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Popcorn hour A-210 or WD TV live Plus ?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone,

I want to buy a media player, I do not know what all to expect but have listed down a few expectations that I could think of

1) Should have good SQ and PQ and it to be able to send the HD audio and HD video signals to the AVR
2) Ease of use / good UI
3) Should be able to connect a HDD with it, preferably internal HDD (but this wont be a sole deciding factor for me)


I looked at various posts and WD TV live, AC ryan and Xtreemer seems to be common and favorite choices here and I have shortlisted below two based on the reviews on this forum and on a couple of other sites.

1) WD TV Live Plus
2) Popcorn hour A-210

Please can you advise as to which one from the above to I should go for and what makes it better than the other?

Incase if you would like to suggest any other players then please do so, my budget will be upto 200$ ( however if i need to stretch it a bit i can stretch it upto 250$ as i think i will have to also spend on buying a blue ray player at later stage )

Furthermore, HT PC from companies like "Zotac" may give dual benefit of media player and Blue ray player but I think they may be very expensive ?

Your help to decide my multimedia player will be highly appreciated and if do decide it soon then I am planning to place order by the week end.

Thank you all.

Regards,
Naren
post #2 of 13
A210-I had a WD and it was a piece of crap.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
@ zrdb

Thanks for the reply buddy however can you please elaborate a little on what you have liked in Popcorn hour A-210 which you were not happy about in WD TV live.

Thanks for your help in advance.

Regards,
Naren
post #4 of 13
@naren - what did you wind up buying and what influenced your choice? I myself bought a popcorn hour A-110 years ago because there was just nothing else out there at the time (other than a PS3). I still am glad to have it because of the codec support and player functionality - it pretty much always plays everything I throw at it.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by naren2512 View Post
Hi Everyone,

I want to buy a media player, I do not know what all to expect but have listed down a few expectations that I could think of

1) Should have good SQ and PQ and it to be able to send the HD audio and HD video signals to the AVR
2) Ease of use / good UI
3) Should be able to connect a HDD with it, preferably internal HDD (but this wont be a sole deciding factor for me)


I looked at various posts and WD TV live, AC ryan and Xtreemer seems to be common and favorite choices here and I have shortlisted below two based on the reviews on this forum and on a couple of other sites.

1) WD TV Live Plus
2) Popcorn hour A-210

Please can you advise as to which one from the above to I should go for and what makes it better than the other?

Incase if you would like to suggest any other players then please do so, my budget will be upto 200$ ( however if i need to stretch it a bit i can stretch it upto 250$ as i think i will have to also spend on buying a blue ray player at later stage )

Furthermore, HT PC from companies like "Zotac" may give dual benefit of media player and Blue ray player but I think they may be very expensive ?

Your help to decide my multimedia player will be highly appreciated and if do decide it soon then I am planning to place order by the week end.

Thank you all.

Regards,
Naren
The differences between the A-210 and the WDTV are fairly significant.

1. A-210 plays BD ISO's WDTV does not
2. A-210 has a higher end Sigma chipset which streams BD's rips better
3. A-210 has support for movie jukeboxes like YAMJ which the WDTV does not.
4. A-210 supports shortcuts to media which makes the browsing much more simple than the WDTV which does not support this.
5. PCH supports bit streaming and decoding all HD audio protocols where as the WDTV does not even bitstream them all never mind decode them.

6. WDTV has better online support with Neflix and Pandora and the PCH does not.
7. PCH A-210 cost 2x the WDTV

Why buy a BD player if you have a steamer that streams BD rips?

Sean
post #6 of 13
I think A210 and WD Live TV Plus are using the same Sigma chipset. They are pretty much the same, but the WD one is more simpler to use while the A210 provides more whistles and bells. If you just plan to plug a USB HD to the media player, and use, I suggest you go for the WD one. But if you plan to use it with network share, I suggest you buy the PCH. But prepare for headaches. I have used several PCH boxes for the last 5 years, but I'm still struggling with the network share settings.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by udiknaed View Post

I think A210 and WD Live TV Plus are using the same Sigma chipset. They are pretty much the same, but the WD one is more simpler to use while the A210 provides more whistles and bells. If you just plan to plug a USB HD to the media player, and use, I suggest you go for the WD one. But if you plan to use it with network share, I suggest you buy the PCH. But prepare for headaches. I have used several PCH boxes for the last 5 years, but I'm still struggling with the network share settings.

The WDTV live plus uses the Sigma 8655 and the PCH 200 series use the 8643. The 8643 is a far more powerful chipset.

from http://www.iboum.com/artkill/chipsets.php

The Sigma 864x is clocked at 667mhz. The 8643 and 8642 are identical except that the 8642 is a Macrovision version allowing for the ability to play copy protected DVD / Blu-Ray. The 864x chipset is significantly more powerful than the 865x series, despite the product number being lower.

