VISION FAQ

General Questions

  1. What problems does the Vision product solve for the customer?
    1. High capacity redundant storage for music, movies, and photos
    2. Access to Rhapsody's 4 Million songs.
    3. It doesn't run Windows.
    4. Multi-room DVD video
  2. Will Escient continue to sell Fireball models and for how long?
    1. Yes. There are not plans to discontinue the Fireball line. Fireball and Vision will co-exist as two product lines.
  3. Why would I buy a Vision over a Fireball? (Things Fireball does not offer)
    1. Multi-room Video
    2. HDMI Output
    3. HDMI changer support (future)
    4. Rhapsody
    5. Photos
    6. Data Redundancy
  4. Why would I buy a Fireball over a Vision? (Things Vision doesn't offer)
    1. Single room DVD management (Value)
    2. Multi-Room audio only installations (Value)
    3. Changer based disc management (Value)
    4. Component video distribution systems
    5. Front Panel walk up operation
    6. Internet Radio
    7. iPod installations (FP-1)
    8. Create Mix CDs

Vision DVD, Movies, and Importing Questions

  1. Can you import DVDs?
    1. Yes, DVDs that you own may be imported using the front panel DVD/CD Player.
  2. Will it support Sony's new BDP-CX7000ES 400-disc Blu-ray changer?
    1. Yes, with the release of the Vision v1.2 software update, Vision now supports the new Sony BDP-CX7000ES 400 disc changer. Changer based discs will only be available in the local zone, on the Vision VS or VC that has the changers physically connected and will only be output/switched via Vision's HDMI output. Blu-ray content will not be available over the network to a remote client (i.e. VC-1).
    2. Each changer will require an HDMI and an RS-232 (via USB-Serial adapter) connection to Vision. If you are using a single changer then this requires a Keyspan USA-19HS single-port USB-Serial adapter. If you are using more than one changer (up to 4) or require additional serial ports (i.e. external control) then this requires a Keyspan USA-49WG 4-port USB-Serial adapter:
      Keyspan USA-19HS single-port USB-Serial adapter
      Keyspan USA-49WG 4-port USB-Serial adapter
  3. Can I play DVDs other than Region 1 discs?
    1. The VS and VC players are set for the region that they are sold in. The region coding may be set a total of 5 times and is set each time you insert a disc with a different region code than the previous disc. After the 5th code change, the region is locked.
  4. Can I import my home movies?
    1. Yes. If you have created a standard DVD from your home video or movies, you can import them using the front panel DVD drive. You may also import unencrypted DVD ISO files over your home network.
  5. Are there parental controls for movies?
    1. Yes. MPAA ratings are supported for all movies.
  6. How many movies can I play at once from of a VS server?
    1. 5 streams and 1 local VS movie
  7. How many movies can I play at once from of a VX?
    1. 10 streams
  8. How many DVDs can I import at a time?
    1. You can reliably import two movies at a time to a VX server. Importing more than two will drastically increase the time to import.
  9. Can you play HD-DVDs or Blu-ray DVDs?
    1. HD-DVD – no. Blu-ray DVDs are supported through an attached changer with the release of the v1.2 software update which added support for Sony's BDP-CX7000ES 400-disc Blu-ray changer. Changer based discs will only be available in the local zone, on the Vision VS or VC that has the changers physically connected and will only be output/switched via Vision's HDMI output. Blu-ray content will not be available over the network to a remote client (i.e. VC-1).
    2. Each changer will require an HDMI and an RS-232 (via USB-Serial adapter) connection to Vision. If you are using a single changer then this requires a Keyspan USA-19HS single-port USB-Serial adapter. If you are using more than one changer (up to 4) or require additional serial ports (i.e. external control) then this requires a Keyspan USA-49WG 4-port USB-Serial adapter:
      Keyspan USA-19HS single-port USB-Serial adapter
      Keyspan USA-49WG 4-port USB-Serial adapter
  10. Can you import from the VS or VC directly onto the VX server?
    1. Yes, using the front panel drive.
  11. Can I import and watch a movie at the same time?
    1. Using a VX server you can import one movie from a VS or VC client and watch one other movie using another VS or VC client. Watching more than one movie will drastically increase the time to import.
  12. Can I change the MPAA rating so my kids can't watch a movie?
    1. Yes. All metadata for music and movies is user editable from the TV interface or from your computer using a web browser.
  13. What is the best way to import my customer's entire personal CD and DVD collection?
    1. One disc at a time using the front panel drive on the VS and VC models.
    2. Use a third party bulk loading service
  14. Does Vision support DTS audio tracks?
    1. Yes. If a DVD has a DTS soundtrack, you must select it using the DVD's own MENU system. There is no way to tell Vision to always use a DTS soundtrack if available.

