Pocket projectors: PIQO and Philips PicoPix Max


levi

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Yeah, sounds like the lenses are out of alignment as well as possible some connector that's friction fitted, like a pin header or edge connector has worked loose, or at least onto a resistive spot. If you can't get into it without destroying it, then I would suggest at best that it's only useful for spares after you explosively disassemble it.
 

PowerGod

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It's not just a lenses issue, seems to me that it acts strange when it becomes too hot... when it's cool it works for like 5 minutes perfectly before rebooting or hanging, if instead I turn it on while hot it just starts weird... maybe it's just some cooling parts that detached... I'll try again to open it, or I'll just discharge completely the battery and throw it away if I can't open it...

I have the Philips projector anyway, at least it will be used more now that my preferred one is unable to do the job +o(

I never needed two projectors anyway.
 

levi

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Yeah, heat killing this is generally a dodgy solder joint that works loose when it gets hot. It could conceivably be any kind of connector really, but solder joints are the most common.
 

PowerGod

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Philips Pico Pix Max:

  • I found out why Chromecast was not working anymore, the fault was my Router/Access Point... sometimes seems that it just "forget" how many devices are connected to it, and while all those devices can still access internet, them are unable to contact the other local connected things...
So, I just have to go to the router settings and have a look at the "Connected devices", if in that list I can't see both the projector and the PC, I just disconnect/reconnect the device not listed to make it appear... and that's it, Chromecast working.​

  • The battery of this thing is superb, after a movie (1h30m) it still had almost 4 hours left (with both Bluetooth and WiFi on).
  • The auto keystone correction is still not so great... I actually had to disable it to have a better shape
  • The tripod that came with the projector is not so useful... I really need to get a proper tripod, maybe taller and with something to extract/reattach the projector, instead of having to screw/unscrew it everytime.

EDIT:
  • Streaming from SMB share works great (from PC, but from the Pandora there is too much lag)
 
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PowerGod

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This wasn't on purpose, but...

2 meters fall test:

PIQO
= Became unstable (after turned on for 5 minutes it starts rebooting or showing artifacts)

Philips Pico Pix Max = No signs of issues (the metal part of the "wonky" tripod is bent, but it deserved it !! Because was its fault !!)
 

PowerGod

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There was a new firmware update for the Philips Pico Pix Max, but with only interface improvements, they added favorites and some kind of cloud app store managed by them, that you can hide.

No news about improvements for auto keystone correction.

Some people asked if it was possible to at least add different profiles to save, so at least if you use it always in 2/3 different spots you don't have every time to correct the shape/zoom/rotation by hand... but there was no answer... +o(
 

PowerGod

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Philips Pico Pix Max:

I managed to make the use of network stuff more comfortable, but still I find some limits.

Some apps, like "Night Video Player" are unable to access even local storage, so the only way to play something with them is to browse to the file you want with the File Manager, and launch it selecting the player you want to use.
The default File Manager anyway is able to only access physical supports, so local or USB...
There is a workaround anyway, using another APP to manage files, "Total Commander" !!
With it you can add the SMB plugin and create a network connection to your shared folders, so that you can launch directly your network files with the player you want, even if that player doesn't have network functionalities !! :cool:
  • Night Video Player: can play videos from shared folders only if it's launched from Total Commander with the network plugin.
  • VLC: can access by itself almost anything in the network, it is also becoming incredibly better in general at every new version.
  • KODI: it has SMB capabilities, but seems unable to even see the network... it gives only some numeric errors and I'll have to do some research.
Using Chromecast works pretty well, but it is visible that the quality of the video and audio are not the original one (if you really look at the details), and also it has a really small cache, so if for some reason the connection is not perfect, some lags could happen.
Playing videos from SMB shares instead seems absolutely lag free, and the quality is still the one of the original file.
 

Phlyra

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So I acquired a Nebra AnyBeam but the image quality on the wall is a little way off pin sharp. It’s not the most ideal wall for projecting in the sense that it was very recently painted white but not with a projector wall paint (such an expensive thing exists!), the wall’s not completely smooth but it’s not exactly very rough either, and I know that the AnyBeam’s output is only 720p...
I’ve tried using the AnyBeam’s settings to set brightness to max, have an appropriate sharpness setting for the distance (not that this really seems to have much of a positive influence as it appears just as “pixelated” 30cm - 3m away, no matter how optimised the sharpness setting) and ensure that the projection is level, with minimal keystone adjustment (which can reduce the image sharpness).

But I wondered whether anyone had any thoughts on positioning a loupe or other magnifying lens directly in front of the AnyBeam’s acrylic laser aperture?
Presumably such a lens would need to have a focussing feature, otherwise you’d just be magnifying the “pixelation”, rather than sharpening the image?

When I say that the image is a little way off pin sharp, I mean that it’s fuzzy to the point you can’t really read what’s written in standard font size in an Excel spreadsheet; it appears perfectly legible on the laptop screen but is too indistinct when projected onto the wall.

I’m really hoping to be able to use the AnyBeam as an extra screen for my Pyra...
 
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PowerGod

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@Phlyra : What is the shape of the projected pixels ? Is there some empty space between them, somehow like scanlines on CRT monitors ?
 

