• Hello and Welcome to HiFiVision.com - an online community for the home entertainment and tech enthusiasts!

    If you would like to ask a question, participate in a discussion and view attachments please Register yourself.

To Kill 2 Birds with 1 Box

Wharfedale Evo 4.2

WHATSINANAME

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
106
Points
18
Location
Mumbai
Ever since I started hearing about WDTV and Popcorn type players on the one hand and Blu Ray players on the other, I've had this idea about a device that combines both - a blu-ray player and a upconverting media player in one box.

I thought this would remain a pipe dream until I chanced upon this:

(from engadget.com)

popcornhour_c200.jpg



The followup to the popular PopcornHour media streamer series has finally been announced, and the list of features makes it look worth the wait. Revealed in a post on the Networked Media Tank forums the C-200 contains an upgraded Sigma SMP8643 667 Mhz processor, HDMI 1.3 out, two SATA slots, a drive bay for mounting your own HDD, DVD or even Blu-ray drive (requires internal HDD or 1GB USB stick) and supports a list of networking standards, codecs and containers far too long to recount here. At first glance, only DivX jumps out as missing from the list, have a look at the forum posting and let us know if you spot. Of course, there's already a video unboxing available, seen after the break (along with the copied list of specs) or check out the full Google translated early hands on impressions from HomeTheater.co.il. The most pressing questions of when will these be available and for how much, will have to be answered at another time.

c200b.jpg



Specification

Connectivity
Bonjour
UPnP SSDP
UPnP AV
Windows Media Connect
Windows Media Player NSS
Samba
NFS
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

Web services
Video: YouTube, Vuze, Revision 3, Videocast, CNET TV, Mediafly, Veoh, 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
Audio: Jamendo, iPodcast, BBC Podcast, Indiefeed, CNN News, ABC News
Photo: Flickr Photo, Picasaweb Photo, Pikeo, 23
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: Radio box, Live365 Radio

Media files supported
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 decoder:
XVID SD/HD
MPEG-1
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)
WAV
WMA
FLAC
OGG

Audio decoder:
Dolby Digital
DTS
WMA, WMA Pro
MPEG-1 Layer 1, 2, 3
MPEG-4 AAC-LC
MPEG-4 HE-AAC
MPEG-4 BSAC
LPCM
FLAC
Vorbis

Audio pass-through:
DTS, DTS-HD HR, DTS-HD MA
Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD

Other formats:
ISO, IFO navigation
Rich Object Based Interactive Graphics
AVCHD navigation
Blu-ray ready (requires addition of compatible BD-ROM and at least 1GB USB stick or internal HDD)

Photo formats:
JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF

Subtitle formats:
SRT, MicroDVD SUB, SSA, SUB/IDX

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

Chipset
Sigma Designs SMP8643, 667MHz CPU with floating point coprocessor.
Memory
512MB DDR2 DRAM, 256MB NAND Flash

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

Other Interface
192x64 dots white text on blue background LCD display, with software adjustable brightness and power off
Power button with standby, reset and full power down
2x USB 2.0 host at the front
2x USB 2.0 host at the back
1x USB 2.0 internal
2x SATA (one occupied by HDD tray)
3.5" HDD tray
Internal mounting for 2.5" HDD
2.4GHz RF Remote Control
Infra-Red Remote Control port (Infra-Red Remote Control optional)

Network
Ethernet 10/100/1000
miniPCI MII interface for 11n WiFi card (optional)

Power
100~240V AC, 50~60 Hz, max 2.5A
typical: 13 W (no additional device installed/attached)
maximum: 70 W

Dimension
Width x Depth x Height : 425mm x 290mm x 80mm (16.73" x 11.42" x 3.14")

Weight
3.7kg (8.3 lbs)

Package Content
Popcorn Hour C-200 (HDD not included)

IEC 60320 C13 power cord
1.5M length HDMI cable
RF Remote Control with 2 "AAA" batteries
Quick start guide

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

So you can just pop in a blu ray drive into this and you have a combo player for all kinds of HD content - and it'll upconvert your SD content as well! :clapping:(experts please correct me if I am wrong on any of these counts).

c200a.jpg




Anybody know of any similar products on the anvil?
 