Vision CDs and Music Questions

  1. Can you import CDs?
    1. Yes, using the front panel drive.
  2. Can you create CD-Rs?
    1. No, The Vision currently does not allow creating "mix" or custom CD-R discs.
  3. What happened to Internet Radio?
    1. Internet Radio is still available on Fireball series. Rhapsody is available on the Vision series.
  4. Can you connect iTunes to the Vision?
    1. Yes, iTunes can use the Vision's CONTENT share over your network as it's source for music files and sync Vision music to your iPod.
  5. What audio formats are supported?
    1. Vision can import directly into MP3, WAV, or FLAC formats.
    2. You can import AAC, WAV, FLAC, MP3, WMA, and Apple Lossless files over the network.
  6. How is music imported to a VX server?
    1. Music (CDs) are imported from a VS or VC client over the network and stored on a VX server in WAV format until the client is ready to encode the files into the user selected format. Note that the client that imported the raw audio files must be on and connected to the network for these files to be properly encoded into the user specified compressed format (MP3 or FLAC).

User Interface Related

  1. Why do music and movies not appear when I use the Search feature?
    1. Searching is case sensitive. If you want to search for the movie "Hitch" you must start with a capital 'H'. Vision search screens automatically capitalize the first letter in the search text area.
  2. Is there a web based interface?
    1. Yes. Vision uses a Flash 9 based user interface. Any network enabled device or web browser that supports the Flash 9 plug-in can load the exact TV user interface by connecting to Vision's IP address like this http://<enter_your_vision_ipaddress>/vision.swf

Vision Networking Questions

  1. What kind of network do you recommend for Vision?
    1. A Gigabit switch (not a router) and Cat5e or Cat6 cabling.
    2. A single run of Cact5e/6 cable should never exceed 100 meters.
  2. Can you sync movies and music from one Vision to another?
    1. No.
  3. Are software updates free or is there a fee?
    1. Escient software updates and data lookup services remain free of charge.
  4. Can you access your Music and Movies over the Internet?
    1. No. Only local in home access is supported.
  5. Can I use any standard network storage device or NAS with the Vision clients to play media over my network?
    1. No, you must use the Vision VX-600 NAS because it provides RAID 5 redundancy for your music, movies, and photos, Escient Early Detection Monitoring System to alert you of possible drive failures, and runs the Escient software that allows multiple Vision servers to share media over the network. The VX-600 is not a generic NAS device.
  6. Why does the CONTENT directory on my VX not show my imported movies?
    1. Vision is a closed system when it comes to storing your personal DVD movies. Once they are on the Vision system, you can not copy them off the Vision. For this reason, imported ISO movies will not appear in the CONTENT directory. Only imported Music will appear. Your original physical DVDs serve as your master portable media.

