Category Archives: Reviews

HTC Imagio Custom ROM

I got tired of all the little nags and errors.  I tried hard resetting, upgrade to the latest official ROM, tweaks, and more, but there were always issues like the auto answer stopped working as well as the slide to answer, the nagging little notifications that an SMS was sent (DUH) and that my Bluetooth was on and so forth.

I finally decided to void my warranty and flash a custom ROM to it.  I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was.  Unlock.  Flash.  Done.  Less than 30 minutes.

With a hard reset, I always need to install my applications back to the device, with the custom ROM, most of them are built right in and I only needed to reinstall a few.

I chose Energy ROM with CHT (Cookie’s Home Tab).  Screenshot after the post.

Pros:

  • BEAUTIFUL. 
  • Interface is highly customizable and full of everything needed including Facebook and Twitter tabs.
  • Packed with many great applications and ready to use immediately after flashing.
  • Runs fast and smooth. 
  • Weather animations are AMAZING.

Cons:

  • Memory use.  Only 24mb program memory left making it almost impossible to listen to music and run Bing maps with voice navigation
  • Tweaks.  You must tweak this ROM, remove items from startup that are not needed as well as services.
  • Don’t want use the Facebook or Twitter tabs.  (Due to high memory use)
  • Doesn’t remember some settings such as WiFi on during standby mode.

This ROM needs to be optimized much more to use a lot less memory.  20mb should be shaved off to allow normal phone use.  Just by removing the HTC Volume and Notification managers I saved 2mb, and shutting down the Facebook/Twitter tabs saves another 2-3mb allowing me to listen to music and use Bing for navigation.  I was able to cut the pages from 3 to 2, and the level to just 2 which saved a bit more, and disabled tabs I don’t use such as Internet and Stocks.  I feel there needs to be a balance between eye candy and resource usage.

This is quite simply the best cell phone experience I have had since the days of my Razr.  The interface and ROM are beautiful and convenient.  Once the huge amount of memory the eye candy uses is smoothed out and optimized this ROM will be perfect.

imagio08092010
(Click for full size)

Review: My FIRST Experience With A DivX VOD Movie.

Test Machine:
Windows 7 with latest “patch Tuesday” updates.
4GB DDR2 RAM
Intel Q6600 Quad Core
nVidia Geforce 9800GTX 1GB

I purchased “Terminator: Salvation” from the WBShop for $14.95.  It is watchable on my PC, pixilated low quality, only when using the DivX plus player. Not worth $14.95.  The DivX Plus Player also nagged me to purchase the DFX Audio Enhancer.  Why should I need to pay additional money to enhance the audio of a movie I already purchased for $14.95?  Why am I being nagged to spend more money for a movie I purchased? The quality was pixilated and sub-par, watching it in standard quality over Youtube would have been much better.

I then registered my PS3 for DivX VOD playback.  First, you create an account giving them your email address (here comes the spam), then you enter a code from your PS3 which requires you to have someone shout it to you from the other room or go back and forth between the PS3 and computer after writing it down.

I then tried “transferring” the movie to my PS3 using DivX Plus Player’s built in transfer function.  Burned 4 DVDs, none of which were watchable.  The Built In Transfer window said “cancelled” but the DVD burning kept burning, then the PS3 said data was corrupt each time. Finally tried just using the built in “burn” function, took 3 tries, 2 of which were unreadable.  The third try was playable on my DivX VOD registered PS3, but why would I want to watch this garbage?

The quality was HORRIBLE and unacceptable.  A blocky, pixilated mess of a video which reminded me of watching the first Youtube videos over dialup back in the day. The audio was tinny stereo, and sounded pathetic on my surround sound system, even worse over the TV speakers.

I then just used my favorite burning software (Imgburn) to burn the 1.35GB .divx file to a DVD.  Worked on the first try (the DivX Plus Player must be buggy), but again, the quality of video on my PS3 was far from acceptable for a movie I purchased for $14.95. I could have easily spent that on a DVD or Blu-Ray and gotten incredible quality.

The quality of video and audio on my DivX certified and registered Toshiba DVD player was again, atrocious.  I cannot believe they are actually allowed to sell this sub-par crap.

Conclusion:  My opinion-DO NOT bother with wasting your money on DivX VOD.  BAD first experience.  You are better off paying $16.99 a month to Netflix for the unlimited 3 DVD a month plan.

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I am decidedly anti-pirating, and will never steal or pirate movies, songs, or software.  The WB and DivX need to get their acts together and provide an acceptable alternative to overpriced, sub-par online video purchase and rental, or pirating will continue.  Experiences like this are the reason the technology will not become popular, and why pirating will continue.  The videos for purchase are low quality, overpriced and restrictive to the point of being useless.

I am happy with my Netflix watch-it-now which streams directly to my PS3 and are of decent quality. Now if they could find a way to stream them to my Windows Mobile HTC Imagio…