HD players: for geeks and consumers

    From the comments to my other topic :
    So what to buy popcorn now?
    Buy WD TV HD, local SC, costs much cheaper, looks better
    I read somewhere that this type of player has an old chip that barely pulls HD ...

    Let's try to figure out which of these options is better to prefer, and which considerations affect the answer.

    Immediately I would like to remove the appearance of devices from consideration. There are no comrades for the taste and color: one loves sorbet, the other loves pig cartilage. In my opinion, both devices look quite decent, but which one is better - let everyone decide for himself.

    WD TV is a device of a completely different class than Popcorn Hour. They are not exactly competitors. It is enough to look at both devices at the back, as well as at their remote controls, and this already leads to certain thoughts.

    Wd tv


    Wd tv

    Popcorn Hour A-110


    Popcorn Hour A-110 rear view

    Remote controls for both devices


    Popcorn Hour Player Remote WD TV player remote control

    WD TV is an economical consumer option with limited functionality. Personally, I would consider it as a good gift to parents. The price is more than affordable - in Moscow a little more than 5000 rubles. (~ $ 150), as I understand it.
    WD TV does not work without HDD, and this HDD is not included in the delivery, it is understood that you will buy it separately (or have already bought it). In WD TV, it is impossible to install the HDD inside the case, this HDD can only be connected via USB. What network protocols does WD TV support? There can be no talk of any protocols, because this is not a network device, it simply does not have a network interface. Does any HDTV format support WD TV? No, the maximum that it can support is 1080p at 24 frames / sec, 1080i at 30 frames / sec, but 720p is also supported at 60 frames / sec.

    Popcorn Hour A-110 is an option with full functionality, primarily for geeks. Price, of course, higher: $ 260(~ 8700 rubles at the current exchange rate of 33.6), but this is already delivered to your home ($ 215 player + $ 45 delivery). HDD is not included, but Popcorn Hour can work without HDD, taking content over the network from your computer or NAS, for example. To unlock all the features of Popcorn Hour, however, an HDD needs to be inserted. Inside the case, you can insert both 3.5 "and 2.5" SATA HDD. What network protocols does Popcorn Hour support? It has a built-in bittorrent client (Transmission is the same client that is the main one in Ubuntu, if I'm not mistaken), FTP server (pure-ftpd), SMB server (Samba), HTTP server (Apache) with PHP support, NFS- server, as well as some more exotic services. You can install telnet or ssh server yourself. Physically, the player has a 100-Mbps Ethernet port, and it is also possible for extra. money to buy a USB WiFi adapter for your wireless network. In addition, the Popcorn Hour A-110 has a USB slave port, with which it can be connected to a computer as an external USB drive, while file transfer between the computer and the player is possible at a speed of ~ 25-28 MB / s, unattainable 100 Mbps Ethernet. Does any HDTV format support Popcorn Hour? Yes, it supports up to 1080p at 60 frames / sec. Why did I call the Popcorn Hour A-110 a device for geeks? Because inside it is regular Linux (stripped down due to the small available CPU and memory resources), go there via telnet / ssh and add / change as you like. Someone does not like the look of the interface - there is support for skins, download a skin that you like, or draw your own. I would like some kind of program that is not in the delivery (say, Midnight Commander)? Compile and deliver. And so on. For example, the author himself only because of Popcorn Hour got real experience in cross-compilation (before that he had only heard such a term). I did not like the web interface of the integrated bittorrent client - I made another for myself in PHP.
    It is clear that only enthusiast will be engaged in all this customization, normal consumers use the functionality “out of the box” and “do not worry”. Nevertheless, it seems to me that Popcorn Hour is an excellent option, first of all, for geeks who are interested in picking out “what's inside” and adjusting for themselves.

    Just in case, I will add that Popcorn Hour is only 1 avatar (embodiment, implementation) of the Networked Media Tank platform. There are other implementations, with their own advantages and disadvantages, the light did not converge on Popcorn Hour.

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