New media box recommendation please!


Novice Member
May 11, 2014
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Hello all,

I know this question has been asked repeatedly, but I'm looking for a bit of a steer on a new media player, if you would be so kind.

I've pretty much whittled it down to the Dune HD Real Vision 4k or Zidoo Z9X, but don't know if I should be looking at other players too (e.g. the Zappiti Mini 4K, Mede8er, etc.).

Current set up

By way of background, I'm looking to upgrade from a PCH A400 and PCH VTEN, mainly due to lack of on-going support and one of them has developed a power issue. Great little boxes, though, that have served me well.

My media is stored on 2 NAS units, both wired over a gigabit network. The shares are, to be frank, a bit of a mess, so I have about 5 libraries on the PCH boxes (1 for movies, 1 for TV, 1 for music, 1 for 3D, etc.).

Most of my video media is ripped to MKV x264. Music is a mixture of mp3, FLAC and a few other file types.

The current boxes act as my main media units, but a downside is a lack of apps for streaming.

What I'm looking for

I'd like something that has the same movie wall and info as the PCH jukebox (poster, wallpaper, IMDB review, synopsis, etc). Basically, something that looks good!
A decent scraper - the media libraries are pretty big - ideally with some sort of PC interface / app to correct database errors easily.

The more file types it can play - particularly Dolby audio - the better.

Ideally, it would keep track of episodes and movies watched, and this info could be seen across devices (i.e. if I get two boxes to use in different rooms, I can see on either one that I have watched an episode or movie).

Despite the slightly messy shares, I'd quite like the ability to keep these separate - e.g. so kids tv/movies are totally separate from everything else. So the ability to add and switch between multiple shares is key.

I know music scraping is a bit of an issue on most boxes, but ideally something similar and with a good scraper for music that shows (and can ideally automatically scrape artwork, album information etc.). Honestly, I have spent hours trying to sort this on the PCH and it's just painful.

A big "want" is to have apps such as Netflix, iplayer, amazon, etc. - really this was the only major thing lacking in the PCH.

The ability to install android apps generally would be plus.

Oh, and a completely random thing- I'd love a box with a decent screensaver /visualizer to run whilst listening to music. Not sure if that is possible - perhaps some sort of android app? - but would be great to have.

More generally, after the drop in support for the PCH units, I'm looking for something with decent support and an active community.

Based on this, would recommend one box over the other, or something competent different?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!
You're on the right track there. Either of those should fit the bill, along with a Zappiti also. I haven't tried adding Netflix or other apps to mine so I can't speak to that, but the interface is there, but hidden. I'd say a Zappiti look more like an A400 unit while the other units look more like a VTEN, interface wise, if that means anything, but it's been a long time since I fired up a VTEN.
A big "want" is to have apps such as Netflix, iplayer, amazon, etc. - really this was the only major thing lacking in the PCH.

Hi mate

If looking at a a zidoo or dune you will need an additional box for the major streaming services. Most are not natively supported and the ones which are often are not capable of streaming at the optimum quality.

see here for zidoo, the dune will likely be similar:-

Hi guys, thank you both for your responses. There doesn't seem to be much in it between the Dune and the Z9X (which makes it difficult to choose). I was initially quite taken with the Zappiti but my concern (which may be wrong) is that theirs is a more closed ecosystem. I am a bit wary of going all in given what has happened with the PCH support.
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Hi I had A PCH A300 and it served me well for years and when it died. I looked around for a new player the same as you. But as choppels said above their wasn't a one box solution to suit my needs so I ended up with a Vero4K as a media player and a 4k firestick for streaming apps. The Vero uses kodi and the scraper is far superior to the PCH's it will play anything you through at it apart from dolby vision if you want dolby vision as well I would probably go for the ZX9 and a 4k firestick
Hey everyone - sorry to be late to the party! My PopCorn Hour A400 is finally on it's last legs, and I don't think life support is worth it anymore!

I'm looking for something to replace it - and based on peoples reviews above (a bit older by the time I got to this)... I was wondering if the general consensus to replace my A400 would be a Z9X. Now... there's a Z10Xpro available .. and my question is this - is the Z10Xpro overkill? ** I DO NOT NEED STREAMING SERVICES - ONLY LOCAL **

A few things important:
  • My PCH-A400 had all files on it, and I could torrent them straight to the box and seed them from there.
  • I want to be able to download the fanart and movieposters from online
  • Dolby full surround sound
  • either have the capability to have a 2-6TB hard drive installed in the unit (like the PCH) or an external attached directly to it with the media.
  • networked capability to see the files from my PC and transfer back and forth if I choose (although the main transfer comes from torrent sites straight to the device/hard drive)
So - Z10Xpro (or similiar version), would an NVIDIA shield work for my needs or something else you recommend?

Please and thanks for your time!!
Wrote this exactly for selecting what suits somebody.

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