I picked up a Sony Dash today (HID-C10) as I am a long-time owner of a Chumby and I was looking forward to the larger screen and expanded functionality of the Sony Device. I played with the Demo models and- albeit a bit sluggish- I was sold.
EDIT: I was having some issues with the initial setup, but these were resolved by a helpful member at the Sony Style store.
I purchased one and took it back to my office to do the initial setup. After setting the wireless key for my network, The Dash promptly told me:
A Software update is available for your dash.
Press OK to install it.
Current software version: 1.0.111
New software version: 1.7.1169
After clicking Ok, it reboots, downloads the update an attempts to install. Unfortunately, I had issues:
Update was unsuccessful
Please turn the dash off,
then back on while holding down
the MENU/SNOOZE button to retry.
This occurred a few times and I eventually gave up and put the unit back in the box and went back to the Sony Style store (in Lenox Mall) to exchange it.
The person at the Dash display table in the Sony store was very friendly and understanding when I returned with the unit. She powered it up and it worked perfectly at the Store; (which figures) It updated and was ready to go.
I am going to assume there were issues with the wireless network at my office; it is an AT&T DSL connection that uses basic WEP with an ASCII key made of hexadecimal characters (I tried HEX and it would not get an IP, ASCII connects and gets DHCP).
After this, setup was pretty easy. :)
The device needs to be activated to use the Chumby channels. The setup goes through dash.chumby.com and requires a ‘My Essentials’ account with Sony. After logging into this, an account is needed on Chumby (or you can attach to an existing account) and select widgets to be displayed on the application window of the display.
Many of the individual will need to be authenticated with their corresponding site (Facebook, Twitter, etc) or configured for your area (Weather, traffic, etc).
The overall interface of the Dash is a bit sluggish- but hopefully this will be resolved with future updates. However, the ‘native’ apps seem toe be very good: Netflix is very watchable and the screen size is perfect for a bedside display.
The main use of the device is an alarm clock- and that is something that I have used my old Chumby for over the past 2+ years. Multiple custom alarms can be created, and the alarms can be set to sounds or preset music channels (or ‘blue ocity radio’?). No options yet to wake to music from Pandora, Slacker or music on a connected USB stick (which was my primary Alarm method).
One HUGE disappointment for me is that playing music via USB is not yet implemented in the current release- when I go to Music, USB I receive the response ‘coming soon’. This was the primary way I used music on my Chumby- and having this missing during the ‘launch’ of this device is a huge blunder…
My views on this device went a full 360 with a few short hours: I was emphatically irritated with the failed updates, only to be appeased by a helpful Sony representative. I was then enjoying Netflix and some other features but stymied by the lack of music options for the alarm- later to discover the absence of USB support on the ‘release’ model of the Dash.
I will probably keep the Dash- but it will not reside on my nightstand until Sony resolves the ‘coming soon’ for USB music!