Anyone try Popcorn Hour?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by CMD is me, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. CMD is me macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    I was finally able to sample how a 1080i and 720p video looks when imported/exported to AppleTV's 540p. I only tried a 1 minute clip. The 540p resolution did take a bit of the wow factor. I'll have to try some more tests, with different clips.

    Anyone try Popcorn Hour as an AppleTV alternative? I don't plan on streaming the video so I don't need to worry so much about file size and bitrate that is associated with AppleTV's non adjustable iMovie export.
  2. Courtaj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2008
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    Hi there.
    I don't have one myself, but a few folks over here do, and they rate it pretty well (it's a UK-based forum). Might be worth doing a search or posting a question or two.
  3. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    My A-110 is shipping the 25th, don't have an HDTV yet, but I'm just starting to ripping some high quality SD material and the XBMC plays those back at around 20 FPS, so I thought an upgrade was in order :)

    I'll be putting a 640GB HDD into it.
  4. CMD is me thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    I was interested but am giving up. I can't find any US support. I tried emailing and did get a response with a few answers, but they said there is no phone support.

    As difficult as HD video seems to be (finding the right settings for import/export from which source and what is your playback devise, etc), I like that with AppleTV there is at least someone to talk you through issues... of course AppleTV is very plug n play friendly too! Now if someone could show me how to get it work (and it would), I'd buy TWO! PCH seems to be more like a PC -- got to have everything JUST right then it MAY work ;)

    I might have to run a couple more AppleTV 540p files vs Quicktime 720p and see if the difference is worth the extra cost/inconvenience.... sure wish Apple would have made theirs 720/30fps friendly!
  5. mcmillyonaire macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2007
    Hey, I own a popcorn hour. I live in Canada. There is huge support for the popcornhour. Go to
    Here you can find info on pretty much anything including how to output your video files for best playback. I have hundreds of movies on my popcorn hour and they all play great, including HD high profile MKV files.
  6. CMD is me thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006

    After a few weeks of researching this, I'm thinking about PCH some more. From all I've read it seems to be a great local content solution -- I believe you can attach an external drive and not worry about streamng. It plays back MPEG-4 (H.264) in full 1080/30 at whatever bitrate which is light years better than 540/30 @ 4Mbps

    Anyone else?
  7. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    I got my Popcorn hour and it's top notch. It is a little geeky to setup as I bought my own 640GB harddrive and installed it inside. But it's played everything I've thrown at it. Been meaning to try the ilink plugin which is a more Apple TVy way of displaying the movies with box art (the default is just a movie listing).

    It won't play any of your itms materials, which might be a con. A pro is that it'll play ISO files :) Some DVDs I have work better as ISO so they'll have their menus and etc.

    Haven't tried any streaming, since my computer is off most of the time.

    The unit itself runs a bit warm, but not crazy hot or anything. Maybe as warm as a Mbp idling on your lap might be.

    Even though I've said the pch was a bit "geeky" all I had to do it plug it in and turn it on. Everything worked from there. You have to type with the remote cell phone style to input any information. But it also has two USB ports where you can plug in external HDDs, thumbdrives, or dvd drives (the remote even has an eject button for that). Some wifi sticks are supported too. Overall I'd say it was a worthwhile investment and if you are upgrading from a XBMC setup then this is a great HD replacement for it (even though I'm running it on an sd set, the HD content I've played on it has worked like a champ).

    If you have any specific questions or anything just PM me :p It really is a fun little box (I have the A110)
  8. shuggyboy macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2008
    media from imovies Hd

    Dear 7on
    I am ordering an a110 but I am concerned that it doessnt work with ITMS. Does this meen we cant download fom Itunes- fine I dont care. But if it means I cant view my home movies prepared on I movie HD then this is a huge issue. please let me know. Also have you seen this site for a virtual kaleidiscape front end!!
  9. Pigumon macrumors 6502


    Aug 4, 2004
    Please keep us updated

    Hey all,

    I'm REALLY interested in a media drive like Popcorn Hour, it seems they've had a bunch of problems with them, but that's always the case with a new product. I'd like to see how it goes a couple weeks into using it.

    I just doubt that Apple TV is ever going to be as good since they have to play by all the Media Companies' rules.

    Has anyone looked at the Sarotech abigs DVP-570X or the Dvico TVIX HD M-6500A?

    These seem more powerful than the Popcorn Hour, but also more expensive.
  10. CMD is me thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    What is the best 1080 iMovie export for PCH? I have a 300GB iMovie project I'd love to slim down, but need a couple safe export options.
  11. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    iTMS movies - No. It has Apple DRM and that's the only issue. iMovie HD files should work if you export the project (Share in the menus I think). You can't just click and play a .imovieproject file.

    I haven't seen that movie jukebox. I've seen others (on the forums) and there's one that's more Mac compatible, but can't remember the name for it. iLink? something like that.

    I really like the Popcorn Hour. The guys who build it are really active on the forums ( and if you have problems they are quick to resolve them. That said, I've not had problems with mine yet - other than wishing I had bought more storage :p My 640GB only has 130GB free :eek: I think I'll take my tv series off and just display those in the office in their boxes until I get a RAID setup.

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