Don’t blame Chord for Poly… it’s DisignConsultants’ issue

The contents here are provided as-is by me and analysis is purely my own opinion. Its totally possible I am completely wrong about all this….  😉

If you have had a Chord Poly since launch, you know that its… umm… “challenged” to say the least. There has been a ton of negative feedback and in fact, of 17 Poly owners I surveyed only 3 declined to add more freeform text complaining it wasn’t ready for prime time.

Chord_Poly_Wireless_Streaming_Module_for_Mojo

At best 14 out of 17 people aren’t impressed.

I have also worked with a sniffer to point out that they’re not implementing IGMP or DLNA properly, and so on “smart networks” its not a surprise it’s a dead duck and doesn’t even show up in a list of DLNA devices at all…

Interested in the DLNA problem? Watch here.

If this was the level of quality out of just discovering DLNA servers… we had to strap in because it was going to be a bumpy ride.

Amazingly there are reviews that have no mention of any of the issues despite the greater than 80% of users weighing in negatively. The closest they get is “difficulty setting up”

But… its actually not Chord’s fault at all..it’s been outsourced I believe

 

The Hardware

Here, courtesy of a Head-Fi person are the innards of a Chord poly.

Notice the http://www.disignconsultants.com text on the top of the picture?

20171117_220231

 

 

My poly also performed an update a few days ago, and imagine what I found in my Meraki Dashboard showing all traffic from Poly in the last week:Screen Shot 2017-11-26 at 4.18.39 PM

disignupdate.com was the only external site – and 2.4MB was downloaded by Poly.

You may also notice that the device is advertising that it does 2.4GHz AND 5GHz, which is not the case – its supposed to only have a 2.4 radio…

Clearly the hardware and software for Chord poly came from http://www.disignconsultants.com who, as it turns out, are in the UK and do consumer music players:

 

Screen Shot 2017-11-26 at 4.21.49 PM

Unfortunately, this is going to mean slower updates and quite frankly, that some of this is out of Chord’s control.

 

The Software

Now, as I dug into the sniffer traces, I see some of the SSDP broadcasted packets from the device, including details of the software stack running. Here is a packet from the Chord Poly broadcast on my network:

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 8.14.01 AM

As you can see this is running MiniDLNA v1.1.5. The trouble is that MiniDLNA, which is now called RedyMedia, is actually at version 1.2.1. and 1.1.5 was updated in September 2015: Interestingly a subsequent update just 3 months ago fixes a discoverability issue.

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 8.26.11 AM

It also turns out that by looking at some of the packets, we can see this, in in fact, a linux box. You can see yourself by hitting it with a browser:

http://your-poly-ip-here:8200/rootDesc.xml

 

<deviceType>
urn:schemas-upnp-org:device:MediaServer:1
</deviceType>
<friendlyName>
Chord Poly:JPoly [Server]
</friendlyName>
<manufacturer>
Chord Electronics
</manufacturer>
<manufacturerURL>
http://chordelectronics.co.uk
</manufacturerURL>
<modelDescription>
Chord Poly on Linux
</modelDescription>


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