Feeds
55%
Popcorn Hour PopBox

PopBox 3D set-top media player

Goggle box

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Font of formats

The player is compatible with the usual media formats and even some less common ones such as APE audio and the new MKV3D standard. Other 3D videos play if they use the side-by-side or top-and-bottom format, but according to the small print, it won’t deal with 3D Blu-ray rips or perform 2D-to-3D conversion.

Popcorn Hour PopBox

The remote, at least, is user friendly

Various subtitle and alternative audio tracks can be accessed too. It passes DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital and TrueHD through HDMI or downmixes to stereo if needed, with an alternative optical output for 5.1 audio.

As expected, it won’t play copy-protected files, including iPlayer programmes downloaded to PCs, or protected WMVs – such as Blinkbox movies – and purchased MP4 films from iTunes, including digital copies that you can download after buying a DVD or Blu-ray. Of course, if media files are unencumbered by DRM protection, the PopBox will have no trouble handling them. As a piece of hardware, it doesn’t care where your music and movies have come from.

Verdict

Media streaming is never going to be a straightforward process but the products that succeed are the ones that hide the complexities and ‘just work’. The PopBox is simple enough when using an attached hard drive but as soon as you start poking about with network sharing and large libraries, this box isn’t so clever.

It's expensive compared to its most similar rivals - especially when supplier Advanced MP3 Players wants more (£139) than the US equivalent ($130), even allowing for VAT and import duty - and often too finicky to get on with.

Perhaps a couple more firmware updates will make it a better proposition, but with its current recipe, this bite-sized taste of Popcorn is more sour than sweet. ®

Thanks to Advanced MP3 Players for the review sample

More Set-top Box Reviews

Virgin Media TV
Powered by TiVo
Echostar
HDS-600RS
TVonics
DTR-Z500HD
Icecrypt
T2400
Humax
HDR-Fox
T2

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

55%
Popcorn Hour PopBox

PopBox 3D set-top media player

Digital media player with 1080p HD video, multi-channel audio output and BBC iPlayer.
Price: £139 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Ford's B-Max: Fiesta-based runaround that goes THUNK
... when you close the slidey doors, that is ...
All aboard the Poo Bus! Ding ding, route Number Two departing
Only another three days of pooing and I can have a ride!
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.