Computers, Gadgets and Beyond!

PopchornHour A-100 Firmware Release Notes

The official download page is at PopcornHour Support. However, what you find here is a local repository complete with all the changelogs available.

A firmware upgrade on the PopcornHour is very simple, if you have an internet connection and all you want to do is make sure you have the latest firmware available. Press the Setup button on the remote, select Maintenance and then “check for new firmware”. Then just follow the on screen instructions.

If, however, your PCH is not connected to the internet or you specifically want to install an older version then here is how.

Go to the link above and find the release you want to install. Most likely the second from the top, if you just installed the latest and greatest over the net and found out that some bug in the new release warrants a downgrade. The release you download is a zip-file that consists of 4-5 files depending on the release:

Archive:  01-15-080223-14-POP-402.zip
  inflating: 01-15-080223-14-POP-402/01-15-080223-14-POP-402-000.bin  
  inflating: 01-15-080223-14-POP-402/README.txt  
  inflating: 01-15-080223-14-POP-402/release_notes.txt  
  inflating: 01-15-080223-14-POP-402/syb8634.nmt  
  inflating: 01-15-080223-14-POP-402/usbupdate.html  

The individual files are:

This is the main firmware image. The important part of the file name is the 080223 which tells you that this image was created February 23. 2008. Which may or may not be the date of release as well. Just think of this as the version number.
Read this file, it tells you exactly how to use this particular firmware upgrade and if there are any changes to the procedure this time around. It generally isn’t.
As the file name indicates, this is a brief list of changes that have gone into this release. Worth reading if you’re really interested, not needed.
This file contains the additional applications that get installed if you have an internal hard drive. Includes a BitTorrent client and other applications. If you have an internal hard drive you will see a couple of extra installation procedure steps.
The media player doesn’t really know how to handle firmware files directly, so this is a one-line html file that just provides a clickable link to the firmware file above. Probably saved at least three lines of code in the firmware on this…

All you have to do to upgrade your PCH to this downloaded firmware is to copy the .bin, .nmt and .html file to a USB stick and insert that into the front of the player. The USB memory stick will show up as an extra Media Source, which you can select like any other source. Once selected, use the rightmost text icon (of the four big icons on the main screen) to locate the usbupdate.html file and click on this. Click again on the link you are presented with and the firmware starts installing. Follow on screen instructions from there on. You can also transfer these three files to the PCH in any other way you have available (ftp, samba, CD, etc) before you start the upgrade but DO NOT upgrade from remote files. I.e. don’t just put them on your NFS server, CIFS server or NAS, make sure they are available locally on the PCH.

Sponsor break:

The official firmware releases so far, newest first:

Firmware 080223

Release Date : 14 March 2008
Firmware Version: 01-15-080223-14-POP-402
NMT Apps Version : 00-15-080221-14-POP-402


1. Requires NMT apps 00-15-080221-14-POP-402
2. MKV aspect ratio fix
3. TS with multiple PMT support, PMT switching with ANGLE key
4. playlist starts playing from current selected item
5. EVO software demux suppport (only support for default EAC3 audio track)
– known performance issue with software demux
6. added audio codec info when switching audio tracks in TS, MKV and AVI
7. added key Up/Down as Prev/Next while in playlist playback.
8. added Big5 subtitle file handling
9. Brightness/contrast/saturation/hue adjustment during playback
– press SETUP key during playback
– press Up/Down/Setup to select available settings
– press Left or Right to make adjustments
10. fixes for PAL TV (50Hz) problems
11. Enabled BT Start/Stop function
12. fixed BT pages using SD background when in HD
13. fixed Picasa black screen issue
14. fixed video unable to playback after audio with slideshow, from myiHome/myiHomeLite
15. fixed IR no response after key held down too long during playback
16. fixed www.mls.ca site crashing browser
17. EXT2 Harddisk format option
18. MKV time seek, fixed audio and subtitle track not persistent after seek
19. SMB client username/password saving in Network Share page
20. additional fix for photo playback stability issue
21. fixed bogus subtitle response from WMP11
22. added Setup page keylock On/Off (for child-proofing)
– press Setup then Play to unlock
23. added IR Repeat On/Off option
24. TS aspect ratio fix.
25. minor text changes in Setup page
26. VDR playback support, first release
– Note that only 001…00n.vdr is valid video file, attempts to play other *.vdr files may fail.
27. Persistent run-time settings
– to improve playback experience for multiple *.TS (or other container) of the same movie
– settings are persistent per session. Not stored in non-volatile memory.
– Known issue: PMT switching on TS not consistent. Fix in progress.
28. Added SCART support (for A-100e)
29. Color key mapped to filter Video/Music/Photo/Other files
– Red for Video, Green for Music, Yellow for Photo, Blue for other supported files
– local file and network shares will immediately filter files in the same folder
– UPnP servers will redirect to respective TOP Video/Music/Photo folders
– not applicable to current myiHome, future myiHome will direct to TOP Video/Music/Photo folders
30. Network Shares
– backward compatibility handling added, fixes messed up settings when upgrading from older firmware that have not support username:password saving
– Note: due to format change, NFS/SMB shares added since 080201 may not be accessible. Please remove and add again.
– fixed NFS client not working with some Linux and Hanewin NFS server, this is due to server not supporting TCP. Revert to UDP.
– Known issue: SMB client, unable to access next page during “SMB browsing” if URL contains single quote.
31. Setup pages
– fixed some Chinese translation
– fixed Setup page lock, certain RC having PLAY_PAUSE key instead of PLAY key.
32. Photo slideshow plays from current focused item
– not applicable for current myiHome
33. Double-byte font fixes
– improved font loading time
– Fixed incorrect width calculation for UTF-8 characters
34. Fixed some YouTube / GoogleVideo broken.
35. UPnP AV
– DMR (Digital Media Renderer) enabled, first release
– more reliable UPnP server detection
36. modified HTML marquee behaviour, now will start scrolling only after 1 second delay.
37. fixed Video_TS can’t play when URL contains Escape character
38. Enabled color key to change between Video, Music, Photo root folders for UPnP AV servers
39. fixed DVD autoplay broken (from USB DVD-ROM)
40. Consistency fix for PMT track change
41. fixed: play may start from incorrect item if folder contain mix of subfolders and photos


