"Overview" of the network media player Popcornhour A200

    After the publication of the topic “Significantly reduce the noise level from the computer in 3 minutes”, I received letters asking me to review the Popcornhour A200 network media player. I am not a boom burum in the reviews, but I must try. To understand what will be discussed and what I will compare the unit with all the time, I am sending you to a professional review: “Overview of the BBK PopcornTV NP101S network player” I have been using the console for about two weeks, so I didn’t have time to test everything. Until this year I had the A-110, so I will mainly compare with it. And yet - the photos will be pulled from everywhere, from where it is possible, forgive me for the habraeffect induced by the hosts of these pictures, no matter who they are

    On January 28, Popcorn Hour began accepting applications for the Popcornhour A-200 media console. I immediately wanted it, because in it, as it seemed to me (and not for nothing it seemed), the problem of freezing due to overheating should have been solved. Therefore, I especially did not look at the specifications - I just went and ordered. But the time has come to catch up. So,

    specs / comparison


    UPnP AV
    Windows Media Connect
    Windows Media Player NSS

    Media Servers: myiHome, myiHomeLite, myiHomeMS (UPnP), MSP Portal
    Third-party media servers: WizD, SwissCenter, Llink, GB-PVR

    BitTorrent P2P
    Usenet downloader

    NAS Access : SMB, NFS, FTP

    Casgle iDVR RSS feed downloader
    Web Services *

    Video: Revision 3, Videocast, CNET TV, Mediafly, Mevio, Bliptv, Break Podcast,
    CBS Evening News, CNN Anderson Cooper 360 Daily, CNN The Larry King Podcast,
    NBC Today Show, The CNN Daily, CNN In Case You Missed It, NBC Nightly News,
    NBC Meet The Press, CBS Face the Nation, Podfinder UK, Motorz

    Audio: Jamendo, iPodcast, BBC Podcast, Indiefeed, CNN News, ABC News

    Photos: Flickr, Picasaweb, Pikeo, 23, Photobucket, SmugMug

    RSS feed: Yahoo! Weather, NMT Forum, Bloglines, Cinecast, MSNBC News,
    Traffice Condition, Yahoo! Traffic Alerts, Yahoo! News, Weather Bug

    Peer-to-peer TV: SayaTV

    Internet Radio: SHOUTCast ™ Radio, Radiobox, Live365 Radio
    Supported Media File Formats

    Video containers:
    MPEG1 /
    2/4 Elementary (M1V, M2V, M4V) MPEG1 / 2 PS (M2P, MPG, DAT, VOB)
    MPEG2 Transport Stream (TS, TP, TRP, M2T, M2TS, MTS)
    AVI , ASF, WMV
    Matroska (MKV)
    MOV (H.264), MP4, RMP4

    Video Decoders:
    XVID SD / HD
    MPEG-2 MP @ HL
    MPEG-4.2 ASP @ L5, 720p, 1-point GMC
    MPEG-4.10 (H.264): BP @ L3, MP@L4.0, HP@L4.0, HP@L4.1
    WMV9: MP @ HL
    SMPTE 421M (VC-1): MP @ HL, AP @ L3

    Audio Containers:
    AAC, M4A
    MPEG audio (MP1, MP2, MP3, MPA)

    Audio Decoders:
    Dolby Digital
    WMA, WMA Pro
    MPEG-1 Layer 1, 2, 3

    Audio Pass-Through:
    Dolby Digital , Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD

    Other Formats:
    ISO, IFO navigation
    AVCHD navigation
    Simple BD navigation

    Photo Formats:

    Subtitle Formats:

    Cardea DRM (WMDRM-ND )
    Janus DRM (WMDRM-PD)

    Sigma Designs SMP8643, 667MHz CPU with floating point coprocessor.

