State of the Echo

The Echo was released a little over a week ago and we wanted to give you an update on what we've been working on as well as some insight into what’s going on here at Ceton during this launch phase. Before we get to that though we want to say a huge “thank you” to  our loyal customers who have been with us through all of our product launches, as well as welcome all of our new customers to the Ceton family!

The Echo may look like a tiny, seemingly-simple device but in reality it’s a large and complex project.  It involves hundreds of different components, many of them custom-designed by us, from dozens of partners around the world.  Like any complex project, it’s a significant effort to make sure all the pieces come together at the same time in order to have a flawless launch.  Despite our best efforts, we know now that we didn't achieve that in this case.  While we think the Echo is a good product today, the team has been working around the clock to make it the great product we know our customers demand and that we demand of ourselves.

Day 1 Update

When you first received your Echo you probably noticed that there was a Day 1 software update that automatically installed. A lot of people have asked why this was necessary. Like all devices, there is a lead time between manufacturing and retail availability.  So, while the hardware was finished weeks earlier, the software was continuously worked on and updated during the manufacturing and distribution phases.  The Echo ships from the manufacturing facilities pre-loaded with software but we took advantage of the time it takes to ship from manufacturing to the retailer to you to continue to make improvements.

Current Issues & Updates

We have been working to get the Echo software absolutely perfect in every way we can and are still working through some issues that you might have run into:

Deinterlacing/Jitter: While we have made improvements since launch, such as enabling 720p or 1080p to be selected as the output resolution via the Echo Settings option,  we know that video quality is still not where we want it to be.  We've been working very closely with a key component partner to help them debug things and expected they would have it resolved by launch but it was not.  That work is ongoing and we plan to deliver a firmware update soon that will resolve this.

Color space: We have listened to your feedback and have taken immediate actions to correct the color space issues. We have implemented a fix that will be available in the next firmware update, which will be released in the next few days.

Network reliability: We have significantly improved network reliability during Echo startup as well as regular use.  These improvements were delivered in the most recent firmware update (2012.1202.1302).

Update issues: Some users were experiencing problems during the firmware update process.  These were actually related to the update servers used and not the update feature itself.  Because of the pre-order program, we had a situation where a huge number of Echos were being setup by customers at the same time.  This surge in demand on the update servers was causing the updates to time out. We have taken immediate action to correct this and are taking further actions to ensure that this does not happen in the future.

What's next?

Our number 1 goal is to make the Echo the absolute best Windows Media Center Extender on the market bar none.  We promise to continue to improve things as quickly as we can.  We want you to love the Echo as much as we love supporting the WMC community. We've discussed the biggest issues we’re working on above but rest assured that we are listening to everyone's feedback on all of the forums as well.  As we continue to make improvements we will make new firmware updates available as fast as we possibly can.

In addition to the Windows Media Center improvements above, we’re also hard at work readying a Winter update that will bring Android to your Ceton Echo. Please stay tuned for more information on that!

Thanks again for your support and for being part of the Ceton family.