The Sigma 865x is clocked at 500mhz. All the 865x variations are similar, with the 8655 being marginally the most powerful. The 8655 uses 64bit RAM whereas the 8653 uses 32bit and the 8655 has six video DACs whereas the 8653 has four. The only benchmarks we could find give identical scores so real world performance is likely identical. The 8654 and 8652 are copy protection (Macrovision) enabled versions of each allowing for the ability to play copy protected DVD / Blu-Ray. One notable deficiency in all the Sigma chips is the inability to play RMVB files.


more tech info here:
http://www.iboum.com/simg/sigmacomp2011.jpg

I would disagree on ease of use. Just the fact that the PCH has shortcuts significantly simplifies its operation. Network in general seems to confuse lots of users but PCH's network shares work well and are extremely easy to setup if you understand basic networking.

The lack of YAMJ or something equivalent on the WDTV makes the WAF almost 0. THe difference in the responsiveness of the GUI's also favors the PCH.

The WDTV Live Plus is a great box with pandora, netflix and some good local streaming capabilities for an amazing price but the PCH 200 series with its current firmware is much richer, more capable and easy to use platform for twice the price.

Both are great boxes but they have different places in the market and too suggest that they are the same is a vast oversimplification IMO.

Sean
post #8 of 13
Hello.
Sorry for hijacking an old thread, but im at a loss of what to buy as wel. The arguments in this thhread are the best Iv found, and I was hoping for some more expertise.

Because of WD delivery problem with HDD in Thailand, I halted my search for a player a good month ago. Now Iv found a couple of players to a good price, and im unsure which to choose.
What offers iv got is this:
Wd tv live hub, shipped to me for 215$
PCH a-200 demo used, shipped to me for 136$

Prices are ok, and the HDD in the WD isent worth that mutch. I am afraid the a-200 might be a bit old, and offcource the casing should be changed(found the alternative casing)

I wil use the HDD, but I have an old 200Gb HDD for the PCH I might use.

What I am unsure on is the transfeer speed both in transfeer and streaming. Iv read that the WD tv is faster in transfeer, which seems strange since the PCH has a superior sigma chip.
Primarily I stream my movies and tv shows wireless from my computer to my gigabit router. The router is cabled to the new player.
Also I would like a good torrent program that is easy to use from my computer to put the files on the machine. A browser would be great!
Iv used XBMC until now, and Im happy with that but no HD in the xbox1.
Im a basic user, but likes to fix, trix, use programs jucebox and stuff.
Also id love that the updates doessent stop, and therefore is the a-200 to old?

Pros/cons?
Whats the recomendation.
post #9 of 13
A-200 has been discontinued. Now, it is the A-300, which my super duper wife ordered as my xmas gift.

If you don't want to spend more then $250 for a media player. Then go for the WD.

If you want an overall better media player you'd go with A-300 or Dune player.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

A-200 has been discontinued. Now, it is the A-300, which my super duper wife ordered as my xmas gift.

If you don't want to spend more then $250 for a media player. Then go for the WD.

If you want an overall better media player you'd go with A-300 or Dune player.

Hi.
Been looking at the a-300 also. Just seems a bit expensive, since its not that mutch improvement. Feels a bit pushed on the marked to sell another model, more than an advance in tecnology. Specialy since its even worse on video streaming than the the hub or a-200. On digitalversus the hub gets 90 of 90, while the a-200 gets 70, and a-300 only 60.
The dune seems nice, but im having a hard time finding a salesmen. I dont live in the US, and cant find it here in my country in Europe.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maraxion View Post

Hi.
Been looking at the a-300 also. Just seems a bit expensive, since its not that mutch improvement. Feels a bit pushed on the marked to sell another model, more than an advance in tecnology. Specialy since its even worse on video streaming than the the hub or a-200. On digitalversus the hub gets 90 of 90, while the a-200 gets 70, and a-300 only 60.
The dune seems nice, but im having a hard time finding a salesmen. I dont live in the US, and cant find it here in my country in Europe.

I don't know where you get your information from. The best media players so far are the popcorn hour and dune players. They updated minor things from the A-300 and the price went up $20.00. I did a lot of research since I didn't want to spend too much $$, but I got lucky and my wife bought it for me.

I still need another media players for the bedrooms. So I'm probably going to buy micca or aios players.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maraxion View Post

What offers iv got is this:
Wd tv live hub, shipped to me for 215$
PCH a-200 demo used, shipped to me for 136$

At $136, I'd be tempted by a used PCH A200. Any kind of warranty with that?
post #13 of 13
If you don't need an internal hard disk, then also look at the PopBox v8. It performs as well as the A-300, and has pretty much the same features, but costs $90 less.
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