Zxyel DMA1000 vs Popcorn Hour

Acen

Standard Member
Its hard to give an answer as it depends on what you want.

If you want simple setup then go with ZyXEL, if you want to go with tweaking settings then go with popcorn.

If you are concerned with price and issues if the products go wrong then I would say ZyXEL. Popcorn could get pricey if you're importing.

Popcorn = good codec support but definitely for the enthusiast. Not ideal for Music playback. Not great support.

DMA1000 = great value player that will probably play most of your converted divx/xvid movies. Think the DMA has got the edge on the Popcorn in terms of MP3 playback from what the reviews are saying - see below.

http://forums.thoughtsmedia.com/showthread.php?t=89110
 

Mr Lazy

Active Member
Thanks for your reply Acen.

Initially I was thinking about one of these devices to play back footage from my high def (AVCHD/H.264) camcorder (as they are much cheaper than a PS3!) and maybe more later.

Not bothered about music (at the moment).

Not bothered about simple/complex - I don't mind complex but something the SWMBO could navigate would be a bonus :)

The Zyxel is tempting for the price and the fact that it wouldn't have to be imported (therefore easier to return) but I would be concerned it would be able to play the AVCHD files.

Thanks for the link to the review. Would like to try and find more reviews of the Zyxel, so far I've only found one small 'review' as part of a group test (PCPro possibly) and the review was 'ok' nothing more.
 

chris57

Novice Member
If you require HD playback then go for the Popcorn as it has a better chipset (EM8634) than the Zyxel. The Zyxel looks good for SD only, as it doesnt support the majority of HD formats/codecs and doesnt have 1080p, but uses technology that is established whereas the PCH is developing all the time. If you like an active forum then the PCH has one and a good community developing new apps etc.
I imported my PCH total cost inc customs and shipping £140. If you find a problem then you will have to RMA it to USA or China but it comes back in about 3 weeks total.
The PCH brings you an internal HD (IDE 750GB), YouTube, component connection, wireless (next firmware max 20mb/s so only for SD), video jukebox, stream from NAS, SMB/NFS/FTP, does 1080p, etc...
The PCH will take you longer to get to know as there are a hell of a lot of features etc. but for about £30 more IMO its well worth it.
 

Mr Lazy

Active Member
Thanks Chris. I need to decide whether to get one of these units in the coming months or save up for a PS3 (perhaps at Xmas - my eldest son will be 5 by then). I need to do some more research and first make sure the PCH (or whatever) can play the AVCHD from my camcorder (whereas I know the PS3 can). There are also the TVIX boxes which look good though are more expensive - there may be other such devices which I'm not even aware of.

I have a simple NAS box which I might be able to use with either PCH or PS3 - it supports SMB and FTP as you'd expect but don't think it supports NFS(?) and it doesn't support DLNA though not sure if that's a big deal (for me, at the moment anyway). It also can be used as a normal USB external hard drive so could just plug it into the PCH that way, failing that take the IDE HDD out and put it in the PCH so long as it didn't get too hot :)
 

chris57

Novice Member
If you have a sample upload it to rapidshare or similar and I will happily test it for you, PM me the link.
With regards the NAS if you can install apps on it then there are quite a few http server apps that work well such as Wizd, oxylbox, llink, etc. these will give you the best streaming rates (44mb/s). Dont worry about DNLA as the PCH works best with shares and http server apps.
Tvix are double the cost of the PCH and have their problems.
The PCH runs Syabas' Networkmediatank firmware. There are others using the same that have different hardware so you can match one to suit your needs best. HDX900, Istar, etc. All including the Tvix are reviewed at MPC:-
http://www.mpcclub.com/modules.php?name=Reviews
 

Mr Lazy

Active Member
If you have a sample upload it to rapidshare or similar and I will happily test it for you, PM me the link.
Thanks for the offer Chris I might take you up on that it would be nice to know for sure whether or not the PCH can play AVCHD from my camcorder as it seems each manufacturer has their own implementation of AVCHD. I will try and upload a sample to my webspace (don't hold your breath might not be next few days due to usual time constraints of family life, work etc. :()
 

Mr Lazy

Active Member
Chris no need now as one of the guys on the Camcorders sub-forum has just confirmed that the AVCHD plays back without trouble on the PCH and he has the same camcorder as me. Thanks again.
 

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