The Popcorn Hour A-100
"Networked Media Tank"

Popcorn Hour A-100 media server image

The Popcorn Hour A-100 Networked Media Tank (NMT) is the new media server from Syabas Technology. Dubbed as a "networked media tank" it handles a wide variety of video (including HD formats) and audio formats and is a versatile little unit. The device is not for the casual TV viewer as configuration, setup and usage is a bit advanced for the "average Joe".

With an MSRP of $179.00 the PH A-100 allows users to pull video, audio and digital photographs from a variety of sources. It can display visual media on your HDTV at all resolutions including 1080p and it can serve digital audio through your surround sound system. A major selling point of the A-100 is its internet connectivity which allows serving of media from popular video sites such as YouTube and and Metacafe. Peer to peer audio and video streaming is another popular feature from sources such as BitTorrent. In fact it features an integrated BitTorrent client. I have avoided BitTorrent as I've heard it can negatively effect your computer as you never know what you can "catch" but with the Popcorn Hour unit being built with such services in mind online security is improved.

Similar in form factor to the Slingbox and HAVA it differs from the TVIX media server which is a direct competitor in the home media streamer market. The PH box's rear panel offers a robust selection of connectivity featuring component video, S-Video, HDMI and composite video. Audio connections are R & L and digital coax and there's the essential ethernet connector as well. The box is lightweight but sturdy and the top cover can be removed with four thumbscrews for internal access to add a hard drive (as large as you like for storage) which is not included.

For more information on the Popcorn Hour A-100 NMT including retail availability you can visit their website at where there is a discussion forum and tech support services. You may well need the tech support as it's definitely not a device for the home theater newbie.

You may also want to check out the VUDU HD movie player.

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