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post #1 of 66 Old 06-11-2012, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I have an unraid server storing blurays. I just built a home theater. I want 1080p streaming with full hd audio (5.1, 7.1). I want a nice (eye appealing) interface and a fairly speedy interface. Most of all reliable streaming (smooth reliable playback). I have a gigabit network I have 2 bluray drives to rip blurays, so I don't need an internal bluray drive. I have ripped all my blurays to bdmv folder structure. Each movie is in it's own folder. I am trying to decide what to buy:

Popcorn hour or a Dune

I don't mind spending the money but don't want to necessarily

I am not worried about internet streaming. Although Netflix would be nice but it doesn't look like either one supports it. So I am looking for suggestions. It seems like the PCH A-300 would fit my needs but I keep reading tremendous reviews on the dune players. The PCH is a newer chipset and hardware with gigabit networking. I am going to be using irule as my remote.

SO I am looking for suggestions:
Popcorn Hour
or
Dune

I would be grateful for any and all suggestions
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post #2 of 66 Old 06-11-2012, 03:40 PM
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You cant go wrong with either one, the A300 is a newer chip but with newer chips come bugs that need fixed, One question is what format are you ripping to? ISO/folder with full bluray menus or mkv?
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post #3 of 66 Old 06-11-2012, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halfelite View Post

You cant go wrong with either one, the A300 is a newer chip but with newer chips come bugs that need fixed, One question is what format are you ripping to? ISO/folder with full bluray menus or mkv?

Thanks for replying so quickly, I was probably editing my post when you replied:

folder structure with full menus. I would like the option of bluray menus but it is not mandatory. I have been streaming blurays using an hd300 (does not support bluray menus) but I want to get away from an exernal dvr type server as the middle man when streaming a movie. I want to limit the amount of computers involved in my home theater. Basically unraid and the streaming box I choose. It does not bother me if I have to run a jukebox on a machine.

Thanks for sharing your insight.

So your opinon is I would not go wrong by choosing the A-300 (it is quite a bit cheaper than a dune player)?
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post #4 of 66 Old 06-11-2012, 04:06 PM
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No you will not go wrong choosing the A300. but if bluray menus is not something you are really interested in the popbox v8 will do the same as the A300 with the exception of blueray menus, And its really cheap. The stock interface of the v8 is streamlined but does not have the built in NMJ like the A300 but can still display poster art and lookup informatino, But you can still run eversion/yamj from a pc to make a jukebox,

Dune is also a solid player but with there recent price increase its a hard sale for me to push it onto someone. The higher price tag does not mean better/more features in this case.

If I were you I would contact http://www.diamondhomedesign.com/media.html ask what there return policy is, it was nice when pch sold through amazon as if you did not like it you could return it no questions asked but they no longer resell through amazon. I would ask diamond what there policy is and if you buy from them and for some reason dont like it can return it
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post #5 of 66 Old 06-11-2012, 04:51 PM
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If you have the money, and you don't mind spending more, I would suggest the Dune Smart Series over the PCH. In my opinion the Dune is just easier to set up, and you have more jukeboxes to choose from, and you can change the way the UI looks.

However, I do agree with Halflite about the Dune prices. Dune hardware has not been updated for a long time, and I don't believe it will be updated at all. The PCH-A300 has some slightly better updates than the previous PCH-200 series.

I've got a Dune D1 in the living room connected to a 7.1 surround sound, and the UI and Zappiti jukebox is excellent. Zappiti is simple and easy to set up and use.

I was thinking of buying another Dune player for the master bedroom to replace my AIOS, but the price increase made this impossible. I was lucky enough to find a PCH-A210 in excellent condition and bought it for $120.00 dollars. I've been testing the YAMJ / Eversion jukebox, and it took me a while to understand how to set it up and run it.

Another thing is that the PCH-A300 has an internal jukebox. At the time I had the A300 (when it first came out) it had a lot of bugs, and the jukebox would not let me edit anything. However, PCH has made some updates, and it appears that this has changed, but a lot of A300 owners still use the YAMJ / Eversion jukebox instead. The other issue I had with the A300 was that it lost sound whenever I played a movie with HD sound. I was able to get the sound back by using the secondary sound track. I always rip all my movies with a secondary sound track. I've heard that PCH had a FW update, and that it fixed this issue, but I've also read that some people are still having some sound issues.

