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cskenney

Would that be the Parisian plaster, or the Chinese knock-off? :)

 

Anyhoo...I remember John Z talking about installing WMP 11 on his MSS. Since the DreamScreen needs to interact with WMP 11 in order to stream from a computer, I figured why not. I found the hack, and the install/setup went perfectly. Now I'm able to stream photos and music from my home server to the photo frame. How cool is that?

 

Also, I converted a .vob file to a format the photo frame can deal with - MP4, AVI or MPG - using a tool called Free_Zune_Converter. Now I can watch movies on it, too. Not bad. Not bad at all.

You aren't going to want to give it away.

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*Update

 

eStarling finally responded with a request that I try a firmware update. By any standard, it was a moderately complicated process which took some time, but I got through it. What I found was that the so-called update was the same version as the one already on there. They could have saved me the time and trouble had they bothered to mention the firmware version number beforehand.

 

I have written back to eStarling giving them the details and repeating my request for a full refund. Meanwhile, after this latest waste of time, I decided to escalate my dispute to a full PayPal claim. I am disheartened by their response posted below.

 

Hello Rich,

 

You have chosen to escalate your dispute to a PayPal claim. By ending communication with the seller, you are asking PayPal to investigate the case and decide the outcome. As part of our investigation, PayPal reviewed any communication you may have had in the Resolution Center.

 

Our investigation into your claim is complete. As stated in our User Agreement, the claims process only applies to the shipment of goods. It does not apply to complaints about the attributes or quality of goods received. Therefore, we are unable to reverse this transaction or issue a refund.

 

So, PayPal will not be taking any further action on my behalf. That's just great. Maybe I went about this the wrong way, I don't know, but either way I'm concerned that I'm left to deal with a seller who couldn't be bothered to respond to a support request for 3 days.

 

Anyway, as I've mentioned, I've emailed eStarling with the negative results of the firmware update this morning, asking for a full refund. I'll give it a day. Then I guess I'll have to seek another solution. I wonder if my debit card provider (a local FCU), or Visa themselves, could resolve this for me.

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cskenney

Good luck. I know my Mastercard has a buyer protection plan but it only applies if the item was purchased form a seller located within 100 miles of my billing address. Doesn't hurt to try though.

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Yes. I'm thinking that there has to be some kind of lemon-law type of protection for online purchases. eStarling may yet come through with a refund, but even if they refuse but completely fixed the bugs, I don't want it anymore. Not after playing with the HP DreamScreen. That thing is so much nicer in so many ways. If I were to evaluate the eStarling, I'd say it was worth about half what they ask for it. Maybe.

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geek-accountant

Not that it helps any, but I got a response from my e-mail to them complaining that I recommended their product and someone who bought it was having trouble, both with the product and contacting them. I copied text of your post detailing your problem, but didn't give them a name. They replied to my e-mail today with this:

 

 

"Dear Mike,

Thanks very much for you presentation for our product. We had contact this consumer , and we will try to fix our bugs asap. If the consumer want to refund, we will do it. Sorry."

 

 

I hope this means your refund is coming. However, unless you are the only one to complain recently, I don't know how they knew which customer I was talking about in my e-mail.

 

 

Mike

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eStarling (PF Digital) has refunded the $199.99 to my PayPal account. I've received an email from PayPal confirming this. And I've received an email from eStarling support telling me they had done so. Wow. I think this is the first time I've ever received a refund without first having to box up an item and ship it back.

 

Thanks for the help, geek-accountant. I'd say your email definitely made a difference.

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geek-accountant

I am glad it worked out. While I have never used the product, heard about it on the podcast TWIP, I mentioned it and felt somewhat responsible for someone else buying and having problems. I may be a fool, but I still haven't ruled them out. So far, I have not been able to find a product that does what their's is suppose to do, display images directly from images e-mailed to it. If it works, it is the only solution I can come up with for my Mother-in-law. I am just nervous about spending the $200 and having the same problems you mentioned. I sent them a few questions, let's see if they respond.

 

As I am typing this, I just had an idea. My Mother-in-law has cable internet (yea, just for checking an occasional e-mail when she remembers how to open the program with the one click setup I gave her) with the bandwidth going to waste 99.9% of the time. I need to set her up with some storage and figure out how to use it as an offsite backup solution. I smell a new project coming for me!!

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I can tell you that the HP DreamScreen 100 which I ended up buying is a great product. It handles the photos better, allowing you to either display them full-screen or original size. With the eStarling, there's a border around them.

 

The eStarling has one input on the device (besides the wired Ethernet) and that's for an SD card. There is no audio out, or speakers.

 

The DreamScreen has a couple different sized card inputs, plus USB and mini-USB input. You can hook your camera up with the mini USB cable, navigate to the folder of the photos you shot today, highlight a photo, and start a slideshow. Pretty cool. There's also audio out so you can hook up some speakers so you can listen to internet radio, your music files, or the movie which you've put on there. Movies have to been in one of three formats, but that was easy enough with my Free_Zune_Converter 1.1 which allowed me to set the parameters of the transcoding. While it's not going to stream videos, it will stream music and photos. And as I mentioned in an earlier post, I was able to hack WMP 11 onto my EX495 and stream those from there.

 

Even though the eStarling is a touchscreen interface, I actually ended up liking the using the remote that comes with the DreamScreen. It was easier to stand back and navigate with keypresses. I was surprised because I thought that I had to have the touchscreen. This was not the case at all. In fact, I thought the touchscreen was a bit of a pain at times.

 

Anyway, that was my experience with both products. If I were to recommend one or the other, I'd definitively recommend the HP product every time. It's just more user-friendly, overall. But of course, I'm not recommending anything. haha :)

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