Popcorn Hour A-100 media streamer supports formats Apple TV won't touch


Well, someone was impressed by Popcorn Hour, an inexpensive ($180) networked media streamer that handles pretty much every kid tested, pirate approved codec/container, save for Ogg—Xvid, H.264, MPEG2 and MKV are all playable out of the box. Three cheers for MKV support, since that’s the preferred container for high-def movie rips these days. She even decodes 1080p video, which is sorta rare for these devices. Point of fact, my iMac even has trouble decoding 1080p MKVs if I have anything other than VLC open.

You won’t be hurting for outputs either, with component video and HDMI present. That should cover most of you. I should hope it covers most of you.

On the surface it looks like a winner, one that can easily integrate into your AV setup. Beware of the bugs, however. One annoying one—the video signal drops out when switching between inputs. Certainly no deal-killer, but indicative of the lack of polish that many of these devices exhibit.

Oh, and it supports BitTorrent. Install a hard drive and it’ll download torrents just like that. Top that, other devices.

There’s one caveat you might appreciate. The A-100 is a pain in the ass to get a hold of. You have to sign up for some waiting list to get one. Sorry, not happening.

If I didn’t already have my ghetto setup, I’d look into getting one, primarily because it supports the codecs and containers Apple won’t likely support on Apple TV.

Product Page [Popcorn Hour via Boing Boing Gadgets]