Monday 27 October 2008

Popcorn Hour A110Popcorn Hour A110

Left QuoteThe Popcorn Hour is marketed as a "networked media tank", and allows you to collect downloaded videos, music and photos, and regardless of format, play everything on your TV, in definition of up to 1920x1080.

/photos/popcorn_hour_a110.jpgYou can stream or playback high-definition digital media content from your PC, NAS, digital camera, USB storage device or internal SATA HDD, and it also serves as a NAS, a BitTorrent peer-to-peer downloader, and can stream Internet TV from SayaTV, as well as YouTube, Revision 3 and Vuze via the Media Service Portal.


  • Bonjour
  • UPnP SSDP & AV
  • Windows Media Connect
  • Windows Media Player NSS
  • HTTP servers: myiHome, WizD, SwissCenter, MSP Portal, Llink, GB-PVR
  • BitTorrent P2P
  • NAS access - SMB, NFS, FTP

Web services
  • Video : YouTube, Veoh, Videocast, DLTV, Cranky Geeks, Bliptv, PodfinderUK, Vuze, Break Podcast, Revision 3, CNN The Larry King Podcast, CNN Anderson Cooper 360, The CNN Daily, CNN In Case You Missed It, NBC Meet The Press, NBC Today, CBS Face the Nation, NBC Nightly News, Mevio
  • Audio : Live365 Radio, iPodcast, Radiobox, ABC News, BBC Podcast, CNN News , Indiefeed, Jamendo
  • Photo : Flickr, Picasaweb
  • RSS feed : Bloglines, Yahoo! Weather, Yahoo Traffic Alerts, Traffic Condition, Cinecast, Yahoo! News, MSNBC News
  • Peer-to-peer TV : SayaTV
  • Internet Radio : Shoutcast

Media files supported
  • Video containers - MPEG1 / 2 /4 Elementary (M1V, M2V, M4V), MPEG1 / 2 PS (M2P, MPG), MPEG2 Transport Stream (TS, TP, TRP, M2T, M2TS, MTS), VOB, AVI, ASF, WMV, Matroska (MKV), MOV (H.264), MP4, RMP4
  • Video codecs - XVID SD/HD, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4.2, WMV9, H.264, VC-1
  • Audio containers - AAC, M4A, MPEG audio (MP1, MP2, MP3, MPA), WAV, WMA, FLAC, OGG
  • Audio codecs - AC3, DTS, WMA, WMA Pro, AAC, MP1, MP2, MP3, LPCM, FLAC, Vorbis
  • Audio pass through - DTS, AC3, DTS-HD MA, DTS-HD HR, Dolby True HD, Dolby Digital Plus
  • Photo formats - JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF
  • Other formats - ISO, IFO
  • Subtitle formats - SRT, SMI, SUB, SSA

Audio/Video outputs
  • HDMI v1.3a (up to 1080p)
  • Component Video (up to 1080p)
  • S-Video
  • Composite Video
  • Stereo Analog Audio
  • S/PDIF Optical Digital Audio

The A-110 firmware is upgradeable to support future media containers, codecs and features, so is it fair to say it does everything? I've had mine for a month and can't find fault with anything. Just a couple of notes though:

  • Check the HDD Compatibility List before you buy a SATA hard drive.
  • Be aware that the SMB transfer rates are slow, expect 1-3Mb/sec at best, so transferring huge files takes a long time.
  • The Popcorn Hour shows one LED when it's on, and two when it's on standby. Odd huh?! Thankfully you can shut it down from the remote.
  • There's two pages of setup instructions, but no manual or "how to" guide, so expect to do some reading ...

Then sit back and enjoy!Right Quote

Next article: Forerunner 405 Sessions (01 November 2008)

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