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Old 31-07-09, 19:45   #1

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we ready to cut the crap and blow things out of proportion? The basic line of
comparing Realtek vs. Sigma is much easier to do than one can imagine. I stand
strong the reason of Realtek's attractiveness today is more about the affordable
price than anything else but agree, it has such tremendous potential to rock in
our world of media players. We seen many users
ask what to pick now, one of the new Realtek players or a Sigma based
player that still pretty much can play all the general files a user needs minus Blu_ray in some cases
and then awkward formats like FLV and RMVB. Despite these are important to some,
they not have the statue of MKV, M2TS, ISO DVD and so on which make up for the
basic needs of the average Joe. So... how do I put it so I don't offend
anyone...? It's not really a "close" call if we evaluate only the features,
abilities and maturity but then going on to involve cost price and so on makes
it difficult. So what' we'll do is just blindly write away what comes to my mind
without thinking about what the heck i'm writing. This can go both ways, either
good or bad Now before you go on and read, check the main page for our new
POLL system and swing a vote... Now click on "Read More" to get to the

There's no doubt Realtek and Sigma can reach the same levels
of functionality if they want to. They  both have potential and they both
have themselves in their way to make progress. The difference is only in how they do stuff
and how fast given the differences in chipset performance. Now older Sigma
SMP8634 players run at 300MHz, the Realtek RTK1073 and RTK1283 run at 400MHz
while the Xtreamer version of the RTK1283 runs at 450MHz, over clocked. Don't be
mislead by people comparing these... Realtek is a new gen chip and should be
compared against the Sigma SMP864x which runs at 667MHz. Now that's a
difference, but even so, it means nothing really unless we were talking about
1.6GHz processor speed that will come eventually... Now
faster chips neither means faster operations if comparing the two players. We
have reasonably the same results where Realtek killed it's own advantage of
processing power by "pre-loading" every movie you select making it
damn slow and Sigma, well, in some cases like NMT based on HTML can be slow too.
I believe the fastest and sleekest menu system is build on the TViX, but tastes
vary. Most
Realtek players use a preview window that cuts the screen in half and only show
a list of a poor 7 titles on screen. Does not sound HD really to me where an
additional problem is that title length is limited by this too due to the
preview window. Xtreamer has the ability to hide this window completely and
shows more titles on screen... That's what I mean by saying to get rid of
Realtek SDK limitations and default interface.

Advanced users:

Serious media users today will still pick the TViX, HDI BD Prime or NMT's
over Realtek available players. This is because they cannot live without certain
abilities featured on these were Realtek players today still lacks support
thereof. To name but a few, Blu-ray on TViX, 24p on these units, internal and
external subtitles on MKV, better trick play (FF/RW, ZOOM, GoTo etc...). These
are things that make life easier to handle movies during watching them. Last but
not least, NFS is crucial for network performance on heavy files and the SMB
performance or way of handling the videos seems to be better on Sigma players.
Too many files streaming on Realtek have issues in playing smoothly once you go
start using heavier files (M2TS, MKV 1080p). We tested 4 Realtek players so far and they all came with the same limitations
of performance and immaturity. It's a Realtek SDK issue that needs addressing
(we confirmed a driver issue which should be fixed in about 7 - 14 days).
Advanced users don't mind spending a bit more for these features and would only
consider a Realtek based player if ready or as a hobby on the side of the real
deal. That's unless they mature and come to the level of Sigma in maturity. Not
perfect either, but better.

Medium users:

While medium users would suffer less from NFS missing or proper 24p support,
they will still suffer from the overall features in handling their content.
As of medium users we believe they are willing to take the bait on more
affordable players and live with it's shortcomings for a while and help push the
brands into developing it further so they eventually end up having made the
proper investment, no matter how small. Medium users will likely grow towards
the advanced user group over time and if development takes too long to add these
features and mature the unit, they will start going against the brand and feel
sorry they not purchased "the other" player that had these features for somewhat
€50 more. It's got to be said very clearly, that Sigma players in features and
maturity are way ahead of Realtek based players today but Realtek supports more
formats and are in a big way more affordable in many cases. Certainly it is possible
this won't last for long, but that depends on the brands releasing proper
updates and catch up with the features we seen being developed over the past few
years on Sigma players.

Entry level users:

Here's the danger... Affordable players, network, streaming, HD 1080p... for
€99... let's get it. Entry level users are mostly "sensitive" to affordable
media players as they not sure yet about what they can or cannot do with the
player. They read about 1080p support, network, torrent etc... but often not
know about the limitations. They buy it and be happy for the first 6 - 8 weeks
exploring the units and then start bumping to run into limitations trying to
grow into their media usage... Initially it was only DVD ISO and some divx
series, then movies, then WMV and then MKV in both 720p and 1080p... So also
here they could benefit from network performance, proper handling of files, NFS
and so on...

