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View Full Version : iPad-only CineXPlayer 4.01 Released; Adds TV Directory




Menneisyys2
May 5, 2013, 07:34 AM
Conclusion of the article below: Basically, I do not recommend this player over nPlayer or AVPlayerHD. Only check it out if you can / want to make use of its Dolby Digital features, built-in Web browser or TV station directory. As a standalone video player, it's considerably weaker than nPlayer or AVPlayerHD.

The entire article:

While I don't really consider it one of the best players out there, the generic multimedia player CineXPlayer is still pretty popular with folks. This is why I'm constantly asked (the last question directed at me is, for example, at http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=17197185&postcount=224 ) by my readers to review the updated versions whenever they come out.

Note that there are two versions of the app, both called HD. There is only a one-character difference between their names: the iPad-only version (AppStore link (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cinexplayer-hd-best-way-to/id384098375?mt=8); $3.99) is called “CineXPlayer HD – The best way to enjoy your movies” (with a hyphen), while the iPhone / iPod touch-specific version (AppStore link (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cinexplayer-hd-best-way-to/id391790896?mt=8); $1.99) is named “CineXPlayer HD = The best way to enjoy your movies” (with an equation mark instead of the hyphen). Pay special attention to this if you purchase one or the other to avoid paying for the wrong one (e.g, the small-screen version for the iPad). Also note that the old trend continues: the small-screen version is definitely lagging behind the iPad one. Given that, back in last year, took some two months for the iPhone version to receive the 3.x goodies (on Dec/18/2012, see THIS (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1510958), while the iPad version was released on Oct/22/2012 (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1478727)), the iPhone users may also need to wait months to get the newly-introduced new and, currently, iPad-only features of the app.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/81986513/052013/CineXPlayer%204.01/CineXPlayer%20appstoret.jpeg (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/81986513/052013/CineXPlayer%204.01/CineXPlayer%20appstore.jpeg)

(AppStore update shot. As with all the other images in this article, click the thumbnail for the full-sized original.)

If they do decide to stick with the player, that is. Unfortunately, most of the problems I've elaborated on in my last reviews (links above) are still topical. It seems it's only the lack of Retina support (the biggest single problem on iPads) has been fixed. MKV playback is, unfortunately, as stuttering as it used to be. You definitely will not want to use this player for MKV playback, not even on the (currently) fastest iDevices (iPad 4, iPhone 5), let alone slower ones like the iPad mini, 3 or the iPhone 4S.

Unfortunately, it hasn't received DTS support either. This is certainly bad news as, back in October, the developers promised (their post (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=16182608&postcount=5)) they'd license DTS as well. With the recent removal of DTS from top players (AVPlayer, It's Playing, nPlayer etc.), it has become increasingly hard to play back videos with DTS audio.

TV directory

The most important new feature of the new 4.x series is the in-built TV station directory.

It's in no way as extensive as that of, say, http://wwitv.com (or some local stream link directories) but, if it already does contain your favorite station(s), you may well want to use CineXPlayer for playback instead of adding them one-by-one to other generic media players like GoodPlayer (see my WMV streaming bible, where I've elaborated on using this player for WMV / ASF streaming).

For example, this is the German section, liting most major national TV streams:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/81986513/052013/CineXPlayer%204.01/CineXPlayer%204.01%20%20german%20listt.jpeg (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/81986513/052013/CineXPlayer%204.01/CineXPlayer%204.01%20%20german%20list.jpeg)

All those links proved to be working.

Note that most other countries have, as has already been mentioned, far fewer directory entries than over at wwitv. That is, if you don't find a given stream here, you might want to check out wwitv to see whether for the link. Of course, you'll still need to add that link to a player that can play back that stream. Again, you'll want to consult my WMV / ASF streaming bible for more info on this.

Verdict

I do have doubts when it comes to this player. Unlike in late 2012 where this player was the only one to officially license AC3 audio, the situation is far-far better now, with the developers of some of the top players (most importantly, nPlayer and AVPlayer(HD)) having made a deal with the Dolby folks and having re-introduced AC3 support in their players. After all, it was because of the AC3 support that I recommended this player. I, however, don't do this any more: nPlayer and AVPlayer(HD) are much better generic players with much higher stability, reliability and last but not least, performance. Those two players are just orders of magnitude better at MKV playback – something that CineXPlayer boasts but fails to properly deliver.

Basically, if you want an easy-to-use TV station receiver and the player already has the links to your favorite station, you might want to go for it. Also, if you can make use of the Dolby audio technologies it supports, it might be a decent choice for us. Unfortunately, the other technology it boasts, SuperSharp, is more of a pretty useless gimmick and should, in my opinion, be left disabled.

Appendices: the detailed pros/cons section and the benchmark videos I've shot

Pros



Lack of Retina support fixed
Easy-to-use TV streaming directory (albeit with relatively few titles)
Streaming TV is streamed to external displays at 1080p, unlike local MKV's, which top at 720p
Doesn't use overscanning with TV out, unlike most other players


Cons



Still much more stuttering while playing back MKV's in hardware than most of the hardware-assisted MKV players (AVPlayerHD, nPlayer etc.)
If you zoom into subtitles, they will, after a certain zooming threshold, be cut in half as the maximal height of the subtitles is two rows only. nPlayer handles zooming much better, making it easy to read subs from even metres away (while, say, in the sauna where you can't take your iPad up to the heat but need to leave it on the ground). I've also shown this effect at 0:15 in one of my benchmark demos at http://youtu.be/u7gKnYtGO14
While it supports TV out, it only uses 720p for playback of MKV's
Very often freezes in the filelist view (on a non-jailbroken, 6.1.3-based iPad 3, that is, it surely is the fault of the player and not that of some tweak)
No DTS
Lipsynch problems with the standardized Harry Potter video
Still no Vorbis audio support (Suzumiya)

Benchmark videos

Playback of THIS (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/81986513/112012/1122fixed-ac3-aac-mkvmp4-testfiles/mkv-with-ac3-and-aac-startsWithKeyframe.mkv) 1080p benchmark test video, part of my standardized AAC + AC3 MKV / M4V test suite (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1494608): http://youtu.be/c88LdRaDLyg

Monsters (with yesterday's AC3 + AAC version (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1578587) with an external subtitle file): http://youtu.be/u7gKnYtGO14

A quick recording of streaming the German channel 3Sat; this shows there is indeed no scaling: http://youtu.be/fB02rTR6nTw