Author Topic: Popcorn Hour Units  (Read 3512 times)

kmchurchwell

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Popcorn Hour Units
« on: February 03, 2009, 04:19:03 am »
Can these units be used as or configured to be thin clients or a core for that matter?
newbielink:http://www.popcornhour.com/onlinestore/index.php?module=onlinestore&pluginoption=catalog&task=info&item_id=6&main_id=0&category_id [nonactive]

Please let me know of your experiences or to the masterminds, your thoughts.  If no information has been gathered, please let know if you can put this piece of hardware on your "list" to try.

TIA

tkmedia

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Re: Popcorn Hour Units
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2009, 04:29:16 am »
best you could probably get is to use that to play media off the lmce core via uPnP


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cirion

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Re: Popcorn Hour Units
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2009, 08:04:16 am »
Can these units be used as or configured to be thin clients or a core for that matter?
You will not be able to use those as thin clients or a core for LinuxMCE. The Popcorn hour does not have any PC hardware able to run Kubuntu. It is a small main board built around a Chip from Sigmadesigns and even if it runs MKV's perfectly they do not have any PC processors to run Kubuntu.

If all you are looking for is Media Playback a Popcorn hour can use the LCME share's directly to access any media you have. But then again you will not be able to use LMCE for anything else but a fileserver from your Popcorn Hour. As Tim said you could use uPnP streaming too, but I have never figured out how to get the Core to show any media on it but the video guides.

Now if you only want Media on your TV. I mean no PVR or TV viewing, no smarthouse features, no phone server and so on. The Popcorn hour is a excellent "core" for media...

You can have as many Popcorn hours as you like, and network them. Then install a HD in any of them, and all of them can access the same media. You could add more HD's in every Popcorn Hour or use the USB ports. You can even use a NAS or any PC on the network to store media.

kmchurchwell

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Re: Popcorn Hour Units
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2009, 08:25:56 pm »
Thank you so much for the help!

1audio

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Re: Popcorn Hour Units
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2009, 05:45:32 pm »
The Popcorn Hour has a pretty open software and several server integrations have been done that point to a LMCE integration. One example is Swisscenter. I have installed Swisscenter on LMCE and got the PCH's to work with it. None of the control stuff is there but since the PCH sends essentially keypresses to Swisscenter, which is a web server running on the core it would be possible to device an enhanced web server that interprets the response from PCH and initialized commands on the core for all of LMCE's functionality.

The Popcorn Hour will play ripped BluRay content from LMCE. Here is where the Developer community for PCH hides out:  http://www.networkedmediatank.com/

I think the guys as Syabas would be supportive of an integration effort. They have indicated as much to me in the past. And a 15W Media director with very good media playback would be a nice thing to have. However the underlying firmware is mostly NOT open source, coming from Sigma designs.

colinjones

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Re: Popcorn Hour Units
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2009, 10:31:41 pm »
Note, the 'guys at Syabas' are not supportive of anything whatsoever! Several years ago they very effectively sewed up dozens of manufactures to their media centre technology. For the last 5+ years, practically every cheap, "appliance" type media player was based on the Syabas sofware - Buffalo Link Theaters, DLink media homes, eyeHomes, etc, etc. none of them had any control whatsoever over the Syabas base software, and constantly promised firmware updates to resolve obvious and in some cases critical bugs... these never eventuated, or literally tooks years. And the American market was screwed over even more because they effectively stopped developing for them completely. I used to have a Buffalo, and followed a user group for that - the American users in the end had to resort to "cracking" the European or Japanese versions of the firmware!

There was no real competition on a technical ground because there was zero differentiation between the products. That suited Sybas just fine, as a result had to do practically nothing to provide ongoing support. The only areas that progressed were the "server" component you installed on your PC. Like Swisscenter, as 1audio mentioned - there are dozens of these floating around and they all work on all the different brands of hardware because the software is identical. I preferred Wizd as my server. Ultimately, I gave up on the product due to the lack of support and progress, and because it had become very obvious that the fundamental architecture was fatally brain-damaged - the firmware on the media players is very little more than a very basic web browser. The "server" is just that, a web server, that serves up simple pages based on a "skin", and the browser displays them (without all the usual window boundries and other browser button paraphenalia!). So anything you click on one is really just an http link ... thats why you always see the little ........ progressively appearing in the bottom right corner whilst you wait wait wait for the next page to be displayed. Its downloading the next web page from the server :)

That's when I gave up and switched to LMCE :)

1audio

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Re: Popcorn Hour Units
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2009, 10:50:30 pm »
Things have changed some, if you look through the forum there it seems a lot of the underlying stuff has been cracked. And the owner of Syabas has expressed interest in LinuxMCE to me. He is caught in that tough world between proprietary and open software and can't just publish everything.

