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View Full Version : NP3900 also has firmware problems



jdthood
11-09-2011, 01:26 PM
At the Streamium Café there is a thread discussing flaws in the latest firmware for the NP2900.

http://www.streamiumcafe.com/vBulletin/showthread.php?t=23425

The NP3900 has similar problems. Various ways of using the machine often cause it to freeze, requiring it to be rebooted. Also it often freezes overnight.

The freezing seems to be associated with (1) use of Internet radio; (2) use of network remote controls, and/or (3) night. If I discover a particular sequence of actions which repeatably causes the NP3900 to freeze then I will make a note of it and report it here.

k1200rs
11-10-2011, 07:28 AM
So far...I have not got that...never had to reboot the NP3900, I will watch it more closely though.

kwinnie
11-10-2011, 07:36 AM
to my understanding the FW release of NP3900 & NP2900 is different (when looking into release note), if you found issues with NP3900, i guess it's irrelevant to that of NP2900's FW or similar...

Pacman
11-10-2011, 07:54 AM
Are you having a good a stable connection? Far away from your router? Wired or wireless? Do you turn of your router overnight? Autochannel on or of? Which encryption type are you using?
Would indeed be good to know when it actually happens and what you are actually doing.

There is various things that might cause these issues...

Bye

jdthood
11-11-2011, 08:25 AM
Thanks for the replies.

If I leave an Internet radio station playing then it plays all day without stopping, so the wireless connection seems to be adequate.

On the other hand, the music player is not very close to the wireless access point; the signal strength indicator shows two or sometimes one "bar".

The router is never turned off. Linksys Wi-Fi g, WPA2, fixed channel 6.

I will experiment more with the player this weekend to see if I can find a sequence of actions that repeatably crashes the player.

k1200rs
11-15-2011, 05:28 AM
I have been watching my NP3900 for several days and please note I did not experience any crash. It plays every day for many hours. It maybe something related to your environment or your NP.

Philips - Gary
11-15-2011, 12:57 PM
I will experiment more with the player this weekend to see if I can find a sequence of actions that repeatably crashes the player.

Hi jdthood,

We haven't had reports indicating an issue with the firmware so I would be very interested to hear the outcome of your testing. :confused:

Definitely try the unit closer to your router, preferably right next to it, to reduce interference as much as possible.

If the issue persists try it wired, this will give the most reliable connection.

Kind regards,

Gary

jdthood
11-15-2011, 02:45 PM
Thanks again for the replies.

I do believe most of the problems I had were precipitated by a less-than-optimal Wi-Fi connection, due to the distance between the access point and the player. I say "precipitated" because less-than-optimal Wi-Fi service is the norm and not the exception in the field. Consumer devices should be resilient and should not crash because of a poor network connection. So I do think that there is room for improvement in the player's software (to make it behave better when it loses network connectivity or when the latter is too slow). I do realize that it's technically difficult to achieve this, but on the other hand I observe that my smartphone can handle wildly changing network connectivity without hanging or crashing.

In the first few days that I owned the NP3900 I was curious to discover its capabilities and this is when I had the most problems with it. Probably I tried to enter commands too quickly for the device. I have since learned to be patient and have had fewer problems.

I have also given up using the Philips MyRemote app on my smartphone since the app is rather buggy. Probably the app was also precipitating some of the hangs and crashes in the player. The conventional remote control works much better.

Another issue is the power supply. The player is supposed to be capable of delivering 30W of audio power, but the power supply included with the player is rated at only 36W and has the size and weight of other power supplies with half that rating. Hmm.

I became even more suspicious about the power supply when, a few days ago, the network connection was lost and the WPA key was forgotten. When I entered the key again the screen began flashing irregularly. It appeared to be more of a hardware malfunction than a software malfunction, but it was as usual corrected by power cycling the player. I recorded video of the flashing screen of this if anyone's interested. I now run the player off a 75W laptop power supply and haven't seen the flashing screen again, but I don't know if the new power supply is the reason for this.

Again: If I find a repeatable sequence of actions that crashes the player I will report them back here.

Philips - Gary
11-15-2011, 03:11 PM
Hi jdthood,

Thank you for coming back to us with your findings.

I'm sorry to hear you're unhappy with the performance of the player under weak signal conditions, we do continuously seek to improve our products so your feedback is valued and we will look into this.

Regarding the power supply the wattage of the audio output does not relate to the wattage of the power supply.

We do not recommend using a power supply other than the one supplied with the unit as this may cause damage to the product and will void your warranty.