NMT Apps Version : 00-15-080221-14-POP-402

Release Notes :
1. Minimum firmware version to use this NMT App is 01-15-080221-14-POP-402-000
2. Bittorrent, improved acquisition of peers during bad network conditions
3. FTP server
– support direct copy for servers with FXP command support.
– improve login speed
– set server timeout to 24 hours

Firmware 080123

Release Date : 31 Jan 2008
Firmware Version : 01-15-080123-14-POP-402
NMT Apps Version : 00-15-080116-14-POP-402


1. Requires NMT apps 00-15-080116-14-POP-402
2. UPnP AV
– fixed myiHome Mac detection issue
– fixed UPnP AV start up crash issue
3. Improved MP4 buffer for Internet streaming
4. Setup UI
– added wireless network security and security key options
– removed “channel” option, hides “connection” option for now
– temporary fix to handle late WiFi interface init
– added VGA colorspace option (VGA resolution follows HDMI res, not enabled for Auto mode)
Note: only for appropriate hardware
– added TV mode for HDMI 1080p23, 1080p29, 1080p59, 576p50 and Component 576p50
– removed redundant “cancel” button
– added languages: Swedish, Spanish, Polish
5. Fixed subtitle wrapping and extended characters issue
6. Fixed photo slideshow audio volume reset issue
7. Network share
– different icons for NFS and SMB shares
– bug fix on “back” and “forward” page
– additional error messages added
– SMB client key handling bug fix
– Unmount network share when network is down
– focus bug fix during left/right navigation
8. Fixed RTSP no audio through HDMI
9. Fixed “Next” becomes “FR” in play single from fileplayer
10. ISO/DVD playback, fixed unable to playback after a few titles
11. Metalink 11n driver update
– brief test against Metalink WLANPlus AP and WMP11 server
– non-secured mode, upto 33Mbps
– WPA TKIP, upto 20Mbps
– Known issues
– if start up with WiFi, IP address acquisition is sometimes slow
12. fixed 1080p29/39/59 memory violation bug
13. added DVD audio and subtitle language selection
14. fixed memory overflow due to long directory or file name in photo app
(probable cause of JPEG decode hang when in deep subfolders)
15. added HDMI audio mute option
16. Torrent download status update fix
17. fixed NFS client prevented mounted share disconnection, when NFS server crashes or network down.
18. fixed SMB access through WiFi interface
19. Restructure to reduce lockup due to HTTP GET failures
20. Fixed SMB server/client, FTP server, NFS server occasionally unable to connect on isolated network.
21. Improved share configuration for NFS server
22. Error handling for exports
23. Fixed Photo slideshow memory leak
24. Browser zoom (press Zoom key in browser mode)
25. Local time displays momentarily, when Subtitle key is pressed in browser mode
26. Samba server start/stop status checking added
27. Removed NFS reload script
28. On-the-fly Subtitle menu functions
– Press Subtitle key followed by Up/Down to scroll through:
– Subtitle On/Off/Selection
– Subtitle Color adjustment
– Subtitle Timing Offset adjustment
– Subtitle Font Size adjustment
– Subtitle Vertical position adjustment
– Press Left/Right to make adjustments
– Subtitle menu will turn off if no key pressed in 5 seconds
29. added Scan SSID function and SSID list in wireless setup page
30. fixed background image disappear while playing WMA audio
31. fixed issue with photo files cannot be copied
32. Spanish language fixes
33. minor changes on SMB client, web services language pack
34. corrected myiHome background music path pointing to mute, when no music selected
35. fixed HTML page with missing background image
36. restored HDMI Mute to default setting after factory reset
37. fixed missing RC Key Repeat
38. fixed second video track playback instead of first track for certain clip
39. fixed default volume exceed level 50, happens after online update
40. fixed IR no response if RC held down for long time during playback.
41. FLAC audio support added
– You will have to edit the following XML files in myiHome 4.7 and add FLAC extension
C:\Program Files\myiHome\webapps\ROOT\xml\music.xml
C:\Program Files\myiHome\webapps\ROOT\application\music\xml\audioext.xml
42. New USB keyboard mapping
– VOD/DVD mode
– ESC (Open/Close)
– F1 (Play), F2 (Stop), F3 (Prev), F4 (Next), F5 (FR), F6 (FF), F7 (Slow)
– F8 (TimeSeek), F9 (Repeat), F10 (Audio), F11 (Subtitle), F12 (Zoom)
– PrtSc (Info), Scroll (Menu), Pause (Pause), Page Up (Vol+), Page Down (Vol-)
– Browser mode
– ESC (Open/Close)
– F1 (Play), F2 (Stop), F3 (PrevPage/Return), F4 (NextPage), F5 (Refresh), F6 (URL)
– F7 (Setup), F8 (Time), F9 (Red), F10 (Green), F11 (Yellow), F12 (Blue)
– PrtSc (Info), Pause (Select), Insert (Copy), Delete (Backspace), Backspace (Backspace)
– Home (Home), End (TV Mode), Page Up (Page Up), Page Down (Page Down), Tab (Tab),
– Window (Source), Menu (File), Alphanumeric, Symbol and Arrow
43. Further fix memory leak issue when doing slideshow for a long time
44. Enabled BT start/stop function (BT stop needs couple of seconds to happen)
45. fixed Picasa black screen issue (due to slow downloading).
46. fixed BT pages using SD background although in HD mode
47. MKV TimeSeek first implementation
48. auto start in local and USB drives issue fixes
49. fixed video cannot playback after audio with slideshow, from myiHome and myiHomeLite
50. Max volume reduced to 1dB at settings equal to 50 (from 6dB previously), 0dB is at 49.


