10
Sep
1

About a week ago, I reviewed the Diamond Multimedia AMP1000 set-top box. Throughout the review, my one major complaint with the device was that the Android 2.3 interface is nothing short of terrible on a large display. The ray of shining light through it all, though, was the fact that Diamond promised an Android 4.0 update was coming soon.

I have to be honest here: I expected it to be weeks - or even months - before the ICS update was ready to go. But here we are, one short week later, and the update is now available for download. Color me impressed.

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So how is it? For starters, it's definitely prettier and far easier to navigate. On the other hand, performance took a definite hit. Where the unit was buttery smooth whilst running Gingerbread, it's tangibly more sluggish and choppy on Ice Cream Sandwich. That doesn't make the unit unusable by any means, but if you own this device and plan on updating, be ready to experience some lag.

Update: As Brad from Liliputing kindly pointed out in the comments, Netflix is having some issues after the update. And by "issues," I mean it's not working at all. I gave it a shot on my unit as well and confirmed: it does nothing. Won't even make it to the loading screen. Thus, if you've been streaming Netflix with the AMP, you may want hold off on pulling this update.

Update x2: Diamond just released a patched version of the Netflix apk that should fix the crashing issue. You can grab that download here.

It's also worth noting that the update wipes all data, including apps and settings, so you'll have to start over from scratch. But, considering the device is rooted out of the box, you could always just perform a Titanium Backup and then restore everything after the update (yes, the box is still rooted with ICS).

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The installation process is quite easy, though it does have to be done manually. You'll need an SD card to make it happen, but past that, installation's just a few clicks away.

Download:

Once you have the above file downloaded, drop it onto the root of the SD card and put the card into the AMP. Navigate into Settings > Privacy > System Update > Update Now. After a couple of "you're going to lose everything!" disclaimers, the unit will automatically reboot and begin the installation process. It should be done in about five or ten minutes.

That's pretty much it - once it reboots, enjoy your new ICS-powered set-top box. I haven't had a lot of time to play with the update yet, but feel free to drop any questions or general curiosities below and I'll do my best to answer. 

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • jim

    this or the vizio co-star? if you had to pick one. i realize they may not be exactly the same, but if my main goal would be to view media off my network on my tv, apps and browser would be used occasionally, but not predominately.

    • Asphyx

      While it's under $200 for basically a tablet without the tablet I would pass on this.
      GoogleTV is probably a much better experience and you could get this capabilty by simply buying a cheap tablet with HDMI out and dockling station for $150 more and get a tablet out of the deal.
      If they had allowed HDMI Input to overlay the screen over it would be one thing but I don't see any reason to buy a unit to run Android on my TV when I can do that with a Tablet already.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      I haven't used the Co-Star, but I still say it's probably a better value. GoogleTV was meant to run on TVs, so it's just going to feel more natural than stock ICS.

  • Sootie

    Does it fix all the issues you noted with the unit while it was running gingerbread?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      Actually, no. The remote is still the same exact experience (cumbersome), and it still doesn't support game controllers. Top that off with non-functional Netflix, and it's actually less useful than before, even if the UI is better. :/

      • Sootie

        Haha epic fail while winning?

        Thanks for the reply, I think there is a market for something like this someone just need to find the right mix of components and execute it properly

  • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

    Any luck getting Netflix to run after updating? I was able to install Netflix after installing the Android 4.0.3 update, but the app force closes every time I try to run it.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      Just checked it out and I'm having the same issues. A streaming media box that can't stream Netflix! Awesome!

      • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

        XBMC is also rather pokey... but the built-in media player handled the 720p DiVX and H.264 videos I threw at it quite nicely. It makes a decent media player for streaming content over your home network, and YouTube works.

        But unless Diamond Multimedia resolves the Netflix issue, I'm not sure I'd recommend anyone upgrade from Android 2.3 to Android 4.0. The user interface is much better for large displays, but it's not worth losing functionality.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

          Agreed. I just added a blurb to our post to reflect that exact sentiment.

          • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

            Diamond Multimedia just released a patched Netflix APK which seems to work. It's available from the support and downloads section:

            http://www.diamondmm.com/AMP1000.php

            The UI is sluggish, but videos play smoothly, and there seems to be support for HD videos.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

            Thanks for the heads-up, Brad! Glad they got a fix out pretty quick.

          • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

            I know. I was pretty surprised. I contacted them about this and was told it'd be available within a week, but a few hours later it was ready to go.

            I'm not quite sure how they're getting away with hosting a modified Netflix APK, but I'm not really complaining (well, I'm complaining about the sluggish UI, but not about how quickly they provided a fix).

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

            I also find that to be a bit questionable, but something tells me that Netflix will probably never find out. Ultimately, I hope this is just a temporary fix and they release an OS patch to fix the system.

  • jonathan3579

    No wonder it's choppy.. Android 4.0.3 was notably more laggy than 4.0.4 and of course Jelly Bean on my Galaxy Nexus.

  • Alexander Gee

    How about hiding the combined bar? Do they have a solution for that?

  • Raymond Black

    Have you tried Plex on this yet? :)

  • Mac

    I know this thread is ages old but I've searched and searched with no answers. So I have an amp1000 with Android 4.0 and I can't seem to find a Netflix app version that actually works. Every single one I've tried works for a bit then crashes completely or partially. Some versions will be working fine then all of a sudden the video shrinks down to the top left corner, and the empty space is filled in with flashing colors. Anybody else have any problems like this? I've even tried the patched version in this review. Thanks