    512MB DDR2 DRAM, 256MB NAND Flash
    Audio/Video Outputs

    HDMI v1.3a, 36bpp deep color, 12-bit xvYCC processing and
    HDCP 1.2 content protection
    Component Video
    Composite Video
    Stereo Analog Audio
    S/PDIF Optical and Coaxial Digital Audio
    Other Interface

    Power LED and Attention LED
    1x USB 2.0 host at the front
    1x USB 2.0 host at the back
    1x USB 2.0 slave at the back
    Internal mounting for 2.5" or 3.5" SATA HDD
    Infra-Red Remote Control
    Full power down, standby and power up by remote control
    Service pin hole for TV Mode switching and shutting down without remote control
    Special designed fan that generate very low noise
    Speed: 3800RPM (typical) ± 10%
    Noise Level: 18.5 dB (A)
    Size: L * W * H = 62 * 62 * 15 (mm)

    Ethernet 10/100/1000 ** Mbps
    ** Gigabit support depends on Switch / Router compatibility

    AC-DC adapter
    Input 100 ~ 240V AC, 50 ~ 60 Hz
    Output 12V DC, 3A max
    typical: 8 W ( no additional device installed / attached)
    maximum: 36 W

    Width x Depth x Height: 270mm x 150mm x 50mm (10.63 "x 5.90" x 1.97 ")

    1.6kg (3.5lbs)
    Package Content

    Popcorn Hour A-200 (HDD not included)
    IEC 60320 C13 power cord
    12V 3A AC-DC Adapter
    1.5M length HDMI cable
    USB cable
    IR Remote Control with 2 "AAA" batteries
    Screws for 2.5 "/ 3.5" HDD
    Quick start guide
    Installation Guide
    Last minute notes
    Warranty Card

    Dolby Digital: "Dolby" and the double-D symbol
    are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories. Manufactured
    under license from Dolby Laboratories.

    If you compare with the A-110, then the hardware has significantly improved and some functions related to playing BD (I personally am not interested), AVCHD navigation (potentially interesting, because my camera writes to AVCHD, the new Rich UI interface, which we they haven’t shown yet, the application center, widgets (possibly) and everything. Innovations in hardware look more impressive - the processor frequency has doubled, the amount of RAM has doubled, the amount of flash has quadrupled, and coaxial S / PDIF has appeared.

    Feelings and initial setup

    What did this give me - the ordinary user - besides realizing what is bigger / higher / farther? And it gave, I have to say, a lot. The feeling is that everything flies, movie lists are instantly scrolled, playback starts, screens change, fragments rewind. I did not count on this, but I was very pleasantly impressed. To make it completely clear, I did not have the slightest complaints about the A-110, but in the new A-200 the sensations improved by an order of magnitude.
    I think those users of the A-110 (and other syabas-based consoles) will be interested to learn about one feature of the A-200 before buying it - there will not be such a surprise as mine. The fact is that the A-200 can install its applications on screws removed from the "old" consoles, only by formatting them first. Surprise-surprise, I have a half terabyte of information that I don’t have much to throw off. I turned out, connecting the console via USB-slave to the computer, and draining all the information on it (speed somewhere around 20Mb / s) - it took about six hours. But I downloaded it back over the network, the router pumps about 7 Mb / s and the whole operation took almost 18 hours. Be ready…
    Another surprise that I might have avoided, or maybe it would not have happened - is the installation of applications after formatting the hard drive. The forum reported that the update does not work and tell us a lot and colorfully how and for how long they solved this problem. On the advice of the same forum http://www.networkedmediatank.com I was protected - I downloaded applications on a flash drive and updated from it.
    But enough about surprises, let's look at how the new console looks like.


    Well, firstly, my video . So it looks really live. This is such a brick made of glossy plastic.
    It looks aesthetically pleasing to the amateur, the impressions are mixed. Especially when you look at a picture. When you pick it up, you like it a lot. And when you put it under the black TV in the interior, you get up like a native. Again, in contrast with the A-110, the design itself is much friendlier, because firstly, the prefix is ​​black and does not shine in the dark, and secondly, the LEDs installed behind the front panel are very muffled. The A-110 shamelessly shone red LEDs in the eye, distracting them from watching the movie, while the A-200 turns on the LED only when it’s rebooted, the rest of the time the white light barely glows in it.
    The remote control has changed a lot. Firstly, the arrangement of the buttons has changed, but this did not cause rejection. Apparently the remote control from the A-110 was so uncomfortable that I never used it blindly, and when it came to controlling the console, I always looked down at the buttons. The new remote is more comfortable and I fully believe that someday it will be possible to use it completely blindly. But so far I'm not used to it. And I watch movies in the dark. Therefore, a pleasant surprise was that the buttons on the remote control have a backlight.

