Announced a new model of a network HD player Popcorn Hour A-200

    On January 12, Syabas Technologies announced a new model of the Popcorn Hour A-200 HD content network player. The novelty is based on the powerful Sigma Designs SMP8643 666 Mhz chip and is equipped with 512 megabytes of DDR2 RAM and 256 MB of permanent SLC NAND memory.


    Pre-orders will be accepted from January 18. Estimated cost - $ 179 (without delivery) The

    A-200 is built on the same chip as the C-200 and has the same amount of memory.

    The A-200 hardware is almost no worse than the S-200 and will apparently be able to chew on the heaviest rips, including the famous "birds" with maximum bitrates, which is confirmed by the list of supported video and audio formats. The lack of Full BD Navigation (i.e. normal menus on Blu-ray images, instead of which a simplified menu formed by the player itself will be offered) is obviously due to the desire to make the device as cheap as possible, and therefore BD-J technology was simply not licensed .

    A set of audio and video outputs is standard for all Popcorn. The device also has a USB 2.0 port for connecting flash drives and external hard drives (one port at the front and the back), in addition there is a USB 2.0 slave port at the back. Gigabit Ethernet promised

    The back panel of the device (click to view a higher resolution image): A list of supported video containers, as well as video and audio codecs can be found on the official website page .

    The advantages over the A-110, which frees up a newcomer to the market, are obvious and result from the transition to a new hardware platform (a more powerful chip and an increased amount of memory, coupled with gigabit Ethernet, simply leave the old 110th far behind in terms of playing HD content and working with conventional applications such as torrent downloads). However, it should be noted that a small fan (62 * 62 millimeters) was installed in the A-200, which slightly spoils the impression of the device (my A-110 is now without a screw and therefore absolutely silent). Separately, I want to note the possibility of completely turning off the device from the remote control (the burning red Stand By light of the 110th mode at night for some reason annoys me a lot and I have to get up and go to click the toggle switch).

    Photos of the insides:

    Compared with the C-200, it should be noted much smaller size and weight, the ability to install only 1 hard drive inside (2.5 'or 3.5' form factor to choose from, while the C-200 - 2.5 'and 3.5' at the same time), no the place of the Blu-ray drive and the lack of an LCD screen, and in general a much less brutal look. The power supply, like the A-110, has an external infrared remote control (although the rejection of the radio remote control is, in my opinion, one of the most serious blows to the A-200 position, because the radio remote control is very convenient. Although some users disagree with me, because someone is glad that you can use a universal IR remote, but someone cannot use the RF remote because of the layout of the house or all kinds of radio interference). Well, only for the C-200 a MiniPCI card is issued for operation in 802.11n networks, on the A-200 you will have to be content with a USB 802n card. 11n from Realtek (according to the messages of individual testers, the performance of such a solution will be lower by about 1.5-2 times). By the way, since the C-200 does not have a fan, then at least without installed disks, you can try to remove the fan from the A-200.

    C-200 is focused on the fact that they will buy it, maybe install a Blu-ray drive and rack it with other AV equipment. The A-200 is more suitable to put it in the bedroom or in the kitchen, for example, so that you can conveniently watch the latest episodes of the House (remember that it’s normal to populate all kinds of DTS in stereo so far only Popcorn).

    What to prefer? Personally, I would now choose the A-200 instead of my current C-200: a smaller size that will easily fit a box right next to the TV, a lower final cost.

    I hope that Syabas will take into account the experience of pre-orders of the C-200 and the suffering of new items will not be delayed for many months.

    Given that the cost of the S-200 with delivery to Russia is 375 US dollars (299 dollars + 76 dollars delivery), and the A-110 cost 260 dollars (215 $ the device itself + 45 $ delivery), then the A-200, having weight 1.6 kg and comparable with the A-110 dimensions, it can be assumed that the delivery will cost no more than $ 60. This means that the price of the device in Russia will be 240 USD or 7 thousand rubles. Under these conditions, buying an A-110 becomes a disadvantageous business (you can no longer buy them from the popcornhour website, only refubrished at a price of $ 100).

    PS Orders will begin to be accepted on January 18 at 10 am Moscow time on the site

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