Photo Related

  1. What image formats are supported?
    1. JPEG, GIF, and PNG
  2. Why don't individual photos imported into /Photos appear under Photos/Slideshow?
    1. You have to import a folder with images inside because the folder name is used for the name of the Slideshow. Without a folder, there is no Slideshow to organize the individual photos under.
  3. How big can imported photos be?
    1. Photos must be smaller than 2500 pixels in both width and height and they must have read/write permission. Windows users can download the free utility "Windows Power Toys – Image Resizer" from http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/Downloads/powertoys/Xppowertoys.mspx to resize images to be under 2500 pixels. Remember that most TVs can display a maximum of 1080 pixels in vertical dimension, so images with a height larger than 1080 is not recommended for display on Vision.
  4. Are there any restrictions on file names for photos?
    1. Yes, folders and images must contain only alphanumeric characters A-Z, a-z, and 0-9. Photos will not appear if you use characters like: !@#$%^&*()_+ in the directory or file names.
  5. Can I import a folder of other folders (sub-folders)?
    1. No. Only one level of folders is supported. A folder should have a valid slideshow name and contain only images, no sub-folders.

Vision Technical Questions

  1. How many simultaneous streams or movies can I watch off of one Vision?
    1. You can stream up to 5 simultaneous movies to VS/VC clients from a VS server. The VS can play one local stream at the same time.
    2. You can stream up to 10 simultaneous movies to VS/VC clients from a VX server. The VS can play one local stream at the same time.
  2. Are DVDs converted or compressed when you import them?
    1. No, the DVD is imported in its original MPEG-2 format and stored in its original format.
  3. What video formats are supported?
    1. DVD/MPEG-2
  4. What is the front panel USB port for?
    1. You can connect a standard USB keyboard to be used for editing text.
  5. Can it play HD video?
    1. 720p or 1080i video files will be supported via a software update.
  6. Does it stream HD video?
    1. 720p or 1080i streaming video from a VS or VX server to a VC client will be supported via a software update.
  7. What HD formats will be supported?
    1. 720p and 1080i
  8. Will it output a 1080p video signal?
    1. Yes, it will up-convert video to 1080p over HDMI.
  9. What is the video bandwidth of Vision?
    1. Using standard DVD/MPEG-2 specifications, it is 5Mb/s and bursts to 8-9Mb/s.
  10. Are there rack mount options for Vision products?
    1. Yes, the VX-600 comes with racking mount brackets
    2. Middle Atlantic will supply a rack adapter kits for the VS and VC series products. http://www.middleatlantic.com/
  11. Why are there black bars on all four sides when I play some DVDs?
    1. These are called "widescreen letterbox" DVDs. They have an aspect ratio of 1.333 and are displayed with black bars on the top and bottom when viewed on a 4:3 TV and black bars on all four sides when viewed on a 16:9 TV. Vision is displaying the correct aspect ratio and the correct pixel size. Some players will stretch these movies horizontally, distorting the image. If you want to fill your screen horizontally, use the MODE key on the remote to cycle through the available aspect ratio changes available in Vision.
  12. What is EDMS?
    1. "Escient Early Detection Monitoring System". This feature of Vision will monitor the SMART status of the internal hard disc drives and the integrity of the RAID 1 and RAID 5 arrays in the VS and VX products. Should an error or potential error be reported by the Vision system, the Vision will send a message to the Escient servers indicating the nature of the potential error. The customer or dealer has the option of entering an additional email address to which these notifications will be sent and specifying which level of notifications are set.
  13. Are all video outputs active at the same time?
    1. Yes in the Default mode. HDMI is 480p. All others are 480i. This is the output availability chart.
  14. How can I reset the video outputs if I can't see the interface on my video display?
    1. To reset the video resolution of all video outputs to the factory defaults of 480i for component, s-video, and composite and 480p for HDMI enter the following key sequence using your Vision IR remote control: MACRO, VIDEOS, 0.
  15. How can I switch between NTSC and PAL video modes if I can't see the interface on my video display?
    1. To switch the video mode of all video outputs between NTSC and PAL enter one of the following key sequence using your Vision IR remote control: MACRO, VIDEOS, 1 for NTSC or MACRO, VIDEOS, 2 for PAL.
Resolutions
Composite
S-Video
Component
HDMI
480i
Yes
Yes
Yes
480p
Yes
Yes
720p
Yes
1080i
1080p
Yes
576i 50Hz
Yes
Yes
Yes
576p 50Hz
Yes
Yes
720p 50Hz
Yes
1080i 50Hz
1080p 50Hz
Yes

This is the concurrent active video output chart.