I haven't had any issues with my Dune, with the exception of not being able to play an BD ISO movie with full menus. It wouldn't even play it with lite menus either. I usually do not rip BD movies as ISO, but I wanted to test it out, and it didn't work out for me. I mainly rip my movies as main movie only M2TS file with ClownBD / AnyDVD HD.

The only thing I do full ISO's are my TV shows, but there are DVD's ISO and my Dune and AIOS media player did not have any issues playing them.

As Halflite mentioned, you cannot go wrong with either Dune or PCH. I know that PCH's are pretty much out of stock, and they only order them after getting a big batch of orders. It took about 4 weeks to get my PCH when I pre-order mine. It took 1 week to get my Dune D1 frome diamonhomedesign.

You can also read the review done by Damian / dbone1026:
PCH-A300
http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2011/12/20/review-pch-a300-review/

Dune D1
http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2011/01/19/review-dune-hd-smart-d1-media-player/

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post #6 of 66 Old 06-11-2012, 04:59 PM
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I have had both and now just use the Dune products.
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post #7 of 66 Old 06-11-2012, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

As Halflite mentioned, you cannot go wrong with either Dune or PCH. I know that PCH's are pretty much out of stock, and they only order them after getting a big batch of orders. It took about 4 weeks to get my PCH when I pre-order mine. It took 1 week to get my Dune D1 frome diamonhomedesign.

Only at release are the behind. there is about a batch a week no set limit to how many need to be in a batch. But diamonhomedesign now stocks pch so should be able to grab fast from them.

There is no one player fits everyone So you will get back and fourths hence I said try through diamond as they might offer returns as a perk or even an exchange if the pch dont work for you since they stock dune also, I myself did not care for dunes when i tried them but its been awhile, For my needs the popbox v8 is actually perfect is most of my stuff i rip to mkv and it supports bitstream and the price is a nice price point. And while yamj does take some setting up any computer ran jukebox will take a little trial and error.
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post #8 of 66 Old 06-11-2012, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlknez View Post

I have had both and now just use the Dune products.

I was thinking of doing the same as well because it would of been a lot simple and easier to maintain only one jukebox for two media players, but with their price increase I had to look else where. I think I got lucky at finding a mint PCH-A210 for $120 bucks biggrin.gif I almost bought another Dune H1 on ebay selling at $289.99.

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post #9 of 66 Old 06-11-2012, 05:12 PM
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i have a Dune Prime and a bunch of Popcornhour devices, i still prefer the Popcornhour over the Dune, it has much more options, big community, community apps,.......
I never had issues with my Popcornhour, but the Dune also gave me not really a issue, i had just troubles to get a image on my TV with the Dune.
But doesn't get used anymore, also my family members don't like it, they prefer the UI from the Popcornhour.
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post #10 of 66 Old 06-11-2012, 07:02 PM
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owning both a C-200 and then the A-300 (POS) and also a Dune D1 I would recommend the Dune everytime. The popcorn C-200 is very good (had an a-100 before that). doesn't crash much. The A-300 had major issues for me (bug city). The D1 is like the C-200 except that instead of working most of the time and not crashing much it works all the time and has yet to crash in 3 months of use.

The D1 is more stable by a large margin in my side by side testing. Buy the Dune. if not get a C-200 over the A3XX until they fix the bugs.....

thats my 0.02
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post #11 of 66 Old 06-11-2012, 07:36 PM
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Most of the bugs are fixed in the A300 I have not restarted my A300 since last firmware update. I dont know what your issues where but i seem to recall you had hdmi issues so might have been one of them compatibility issues with something in your setup.
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post #12 of 66 Old 06-11-2012, 09:32 PM
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bad HDMI handshaking issues and no decoding of HDMI audio are two issues. This is on the same exact setup that the Dune, PCH A-110, C-200, HTPC, Boxee, NeoTV-550 all worked on. Only the 300 did not work.

regardless the C-200 which is considered the stable one is clearly bested by the Dune.

I would not have beleived it till I bought the dune but its clearly another notch or two of reliability compared to any of the 3 PCH's I own.

I still much prefer YAMJ and Eversion with Ember Media Manager as the front end to any of the Dune solutions.

One downside to the dune solution is that the 3rd party tools are not as mature and robust.

Both are good solutions as is XBMC but the dune is just more robust and reliable in my head to head testing and daily use.

