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Escient Vision

I just got my first Escient Vision to test today and unfortunately the current (v6.0.1) and older Escient modules (v5.0.1) don't work well with the Vision. I few commands work (play, stop, pause) and after a while the Escient Vision stops responding. It looks like they rearranged and changed the default commands set. They don't have a module online yet. The IR control using the Escient supplied remote is very erratic. It also looks like they are now using a different IR receiver built into the unit that made IR control way less responsive. I had the Escient control for previous models all working great with multiple Modero panels via IP, but my Sales Rep. decided to sell the new Vision series, which as most first generation products are full of bugs. This is very desappointing for a 6K retail price unit. I will have to wait for a module release from Escient or AMX. Any ideas?

Thanks.

Comments

  • shr00m-dewshr00m-dew Junior Member Posts: 394
    Module? There's not even the commands built in yet! We had to wait 3 weeks for a software update to make the component video actually work. As soon as that was fixed, we found out the update to add all the needed commands to control it through IP (or serial) won't be added until the next update. That's scheduled for the end of the month.

    The one unit we have (test unit now as we gave the customer a DVDM100 and changer) still gets sluggish after a day and will lock up eventually.

    My advice it to run away..

    Kevin D.
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    I've been back and forth with Escient a few times on this. The existing Fireball modules only work consistently with the "one-way" commands ... you can pretty much forget browsing the media library for now. It kinda works for music, but it's real quirky; it doesn't work at all for video.

    The current firmware has some issues though - the spotty slow responses, hanging (sometimes as much as 30 seconds after sending a command before anything happens), all occur even using the web GUI. Escient has a firmware released scheduled for Wednesday ... but of course, that is subject to change. The person I talked to hinted that there may be a module update at the same time, but I somewhat doubt it will happen. In any case, the firmware release is supposed to deal with some of the more egregious quirks in the external control. Anotherm set of issues regard integration with the FP1 iPod dock ... it willl play media directly from the iPod, for example, but not Playlists; I've also noticed much of the spotty response times clear up somewhat when the FP1 is disconnected.

    The bottom line is they pushed this out the door without the external control being quite ready. It's an understandable action, since many people aren't using control systems. Hopefully the update coming will deal with enough of this that the existing modules will be a reasonable stop-gap. Right now, you may as well use IR.
  • RicardoSiqueiraRicardoSiqueira Junior Member Posts: 373
    The Vision AMX module is now available at the Escient Web Site for download. I have tested the module on the Vision VS- 200 and the Vision VC-1 and things are working way better. You will need the latest firmware update to play along with the module. There are a few links that need to be improved on the TP4 files, but this module is looking more promissing. I still need to do more extensive tests, but at least the Vision is not locking up as before and the needed commands and feedback work. If any of you have a chance to test the module as well, please let me know your toughts.

    Ricardo
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    I must say I'm pretty disappointed in the fact that Escient continues to make their designs so unfriendly to integrating with existing projects. This module has six pages and 25 pop-ups ... which is a royal pain to cut-and-paste one at a time into your existing panel. And even more of a pain if you want to skin it to match your design. I wish all these developers (AMX included) would get their heads out of their butts and recognize that I am never going to use their module alone in a system with nothing else going on. Yet they continue to design them as if that were the case.

    I'm probably looking at a day's work to make this work with my panels, and any update (bound to happen, since it's so fresh) will require doing it again, then repeating it on any project previously integrated.
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    I also notice their main code file uses FIRST_LOCAL_PORT with an arithmetic operation in DEFINE_VARIABLES ... So we assume it's the only IP device in the project? Another example of exclusive thinking that just isn't appropriate.
  • mpullinmpullin Obvious Troll Account, Marked for Deletion Posts: 949
    DHawthorne wrote: »
    I also notice their main code file uses FIRST_LOCAL_PORT with an arithmetic operation in DEFINE_VARIABLES ... So we assume it's the only IP device in the project? Another example of exclusive thinking that just isn't appropriate.
    To be fair, maybe they're just poor NetLinx programmers and aren't aware FIRST_LOCAL_PORT is a constant.
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    mpullin wrote: »
    To be fair, maybe they're just poor NetLinx programmers and aren't aware FIRST_LOCAL_PORT is a constant.

    Oh, it doesn't take much looking at the code to see that much. They are clearly talented programmers porting to a platform they don't know very well. If they weren't talented, it wouldn't work at all, but there are a lot of things in there that just make me cringe.
  • ColzieColzie Senior Member Posts: 470
    DHawthorne wrote: »
    I also notice their main code file uses FIRST_LOCAL_PORT with an arithmetic operation in DEFINE_VARIABLES ... So we assume it's the only IP device in the project? Another example of exclusive thinking that just isn't appropriate.

    I'm not sure why this is a complaint.

    This is in their Master file demo in the setup of their example systems. If FIRST_LOCAL_PORT was used somewhere within the module I would definitely understand.

    How is what they've done any more offensive than them specifying '172.16.0.39' for their IP address when that isn't the IP address I'm going to use?
    DHawthorne wrote: »
    I must say I'm pretty disappointed in the fact that Escient continues to make their designs so unfriendly to integrating with existing projects.

    I'm just getting started doing this myself, so I'm not yet frustrated with Escient. I'm sure in a few hours I'll be sorry I defended them ;)
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    Colzie wrote: »
    I'm not sure why this is a complaint.

    This is in their Master file demo in the setup of their example systems. If FIRST_LOCAL_PORT was used somewhere within the module I would definitely understand.

