The Popcorn Hour A-100

 in
Watch out! Here comes the Networked Media Tank.
The Remote

Navigating with the remote is easy; you simply use the arrow keys on the remote and the Enter key to select things—much like navigating DVD menus. To go up a directory, use the Return key. The combination number/letter keys are used during initial configuration when setting network settings and configuring shares, and I haven't had much use for them since.

The DVD-specific keys (Menu, Title, Angle and so on) work as expected with DVDs, but are useless otherwise.

Figure 5. The Popcorn Hour Remote

My biggest complaint about the remote is the location of the Page Up and Page Down keys. They're way up in the top-right corner. A much better location would have been next to the arrow keys.

There is a Suspend BT button on the remote that the manual says is for suspending all BitTorrent traffic with one click. It does not work at the time of this writing, but the promise is that a firmware update will enable it (hopefully, by the time you read this). I hope it's sooner rather than later, because although it isn't hard to suspend BitTorrent traffic, it does take several clicks with the remote to do it, and you have to stop whatever you're watching or listening.

There also are some colored buttons at the bottom of the remote that don't do anything at the moment.

One trick I learned was that if you want to play everything in a folder, first navigate into the folder and then press the Play button. If you want to play only a single file, highlight the file and press the Enter button. Also, when playing a file, you need to press the Stop button before you can use the Return or Home buttons.

Conclusion

The Popcorn Hour is a very capable little box. It plays a wide variety of music and video formats—provided they aren't encumbered with DRM.

Right now, there are several unfinished pieces, but thankfully, firmware updates are coming regularly, and each one unlocks more functionality. Despite the rough spots, I have to admit I am perfectly happy with the core functionality, and I recommend it (as long as you don't have a lot of DRM-infected content). It is well worth the modest purchase price of $179.

Daniel Bartholomew lives with his wife and children in North Carolina. He can be found on-line at daniel-bartholomew.com.

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the wifi post

Anonymous's picture

Looks like they fixed that issue. Their sales page states wifi adapters will be shipped from fremont california?.

PCH A-110 and Ubuntu filesharing

Tommi's picture

Thanks for the article. It's useful. But I still have a problem with this device. I'm not really having any problems with the PCH A-110 that I recently bought used on ebay. My problem seems to be filesharing with Ubuntu. I cannot get the PCH to see my Ubuntu files. Every time I try to set it up with Sharing Options I get this effor message:

'net usershare' returned error 255: net usershare add: cannot convert name "Everyone" to a SID. Invalid parameter.

I'm new to Ubuntu/Linux and this reminds me of the old day when I tried to get Macs connected via ethernet. Do you have input regarding how to set up file sharing?

I have Samba and NFS installed (I think). I also have an external USB drive connected to my Linux machine which I'm trying to access with the PCH. Thanks for any help.

t

Popcorn Hour Buyer Beware

Kaboda's picture

Hi I want to actively make people aware of how dangerous it is to purchase this POPCORN hour media player online,

Below are extracts of my experience after ordering the A110N and then their poor ass reply.
I recommend WDTV which is half the price and less painful for the non wifi experience.

My email
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi Jason,

I hope this reaches the correct people do expect a call back regarding this issue from a higher management. I hope you still realise that the phase "the customer is always right" should always apply.

Hi, I am bloody unhappy customer, I order this product nearly a month ago. And after such length google checkout process I finally get yet another obstacle that stops me from getting this product.

Please refer to the attachments, both of my order and UPS shipping information.

I had a call about 2 weeks ago from UPS that A110 is unable to be posted out, this is due now to the additional USB wifi card I ordered with this product.

I have spoken to your technician / sales guy Jason and he is fully aware that Malaysia has a monopoly on these cards and whatever product that comes in with a USB wifi card will be stopped. And a government import permit is required (in another words huge fine of 300 ringgit) is required before this product is released.

I have been between calls from UPS and Sirim both which I have to call 9 times a day before i speak to someone or stretching from days at a time to handle this issue. I am furious about that but what makes matters worse is.

Your company is in Malaysia it knowingly knows about this proceedure with USB wifi adapters yet it did nothing when I clicked and added this accessorie. Jason tells me you disclaim all responsiblity from DUTY on your website before ordering. Is this proper practice when you know issues will occur such as mine. What if tomorrow another unknown consumer does the same and he faces the same issues as me. Is this the kind of customer service traits you wish to display. To have unhappy customers such as myself calling up and barranging yourself and you just disclaim yourselves and pass on the cost to the consumer.

My only risk was to buy your product. Your risk is to ship the product to me successfully, that has failed. Now your company passes the buck to me. The frieght transport back to China I would have to bare. How is this at all professional.

Instead of passing the buck I feel we both should share this responsiblity. If I had know the information your company knew about the usb wifi adapter then I wouldnt have added that option. That risk would have been mine and I would be more than accepting of this circumstances now.

To Chinese reputation is very important. I was thinking of marketing your product here, and doing some business with it. But this experience has made me lose total confidence in your product.

You have a duty as a firm with reptuation to make the consumer aware if possible.

If I see no reply to this email from someone higher than Jason, I will make other consumers aware and to beware of your product. And that your proceedure is to pass the buck. Instead of sharing the responsiblity and assisting like good companies should.

From your unhappiest customer

Low Chung Boon

Popcorn Hour reply to my email
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi,

We would like to note you that Jason note you that possible USB Wireless
adapter will be unable do the custom clearance Malaysia is his own opinion
because based on his own malaysian experience who purchased item from
online ship. So there are possible risk that need to be take care of when
place the order.

Also we have some customers who place the A-110 + WN-100 order are
received it without problem because they might asking their own forwarder
to pickup and the forwarder might have good relationship with local custom
to do the custom clearance.

We also have a lot users which different country that have their own
custom issue, we just cannot simply stated in our main website that listed
what country may have problem, its not our procedure. We already listed in
[url]http://support.popcornhour.com/article.aspx?ID=1015[/url] that which courier
service for which country, all these courier are suggested widely from our
users. You may refer to [url]www.networkedmediatank.com[/url] to check whether
possible other Malaysia users have this type of problem.

We already asking UPS to come out a solution whether the A-110 can be
remove from the package and if cannot be we will ask UPS to return back to
China. $250 sure can refund to you for the return freight charges we will
ask UPS to give us a discount for it and it could be possible responsibile
by customer.

Thanks.

Regards,
The Popcorn Hour Sales Team

Will you take the risk to buy this product ? No matter if reviews are good ?

THINK AGAIN !
They will pass the buck onto you if any problems occur.
They will wipe their hands clean if any issues occur with shipping.
They will knowingly keep information from you about duty in your country.

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