    Playing files

    In such reviews, as a rule, the largest part is devoted to listing the file formats that the device can play. Sorry, I have nothing to please you. Since popcorn, I forgot what format problems are. Everything that moves is playing, but if you have a suspicion that it doesn’t work out some tricky format, you can upload a sample somewhere and I’ll try to lose and write about the results. In general, in this part, I can not say anything interesting for researchers of long lists of audio-video formats. And for the rest: isn’t this enough - the complete absence of problems for a year of using the device (I think I can expect that the A200 will inherit the omnivorous from A110?!?).

    Networking features

    Everything is the same as in A-110 - we can samba, we can nfs, ftp, upnp, torrent-rocking. Connecting to 100 megabits, there is “support” of gigabits, but without tears you won’t look at the compatibility sheet , a few units of routers are supported, and even those are not without problems. There is the possibility of working on Wi-Fi, for this you need to buy a native dongle, promises not to work with others. My previous prefix played movies from a screw connected to WL500gP (on that NFS export was configured, and this ball was added by a network drive to the A-110). But for half a year now I’ve got a new Linksys WRP400 instead of WL500gP, which, among other things, distributes a telephone around the apartment, so there are no network drives. Movies and music from a computer can be watched through uPnP.
    Of the services I personally use only radio (shoutcast), but the list of services has a lot of video and radio, so I think many will find a service to their liking. I also tested the weather service, Moscow was on the list, I showed the weather. There’s nothing to add to this.
    News (not entirely unexpected) was the lack of youtube. We didn’t agree on something, youtube support was removed. Well, probably, this is not very critical - the usability was not very high for this service on A110.

    A few words about the screw

    If possible, choose a 2.5 "screw - significantly reduce the heating of the insides, and the attachment will weigh a little less. By the way, now you need a screwdriver to install the screw. The case is pulled by five screws - you need to open it and install the screw on the mini-slide four more screws that slide in turn with another screw fixed to the base. Be sure to check the compatibility sheet .


    I have a hang. They are related to the work of the torrent rocking. The forum is trying to understand how this is related to the number of simultaneous downloads, peers and maximum download / download speeds. I believed that the hangs slightly depend on these parameters. Hangs occur at the moment when the download of the torrent has ended and verification has begun. The CPU load from verification + some network activity (someone is watching video over the network or torrents continue to pour) and hello. But! What is nice, the A200 quietly reboots from the remote, unlike the A110. A110 had to constantly click the toggle switch, but in the A200 it simply does not exist. Hold the power button for 4 seconds and the console starts blinking with a bright LED, indicating that it completes all the processes and goes into shutdown. After another five seconds, complete silence ensues - both the processor cooler and the screw are turned off. Turning on the prefix after this takes about a minute, which causes complaints of some observers, but I, for example, do not care ... Compared to the A-110, the new prefix is ​​stability in the flesh itself.
    In general, this is all I wanted to say - you can look at the official specs above or on the site yourself , but I tried to reveal unobvious things that you encounter by opening the box and running to the store for the hard drive, i.e. spending not very little money.