The Sigma platform isn't as powerful as a PC and the response is sluggish by comparison. And not just Syabas's implementation. The latest versions- 8634 and 8654 are much faster than the old 8622. Its the dominant platform for BluRay players. The competitive alternative is from broadcom, and that is even more closed (with an ugly pending lawsuit between the OSF and Cisco trying to open it up). The Tivo would be a great alternative if we could make it a Media Director of sorts.

Both platforms have better video with better software support than PC based solutions, just not accessible to open source developers or users.

colinjones

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Re: Popcorn Hour Units
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2009, 11:18:35 pm »
Interesting!

In any case, I'm holding a torch for the nVidia ION platform, can't wait to see commercial products based on it. The demo unit was on a pico-ITX board, literally fits in the palm of your hand! If nVidia price it appropriately (based on the known costs of the Atom and the 9400M core), it should make for easily the cheapest and smallest MD ever!! Plus it has kick arse graphics (only marginally sub-7300GT for pixel fil, and nearly twice that for texels) plus PV... with more support for hardware decoding under Linux for 8xxx and 9xxx, this could be a watershed...!

(btw, rumours that Intel were going to refuse to sell Atoms without the associated Intel chipset, making this ION platform impractical commerically, are false. Intel have refuted it, and have made it clear they are more than happy to sell Atoms on their own)
« Last Edit: February 04, 2009, 11:20:16 pm by colinjones »

Zaerc

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Re: Popcorn Hour Units
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2009, 12:52:44 pm »
I guess some people will never learn no matter how many times they get burned by proprietary crap.
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colinjones

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Re: Popcorn Hour Units
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2009, 12:58:02 pm »
I guess some people will never learn no matter how many times they get burned by proprietary crap.

I only got burned that once, with the Buffalo/Syabas System, but that was 4 years ago now, not going back :)

Zaerc

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Re: Popcorn Hour Units
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2009, 01:17:43 pm »
I guess some people will never learn no matter how many times they get burned by proprietary crap.

I only got burned that once, with the Buffalo/Syabas System, but that was 4 years ago now, not going back :)
Sounded more like you're just going to be buying into the next one. 
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colinjones

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Re: Popcorn Hour Units
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2009, 01:34:45 pm »
I think you were thinking of 1audio's post not mine. My post was as damning an assessment of Syabas as you could get (albeit not knowing the latest info that 1audio provided, either way not remotely interested in it any more)

Zaerc

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Re: Popcorn Hour Units
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2009, 01:40:05 pm »
I think you were thinking of 1audio's post not mine. My post was as damning an assessment of Syabas as you could get (albeit not knowing the latest info that 1audio provided, either way not remotely interested in it any more)
No I'm thinking (mostly) of one of your previous posts where you say you'll be buying into the next proprietary hardware.
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colinjones

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Re: Popcorn Hour Units
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2009, 08:14:56 pm »
I think you were thinking of 1audio's post not mine. My post was as damning an assessment of Syabas as you could get (albeit not knowing the latest info that 1audio provided, either way not remotely interested in it any more)
No I'm thinking (mostly) of one of your previous posts where you say you'll be buying into the next proprietary hardware.

Nope, no idea what you're talking about! I guess it must have been another thread somewhere I've forgotten about, as none of my posts in this thread mention anything about buying anything at all, nor even imply the purchase of a proprietary media solution. Wherever it was, it was a misunderstanding, I have had no plans at all to purchase any other media solution than what I already have, LMCE!


Zaerc

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Re: Popcorn Hour Units
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2009, 09:16:34 pm »
I think you were thinking of 1audio's post not mine. My post was as damning an assessment of Syabas as you could get (albeit not knowing the latest info that 1audio provided, either way not remotely interested in it any more)
No I'm thinking (mostly) of one of your previous posts where you say you'll be buying into the next proprietary hardware.

Nope, no idea what you're talking about! I guess it must have been another thread somewhere I've forgotten about, as none of my posts in this thread mention anything about buying anything at all, nor even imply the purchase of a proprietary media solution. Wherever it was, it was a misunderstanding, I have had no plans at all to purchase any other media solution than what I already have, LMCE!

Nope, no misunderstanding whatsoever, you clearly stated in this very thread that you were going to invest in more nvidia hardware which is just as proprietary, although currently maybe better supported, but still.  It surprises me that so little people are aware of these things.
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