.
- PBO will accept 2.5" SATA drives (great for on the go usage).
- PBO doesn't have a card reader (but will accept USB one no problem)
- PBO has a metal casing.
- O!Play had a limited on demand release of the firmware fixing Toshiba HDMI problems, not sure if they ever made a public release.
- O!Play works with passive cooling so there is no FAN inside.
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Triad wrote:
Jun 20th, 2010 6:30 pm
PBO vs. Asus O! Play?
At the price for the PBO in this thread.... PBO wins hands down. :D
aasoror wrote:
Jun 20th, 2010 6:27 pm
You will need P05-B firmware.
It will read Data DVDs, Unencrypted video DVDs and Data BRs.
Awesome. Just finished upgrading my PBO.

Will test as soon as I can find my laptop bag with my Esata/USB notebook bluray drive. :D
.... I see, a bright past ....
but it's starting to dim.
[OP]
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kin0kin wrote:
Jun 20th, 2010 6:46 pm
With regards to HD Audio, the unit will pass LPCM, just no bit streaming. The only unit that can do bit streaming AFAIK is the popcorn hour C200 @ $300 or so.
True, no realtek 1073/1208 based chipset will pass through HD-Audio, this is a now known hardware defect in the chipset.
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What does this do that a PS3 and PS3 media server can't?
Heat 51-0-0

External links in signatures are not allowed except for Heatware and Ebay ratings.
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Mike71 wrote:
Jun 20th, 2010 6:56 pm
What does this do that a PS3 and PS3 media server can't?

MKV and several other file formats.

But if you do not care about MKV files and you already own a PS3, then you have no need for the PBO.
.... I see, a bright past ....
but it's starting to dim.
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