If you are experiencing flashing on the screen I would recommend ensuring that the firmware is up-to-date and if no improvement to discuss the matter with your local Philips support for further advice as there may be a technical issue with the player.

Kind regards,

Gary

jdthood
11-15-2011, 04:23 PM
Thanks for the further advice. The firmware is up to date. If I observe any more "flaky" behavior then I will certainly return the unit to the store for repair.

I was just testing the player and was easily able to make it malfunction. Using the Philips MyRemote app on an Android phone I selected a song in my NAS music library. Then using the traditional remote I tried to return to Internet Radio and received the message "The list is empty" on the screen. Also using the app I was no longer able to play Internet Radio. I had to reboot the player. This illustrates why I have given up on MyRemote. Once again: perhaps this is a bug in MyRemote, but it also says something about the reliability of the NP3900.

Regarding the wattage. There is indeed a relation between power consumption and (audio) power output which follows from the first law of thermodynamics: the former is greater than the latter. I do seriously doubt that the player can put out anything like the claimed 30W RMS; but even taking that into account I do find that the power supply included with the NP3900 to be surprisingly small and to have a surprisingly low rating (36W), given that the player, in addition to a "30W" stereo amplifier, also contains a processor, Wi-Fi and Ethernet interfaces, illuminated display, etc. And it's charging my iPhone! This is why I, as an electrical engineer, feel more comfortable running the player from a laptop power supply, rated 5A at 12V, instead of 3A at 12V.

Cheers!

Volume
11-16-2011, 12:43 AM
Hi jdthood,

I am not an engineer, and always afraid to burn the device with higher power supply.

Do you still find problems after replace the adaptor ? If no more issues, then good to point out the design problem of Philips :D

jdthood
11-16-2011, 07:46 AM
Hi there.

I agree with Gary that if you don't know what you are doing then you shouldn't substitute one power supply for another. And I believe him when he says that if you do replace the power supply yourself then you are violating the terms of the warranty.

In this case the player expects 12 Volts DC on a 4mm coaxial power connector with a positive center terminal. The included power supply is rated at 3 Amps DC --- this is printed right on the unit. In principle you can use another power supply with the same connector that produces well regulated and filtered 12 Volts and is rated at 3 Amps or higher. The higher current rating does not in itself endanger the powered device: the rating merely indicates what the power supply is capable of delivering at the specified voltage.

If the powered device draws more than the rated current then the power supply will malfunction: the power supply will run hot and may fail completely, or it may drop the voltage below the rated level. As the voltage drops the powered device will also malfunction.

Power supplies are the Achilles heels of many electronic devices sold these days. Just as new cars are sometimes factory-equipped with poor tires, so are some electronic devices equipped with feeble power supply modules. Recently I bought a USB hub and had to return it twice because the power supply died within a few days. The cause is sometimes that the power supply has too low a rating. Such a power supply will work for a while, but it will run too hot and consequently live a short life.

To be clear, I do *not* know if this is true of the NP3900. Tonight I'll get out the multimeter and perform some measurements. :)
--
Thomas

Philips - Gary
11-16-2011, 11:14 AM
Hi jdthood,

I will be sure to pass on your comments regarding the power supply. We are always looking to improve our products and your feedback is very valuable.

Regarding the issues with your NP3900 and the MyRemote app we would like look into this for you and try to determine what is causing the problem you're having.

In order to help us with this could you kindly provide the following information?

Firmware version installed on the NP3900
A brief outline of the issues experienced
(you've mentioned the internet radio example but are there others?)
Serial number of your unit
(found on the back of the device)
If you do not wish to post this to the forum feel free to PM me :)

Kind regards,

Gary

jdthood
11-16-2011, 09:09 PM
Power supply:

Today I connected an ammeter in series with the 12V DC input and performed some measurements. When switched on and charging an iPhone, but not playing, the current draw was about 0.4 Amps. While playing music from a remote source the player drew approximately 0.6 Amps with peaks up to 1.8 Amps when playing music with heavy bass. If these measurements are representative then the supplied 3 Amp power supply seems adequate.

"This is an empty list" malfunction:

For this test I moved the player close to the Wi-Fi router in order to ensure a good signal. Using Philips MyRemote I selected a song to play from the library on my DLNA-media-server/NAS. I then paused the player using MyRemote and quit MyRemote. On the player's screen I selected Internet Radio, but the player put up a "This is an empty list" message. After this I could no longer connect to the player from MyRemote.