Last edited:

reju

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
1,482
Points
83
Location
Mumbai
Very interesting product indeed!

I am using Elektron EHP606 which is PCH type NMT.
I connect EXT USB DVD drive. I need this as most of my MKVs are stored on DVDs. Now here you can replace DVD drive with EXT Blu-ray ROM.

BUT the catch is that the existing Sigma Designs chipset 8635 does not decrypt CSS encrypted original DVD Videos. This means most of the English original DVD Videos cannot be played from DVD drive. Yes, if you have a ripped copy of DVD disc then it will play.

Similarly in this model, they CAN have restriction on playing original BDs?
I have no idea if the new Sigma chipset in this unit will play original DVDs or BDs. It maybe only a matter of obtaining necessary licenses. But this needs to be checked.

Another fact is that DVD PQ from my Pio 610 (through upscaled HDMI) is much better than the NMT/ media player PQ through HDMI. I never watch DVD Video formats from my NMT/ media player. I use it only for HD videos.
 

WHATSINANAME

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
106
Points
18
Location
Mumbai
Here's another similar product, though it's from Israel, I don't know how feasible it would be to get it here:

(from hdi.co.il)

Dune HD Center
1233933803_dune_hd_center_01.jpg


1233933814_dune_hd_center_04.jpg


1233933810_dune_hd_center_06.jpg


1233933874_dune_hd_center_05.jpg


Applications:

Dune HD Center is to date the most universal and powerful Full HD (1080p) solution with Blu-Ray support which has a power to be a true Center of any most modern home cinema system. With its intuitive user-friendly interface player provides literally all HD and SD video playback features applicable for home use.


Available Models:
Dune HD Center
Dune HD Center + Wi-Fi 802.11n
Dune HD Center + Ethernet 1000 Mb/s
Dune HD Center + 2 x eSATA


Playback:
Blu-Ray discs (Profile 1.1/2.0)
DVD-Video discs
Files on Blu-Ray (BD-R, BD-RE), DVD (DVD-ROM, DVD+-R, DVD+-RW), CD (CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW) discs
Files on USB drives (USB HDD, USB flash, USB card readers etc)
Files in local network from PC or NAS (NFS and SMB)
IPTV (free channels UDP/RTP MPEG-TS, H.264/MPEG-2)
Internet radio (HTTP/MP3)


The player will support a proprietary implementation of full VoD and HV system called "Dune HD", planned to be launched in future. This system is based on SecureMedia solution, certified by all the Hollywood majors.

File formats: MKV, MPEG-TS, MPEG-PS, M2TS, VOB, AVI, MOV, MP4, QT, ASF, WMV, DVD-ISO, VIDEO_TS.
Video codecs: MPEG2, MPEG4, DivX, XVID, WMV9, VC1, H.264.
Audio codecs: AC3 (DD), EAC3 (DD+), DTS, MPEG 1/2/3, AAC, LPCM, WMA, WMAPro, Dolby True HD, DTS HD HRA, DTS HD MA (HD-formats for Blu-Ray playback only).
Subtitle formats: Plain text, SSA/AAS, SRT, VOB.


Network
Browsing, copying and direct playback of files from PC and NAS in local network (NFS and SMB protocols).
Attached storage from local network.
Playback of Internet radio (HTTP/MP3).
Playback of IPTV (free channels UDP/RTP MPEG-TS, H.264/MPEG-2).
NAS function: FTP and SMB servers for accessing player's attached storage from local network.
Bit-Torrent client for digital content download from Internet.
Web browser (based on the same engine as used in Mozilla Firefox) for browsing arbitrary Internet sites (with limited possibilities and performance).


Hardware
Sigma Designs 8634 SoC.
384 MB of RAM, 32 MB of flash.
2 GB flash drive (optional) to support local storage capability for the newest and future Blu-Ray disks and other player features.
HDMI 1.3 for ultimate HD video and HD audio performance.
Optical, coaxial digital and 7.1 analogue audio output.
Composite, component, S-Video video output.
Three USB 2.0 ports for connecting external AV sources.
Ethernet 100 Mb/s and Wi-Fi up to 300 Mb/s (optional).
Mobile rack with SATA Direct Link for fast and easy HDD exchange to support any audio and video collection on any number of hard discs w/o need to create expensive multi-disc NAS solutions. Any 3.5? SATA HDDs can be used.