Resolutions
Composite
S-Video
Component
HDMI
480i/p
480i
480i
480i
480p
480p
480p
480p
720p
720p
1080p
1080p
576i/p 50Hz
576i
576i
576i
576p
576p 50Hz
576p
576p
720p 50Hz
720p
1080p 50Hz
1080p

Sony Blu-ray Changer Control

  1. Does Vision Support the new Sony 400 disc Blu-ray Changer?
    1. Yes, with the release of the v1.2 software update.
  2. How does the Sony Blu-ray Changer connect to Vision?
    1. Each changer will require an HDMI and an RS-232 (via USB-Serial adapter) connection to Vision. If you are using a single changer then this requires a Keyspan USA-19HS single-port USB-Serial adapter. If you are using more than one changer (up to 4) or require additional serial ports (i.e. external control) then this requires a Keyspan USA-49WG 4-port USB-Serial adapter:
      Keyspan USA-19HS single-port USB-Serial adapter
      Keyspan USA-49WG 4-port USB-Serial adapter
  3. What Vision models support the Sony Blu-ray Changer?
    1. The Vision VS model supports 1-4 changers and the VC model supports 1 changer.
  4. What kinds of discs will Vision support through the Sony Blu-ray Changer?
    1. Vision will only recognize DVDs and Blu-ray discs stored in the changer. CDs will be ignored.
  5. What A/V outputs are active on the changer?
    1. Only HDMI switching is supported by Vision, but the changer itself can output HDMI and component video simultaneously.

External and Changer Control

  1. Does it support external control?
    1. Yes. The existing Fireball External Control protocol has been implemented in the Vision series products on ports 251 and 1275.
  2. Does it support Crestron and AMX control systems?
    1. Yes, via the same external control protocols as Fireball.
  3. Does it support third party audio distribution systems?
    1. Yes, via the same external control protocols as Fireball.
  4. Does it support the same web interface as Fireball?
    1. No. Vision uses a Flash 9 based user interface. Any network enabled device that supports the Flash 9 player can load the exact TV user interface by connecting to Vision's IP address like this http://<enter_your_vision_ipaddress>/vision.swf
  5. Does Vision support the third party touch panel overlays like Fireball?
    1. No. This is not supported.
  6. Does Vision support NetStreams?
    1. Yes, for streaming music only. Same way as Fireball.
  7. How do you connect an external control system that uses serial RS-232?
    1. Serial external control requires an RS-232 to USB adapter. You need to purchase a Tripp·Lite USB-Serial Adapter model USA-19HS. Drivers for the Tripp·Lite USB Serial Adapter are already installed. For more information on the Tripp·Lite USB-Serial Adapter, please visit their site: USA-19HS. Depending on your control system, you may need to insert a null modem adapter (or cable) between your control system and the USB-Serial Adapter. It is always preferable to use TCP/IP for eternal control if your control system supports it.
  8. How do you connect a Sony 777 changer?
    1. The Vision VS series supports up to 4 Sony 777 ES 400 discs changers. Each changer requires an Escient CH-1 Changer Conversion Kit which includes a Component/SPDIF to HDMI converter and an RS-232 to USB adapter. If you are using more than 2 changers, you must use the Keyspan 4 port USB Serial Adapter to gain 4 RS-232 ports.