PowerGod

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I don't know what changed, but now I can perfectly stream movies directly from a Pandora SMB share to the Pico Pix Max, without lags at all !! :confused:

Yesterday I have seen a movie with the Pico Pix Max that seemed very low quality, but I already saw it before and was fine... so after some inspection to the file and the projector I remembered that the last time I used the PIQO to watch it...
The movie was 720p with maybe too much compression, but seemed good both from a 23" monitor and from the PIQO (maybe 50" projection), on the Pico Pix Max instead the artifacts around the shapes are very visible... I can see them even on the monitor but I need to be close and focused to see them.
My PIQO is broken but I was able to see a minute of the movie on it and indeed it still seemed even better than on the monitor...
I suppose that the strange shape of it's pixels (diamond) and the little holes between them help to enlarge the image without actually doing too much elaborations on them, and somehow makes compression artifacts almost invisible... :confused:
Now I miss even more that projector :'(

Of course the Pico Pix Max is still the best at showing a Full HD video with low compression, but with low quality videos the imperfections becomes very visible.
 
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PowerGod

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Some updates about the Philips Pico Pix Max

Good story:
The software improvements for the Pico Pix Max are still coming, even if slowly, and the support is still there... even if slowly.
In these months many things where optimized in the Android interface, and some functionalities where improved, like the Auto-Focus.

Bad story:
Some things cannot be improved, because are hardware limits, and most of them where not knows even by developers...
- Zoom minimum limited to 80%, you can still use the corner software correction to reduce the shape, but you will loose pixels
- No possibility to add an overlay menu (this is something related to a missing hardware management of multi threading)
- HDMI input is projected as-is, can't be zoomed or corrected in any way, the signal can't be seen by the OS, it's a direct hardware connection from the input to the output.
- For unknown reasons some functionalities, like the manual zoom, are still usable only with the remote... there is no way to use them with just the touchpad on the projector...

VERY Bad story:
Different users are reporting that batteries becomes chubby, cracking open the projector.
At least (even if happened in the past) no one is reporting projectors in flame...
Some of them were able to get replacements from the support, but the new ones did the same thing.
Seems like most of the users with these issues used APPs that were keeping the projector hot for long... this could suggest a bad charging management from Android.
My projector seems still flat, but I'm thinking to detach the charging cable and discharge more often the battery from now on...


@Phlyra : were you able to improve the projected images on your AnyBean ?

I miss a lot my PIQO... can't find anyone that wants to repair it, and because the price of a new one lowered a lot in the mean time, I'm almost thinking to buy a new one... but I'm still looking for possible alternatives...
 

Phlyra

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were you able to improve the projected images on your AnyBean ?
Unfortunately other life events overtook me and whilst I did order a couple of loupes from Japan’s Engineer Tools / Engineer Inc., I haven’t yet got round to doing any testing :S Superficially, the last time I used the AnyBeam, putting a relative’s specs in front of the beam at varying distances appeared to help a little bit but really hardly noticeable. I can’t remember what their grade of lens was though. I will try to get round to testing soon!
 

ClockworkCoder

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I made myself a ”portable" projector with a Fresnel lense, black tape, silver foil and a cardboard box once. Wasn't great, but could project something vaguely watchable in a pitch black room.
 

levi

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The ones in lighthouses aren't frosted as far as I've seen. They're also mahoosive and unsuited for anything portable, but the case remains.

Edit: Yes, they're made of concentric lenses, but at a point infinity ahead of them you shouldn't be able to see the join. Anywhere else and it does compromise the image quality though.
 

PowerGod

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About PIQO repairing I finally tried to contact the official support... I left that as the last hope because they are far far away... and they told that they don't offer repair service, and also are not allowed to give instructions about opening the device...

They anyway seemed to underline the fact that they can't repair it "because it isn't anymore under warranty"... even if I was clear about the fall... so, maybe, I missed an opportunity here...

I'll then have to try to enlarge the searching range of electronic repairs services around my area... I tried again to open it myself, but after removing those 4 screws, I have literally no Idea where should I put force to extract the inside... the external metal case can't be deformed so I have no way to see if I risk to ruin some cables, or if there are teeth that are keeping the inside fixed...
 

levi

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Yeah, cables can be a pain, but really it's just about going slow, feeling for any induced tension and taking care. Once it's visibly open you can see the insides to work out the next best move. But screws should help, they normally secure against the opposite wall so pulling apart on that axis seems the next thing to do, but that's only my opinion and I don't have a PICO nor any idea how to take one apart myself.
 

PowerGod

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Bad news about the Philips Pico Pix Max

My projector is becoming chubby... now the bottom center of the projector with the tripod screw hole is lower than the projector's side feet... so one side is not touching the surface like before...

I had a look at the forum and a LOT of people are returning their devices for a substitution... the situation is so widespread that there's also a guide to "Remove the bloated battery".

Seems like that something is working absolutely wrong during charge level check...
For now I don't see around people complaining about projectors on fire, but when lipo batteries starts growing, the risk is there...

As a side note anyway, I need to correct myself about HDMI output...
I told before that there was no control over HDMI output, but lately I found out that actually it maintains the output configuration of Android... I'm not sure if this was introduced in some later patch... to set up the output you always have to exit HDMI input, enter the Android one, modify the configuration and go back to HDMI, but at least is better than nothing.
 
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PowerGod

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This new Projector from Philips could be really cool !!
It doesn't need to be meters away from the surface to obtain a big picture !!!

bg2-1640188147074.jpg
 
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