    How is what they've done any more offensive than them specifying '172.16.0.39' for their IP address when that isn't the IP address I'm going to use?



    I'm just getting started doing this myself, so I'm not yet frustrated with Escient. I'm sure in a few hours I'll be sorry I defended them ;)

    Because it was meant to be an include file you incorporate in your own main file, and if you weren't checking it carefully, you'd miss that. And you're right, it's not a big deal, it's just indicative of a lack of familiarity with easy integration of NetLinx modules to existing products.
  • ColzieColzie Senior Member Posts: 470
    Anyone else get the chills when you have to work with something version 1.0.0? Actually this one wasn't too bad....but I have yet to test with actual hardware!

    Here are the few things I have done to the Escient Vision module so far.

    * Moved iPlayerSource to signature to share with Master file (not a bug but a change made to work with my code).

    * Added ";Vision Guide" to several @ppn commands that did not specify which page to show the popup (in the following sections):
    BUTTON_EVENT[aTP_VN,bGuideListExpand]
    BUTTON_EVENT[aTP_VN,bGuideListContract]
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    Colzie wrote: »
    Anyone else get the chills when you have to work with something version 1.0.0? Actually this one wasn't too bad....but I have yet to test with actual hardware!

    Here are the few things I have done to the Escient Vision module so far.

    * Moved iPlayerSource to signature to share with Master file (not a bug but a change made to work with my code).

    * Added ";Vision Guide" to several @ppn commands that did not specify which page to show the popup (in the following sections):
    BUTTON_EVENT[aTP_VN,bGuideListExpand]
    BUTTON_EVENT[aTP_VN,bGuideListContract]


    I should be going live with it some time this week. One thing I need to add to it is a command line for basic controls so my multi-room system can talk to it without a specific panel being "activated." It's also nice for when you have keypads on the system not using the UI code. But that's pretty easy to do. I just hope I don't need to spend a lot of time going through stuff like I had to with v.5.0.1 ... things like false feedback causing blinking transport buttons, that kind of irritant.
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    It works fairly well.

    I found another annoying deployment issue though: they use icon slots, which of course, are not preserved merging with another panel design, so I had to manually fix that. It would have been a nightmare if my original panel was using icon slots and I had to move them all around. As it is, I just had to go back and put the proper images in the right slots.

    There are a few minor errors. One, there are no page flips on the Home buttons that are on the main pages, so pressing Home didn't act like it did anything unless you were already on the Guide page. Forcing it to that page produces a better result. Two, the single arrow forward and back buttons on the cover page slider are reversed; the forward goes backwards, and vica-versa. Easy enough to fix.

    Cover page browsing is a bit slow. At first I thought it was altogether broken, but the goofed up arrow buttons had me confused. There were times, however, when the images did not refresh properly, and sometimes not at all. But then again, they are slow even on the video output of the device itself ... hopefully they will address this eventually in future Vision firmwares. It just lags a real lot calling the images off its own drive.

    Ipod integration is definitely not all there yet either, but this is not an issue with the module so much as the Vision itself. If you are using an FP-1 dock, you can't access playlists off the iPod directly, and trying to do so sometimes crashes the entire IP connection. You can play individual songs though. They have been promising a Fireball firmware that would also apply to the FP-1, but it hasn't surfaced yet.

    Overall, I'd say it's about in the same state as the version 6 Fireball module: usable but a little quirky.
  • TurnipTruckTurnipTruck Junior Member Posts: 1,485
    DHawthorne wrote: »
    usable but a little quirky.

    My general attitude toward things Escient.
  • Jimweir192Jimweir192 Junior Member Posts: 502
    Have there been any further developments of the Vision modules? The Escient website still has rev1.0 for download...

    Are there any other gotchas to watch out for when integrating these units?
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    Jimweir192 wrote: »
    Have there been any further developments of the Vision modules? The Escient website still has rev1.0 for download...

    Are there any other gotchas to watch out for when integrating these units?

    That's pretty much how Escient works ... you will see the update on the web site when it exists, and updates are few and far between. In all fairness, however, they do update the box firmware far more frequently, and many times that is all that is really needed. Since they release source code with their modules, you can tweak minor changes there easily enough yourself.
  • Jimweir192Jimweir192 Junior Member Posts: 502
    Thanks Dave!

    Did you have any further problems with the installs you completed earlier this year?
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    I haven't heard a thing from the customer ... which is a good sign. He's a pretty easy-going guy and not real particular (how I wish all my customers where that way!), but I think if there were any major issues he would have called me. We are expecting to install a new theater for him this summer; the room is still under construction. He is likely saving any minor complaints for then.
  • MountainManMountainMan Junior Member Posts: 3
    Vision module problems

    I'm having some issues with the Vision module and wanted to see if anyone else has experienced this:
    When you select the Vision (and using a DO_PUSH to connect the TP to the module) it pops up the pages, looks fine, then you select movies, still ok, then Titles, and then nothing. It won't populate the movie titles (same for music) but if you use the arrows to go up and down the list it will eventually populate some of the titles but won't change after that. Any ideas?
    Also in the panel log there are errors showing up saying:
    "TcpRequest::closeSocket 142[Vision_Guide_Cover_4]" other error messages change the socet number and guide cover number. I'm assuming it can't find the dynamic image for cover art. Again any ideas?
    I can control the unit via the One-Way Remote so I know it's connecting, but after that no ideas.

    Jack

    Jack Piehn
    Distinctive Mark A/V
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