Dimensions
429mm (width) x 296mm (depth) x 94mm (height)



Blu-Ray video playback support

DVD-Video playback support:
DVD menu navigation is supported.
Sources:
Commercial DVD-Video disks:
Internal DVD drive.
USB DVD drives.
ISO images, VIDEO_TS folders:
Internal HDD.
Internal DVD drive.
USB mass storage devices (USB HDD, USB flash memory).
USB DVD drives.
NFS network folders.
SMB network folders.

Media files playback support:
Sources:
Internal HDD.
Internal DVD drive.
USB mass storage devices (USB HDD, USB flash memory).
USB DVD drives.
NFS network folders.
SMB network folders.
HTTP URLs (limited support).
Containers:
MPEG (MPEG-TS, MPEG-PS, VOB, M2TS) (typical file extensions: .MPG, .TS, .M2TS, .TP, .VOB).
AVI (typical file extensions: .AVI).
MOV, MP4 (typical file extensions: .MOV, .MP4, .QT).
MKV (typical file extensions: .MKV).
ASF (typical file extensions: .ASF, .WMV).
DVD-ISO, VIDEO_TS (DVD-Video playback, including DVD menu support).
Raw video.
Raw audio (typical file extensions: .WAV, .MP3).
Video codecs:
MPEG2.
MPEG4.
DivX.
XVID.
WMV9.
VC1.
H.264.
Audio codecs:
AC3 (DD).
EAC3 (DD+).
DTS.
MPEG (layers 1/2/3).
AAC.
LPCM.
WMA.
WMAPro.
Embedded subtitle formats:
In MKV: plain text, SSA/ASS.
In MP4: VOB.
External subtitle formats:
SRT.
External audio streams:
AC3.
DTS.

IPTV:
Protocols:
Multicast UDP (raw).
Multicast RTP.
Format:
MPEG-TS container.
MPEG2 video codec (SD and HD resolutions).

Extended set of supported video modes:
HDMI:
480i, 480p (60 Hz)
576i, 576p (50 Hz)
720p (50 Hz, 60 Hz)
1080i (50 Hz, 60 Hz)
1080p (24 Hz, 25 Hz, 30 Hz, 50 Hz, 60 Hz)
1024768, 12801024, 1280768, 1280960, 1360768, 1366768, 14001050, 1440900, 16001200, 16801050, 19201200 (60 Hz)
Component:
PAL
NTSC
480p (60 Hz)
576p (50 Hz)
720p (24 Hz, 25 Hz, 30 Hz, 50 Hz, 60 Hz)
1080i (48 Hz, 50 Hz, 60 Hz)
1080p (24 Hz, 25 Hz, 30 Hz, 50 Hz, 60 Hz)
Composite:
PAL
NTSC
Note: some video modes may be not supported ? it depends on the player mode, type of data being played back, and peculiarities of video hardware connected to the player.
 
Last edited:

suprateep

New Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2009
Messages
1,103
Points
0
Location
Chicago
:yahoo:
finally i have heard so many things about the dune - only if was available here.....
 

WHATSINANAME

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
106
Points
18
Location
Mumbai
:yahoo:
finally i have heard so many things about the dune - only if was available here.....

Interestingly enough, on the Hdi website where I got the details about the Dune from they have listed KEI (a member of this forum) as their India distributors!! AVEXCELLENCE and GPSOFT are their other listed India distributors. So maybe this IS available here, or will be soon.
 

reju

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
1,482
Points
83
Location
Mumbai
Interestingly enough, on the Hdi website where I got the details about the Dune from they have listed KEI (a member of this forum) as their India distributors!! AVEXCELLENCE and GPSOFT are their other listed India distributors. So maybe this IS available here, or will be soon.

