Author Topic: Warning: RTJOM before buying Frontier-based radios  (Read 731 times)

Dogmatix

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Warning: RTJOM before buying Frontier-based radios
« on: 02:30:13 | 26 April, 2021 »
Some brands selling Frontier Smart (a.k.a. Frontier Silicon) based radios have taken to offering reduced-feature models which lack access to Frontier Nuvola (the online radio stations management portal). These radios cannot be registered to a Nuvola account, and thus have no access to stations stored there. This means that the user is limited to locally stored presets (sometimes, confusingly, called 'favourites'), however many - or few - the brand has decided to allow. These limited radios have - or should have - an on-board webserver to allow the user to log into the radio from a suitable browser on the same network, and thus manage the presets.

It also appears that these limited radios - at least, some - also lack a UPNP client, and thus cannot play audio files located on network attached storage. They can play files on a USB stick, where a USB port is fitted, but not from another server.

These limitations would appear to be for reasons of pricing and ease of use (for those not needing the missing features).

Such radios have so far been found branded Technisat and Hama.

Those considering buying a Frontier-based internet radio would therefore be well advised to "Read The Jolly Old Manual"* first, to make sure the radio suits their requirements.



* RTJOM - a more polite form of RTFM.
Radios in use: Roberts Stream 93i & SB1 (×2), Revo Pixis RX, Hama DIT2100, IR110 & DIR3500, Technisat 520. No smart speakers, no voice-control gadgets.

Solo2

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Re: Warning: RTJOM before buying Frontier-based radios
« Reply #1 on: 06:31:50 | 26 April, 2021 »
I hope no one from Grace Digital is following this.  They previously said that only about 2% of their customers ever register their radios or visit their portal.  Now that they have rigged their radios to store 100 presets on-board, they'll probably have even fewer portal users.  For those of us who prefer full-featured radios, it would be a shame if Grace goes down the same path as Frontier Smart.
Radios:  2 Grace GDI-WHA6001, Grace  GDI-WHA 7501, Grace GDI-WHA8001, Hama DIT2100MSBT

bob12564

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Re: Warning: RTJOM before buying Frontier-based radios
« Reply #2 on: 07:12:01 | 26 April, 2021 »
I had the same thought about Grace Digital.  I like the ability to create folders on the web portal, which allows you to group similar genres of stations.  The 100 presets can be sorted, but that still doesn't offer the same flexibility as grouping by category.  It's not easy to scroll a list of 100 items.

Web portals are probably expensive to maintain, but if a brand wants to be considered "premium" it needs to be there as an option.  Having said that, I do see the advantage of the presets being locally stored on the radio rather than the remote server.  But I still plan to use the portal.

Maybe the move away from web portals comes from the problems with back end servers like Reciva and Frontier Silicon that rendered many radios unusable.  Storing URLs locally on the radio eliminates the problem.  But for brands like Grace that now own the back end, there shouldn't be a problem.

Solo2

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Re: Warning: RTJOM before buying Frontier-based radios
« Reply #3 on: 15:56:55 | 08 May, 2021 »
But for brands like Grace that now own the back end, there shouldn't be a problem.

Grace's CEO's attitude is that it's already built and isn't costing him anything, so he intends to keep the portal going.  (That is, until something changes his mind).
Radios:  2 Grace GDI-WHA6001, Grace  GDI-WHA 7501, Grace GDI-WHA8001, Hama DIT2100MSBT

Dogmatix

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Re: Warning: RTJOM before buying Frontier-based radios
« Reply #4 on: 02:38:16 | 09 May, 2021 »
Maybe the move away from web portals comes from the problems with back end servers like Reciva and Frontier Silicon that rendered many radios unusable.  Storing URLs locally on the radio eliminates the problem. 

Having no portal means labouriously searching for and storing stations on each radio individually (yes, some of us have more that one radio). It also means only having as many presets/favourites as the brand deigns to allow. Any station not stored locally has to be 'found' again, going through the search process on the radion which is doubleplusunfun. Even if each radio had a webserver enable more comfortable searching & storing via a PC/laptop, there are still the problems of synchronisation and preset limit. Of course, these may be solved by having a preset list copy function and at least 100 prests (oderable in folders), but this is at the mercy of the brand.
Radios in use: Roberts Stream 93i & SB1 (×2), Revo Pixis RX, Hama DIT2100, IR110 & DIR3500, Technisat 520. No smart speakers, no voice-control gadgets.

mnassour

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Re: Warning: RTJOM before buying Frontier-based radios
« Reply #5 on: 05:55:39 | 23 September, 2021 »
Just a quick update here, the Lemega radios found on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk appear to fall into the category of having no access to the Frontier database as well.  This definitely goes for the M2P that I purchased!  And there is no feedback from the distributor/manufacturer/designer, actually ANYONE connected with Lemega when queried about this through Amazon.

Dogmatix

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Re: Warning: RTJOM before buying Frontier-based radios
« Reply #6 on: 06:12:37 | 24 September, 2021 »
Yes, Lemega appears to be one of those "sell and forget" brands. Customer after-sale service is minimal, if at all.
Radios in use: Roberts Stream 93i & SB1 (×2), Revo Pixis RX, Hama DIT2100, IR110 & DIR3500, Technisat 520. No smart speakers, no voice-control gadgets.