In the end, the point is every mature player will fit all
categories of users and while medium and entry level users might be forgiving
towards an affordable HD media player not so fully functional in the HD
department yet, the
advanced users will not be so forgiving. As a way to offer a recommendation for
those seeking pure HD playback mostly I'd stick to the Sigma players for sure at
this time.
For those not scared of a few problems and shortcomings which you certainly will
find on both players, Sigma and Realtek, Realtek's are a good
investment but that investment can go both ways in the future if the developing
stalls for any reason (inability, bad SDK or simply lacking sales to invest).
And that whole nonsense about special chips and such... take it with sold. No
matter what chip is used, it's based on an SDK coming from Realtek and will
likely all have the bugs and limitations just the same as with Sigma. The
difference is made by breaking loose from the dependency of the SDK's and become
better than the "big batch" of "same o same o" players.

The potential is there, the affordable prices are there, the
maturity is what needs to come still. It takes time and for a small price you
can experience this progress. One thing though... I'd expect new players to be at the level
of other players who made progress over the years and not return 2 years in time
to then catch up again. So my main problem is not really these players are
immature in some ways (all new players are) but them being immature in sections we have been
fighting to get improved over the years or simply lack "core functionality" for
what they claim to, a HD player / streamer" is surprising. It
almost feels like going back few years and then work again to make the same kind
of progress again we already made multiple times... This can't be the "big bang"
to make with a new chipset... can it?

With all the confidence, we seen many succeed and many fail, almost 50/50... Kind of a big
thing to ask for trust given these numbers or give advice. We stick to today's
world and Sigma is carrying the flag of convenience and maturity over these
newly introduced players, even if they cost double and do less file formats. We
can say, the ones it does, it does better... Both types can be recommended and
with one you have certainty of what it can do today, with the other you do not
and depend on whatever the kitchen at Realtek is cooking for an SDK. One thing
for sure.. it will take time, and I do mean more than just a few weeks to get
the job done. Whoever believes otherwise will be proven wrong over the next few
weeks and months...

Enough ranting now... Go out and buy whatever you choose and
live happily ever after... maybe... Now I invite you to come and discuss what the best player is or will be and why... Join the discussion right now!




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Old 11-06-11, 01:35   #2
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Default Re: Cut the crap: Sigma vs. Realtek

HiJack - it's been almost 2 years since you posted this comparison; in light of the changes since then, how about a "Revised and Updated 2011 Edition"?
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Old 11-06-11, 13:16   #3

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Default Re: Cut the crap: Sigma vs. Realtek


I would love to see that + Intel.
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Old 09-12-11, 06:56   #4
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Default Re: Cut the crap: Sigma vs. Realtek

This is the first search result on google when "sigma vs realtek" or "realtek vs sigma" is typed
Maybe its time to upgrade this thread to meet the standards of both chips in 2011.
Would help thousands of strangers searching the net and ending up on this page.

Thanks for your time in sharing this info.
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Old 09-12-11, 08:03   #5

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Default Re: Cut the crap: Sigma vs. Realtek

What is the punishment for resurrecting dead topics , when these issues come back they are much harder to kill a second time. A head shot may not do it, a topic as mouldy as this old chestnut could come back as Zombies. Walking Dead ,,,any one, any one.

Just kidding.

btw in case I'm not clear this topic is dead, just like the scene itself. RIP media scene, "I hardly knew yee" ...............................
I 2004 - 2011 I
I Media I
I Scene I
}}}} I I {{{{{{
Into the future, one second per second. Nooch.
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Old 17-01-12, 03:55   #6
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Default Re: Cut the crap: Sigma vs. Realtek

Sigma is coming out with a 3d capable chip due the 3rd quarter.
serving up the hottest media players on the planet
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Old 29-01-12, 06:43   #7
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Default Re: Cut the crap: Sigma vs. Realtek

A little more info on what's coming out from Sigma Designs this year.

We expect late 2011 / early 2012 to bring the introduction of the 8910 chipset incorporating VXP image processing for superior video quality, and 1080p 3D. This chip will be aimed at premium players and will be dual core running at 1200Mhz.
Players using this chip including the very high end (expensive) Dune HD Pro are expected to ship by 2nd quarter of this year.

And the latest from Realtek:
The next generation of Realtek chipset, the '6' series 1186 was released in early October 2011. This runs at 750Mhz, has HDMI 1.4, is optimised for 3D, and is able to dual boot into Android.
serving up the hottest media players on the planet
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