Sean
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post #13 of 66 Old 06-11-2012, 10:08 PM
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^^ ye strange i still have not seen another issue like it in the forums. seems to have been bad luck for you lol.
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post #14 of 66 Old 06-12-2012, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I ordered an A300. I think I am going to setup yamj on my unraid server. I hope that all the bugs (or at least most of the bugs have been fixed. Otherwise I will be kicking myself in the a** and trying to figure out how to sell it to get a dune. I guess time will tell. It states in the website next shipping will be the 22nd.
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post #15 of 66 Old 06-12-2012, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVAddikt View Post

I ordered an A300. I think I am going to setup yamj on my unraid server. I hope that all the bugs (or at least most of the bugs have been fixed. Otherwise I will be kicking myself in the a** and trying to figure out how to sell it to get a dune. I guess time will tell. It states in the website next shipping will be the 22nd.

I would not worry about it if it dont work right for you sale it and you will close to retail price for it. I recently sold my old C-200 model and thought no one would buy it at the buy it now price of $199. retail is 299$ it sold within the first hour of me putting it up lol, kicked myself every time i think about it for not trying to get more money out of it.

also if you have question better to post them on the networkmediatank forums as you will get more information over there then in this forum for pch stuff
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post #16 of 66 Old 06-12-2012, 05:08 PM
 
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you should have bought a Dune or an c200. The 300 is NOT stable yet and there is no indication when it will be. The c200 is about as good as the dune and currently can be had much cheaper than the a300 or a new Dune.
For those not worried about ordering from Amazon UK, you can score two Dune H1's for less than $500 shipped to your door! Not the greatest deal out there but better than in the US where the price hike has hit pretty much everyone pretty high.
I also have a perfect H1 I will be putting up for sale shortly as I replaced it with a Duo unit.
I know I come off like a Dune fanboy and I guess I am. HOWEVER, I am now up to having 20 different media players in the last 13 months so it is not like I am blowing smoke here...biggrin.gif
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post #17 of 66 Old 06-12-2012, 05:17 PM
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^^ when did you last run the A300 though. My A300 is rock solid plus another firmware should be out any day now, As someone saw the QA release.
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post #18 of 66 Old 06-12-2012, 05:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_w_smith View Post

bad HDMI handshaking issues and no decoding of HDMI audio are two issues. This is on the same exact setup that the Dune, PCH A-110, C-200, HTPC, Boxee, NeoTV-550 all worked on. Only the 300 did not work.
regardless the C-200 which is considered the stable one is clearly bested by the Dune.
I would not have beleived it till I bought the dune but its clearly another notch or two of reliability compared to any of the 3 PCH's I own.
I still much prefer YAMJ and Eversion with Ember Media Manager as the front end to any of the Dune solutions.
One downside to the dune solution is that the 3rd party tools are not as mature and robust.
Both are good solutions as is XBMC but the dune is just more robust and reliable in my head to head testing and daily use.
Sean

Yep! I agree with everything you posted, but as I really don't use a juke box the lack of a fancy interface does not bother me. My primary concern is audio video playback of blu ray iso files. Bothe the neotv 550 and the Dune work better for ME in my testing compared to the A300. The a300 needs about 3 more months of firmware updates and then hopefully it will be in the same category as the C200 (which is quite good)
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post #19 of 66 Old 06-12-2012, 05:20 PM
 
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if your a300 was "rock solid" why would you NEED another firmware? :-)
My last go round with the 300 was May 30th...decoding of HD audio was still an issue at that point as well for me.
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post #20 of 66 Old 06-12-2012, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streamerlover View Post

if your a300 was "rock solid" why would you NEED another firmware? :-)
My last go round with the 300 was May 30th...decoding of HD audio was still an issue at that point as well for me.

There will always be small glitches and things that need a firmware's same reason your lovely dune just had a firmware. Always nice to get better support or more options or things that were missing. but as we all know what works for one person might not work for another.
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post #21 of 66 Old 06-12-2012, 05:30 PM
 
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I am still two firmwares behind on my Dune. If it ain't broke, don't worry about it is my motto.
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post #22 of 66 Old 06-12-2012, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streamerlover View Post

I am still two firmwares behind on my Dune. If it ain't broke, don't worry about it is my motto.

I would agree with that motto but im a sucker for new and shiny things, but since its easy to flash back to a different version I never see the harm in it for myself, plus if I brick a player I have 5 more different one sitting around the house so its not the end of the world. Plus I like to give support to other users so if im on same firmware I can test what might not work for them.
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post #23 of 66 Old 06-13-2012, 10:49 AM
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My A-300 is rock solid as well, so agree with halfelite there.

