Buckscoop > Deals > Computers & Electronics > Popcorn Hour "Stimulus Package" - $569.95

Popcorn Hour "Stimulus Package" - $569.95

Posted By: ninkasi, posted 2009/04/19 21:21
A really neat little media player with a very silly name - very powerful that would do any geek with a HD big screen tv proud. Do a google search for reviews of this, or you can find some links to reviews on the eljo website.

You can see some tech info here (http://www.eljomedia.com.au/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=PH-A110&Show=TechSpecs) but basically it has HDMI 1.3a, allowing full support of HD Audio pass-through for DTS HD-HR, DTS HD-MA, Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD.

You can stream or playback your digital media content from a variety of sources, such as your PC, NAS, digital camera, USB mass storage devices (Flash drive, HDD, DVD drive), internal SATA HDD and even directly from the Internet via the Media Service Portal. It also serves as a NAS and a BitTorrent peer-to-peer downloader to eliminate the need to switch on a PC or other device for this purpose.

The Popcorn Hour A-110 supports the latest high bitrate video formats (MPEG2 MP@HL, H.264 HP@L4.1, VC-1 AP@L3 in TS of at least 40Mbps) to give you up to 1080p high-definition videos. It also supports peer-to-peer Internet TV streaming technology from SayaTV, as well as popular unicast internet TV such as YouTube, Revision 3 and Vuze via the Media Service Portal.

Deal includes:
* 1 x Popcorn Hour A-110 NMT
* 1 x WD 1TB AV Hard Drive
* 1 x Popcorn Hour WN-100 Wifi Dongle
* 1 x HDMI Cable
* Free Nationwide Shipping.

I figure that is about $80 or so off normal price, so worth considering if you're after this sort of kit. Note that this is NOT a pvr ie it will not record tv - for that sort of thing you need something like a Beyonwiz or Dvico TViX. There are also other alternatives out there like an Apple Mac mini but they are way more expensive, or WD TV but that's way less powerful. Also note that delivery is not until the end of May, and the offer is only for a maximum of 100 orders....
57°-+
  • fishmonkey2009/04/21 16:44:47
    they are selling the A-110 on its own for $339, so the package is not really much of a saving if you can be bothered sourcing the other bits yourself...

    could be worth it for the convenience i guess...

    it's a bit rough that they want the customers to order up front before they actually get the stock...
  • nod2009/04/21 19:07:05
    it's a bit rough that they want the customers to order up front before they actually get the stock...


    Especially as you say the 'value' is not that great. I guess they are wanting to minimise their exposure, which is perfectly understandable in this current climate for electronics merchants
  • fishmonkey2009/04/21 19:42:04
    it also depends on whether they want payment up front... some shops will debit your card when they ship, others will debit straight away even if it takes them weeks to get the merchandise to you...
  • ninkasi2009/04/21 21:24:19
    fishmonkey
    they are selling the A-110 on its own for $339, so the package is not really much of a saving if you can be bothered sourcing the other bits yourself...


    Agreed on all counts, but I would note that the cheapest I've been able to find the A-110 elsewhere is for $375 - not including shipping - and an AV grade 1TB drive from the likes of msy.com.au is $175 so when you add it all up (A-110, drive, wifi adapter, hdmi cable, shipping) I still think it's a reasonable package....

    Cheers
  • fishmonkey2009/04/22 15:57:02
    dunno what you mean about "AV grade" drive... any new hard drive is more (a lot more) than capable of streaming a bit of video...

    and the eljomedia site lists a number of Western Digital drives, so i imagine it will be one of those models (lets say roughly $140-150 street retail for the drive)...

    it's not a bad deal, but i would hope for a better price for a package like that...
  • ninkasi2009/04/22 16:42:48
    fishmonkey
    dunno what you mean about "AV grade" drive...


    Ah. An AV grade drive is one that's rated for service 24*7, as opposed to ones that are designed to be in a standard PC and only used for a few hours a day. Basically, they in theory have a longer lifespan when used in situations where they may be left running continuously (such as video surveillance or file sharing servers etc). If you're only going to use the thing to watch videos, and will turn it off afterwards, then it won't matter. If you're going to leave it on all the time and use it to share out music, download files, etc then (on average) a standard drive will fail much sooner than an AV drive.

    AV drive
    Standard drive

    The drive they have on the website is a standard drive, but they state in the blurb re the special that they supply an AV grade drive. At MSY a standard 1TB WD drive is $154, and an AV grade WD drive is $175.

    Personally, I don't really need the drive (I have all my media on a different server, so the unit can run without the drive so be cooler & quieter) so I might just go the player by itself. At a pinch, I might at some time put in a laptop drive (low noise & heat) to avoid having to stream frequently accessed videos (eg kid shows) over the network...

    Cheers
  • fishmonkey2009/04/22 21:32:31
    ninkasi;85910
    Ah. An AV grade drive is one that's rated for service 24*7, as opposed to ones that are designed to be in a standard PC and only used for a few hours a day. Basically, they in theory have a longer lifespan when used in situations where they may be left running continuously (such as video surveillance or file sharing servers etc). If you're only going to use the thing to watch videos, and will turn it off afterwards, then it won't matter. If you're going to leave it on all the time and use it to share out music, download files, etc then (on average) a standard drive will fail much sooner than an AV drive.


    oh, i see what you mean... however i think that is mostly marketing spin these days... many years ago, due to technical limitations in drive engineering, specialised AV drives were important for some applications...

    i guess an "AV drive" these days might be expected to be more reliable, like a server-grade drive...

    but, in the case of those WD drives, they are from the WD Green Power range, which from what i understand largely run cooler and quieter and use less power because they have slower (perhaps variable) spindle speeds than the majority of 3.5" drives these days, which is 7200RPM or higher... that said, for most purposes, the lower performing Green Power drives are perfectly adequate...

    you will notice that WD gives very limited specs on its website for Green Power drives... spindle speed, seek times, etc. are all conspicuous by their absence... i would guess that the WD AV drives have overall lower performance than the non-AV drives, but since most AV drive access is sequential reads and writes it doesn't really matter...

    i have read that the WD AV drives are very quiet though, which makes them well suited to PVRs and media players...
  • fishmonkey2009/04/25 00:01:39
    btw, if you really want to step up to a significantly more reliable hard drive, you need to be looking at enterprise-grade drives, and these cost significantly more than standard drives...

    e.g. a standard Seagate Barracuda 750GB drive can be had for around $150, whereas a 750GB enterprise-grade Barracuda will set you back around $250...

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