I have heard that KEI quoted someone Rs. 25K for PCH.:rolleyes:
So at this rate it may not be possible to get any good deals from them.
 

suprateep

New Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2009
Messages
1,103
Points
0
Location
Chicago
I have heard that KEI quoted someone Rs. 25K for PCH.:rolleyes:
So at this rate it may not be possible to get any good deals from them.

i know someone in KEI and he did mention way back in April that they were in talks with PCH and would be pricing it around 22k. I tried reasoning with them saying 14-14k would be acceptable nothing more for something that sells for 200 USD. To it he demoed me the A110 and showed me the media explorer with movie icons, info, wallaper, ratings from imdb etc.

In fact i did consider PCH - but finally went the HTPC way - so for 12-13k minus HDD i have a machine that rips DVDs in 30 mins flat to h264 and plays them effortlessly without any glitches. Also gives me more freedom and customization options. And did i mention XBMC a free open source frontend for HTPC does the media functionality well and the front end rocks.(more details on XBMC Media Center for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux)
 

suprateep

New Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2009
Messages
1,103
Points
0
Location
Chicago
This looks really cool. Maybe the only software (other than EAC) that you need on your HTPC. Thanks Supra.

Cheers

yes - i just have the following on my HTPC

EAC
DVD Fab Platinum
foobar & MPC-HC(rarely used or wife sometime uses it to play/watch movies without the receiver on the pana pv8 without the receiver - since HDMI audio is also processed though the TV and optical out for dolby/DTS passthrough to receiver - just easy and flexible for wife)
XBMC
Comdo Internet Security (just in case - turned on when needed)

BTW I tried quite a few front ends for HTPC liek mediaportal, XBMC etc and found it to be the lightest and fastest t startup - takes 3-4 secs from startup. Also the latest version does not have mediastream or aeon skins which are free and more flexible and looks best on a big screen.

Check them out
Lifehacker - Customize XBMC with These Five Awesome Skins - XBox Media Center
Aeon: About
Team Razorfish

BTW XBMC downloads movie information automatically from IMDB

Just follow the following paths for facilitating info download from IMDB from XBMC.
(suggestive)
d:\english movies\(all movies in separate folders say) Hitch (folder)\hitch.avi

In case of 2 files (XBMC might replicate a single movie with 2 entries in the library hence use Hitch.CD01 and Hitch.CD02 and put them both in the Hitch folder. Also the forums are very helpful.
 

WHATSINANAME

Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2009
Messages
106
Points
18
Location
Mumbai
So Supra, would you say that a HTPC is a better choice than either of these (and similar products)?

Do you have a blu ray drive in your HTPC? Or plan to have one?

And what would be the video output quality of a blu ray drive in a HTPC (assuming one has a HDMI output in the video card) compared to the output of a dedicated blu ray player?

Thanks.
 
Last edited:

suprateep

New Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2009
Messages
1,103
Points
0
Location
Chicago
So Supra, would you say that a HTPC is a better choice than either of these (and similar products)?

Do you have a blu ray drive in your HTPC?

And what would be the output quality of a blu ray drive in a HTPC compared to the output of a dedicated blu ray player (assuming one has a HDMI output in the video card)?

Thanks.

for me its better - ease of use is lesser than say a BDP - starting up, noise if you do not use an after market cooler.

Customization is better for HTPC with HDMI out - with 8300 based mobo m3n78em - the output is excellent. Plus you can play around more with codecs, sw etc.

And no I did not invest in a Blueray ROM now - prices need to come down - i have a lot of BR rips and quite a few BR isos. (how I hate TIB for putting up a FUP even with a a512kbps connection)

Warning: Setting up a HTPC is not easy - choice of components is difficult and is important - setting up is more difficult.
 

venkatcr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2008
Messages
7,327
Points
113
Location
Chennai
And what would be the video output quality of a blu ray drive in a HTPC (assuming one has a HDMI output in the video card) compared to the output of a dedicated blu ray player?

This depends on where the processing is done. If the data is sent in digital format for the AVR to decode, an HTPC with BR drive will be as good as any dedicated player.

Essentially, a Blu-Ray player outputs FullHD signals at 1080P. If you have an HDMI Out in the HTPC, it will have the same quality as any BR Player. This is as far as BR Discs go. When you come to playing DVDs, it is different matter of upscaling and all that.