    Oh yes, a few words about the purchase

    The order is executed directly on the website www.popcornhour.com , the purchase is made through Google Checkout, where, accordingly, you need to have an account, for which you need a credit card. After the purchase is completed, Google takes the amount from you (I got 6.966 rubles in rubles with delivery to the MO) and gives you the tracking number ems tracking number. Here is my tracking:

    OperationdateIndexAddressAttribute surgeryWeight, kg.)Announced. value (rub.)Overlay. payment (rub.)Recipient IndexAddress of the recipient
    Export01/29/2010 19:42 Hong Kong HKHKGA      
    Import01/31/2010 9:22 PM104010Moscow EMS 1.612  Moscow region
    Treatment02/08/2010 20:29104010Moscow EMSLeft the place of international exchange     
    Treatment02/10/2010 04:47 AM130 100Moscow EMS SCSorting     
    Treatment02/10/2010 11:11 PM141030Mytischi EMS SCSorting     
    Handing over02/11/2010 12:00141030Mytischi EMS SCDelivery to the addressee1.612    
    The parcel was brought straight home.

    Well and similar results

    • Omnivore
    • Relative cheapness
    • Significantly increased speed
    • Significantly improved stability
    • Case design
    • New luminous remote
    • Switching off from the remote control (this, by the way, is a very serious plus - until you use the console, you will not appreciate it)
    • Easy navigation (comparable to a VCR, a wife uses it with pleasure)
    • Noise from a regular fan
    • Case design
    • There are small stability problems (it freezes when verifying torrents)

    Related links:

    Significantly reduce the noise level from the computer in 3 minutes
    Watch NASA TV on Sybabas consoles (Popcorn, BBK, eGreat, etc.)
    Overview of the BBK network player PopcornTV NP101S

    I can not help but thank baxtep2 , who fought and defeated my natural laziness

    Update: At the request of the comments, I tested some things:
    1. Subtitles in separate files - perfectly reproduces, the text size, text color, encoding are configured from the remote control. If there are several srt files, then you can change the language.
    2. Sound tracks as separate files - I did not find how to do this. I had a movie with an audio track, the name of its file was different from the movie, it is logical that it was not picked up. For another movie, I took the usual mp3-3 track, renamed it, but still did not pick it up. So, probably, he can’t.
    3. Explanation of torrents. The set-top box is equipped with a Transmission rocking chair , with all the consequences. The most important result is that the rocking chair can be controlled via the web interface. We go to http: // pch-a200: 8077 , add the torrent file and track the status ...
    4. A funny bug - there wasn’t such a thing on A110 (or I configured something wrong in A200): if you turn off the TV during video playback, then the sound disappears after switching on. You have to stop the work and run the file again. But due to the fact that the prefix automatically puts a bookmark and starts playback from the stopping point, this is not very annoying. And not many people turn off the TV during playback (I just have a one-year-old daughter indulging in this).

    Update 2:
    Tested on this collection (thanks brammator ). Here are the results:

    00019.m2ts - OK
    Satoyama.II.Japan.Secret.Water.Garden.1080p.rus.-002.mkv - the video is supported by
    Casino.32.mkv - OK
    Avalon.split.34.m2ts - OK
    TheBankJob-sample-16rf.mkv - OK
    Deinterlace.m2ts - OK
    03.split.5.ts - OK
    Casino.50.mkv - OK
    Casino.21.mkv - OK
    Casino.Royale.BDrip.1080p.SPLIT-004.mkv - OK
    Casino.42.mkv - OK
    Transporter 3.2008.BD.Remux.1080p.h264.Rus.Eng.Commentary-002.mkv - OK
    Casino.50.m2ts - OK
    VC-1_Sub.mkv - video is supported by
    H264_TrueHD.m2ts - sound problems (interrupted)
    hns-fc-new-002.mkv - OK
    twin.peaks.s01e01.sample-007.mkv - OK
    720p16rf-001.mkv - video artifacts (at the border of moving objects
    ovescan_geometry.mkv - OK, but no sound

    dir sub

    Akikan! - 01-001.mkv - something was happening there, but what is not clear. It seemed to hang at the end of the movie, but the prefix did not hang at all - it was possible to return to the root directory
    To Aru Majutsu no Index-01.mkv - OK
    Bakemonogatari - 09-002.mkv - OK
    ef _-_ a_tale_of_memories_01-002.mkv - OK, but again strange behavior at the end of
    NHK ni Youkoso - 02-002.mkv - OK
    3.mkv - OK
    5.ts - OK, but you need to switch the encoding

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