Guide on which brand media player to select (Dune, OPPO (clone), Zappiti and Zidoo)

Cro

Novice Member
Guide on which brand media player to select
This for playing local content including native DVD/BD/UHD in ISO or Folders with or without their respective menus.
Regarding Video format support and Picture Quality including DV and HDR10+ all mentioned media player models are good and offer basically the same. For Music they all play Stereo PCM formats in High Definition and 2CH SACD (with DSD => PCM conversion).
MovieWall features on the other hand vary a lot per brand.
No Egreat did not stop as they still release both new HW models and FW (Chinese and English languages only) but seem to concentrate on the internal Chinese market these days. I regard that a pity as I always liked them.

Dune is an above average stable and universal media player doing everything pretty well. The best all-around media player I found thus far and I have seen plenty of them. Only my Egreat players (no DV or HDR10+ on these) do get close. The MovieWall has been improved a lot with the Alpha NewGUI FW and Dune is definitely catching up here with the current competition.

If you want many advanced Video player features in general, a decent but still in full development Music Player and excellent Library & Movie Wall features too then get yourself a Zidoo. It is also compatible with several external Server Library services like ROON, Trakt and upcoming JRiver. For me it is the Swiss Army Knive among the media players. They also have a large range of standard and HiFi models all having a great value/money ratio to choose from. Prices from Dune and Zidoo for individual models are on par.

If you want perfect BD/DVD Menu playback/processing from ISO/Folder a Dune is now (almost) identical to a real disc player similar to my OPPO playing menus smooth as silk too. An Egreat on the other hand is fluent too but has more problems with some BD menus scoring below Dune on that. Zidoo is following at a considerable distance at the bottom of this list with regular BD/DVD menu problems and is far from playing BD menus fluently.

If you want next to Stereo Music also perfect MCH Music from DVD-CD, SACD, DVD-Audio and BD Pure Audio albums then get yourself an OPPO (or equivalent disc player). There are no full alternatives here (yet) but Android players are closing in.
  • PCM/FLAC in MCH is supported but lacks gapless playback for all brands. You can convert albums to a single track with CUE sheets as a bypass.
  • DVD-CD is by now supported by all brands
  • No Native DSD via HDMI but 2CH with DSD => PCM conversion (Dune including MCH)
  • Zidoo Neo A got even native DSD 2CH/MCH output on the secondary HDMI Audio/DSD port being unique for nay Android based media player.
  • 2CH Native DSD supported on HiFi models from all brands using the DAC analog outputs.
  • No DVD-Audio support for playing essential MLP tracks in High Definition audio with any brand yet!
  • BD Pure Audio and Concert albums are supported. Zidoo specifically occasionally suffers from essential BD Menu troubles playing these.

If you want perfect video streaming services get a Powered by Android TV, NVIDIA Shield TV or a Fire TV stick. This restriction is not a media player shortcoming but enforced by the respective video streaming providers stripping high end features as they like per brand/platform. The Android APP compatibility in itself is excellent with both Dune (Android TV) and Egreat or Zidoo (Android Leanback).

If you want to listen most conveniently to stereo music streaming services like Spotify etc. then get yourself a Zidoo Neo A, Neo S or Neo X player. Keep using the APP's of preference on your smartphone for convenience and compatibility and stream when you like your content in HiFi format straight to the BT enabled DAC input.
No; other equivalent players e.g. from Dune or Zappiti don't include a BT HiFi enabled DAC input but some (more expensive) HT AMP's may do.

But what about Zappiti? The main FW looks very much Dune like including the information displayed on the Front Panel. My educated guess is that Zappiti FW is actually coming from and is licensed by Dune. The Zappiti MovieWall follows their own Client/Server model and is of proven quality which may next to their much appraised good-looking GUI be a valid reason to go for a Zappiti taken the premium price to be paid for granted.

You might end up with more than one choice finally as I did myself.

About Android OS versions and their peculiarities:
This is highly relevant to understand the differences and problems encountered when installing APP's via either the Google Play Store or directly running installation APK's.

Many customers think there is only one Android existing and used universally for everything. As a consequence they expect all Android APP's to run on any platform which they for sure won't.

Android OS versions
There are 3 different Android versions playing a role here. Knowing with which version one is dealing is far from trivial.

Android (standard Android)
It is just called Android running on Smartphones and Tablets
This is the most used Android OS version and referred to by me as "standard Android".

The appearance changes with each OS generation slightly adding new features but appearance will vary mostly due to manufacturers/brands mostly using their own overlay on top of it.