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post #24 of 66 Old 06-13-2012, 12:18 PM
 
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people really need to CLARIFY when they say a player is "rock solid". Because I know plenty of people that say that about boxee box! For YOUR needs the player may be "rock solid" but for someone else, it may be a flawed buggy piece of crap.
just sayin'...
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post #25 of 66 Old 06-13-2012, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streamerlover View Post

people really need to CLARIFY when they say a player is "rock solid". Because I know plenty of people that say that about boxee box! For YOUR needs the player may be "rock solid" but for someone else, it may be a flawed buggy piece of crap.
just sayin'...


easier said then done without posting every little detail and even then some of it goes outside the scope of the player itself. Like the odd network issues that the 200 series had. I think it was a dlink switch rev1 of the switched worked perfect with the 200 series. rev2 of the switch caused 1080p stutter unless forced in 10/100 mode. Media players are something every person needs to test for them self in there setup, if it dont work right for you in the first 2 weeks cut your losses you can put it up on ebay for almost full retail and get a minimal loss and move on.

But everyone company has its flaws, PCH likes to play with fire and move to new chipsets and sdk's which can cause bugs, Dune does not bring out new products just new cases with same chipset but raises the prices when they finally did bring out a new player based on something new everyone Said dont buy it, Speaking of the 301. All the realtek solutions all suffer the same bugs and have to wait for updates from realtek. Its all about finding the player that has bugs that you can live with no such thing as a bug free player.
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post #26 of 66 Old 06-13-2012, 01:37 PM
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Rock solid for me means A-300 plays all my 1:1 BD rips to MKV w/o issues over SMB from my home server, both smooth video and hd audio playback.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

Rock solid for me means A-300 plays all my 1:1 BD rips to MKV w/o issues over SMB from my home server, both smooth video and hd audio playback.
Now THAT is helpful! I have nothing but issues with MKV's for some reason and use ISO files, so maybe that had something to do with my dissatisfaction with the a300..
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post #28 of 66 Old 06-13-2012, 03:52 PM
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Dune does not respect the forced flag for subtitles in MKV... To me, that is a dealbreaker... Popcorn hour plays forced subs fine and recently corrected the PGS subtitle timing issues on the c-200...
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post #29 of 66 Old 06-14-2012, 12:59 PM
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I have been looking at Popcorn and Dune for a couple of days now and ran across this post. This information is GREAT.

Here is what I want to do. I have acquired about 20 newer (2011 and 2012) 3D bluray ISO's. My house is fully networked via CAT6.

I currently run the Patriot media player and it's fine for 2D bluray ISO's and everything else I chose to do. But it will NOT play a 3D ISO in 3D.

I would burn the ISO's off on my rewritable BD50's but I get that dang cinavia through my Samsung 3D bluray player.

Dune has the media player B1 with the bluray drive already in it. IF I used the B1 player and ran a BD50 that was burned with an ISO, will it throw the cinavia error 3?
Would the Dune H1 stream the .iso with menus with no problem?

Cost isn't a problem. If I can kill 2 birds with one stone, I'll sale my Sammy bluray player and my Patriot media player.
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post #30 of 66 Old 06-14-2012, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSouders80 View Post

I have been looking at Popcorn and Dune for a couple of days now and ran across this post. This information is GREAT.
Here is what I want to do. I have acquired about 20 newer (2011 and 2012) 3D bluray ISO's. My house is fully networked via CAT6.
I currently run the Patriot media player and it's fine for 2D bluray ISO's and everything else I chose to do. But it will NOT play a 3D ISO in 3D.
I would burn the ISO's off on my rewritable BD50's but I get that dang cinavia through my Samsung 3D bluray player.
Dune has the media player B1 with the bluray drive already in it. IF I used the B1 player and ran a BD50 that was burned with an ISO, will it throw the cinavia error 3?
Would the Dune H1 stream the .iso with menus with no problem?
Cost isn't a problem. If I can kill 2 birds with one stone, I'll sale my Sammy bluray player and my Patriot media player.

Dune nor Popcorn Hour media player have the cinavia issue yet! However, Dune nor Popcorn Hour can play 3D movies. The only players that can play 3D movies are the ones equip with the realtek 1186 chip. Most of them have a log of bugs. The only media player that has been able to fix most of the bugs is the Micca. However, they still have stuttering issues.

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