Feeds
75%
Popcorn Hour C-200 Networked Media Tank

Popcorn Hour C-200

DIY media centre, anyone?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

There is one problem with the layouts of the USB ports though - they are too close together, especially the ones round the back. Sure you can fit two USB sticks at the same time, but only if they are thin. Plug in a more bulky unit such as the Corsair 32GB we were using and the adjacent slot is partly obscured.

Popcorn Hour C-200 Networked Media Tank

Upgrades are easily performed – the lid comes off by removing a single screw

Open up the box and you will find the connectors for two SATA devices which neatly brings us onto what separates the C-200 from the rest of the media streamer herd - its ability to accept third party Blu-ray disc players and hard drives. Fitting a standard 3.5" PC hard drive is simplicity itself - just open that door on the front of the unit and slip it into the caddy.

To install a PC Blu-ray drive you need to take the top off the box - a one screw job - and remove the caddy. If you want storage and Blu-ray then you can fit a 2.5" lap-top hard drive beneath the disc drive. You can't actually buy a C-200 with an HDD or disc drive pre-installed but the installation is very straightforward and Popcorn maintains a user-supported list of all the drives that do - or don't - work here.

During our test we didn't go as far as fitting a Blu-ray player as any conclusions we drew would have been specific to the type of drive we fitted but the 500GB Samsung SATA disc we slotted in worked a treat and showed up on our network with no problems. When fitted with a hard drive the C-200 can support FTP, SMB and NFS file sharing – plus news groups and a torrent client add-on – turning it into a handy little network drive.

If you don't want to go to the expense of fitting a hard drive you can use the internal USB port for a memory stick of 2GB capacity or more for persistent storage to take advantage of Blu-ray Live content. Just to be clear, once you have fitted your C-200 with a hard drive and disc player you still won't be able to use it to rip discs or record TV. The C-200 is a media player not recorder.

Popcorn Hour C-200 Networked Media Tank

The caddy accommodates both a Blu-ray drive and a 2.5in hard disk

When it comes to streaming media, the C-200 will handle near enough any format known to man and you can find a complete list of all the compatible formats on the Popcorn web site. During two solid days of testing we didn't manage to find a single quoted format type that wasn't supported by the C-200. However, we did encounter the odd problem with some VOB and WMV files that simply would not run despite working perfectly well when played with VLC on a PC. DRM support only extends to Windows Media DRM, but that's better than nothing.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?