  9. The CH-1 only provides one RS-232 serial port. What do I do if I need more than one RS-232 serial port for multiple changers or external control?
    1. If you plan on using one or more external changers or you need more than one serial port (for external control) you will need to purchase the Tripp·Lite 4-Port USB Serial Adapter model USA-49WG to add 4 RS-232 serial ports to your Vision and an HDMI adapter for each changer. For more information on the Tripp·Lite 4-Port USB Serial Adapter, please visit their site: USA-49WG. It is always preferable to use TCP/IP for eternal control if your control system supports it.
  10. What audio/video outputs are active when watching a changer based DVD?
    1. Only the HDMI output can be used to to watch changer based DVDs because the CH-1 adapter kit converts the changers component video and digital audio to HDMI and sends it into the back of your Vision. Vision does not down convert this HDMI audio/video into any other output. It is simply passed through to Vision's HDMI output.
  11. Can I watch changer based movies in other rooms or zones?
    1. Changer based discs are not streamed to other zones. Changer based movies are available only in the room or zone that the changer is connected to because the Vision simply passes the audio and video coming from the changer (through the CH-1 adapter) into the Vision via HDMI and then passed through Vision's HDMI output. There is no conversion or re-digitization of this signal so it can't be sent over Ethernet to VS or VC clients on your network.
  12. Does it support other changers?
    1. Not at this time.
  13. I heard that Sony has discontinued the 777 changer. How will this affect the Vision?
    1. Sony said that it will continue to supply Escient with Sony 777ES changers for a good part of 2008.
  14. Can I use the Sony 777 changer to load CDs and DVD into Vision
    1. No.
  15. Can I store CD and DVD in the Sony 777?
    1. Only DVDs in a 777 are supported on Vision. Fireball still supports CDs and DVDs.
  16. Can I use the HDMI inputs for switching external HDMI sources?
    1. Not at this time. They are only for supporting the external Sony 777 changer.
  17. Will Vision support the new Sony BDP-CX7000ES Blu-ray changer?
    1. Yes, with the release of the v1.2 software update. Changer based discs will only be available in the local zone, on the Vision VS or VC that has the changers physically connected and will only be output/switched via Vision's HDMI output. Blu-ray content will not be available over the network to a remote client (i.e. VC-1).
    2. Each changer will require an HDMI and an RS-232 (via USB-Serial adapter) connection to Vision. If you are using a single changer then this requires a Keyspan USA-19HS single-port USB-Serial adapter. If you are using more than one changer (up to 4) or require additional serial ports (i.e. external control) then this requires a Keyspan USA-49WG 4-port USB-Serial adapter:
      Keyspan USA-19HS single-port USB-Serial adapter
      Keyspan USA-49WG 4-port USB-Serial adapter
  18. Does the front panel IR get disconnected when the rear panel IR jack is used?
    1. No. The front panel IR receiver is always active regardless of a connection to the rear panel IR input.

