Since starting my blog here at TDL, I have received lots of tweets from people interested in the Popcorn Hour / dedicated media player line of products for one reason or another they are looking to move away from Media Center setups for movie playback, I can certainly understand this as with a dedicated box like a Popcorn Hour you do not run into problems like having to download codec’s, system updates and having to navigate through the awful DRM and file type support problems that has plagued my experiences of using Media Center for movie collections.

The main question that everyone wants answered though is what does the UI look like, can my Granny use it, the answer to this is yes and no. Out of the box it is a file manager type interface that is not exactly user friendly but with a bit of tweaking it can look like a highly polished professional system, take a look at the video below, I have just updated my Popcorn Hour to use a new skin and it looks superb with lots of information and eye candy to keep even the most fussy movie buff happy.


0 thoughts on “Why you should get a Popcorn Hour”
  1. I’ve never used a Popcorn Hour before, whats the music library like? What are you using at the back-end on the WHS for the movie metadata? The UI looks nice, perhaps a little too nice for us MCE fans!

  2. I was interested until I saw the UK pricing, seems a bit steep. Personally I recycled my old laptop which is capable of 1080p playback. That sits under the TV and boots straight into Media Center and is controlled by a Media Center remote. As the laptop is a pc and not an extender I can playback all content including mkv’s with DTS with no codec hell.
    I also installed My Movies 3 for a similar if not better (definitely more customisable) interface than YAM.

  3. @Scream Interesting, I thought My Movies 3 only gave information on DVD or Bluray titles, ie no details on the file types, resolution etc and if its not out on DVD or BR it will not exist in the database.

    Also how does MM3 handle TV episodes?

    That must be a pretty new old laptop that can handle 1080P, does it have an HDMI connection too, if not how do you handle the audio?

    Interesting setup you have and definitely another option.

  4. @chrisoldroyd: Your point about the My Movies 3 & the DVD/Blu-ray details is correct, so you would not get information for titles not yet released unless you add it yourself in the collection manager. Again, until the TV DVD’s are released they are not covered automatically.

    I should have been more clear. The laptop is a fairly new old laptop if that makes any sense. It’s under two years old. A Sony AR series VAIO and yes, it has HDMI.
    I really hope these stand alone players start to take off because once the price comes down I will be all over one as I can see the benefits. I’m just a bit reluctant as I bought a DMA2100 and it does most things well to be honest but the codec problems were a nightmare and it is now doing a good job in the kitchen streaming Freeview. LOL

  5. Yeah i know what you mean, but the A-200 is not too badly priced @£175.00 for what it does although that doesn’t include any storage

Leave a Reply