NMT Apps Version : 00-15-080116-14-POP-402

Release Notes :
1. Minimum firmware version to use this NMT App 01-15-080117-14-POP-402-000
2. new “wlan0” wireless interface added
3. removed obsolete “eth1” interface
4. support front panel title when in myiHome (display HTML title tag)
5. fixed myiHome background music path to mute, when no music selected

Firmware 071218

Release Date : 20 Dec 2007
Firmware Version : 01-15-071218-14-POP-402
NMT Apps Version : 00-15-071213-14-POP-402


Release Notes :
1. Requires NMT apps 00-15-071213-14-POP-402
2. Setup page
– Use “on-click” navigation instead of auto-load
– translation fixes
– timezone fixes
– modify photo interval values
3. Browser navigation
– focus on last item when Return pressed
– auto load Media source page when USB device unplugged
– fix refresh of POST HTML pages
– Vol +/- jerkiness issue fixed in SD/ED mode
– added FF 2x, 4x
5. MKV
– fixed audio track switch with codec changes, no audio issue
– fixed audio track no audio (user reported DVD-9 MKV)
6. MP4
– allows MP4 with H.264 HP@L5.1 to play
7. NFS server
– NFS server working now
– changed NFS server security/sharing settings
8. Reduced extremely long timeout when router does’nt support port forwarding.
9. Changed UPnP UI to match fileplayer
10. Torrent
– fixed epoll erro
– setup default seeding level to 0
11. Show disk space and disk size, when Info key pressed on HDD, USB drive
12. FTP fixes
– remove write optimisation causing occasiona file corrupt
– remove FTP username change, stick with ftpuser
13. NFS server share path changed from “/shares” to “/share” to be consistent
14. Samba client fixes
– redirect page number from 8 to 5
– back/forward history implemented
– unable to resolve IP for SMB server name issue
15. Web services, back/forward history implemented
16. TV mode fixes
– save on-the-fly mode changes to flash
– auto EDID reduce on-the-fly switching time
17. Change Setup navigation behaviour; “Return” direct to Media Source page
18. VOD merge (eliminates HDMI reinit issue)
19. JPEG decode
– Enabled hardware decode for JPEG. JPEG444 still decode in software.
– temporarily back to software JPEG decode, due to issues with video scaler
20. File Manager fixes
– focus item after refresh from Copy or Delete
– implement new partition free space checking
21. File player fixes
– Edit PageUp/PageDown tag
– support HARD_DISK and USB drive usage info
– added NFS tag check
22. Subtitle support for various European languages
23. Ethernet ACT LED off and FIP display cleared when soft shutdown
24. Fixed when HDMI cable plugged in, DVD/ISO playback in Composite PAL black screen issue
25. Further fix for DVD/ISO playback in component PAL
26. Fix BT status in Setup not in-sync
27. Browser fix key Up/Down in MSP pages
28. NFS server start/stop
29. Enable DVD options in Setup
30. Network share
– Auto add default prefix (smb://) if it is not entered
– checking for duplicate entries
– Samba client username/password entry prompt support
31. HTML title added for Web Services and Samba client modules
– UPnP UI and Start page will have title shown on the VFD (where applicable)
32. early MKV subtitle support (known issues with extended characters and others, fix in progress)
33. Fixes player hang when MKV subtitle is toggled during playback
34. Fixes player stuck at second bootup screen which happens occasionally
35. Fixes unable to access Media Source page when LAN cable unplugged while SMB share is last accessed.