In addition, if the HTPC can transmit the HD Audio in raw format, the AVR will handle the sound codecs and, again, you will get the same results as any player.

If you are looking at decoding audio signals at the source, a player with analogue out and good decoders/DAC may be better.

Asus has come out with a 7.1 card that is supposed to be superb for playing BR video and HD Audio.

Cheers
 

KEI

New Member
Joined
May 25, 2009
Messages
23
Points
0
Location
Mumbai
I know many people are not too happy about the prices of PCH, let me explain you why it is so....$200 X 50 = 10000, freight by DHL is 2000, Duty is 3500, Our Margin is 1750, VAT is 12.5% = 1937, Octro for Mumbai is 5.5 % which is 1000. It is not us who drive the prices up it is the taxation in this country, because we are an honest company we suffer.

If we are not allowed to retain 10% on our products, we are unable to sustain our overheads which help us provide the quality service that we are known for. In anycase every business has to make some money, i just hope all the forum members understand that a small part of the money charged actually goes into our pockets. At a margin of 1750, we not only have to import, but deliver, provide warranty and service etc...

Many people may be able to provide you similar or same products cheaper, but not without evading most of the taxes...lack of service etc...





i know someone in KEI and he did mention way back in April that they were in talks with PCH and would be pricing it around 22k. I tried reasoning with them saying 14-14k would be acceptable nothing more for something that sells for 200 USD. To it he demoed me the A110 and showed me the media explorer with movie icons, info, wallaper, ratings from imdb etc.

In fact i did consider PCH - but finally went the HTPC way - so for 12-13k minus HDD i have a machine that rips DVDs in 30 mins flat to h264 and plays them effortlessly without any glitches. Also gives me more freedom and customization options. And did i mention XBMC a free open source frontend for HTPC does the media functionality well and the front end rocks.(more details on XBMC Media Center for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux)
 

reju

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
1,482
Points
83
Location
Mumbai
When we buy directly from PCH it costs USD 260 including shipping. So Rs. 13000 + 3000 for customs (that's what some members here have paid) = Rs. 16000.00

Even if the mother board goes bad, we can courier the board back and get a replacement with 7-10 days. Total cost involved = Rs. 2000 (including DHL shipping and customs charges for circuit board)

Still only Rs. 18000.
 

anm

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2008
Messages
6,136
Points
113
Location
New Delhi, India
Is $200 your buying price? That's very inconsiderate of PCH. They can't be that cruel with their dealers. Are they shipping from the US? Isn't it made in china?

regards


I know many people are not too happy about the prices of PCH, let me explain you why it is so....$200 X 50 = 10000, freight by DHL is 2000, Duty is 3500, Our Margin is 1750, VAT is 12.5% = 1937, Octro for Mumbai is 5.5 % which is 1000. It is not us who drive the prices up it is the taxation in this country, because we are an honest company we suffer.

If we are not allowed to retain 10% on our products, we are unable to sustain our overheads which help us provide the quality service that we are known for. In anycase every business has to make some money, i just hope all the forum members understand that a small part of the money charged actually goes into our pockets. At a margin of 1750, we not only have to import, but deliver, provide warranty and service etc...

Many people may be able to provide you similar or same products cheaper, but not without evading most of the taxes...lack of service etc...
 

opert

New Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
24
Points
0
Location
Bangalore
KEI Dealer/Distributor in Bangalore: Madhusudan +91 937-977-0501

PCH A-110 price given over phone on Aug 7th was 19k in Bangalore
 
Last edited:

GeorgeO

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2009
Messages
4,312
Points
113
Location
Cooke Town Bangalore
The Popcorn Hour is a popular device probably for the ease of use. I have a Squeezebox(SB3) and a NAS as the player, as well as a PC connected to as 22 inch widescreen monitor, but I plan over the next year to have a dedicated HTPC as well as a Popcorn Hour. Having a dedicated player, at an affordable price point, with a user friendly interface is great convenience. My SB3 cost me about $300, but it retails here for about 23-25, AFAIK, which drives it beyond many people's reach.
 
Top