Question Are there any advantages to popcorn hour anymore?

Discussion in 'Video Streaming Boxes & Services' started by williamsc47, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. williamsc47

    williamsc47
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    Hi all,

    I apologise if this has been done to death but I can't really seem to find a definitive answer to this question.

    I am in the market for a new media streamer, I have been using an a110 for the last few years but with newer codes becoming more common, it is time to upgrade.

    My main priorities are:

    1. Picture and Audio quality
    2. Codec compatibility inc H.265
    3. reliability for network streaming from NAS
    4. Future proofing, so preferably 4K etc.

    Although I am not overly concerned about apps, web browsing, kodi and other features, I do wonder if there is any advantage of sticking with a popcorn hour (or other syabas box) over an android box or others?

    I am looking at the popcorn hour VTEN at the moment, but does the popcorn hour line still boast any advantages.... they always used to have the best codec compatibility and picture quality, is this still the case?

    If it really doesn't have an advantage these days, perhaps I would be better off with an android box or other alternative?

    What does everyone think? Is there still a place for the popcorn hour line up?

    Thanks
     
  2. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Welcome to the forum williamsc47 :hiya:

    Partly answered in this recent thread - Is Popcorn Hour outdated now? | AVForums
    The PCH is still well regarded but not to the same extent that it was (see my comment from earlier today in above thread). With firmware updates being limited now it may not be the best or even best value media player platform when you can do so much yourself on a DIY platform (see below).

    However some will say the likes of Android for a media player is not ideal as it is not what the OS was really designed for, things like HD audio support tends to be a little hit or miss.
    There devices such as the new NVidia Shield, although not yet officially available in the UK it does look promising. But there are some gripes with it, but they will hopefully be resolved in upcoming firmware updates.

    If into a DIY system then the likes of an Intel NUC or RPi2 (not sure if either are 4k) allow you to build a system the way you want it, add the OS of choice and add apps that give you the features you want.

    So there are many other options than just buying a preconfigured media player, but if you just want a plug & play device then they are still an easy option.

    Mark.
     
  3. williamsc47

    williamsc47
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    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the welcome and the information.

    Would you say its got at least as good codec support as anything else available?

    What about playback quality and VXP for SD content... seems to be a bit of a bonus?

    I think the ease of use of the popcorn hour is also pretty handy...I don't think I would have any real issues setting up a more complicated device, but having something that isn't going to throw many curve balls at me, does still seem appealing.

    Any other thoughts anyone?
     
  4. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Excluding a PC that can be updated with new CODECs as they become available I would say the VTEN is about as good as it gets support wise, especially as it is one of the newer players that can handle H.265 playback that is popular for HD camcorders.
    For SD upscaling & processing the VTEN should be better than most other players. But for HD the VXP processing is not really used so is unlikely to make any real difference.
    Coming from the A-110 there will still be a fair few differences to get used to such as NMJ and the new internet streaming apps etc. But the basic PCH UI should be familiar to get you up & running quickly. So I don't think you will go far wrong with a newer PCH - as long as it does what you want it to now, don't ever rely on promised features as they have a nasty habit of never turning up.
    You can still play with the likes of KODI on a PC and then decide if in the future that is a route you would like to look into more and then have a play with a RPi etc.

    Mark.
     
  5. williamsc47

    williamsc47
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    Thanks for the help...I think I most likely will go for the VTEN and see how it goes...can always sell later.

    Thanks again
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  6. JonMace

    JonMace
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    before you buy anything put kodi on your pc and have a play, if you like it there are lots of options
     

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