Syabas Technology Popcorn Hour A-110 media streamer
The Syabas Technology's Popcorn Hour A-110 provides plenty of features, but it could be more user-friendly
- Abundant connectivity, third-party applications, extensive file format support
- Can be difficult to use, no Wi-Fi, won't always respond to remote control
One of Syabas Technology's "networked media tanks," the Popcorn Hour A-110 is designed and built for those comfortable with technology. Thanks to third-party applications and regular firmware updates, this media streamer's feature set is constantly expanding.
Price$ 369.00 (AUD)
Syabas Technology's Popcorn Hour A-110 "networked media tank" is a feature-packed media streamer, but it isn't for the faint of heart. Strong community support means this media steamer can be expanded through third-party applications, but both the Popcorn Hour A-110 itself and its applications can be difficult to set up and use.
The Popcorn Hour A-110 media streamer is quite small, but it's packed full of connectivity. For audiovisual outputs alone you get component, composite, HDMI, S-Video and optical audio connections. To add to this there is an Ethernet port as well as two USB ports that can connect to external hard drives, USB flash memory and even external optical drives. A third USB port connects to PCs, but the media streamer's internal hard drive can't be read by Windows or Mac OS X systems. The only thing this media streamer lacks is Wi-Fi.
The Popcorn Hour A-110 can access media files over a network. It can also play files from an internal SATA2 hard drive, but it doesn't come with one installed. We found the SATA connection occasionally became loose and disconnected the hard drive during use. When this happens the Popcorn Hour A-110 will automatically revert to network-only mode.
Using the Popcorn Hour A-110 as a network media streamer requires you to install the NMT Applications suite. This lets the device use Windows and Apple network protocols, and adds UPnP and BitTorrent capabilities. The applications can be installed either over Ethernet or via a USB flash drive, and the former also allows you to update the media streamer's firmware. The applications are disabled by default and must be enabled individually.
Unlike the Apple TV, the Popcorn Hour A-110 can't automatically sync media like Apple's iTunes. Instead, you can configure shared folders on the network and UPnP-compatible computers as permanent media sources. This allows you to access files as if they were on the device's hard drive.
The media streamer's interface is attractive and generally quite speedy, though it can lag when browsing shared folders on a network. Nevertheless, the Popcorn Hour A-110 is quick to buffer and play media from both the hard drive and over a network. During testing, standard-definition and high-definition AVI and MKV files both played flawlessly.
Several quirks with the remote control may make using it a little frustrating. For example, the remote sometimes won't work (when the Popcorn Hour A-110 is buffering and playing the first few seconds of a file, for example). You can't go to the home screen when playing content; you must first press "Stop" and then "Home" to do this. The remote glows in the dark, which makes it easy use in a room with the lights off (although it can be distracting).
One of the attractive things about the Popcorn Hour A-110 media streamer is the ability to install third-party applications. Like the NMT Applications, they can expand the media streamer's features by adding Web services such as Internet radio, podcast directories and Usenet compatibility. There is no central repository to find these applications, and they can often be difficult to install. Nevertheless, should you need a specific media function, chances are there is an application for it.
Like the Chumby, the Popcorn Hour A-110 media streamer lends itself to enthusiasts rather than the average consumer. There is plenty to like about this media player, and the ability to expand its features through third-party applications adds to its appeal.
The Popcorn Hour A-110 is currently available locally through Streamaster Australia.
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
- AirTV's slick marriage of Sling TV and OTA channels isn't in the product yet
- Here's what's coming next from Sling TV
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)Other
- FTDigital Strategist - Global Consulting FirmACT
- TPDeployment Specialist (DevOps)QLD
- FTDevOps/Senior Sys Admin - eCommerce - Permanent - Sydney Northern BeachesNSW
- CC.Net Developer x 2QLD
- TPDigital Process Business Analyst - Digital Transformation**NSW
- CCPMO Analyst - Financial ServicesNSW
- CCWindows System EngineerNSW
- FTMicrosoft ConsultantVIC
- FTApplications DeveloperACT
- CCApplication Solution Designer (Automation) - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Technical ArchitectWA
- TPTechnical ConsultantNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Manufacturing and Trade & Logistics Modules)QLD
- CCBusiness AnalystSA
- FTInfrastructure Solution ArchitectSA
- TPOrganisational Change Manager | Enterprise Information SharingQLD
- FTTechnical Consultant - SQL Server programming skillsACT
- TPScrum MasterVIC
- TPInformation Management SpecialistVIC
- TPImplementation Business Partner - Business ModernisationNSW
- FTSalesforce Technical Consultant/Architect Global IT Company - SydneyNSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- CCIT Senior Business AnalystNSW
- FTSecurity Solutions Architect - Consultancy - Permanent - Sydney CBDNSW