Kolbu

Computers, Gadgets and Beyond!
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Popcorn Hour NMT (Networked Media Tank) A-100

November 29, 2007 By: webmaster Category: Media Players, Technology

So it arrived. Hong Kong to Norway in little under 72 hours, not too bad except that half of that time was spent on the last 20 kilometers according to the DHL tracking website. I'll start a review page which I'll fill with the highlights today and update as I get more mileage out of the player. You'll find the link in the menu on the right.

The box

As you can see, they didn't spend a lot on the packaging...  

I’ve got mine (soon)!

November 21, 2007 By: webmaster Category: Media Players, Technology

There is currently quite a frenzy around the new Networked Media Tank from PopcornHour. The first batch was sold out in so short a time that the NMT/PopcornHour community forum flowed over with angry posts. Apparently PopcornHour had been playing it safe and only ordered about 50 units or so in the first batch, not really enough for the thousand or so eager wouldbe customers. So for the next batch it was not a repeat of the "hit refresh at the right time"-shopping experience the initial release had been. Instead they sent out invitations to the people having registered on the site on a first register first dibs basis. I luckily registered quite early (number 200ish) and got my invitation about a week ago. Today they billed my Google Checkout account, which should mean that they're shipping. So if all goes well, I should have a unit in hand in a week or two and provide you with a review of the unit. Head over to http://www.popcornhour.com or http://www.networkedmediatank.com if you want to see what the commotion is about.

Update: It's now reached DHL shipping facilities Germany, so should be on my doorstep in a day or two!

The new breed of media players

October 18, 2007 By: webmaster Category: Technology, Video

There is a changing of the guards happening in the standalone media player world. The current batch of players like the Mvix MX-760HD, the TViX HD-M5000, the Mediagate MD 350 HD etc are rapidly becoming obsolete because of a new chip from Sigma Designs. The old players are based around the EM8621, the new ones are based around the SMP8635. There are newish players out which use the EM8623, but find a player with the new chip instead as they're just being released and you don't want to end up with yesteryears technology. They have support for H.264/MPEG4, and quite a few HD-formats like Xvid-HD, Divx-HD, and WMV9-HD. Audio support includes Ogg and Flac. In addition to this, the devices will come with a browser and audio/video streaming from the Internet, bittorrent client and even RSS feed support. All highly desirable functions you simply can't get on the current crop of players. See for example http://www.popcornhour.com/.

 

No idea how they are as a company nor if their product will live up to expectations, but the technical specifications certainly look impressive. Especially considering the US price of $179. Most likely much more expensive here in europe of course. The tech specs are a bit loose on whether or not the device will support 1080p video or not, possibly just as 720p in and upscaling to 1080p out. Time will tell, as they've promised to start taking orders at the end of next week. Note that the image above may or may not be the final look of the thing, as I've seen several alternatives. This image is straight from the actual site though, so it might be the final design. Too bad it now looks like a cheap external hard drive enclosure, but for that price you can't expect too much.