NMT Apps Version : 00-15-071213-14-POP-402
Release Notes :

1. Minimum firmware version to use this NMT App 01-15-071213-14-POP-402-000
2. Marquee listing on upnp servers
3. UTF8 added
4. Browser pgup and pgdn key link changed
5. All “/shares” path change to “/share”
6. Fixed data corrupt on FTP
7. Removed ftp username support.
8. Bit torrent seeding timeout set to 0
9. Set upnpnat run at background
10. Support NFS server start and stop service

Firmware 071124

Release Date : 28 Nov 2007
Firmware Version : 01-15-071124-14-POP-402-000
NMT Apps Version : 00-15-071120-14-POP-402


Release Notes :
1. Requires NMT apps 00-15-071120-14-POP-402
2. Added languages
– German, Greek, Dutch
3. Turn off Video DAC in Standby, power saving
4. DVD fixes
– Exclamation OSD removed when STOP pressed
– Audio output fix: PCM output to SPDIF and HDMI, when set to PCM mode
– change DVD aspect ratio to fullscreen when source is 4:3
– fixes ISO and Video_TS over SMB playback sluggishness
– fixes DVD code to match new Setup page, changes for audio mode for PCM/RAW
– fixes DVD volume incorrect in Root menu
– fixes RAW audio not output to SPDIF
5. Browser fixes
– Use HTML marquee to display long filename under focus
– fixed auto-login USB and HARD_DISK bug
– fixed HDMI update and detection
– Javascript and marquee halt when URL prompt is displayed
– marquee speed fine-tune
– marquee wrap-around and pause for 3s after one round
– marquee hang bug fixing
– HTML caching (in RAM)
6. Newly revised Setup pages
7. Restarts all services (media servers, ftp and samba) after restore factory settings
8. Enabled buffering for Internet streaming of MP4 videos
9. FTP and SMB server
– FTP and SMB using unified password
10. SMB and NFS client
– moved SMB and NFS client to firmware, no longer need HDD to function
– fixes Samba wrongly resolves hostname issue, resulting in unable to connect to host
11. Fixes HDMI black-out issue after Subtitle enabled during playback
12. Fixes audio volume unable to save when playback audio file
13. Fixes repeat mode indication when playback video file
14. Added Software reboot and shutdown
– Power + Eject – Reboot
– Power + Delete – Shutdown
15. Fixes Network Share page not shown if HDD not connected
16. UPnP initialisation and detection fixes
17. Disable simultaneous TV output causing memory leak issue.
18. SayaTV fixes:
– run port forwarding scan in background to prevent blocking
– fixes sometimes unable to start SayaTV stream
19. Turn off LED when Software shutdown (Power + DEL)
20. Unfilter *.h264 and *.dts
21. Set a default DNS, for first time manual IP

NMT Apps Version : 00-15-071120-14-POP-402
Release Notes :

1. Minimum firmware version to use this NMT App 01-15-071124-14-POP-402-000
2. Moved Samba client to firmware
3. Fixed symlinks can’t work with Samba client bug
4. Improved FTP upload speed
5. Password defaults to “1234” after factory settings reset
6. Samba client CGI in sync with new Setup pages
7. FTP password support
8. improve Samba share detection
9. Marquee added to Samba client browsing UI

Firmware 071101

Release Date : 02 Nov 2007
Firmware Version : 01-13-071101-13-POP-402-000
NMT Apps Version : 00-13-071101-13-POP-402


No release notes available on this release.

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