Saturday, November 5, 2011

DGTEC DG-HDMP1080 and my wasted night

I had a need for a media player, DTV solution and thought I would give the DG-HDMP1080 from Hills a try.  What a waste of time.

Firstly, it killed my DVD-VHS player by over driving the video input.  I can forgive that as it the player was a few years old and it could have been anything.  Even so, the DG's hands were around its throat when it died so I am still pointing the finger.

Secondly, after putting it to a TV, I got the video feed to work fine.  Then the setup was not what the manual said but easy enough for someone used to this kind of stuff. Find the channel scan option in the menus and start the Autoscan.  Sit wait.... find all the channels... got 85% of the way through the spectrum scan and hung.  And hung.... wait a bit.  Go watch something else... come back...still hung.  OK. Shit happens. Start it again... power cycle the system and it boots up again.  Start the autoscan again.... exact same situation... slow scan... finds all the channels and then hangs before completion. 

I did this about 5 times over the course of a couple of hours.  Hung at the same spot in the spectrum, does not save any of the results that it has found.... first thought, buggy feature.  Second thought... updates.

Check their website... there is a new image file... sounds good.  Start the download.... its a weird kind of hidden streaming download... but I don't care as long as it works.  Download stops at 15meg's... ok.. WinRAR opens it and reports its a truncated download.. should be about 40megs.  Ok, start download again... this time it dropped out at 13meg, next time, 15.2meg, next time 11meg.... none of these are resumable due to the way they are streaming the file.  I have downloaded more then the total size of the download and I still have no useful data. 

The device has the ability to do an online update, so I try to hook it up to the wireless network in the house... but it cannot detect the network(its a hidden network with security), the device has not way to enter a WEP key... so it can only attach to unsecured networks... but it cannot even see any of the neighbours networks which are secured but still visible. OK, so the wireless feature is a dud too.

I plug it through a wired port and get the wired nework up and running, easy. Auto setup works, DHCP works, leases and IP fine.  Happy days. I test connectivity by running the crappy little YouTube app.  It works ... kinda.. enought confirm that there is network connectivity.

Try to run the online updater... mixed results... either claims there is no network or silently times out... no error message... just disapears. Another dud feature.  Strangely about the same amount of time as it takes me trying to manually download the image from their website... could there be a connection?  Anyway... another dud feature.

I try to supplied apps.  They are totally shit.  First screen full of youtube videos that it pulls down are half porn... quickly hide that and explain to the children something about mummies and daddies.... not very happy at this point. 

Stuff the rest of the apps.

Ok, its a media player too... so in an effort to save some of the night, I plug in a usb stick with some family photos on it to test the functionality.... detects, seems to index... seems to find some directories... cannot bring up any of the photos... WTF?  Simple Jpegs... seems to map the drive in a weird way, keeps calling it c: with some directories that I don't recognise.  No clear idea where or what its trying to map.  The file browser functionality is also... shit.

Lets try the network browse.... turn on the samba feature.  The network sort of appears, it finds a workgroup that looks sane... but cannot see any shares in it.  Again has no capacity to deal with any of the network level security so its probably as basic as the rest of the system.... in otherwords... pathetically under developed.

Just for bordem I had a look to see if it had any sort of online functionality.  Had a look at the IP in the browser and came up with something called NeighbourWeb. (By the way the username and password are "admin" <- in lower case and pwd is "123".  Took me ages to crack that.... It's nowhere in the manual because.... its yet another useless feature.  Once you get into this system, it turns out to be a simple torrent client... which would be nice except this box has not built in storage. It turns out it uses the same firmware as its big sibling with an internal hard drive.  Makes sense, but still leaves me running a box with a clearly insecure network interface that is not doing anything useful.  Does this sound like something I want on my network? 

OK, so the device is essentially useless for the purpose I purchased it for.  It has failed to do virtually everything advertised on the box... which is a real shame as with some competent programming, its has all the interfaces that I was looking for and would have been simple enough for the children to use. 

So just to round up this experience... my review is 0/10.  The firmware in this product is not anywhere near ready for the public. Its entering a market with fairly mature products and is clearly a rubbish attempt with poor support, obviously broken functionality, being sold by a retailer who is almost irrelevant in the market place.  Now I have to spend more time taking this brick back and getting my refund.  There really is no silver lining and I cannot recomend strongly enough that everyone avoid this product and Dick Smith which is still trying to sell bottom of the pile rebranded rubbish. 

Back to DTV cards for me.


  1. Accurate and to the point. I had the misfortune of purchasing one of these pieces of shit too!

    After hilarious attempts at contacting DGTEC support (don't even bother) I rang the Dick Smith outlet where purchased.

    They advised me that as with many of the DGTEC (Hills) products, large rates of return are common.

    Key advice.... Even if it works out of the box (very unlikely), keep all the receipts and warranty card. You WILL need them. Don't waste your time with this piece of crap nor fritter hours on hold awaiting support.

    Just take it back and let as many people know as you can.

    Bottom line.... We can only blame ourselves for allowing this type of cheap Chinese junk to proliferate market shelves.

    You get what you pay for. My lesson cost $99.95.

  2. Yes, this product (DGTEC DG-HDMP1080) is a piece of shit...

    So unstable and badly made without any stringent quality assurance. ie. full testing, etc.

    I had the same problem. During channel scan, the menu freezes midway. Then, I learnt that the box still scans but only the display menu freezes. Allow plenty of time, say 1 hour or so, it will complete the channel scan and save them (but the display still freezes). Switch off power or unplug it. Turn it on again and all the channels are there.

    Knowing the limitations, I lived with it and kept the product.

    Say what you like, this product is still better than the Astone 360T. That product is a nightmare....