Well, it looks like there are some significant improvements going from the HiMedia 900A to the Micca EP950, despite the fact that the hardware seems to be identical. Here is my preliminary report:
1. With a directly attached hard drive, the Micca works perfectly, just like the HiMedia.
2. With a USB 2.0 drive attached, the Micca works perfectly where the HiMedia would stutter on higher bitrate ISOs. This alone is a significant improvement, as you can attach at least 2 USB drives (and a third one via the USB 3.0 port), as well as drop a drive into the unit itself.
3. This unit is networking with my Windows machines perfectly. I can play back even high bitrate 3D BD ISOs over the network without even the slightest hiccup - again this is a SIGNIFICANT improvement over the HiMedia box!
4. I am still having problems streaming from my UnRaid (Linux) server to the Micca box. Since I now have the same problem with both the HiMedia and Micca units when networking to my main server, I decided to post the problem in the UnRaid forum. One user posted that he had the same problem, so he switched from using Samba shares to NFS shares. I am a total Linux noob, so I am not sure of how to get this accomplished, but I am working on it and will report back as soon as I figure out how to do this and test it out.
5. The Micca unit plays 24 FPS very smoothly with no dropped frames that I can detect, but then again, I never saw any dropped frames or stutters with the HiMedia box either.
6. The Micca firmware also has an option to "ask before playing" BD ISOs to determine what method of menuing you want to use. I like this feature a lot! One of my IMAX ISOs would play the "Making of" feature instead of the main feature when using the HiMedia, but by choosing a different menuing method with the Micca I was able to get the correct feature to play, something I could not get around no matter what I did with the HiMedia.
Basically, the Micca firmware seems to be considerably better than the HiMedia firmware, and since it uses the same hardware and costs less than the HiMedia box, it is a no brainer to me to buy the Micca EP950 instead of the HiMedia 900A (or 900B, for an apples to apples comparison). Now if I can only get it to play .MKV and .ISO files back SMOOTHLY from my main server, I will use this box exclusively in my system...
Thanks for the tip on this box, Zombie! Great call!