Serial number printed on the bottom: PT1A1130002295
From the settings menu:
"NP3900/12"
"Software version: V G5.32S"

Philips - Gary
11-17-2011, 08:54 AM
Hi Thomas,

Thank you for the additional update on the MyRemote difficulties we are looking into this issue for you.

Kind regards,

Gary

jdthood
11-17-2011, 07:20 PM
Here is some additional information about the "This is an empty list" problem and other problems.

I connected the NP3900 to my network via CAT5 cable in order to rule out Wi-Fi issues. All devices on the network were then connected by a wired Ethernet switch to a modem-router. In NP3900 Settings I selected "Wired (Ethernet)" and the NP3900 acquired an IP address.

["Doesn't communicate with Windows Media Player" problem:] When I selected "Media Library" on the screen the NP3900 did not detect the fact that Windows Media Player was running on a new Windows 7 computer on the same subnet. The latter computer's firewall was entirely disabled and "Allow devices to play my media" and "Allow remote control of my player" were both selected. Windows Media Player, on the other hand, did detect the NP3900. But when I tried to "Play To..." the NP3900 no connection could be established. The computer had in other respects good network connectivity, as evidenced by the fact that I have posted this message.

["Crashes connecting to AllShare Android app" problem:] I started Samsung AllShare on my Android smartphone which runs a DLNA server. The phone appeared in the Media Library list on the NP3900. I selected the phone and the "Audio" category. This caused the NP3900 to stop functioning, i.e., to crash. This was completely repeatable.

I rebooted NP3900 and the phone.

Then I started Philips SimplyShare on the phone which also runs a DLNA server. Niftily enough I was able to play music from the phone to Windows Media Player on the PC using this app. It didn't see the NP3900. But after rebooting the NP3900 again it was able to see the NP3900 and I was able to play music from the phone to the NP3900 at least once.

["Can't scroll past Bananarama" problem":] I then exited SimplyShare and started the Philips MyRemote app on the phone and under Media Library selected the Synology DS111 which was the only server it could see. As usual, if I selected "Artist" I couldn't scroll beyond artist names beginning with "Ba". (Specifically, after "Bananarama" the following artist in the list was "Aztec Camera" and so on ad infinitum.)

So I selected an artist name beginning with "A" and selected an arbitrary song, which started playing.

I pressed the back key on the smartphone twice which exited MyRemote. The song continued to play with the album cover showing on the screen.

I pressed the NP3900 screen and selected "Internet Radio" and was able to play Internet Radio. Hooray.

I then started SimplyShare. ["Detection" problem:] Initially it did not detect the NP3900, but after a retry it did. I used it to play a song on the NP3900.

["This list is empty" problem:] Then I exited SimplyShare and used the NP3900 screen to select Internet Radio and got the "This list is empty" message.

It think that when the NP3900 is being controlled over the network and then local controls are used, the NP3900 sometimes forgets that it needs to reconnect to the Internet. It seems especially likely to forget if the remote network control app is shut down abruptly.

But as indicated above, there are other problems. And they have nothing to do with Wi-Fi reception.

jdthood
11-29-2011, 08:36 AM
I created a separate thread for "Crashes connecting to AllShare Android app": http://www.supportforum.philips.com/en/showthread.php?3433-NP3900-crashes-connecting-to-Samsung-AllShare-Android-app-(DLNA-server)&p=18071

The AllShare app is DLNA certified and works perfectly with my other DLNA devices: a Synology NAS and a Samsung television. It would be very nice if Philips could get the NP3900 to work with this app, or at least not crash when trying to connect to it.

jdthood
11-29-2011, 08:38 AM
I created a separate thread in the "MyRemote for Android" part of the forum for the "Can't scroll past Bananarama" problem: http://www.supportforum.philips.com/en/showthread.php?3370-BUG-REPORT-MyRemote-can-t-scroll-past-Bananarama

I suggest we end this thread and continue discussing the separate issues in the dedicated threads.

Philips - Gary
12-01-2011, 08:45 AM
Hi Thomas,

I agree, I shall close the thread and post the updates in the appropriate new threads.

Kind regards,

Gary

Philips - Gary
12-02-2011, 08:50 AM
Hi Thomas,

The issue with the SimplyShare app not correctly populating the media list has been identified as an issue with NAS drives or very large HDDs. We are working on an upgrade to fix this.

The issue with the apps not being able to reconnect after closing until powering down was reproduced. We have found that reconnection is possible if the app is completely closed or 'killed'. The MyRemote project team are now looking to fix this.

Kind regards,

Gary