Rhapsody

  1. How much is the Rhapsody Unlimited Service after the 30 day trial period?
    1. $12.99/month.
  2. Is Rhapsody available outside of the United States?
    1. No. Due to licensing restrictions, Rhapsody is available only to residents of the U.S. and most of the U.S. territories. In addition, your billing address must be within one of the valid U.S. country codes in order to subscribe.
  3. Is Fireball able to access Rhapsody?
    1. No.
  4. Can you purchase songs from Rhapsody?
    1. Not at this time. Rhapsody Direct is a streaming service.
  5. I am already a Rhapsody customer, can I use my account or do I need another account?
    1. You can use your existing Rhapsody Direct account. Rhapsody25 accounts are not transferable.
  6. How do I sign up for Rhapsody after the 30 day trial period?
    1. At this time, you must use your PC to sign up for a Rhapsody account over the Internet by visiting www.rhapsody.com/escient/signup.
  7. How many zones can play Rhapsody content at the same time?
    1. Rhapsody allows 3 simultaneous users on a single account.

Vision Storage Questions

  1. How many movies does each Vision product store?
    1. The VS-100 stores up to 100 movies, the VS-200 stores up to 200 movies, and the VX-600 stores up to 600 movies based on an estimated average of 5GB per movie (and no stored music). Single layer DVDs can hold up to 4.7GB and dual layer DVDs can hold up to 8.54GB. The actual total number of movies stored on the Vision models will vary depending on your average movie size, how much music you have and how many photos you have on the same drive. Escient has tested these numbers using a mix of popular and children's DVD titles.
  2. What is RAID 1?
    1. RAID 1 provides redundant backup of data by using two hard drives. Data is written to each hard drive simultaneously. If one drive fails, the other remains fully in tact with all of your music, movies, and photos. A failed discs should be replaced ASAP.
  3. What is RAID 5?
    1. RAID 5 provides redundant backup of data by using a series of discs (4 in the case of the VX-600) where data is written across all discs. If one disc fails, the data is not lost as it is stored across the remaining 3 discs. You should replace the failed disc ASAP because if a second disc fails, you will loose data.
  4. Can I add more storage space when I run out?
    1. Yes. The VS and VC series products can access one or more VS and VX-600 servers on the network. Adding multiple VS or VX-600s to your network will increase your Vision storage space.
  5. Are the hard drives hot swappable?
    1. The hard drives on the VX-600 are hot swappable in the event of a RAID disc failure.
  6. Why does an empty VS state a storage capacity of less than 500GB and 1TB and an empty VX have less than 4TB?
    1. The VS 100 has 461.62GB, the VS 200 has 927.37GB, and the VX has a 2.463TB of actual usable space. Hard drive manufacturers calculate GB storage using 10003 and TB storage using 10004. Software calculates GB storage using 10243 and TB storage using 10244. In addition, the Vison OS and application software take up about 4GB of space.

Fireball Questions

  1. Will Fireball be upgradeable to the Vision software?
    1. No, but there is a new GUI skin for FireBall that uses the Vision color scheme.
  2. Is Fireball able to access Rhapsody?
    1. No
  3. Will Escient continue to sell Fireball models and for how long?
    1. Yes. There are not plans to discontinue the Fireball line. Fireball and Vision will co-exist as two product lines.
  4. Is the Fireball software still going to be updated?
    1. Yes, as needed.

General Importing Related Questions

  1. Can you Import HD-DVD or Blu-ray discs?
    1. No. However, the Vision v1.2 software update adds support for the Sony BDP-CX7000ES 400-disc Blu-ray changer which allows you to manage and playback your Blu-ray DVDs utilizing Vision's high-definition user interface. Changer based discs will only be available in the local zone, on the Vision VS or VC that has the changers physically connected and will only be output/switched via Vision's HDMI output. Blu-ray content will not be available over the network to a remote client (i.e. VC-1).
    2. Each changer will require an HDMI and an RS-232 (via USB-Serial adapter) connection to Vision. If you are using a single changer then this requires a Keyspan USA-19HS single-port USB-Serial adapter. If you are using more than one changer (up to 4) or require additional serial ports (i.e. external control) then this requires a Keyspan USA-49WG 4-port USB-Serial adapter:
      Keyspan USA-19HS single-port USB-Serial adapter
      Keyspan USA-49WG 4-port USB-Serial adapter
  2. What about "Managed Copy"?
    1. Managed Copy is a provision in the HD-DVD and Blu-ray specs that would allow local backup/importing of HD discs using a form of copy protection. This provision has yet to be implemented by the movie studios who produce the discs.
    2. When and if Managed Copy becomes publicly available, Escient may support it.
  3. Can I import my music, movies, videos, and photos from my Mac or do I have to use a PC?
    1. You must use a PC. Mac support will be added in a future software update.

DVD vs Blu-ray (HD video) Related Questions

  1. Why would I buy Vision if it can't play or import Blu-ray discs
    1. There is no legal way to import Blu-ray discs to hard drives at this time. Managed Copy (See above) is not available.
    2. Most movies and TV shows made over the last 60 years were not filmed with HD in mind. Re-processing these movies into an HD format is a time consuming manual process that often yields little benefit to video quality.
    3. Blu-ray discs are still much more expensive compared to standard def DVDs.
    4. The Blu-ray spec is still evolving and has changed 3 times already.
    5. A recent Harris Interactive survey says that only nine percent of consumers plan to adopt the high-def format winner within the next year.
    6. The DVD market is VERY large. The DEG reports that almost 9 billion DVDs were sold from 1997 to 2007 and more than 90 million US homes have a DVD player. 60% have more than 1 player.