Android TV
This is labeled as such and indicated on selected platforms with the "Powered by Android" logo. Only that version is really designed by Google directly for big screens. Android TV or (ATV) must be licensed to be used and may not be altered or customized on a platform to get certified by Google. This warrants stability and compatibility in a high degree.
Using the Google Play Store one will get to see and next get access only to applications specifically designed for Android TV. Some applications exist in both standard Android and Android TV versions to run optimized on mentioned different platforms. Above all APPs for streaming services are mostly made available in both versions.

ATV comes with its own integral application Launcher/GUI which is really nice and easy to be recognized. Specifically the Launcher/Menu coming with ATV8 and above OS versions is very easy to recognize. it can also be controlled by voice command with remotes including a microphone.

Android Leanback
But omitting Leanback to be mentioned anywhere causing a big confusing for users and applications to be the standard Android OS version.

This is a modified/patched standard Android kernel for Media Players. It is e.g. patched to be controlled by IR remotes, have HDD's attached via SATA or USB and use the Wired Ethernet. Also the screen aspect ratio is typically forced to use Landscape instead of configurable/automatic Portrait plus Landscape on standard Android.
Manufacturers using modified Leanback seem to be free to use the Android core without licences (remember that is originally a mere Linux kernel).

The Android application menu will vary completely with each implementation and may include various options to customize it or not.

Android OS peculiarities
Almost all media players use Android Leanback but some come with Android TV. Using this Leanback Android OS stupid/strange things can happen: Dynamic contrast option for phones, getting settings for battery saving, Notification Bar peculiarities, APP's insisting to use WiFi as they think a Wired=Mobile Network, inconvenient keyboard pop-ups, problems with access to Google Application Services and/or the Google Play Store, SDHC optional Internal Storage formatting, limited/bad HDMI-CEC implementation etc etc. IR remote controls often work only partially with installed APP's which often can be improved adding a real pointer-mouse via RF or BT operation to simulate touch screen operations including swiping.

Using different brand media players one will see that the Leanback modification/patching is different with each implementation with varying results for what works or doesn't. Occasionally additional Custom Patching (facilitated by knowledgeable customers) improves compatibility for certain aspects.

The Android Leanback OS implementation typically comes with the SDK (Software Development Kit) of the SOC providers (AMlogic, Realtek, HiSilicon etc) not from the media player manufacturer. The Android OS upgrade policy hence also comes from the SOC manufacturer! Realtek thus far never upgraded their Leanback OS versions on any of their SOC's once being released (RTD1195=A4, RTD1295=A6, RTD1296=A7, RTD1395=A7, RTD1619=A9). An exception is Hisillicon which moved from A5 to A7 for e.g. Himedia and Egreat media players. It is not media player brand or any other SOC implementer deciding that! For integrated media player FW the Android OS version and generation hardly matters but for App's added manually it for sure makes a big difference.
Hello, Does Duno have option black transparent background for external subtitles eg srt. ? and whether they support Italic font. I have Zappiti and the solution on their media player is very bad for subtitles, thay not have option for transparent background, and no support Italic font. When a movie have more light in the movie picture fonts are poorly visible because they are thin on Zappiti. What subtitle options have Dune? Thanks
 

Nice Monkey

Active Member
Need to check this but the font is variable in all aspects so I think it works.
TTF can be uploaded and next used as subtitle font too. So you can even make your own.
This with the most recent FW update.
 
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Cro

Novice Member
Maybe if it wouldn't be difficult for you to put a screenshot of what the subtitle settings look like or put a picture of the video with subtitles. I'm thinking of buying a Duno or a Zidoo. Thank you
 

Nice Monkey

Active Member
Both Dune and Zidoo include excellent subtitle handling with all options one needs. Not a real difference.

Only Zidoo does external subtitles in combination with playing BD ISO/Folder with Menu. But handling/playing the BD menu itself is far better/reliable with Dune. There is a choice to be made if BD Menu is relevant. For MKV they are about the same.

On-demand subtitles is also available from both but only Zidoo allows them to be stored and next reused with any media player.
 
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Nice Monkey

Active Member
Updated the review on several places with latest FW updates/announcements of Dune and Zidoo.
Above all the new Music Player 7 from Zidoo got some serious improvements.
 
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djdreggs

Novice Member
@Nice Monkey: ok, when we just look at a good mediaplayer for watching 4k movies in DV or HDR+ with good sound and menu's etc.
And use the XLR-l/R output for nice 2-channel audio via a sound processor (i have a Yamaha CX-A5200 with ES9026 PRO x 2 dac's) and MCH via passthrough of ripped and's iso's;
what would you choose; the Zidoo uhd3000 or the dune hd Ultra Vision 4K?
 

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