Popcorn Hour C-200 to start taking orders on 27th August 2009

by Damian on August 25, 2009 · 17 comments

in News

C-200-rc-antennaPopcorn Hour has just announced that their new NMT (networked media tank), the C-200, will be available for preorder directly from their website  starting on Friday, August 27th at 12:00 A.M. PST. The first batch is expected to ship on or around September 3rd and is expected to price at USD 299.00. There is no indication yet how many units will be made available per batch. For those who don’t know, Popcorn Hour is the consumer electronics brand of Syabas Technology, a pioneer in wired and wireless home entertainment, digital electronics and P2P mesh network broadcasting. The company’s Popcorn Hour line digital home entertainment devices gives individuals unprecedented control over how they source, manage and experience video, high-definition movies, digital photos, music and more.

The Popcorn Hour C-200 has generated a lot of buzz, mainly because it will be running the latest Sigma chipset (SMP8643) and will have room for an internal Blu Ray Rom drive. Another key feature that their previous model, the A-110, also has is the ability to downmix HD audio (you will not need a separate device such as a receiver to decode the HD audio in order to get sound).  I currently own the A-110 but may be considering replacing with the newer C-200 once available (I am a gadget addict after all :-) ). So what do you think, are you going to preorder, wait until the units are available to the public and get reviewed, or could you care less?

C-200 Technical Specifications

Windows Media Connect
Windows Media Player NSS

Media Servers: myiHome, myiHomeLite, myiHomeMS (UPnP), MSP Portal
Third-party media servers: WizD, SwissCenter, Llink, GB-PVR

BitTorrent P2P
Usenet downloader

NAS Access : SMB, NFS, FTP

Web Services

Video : YouTube, Vuze, Revision 3, Videocast, CNET TV, Mediafly, Veoh, Mevio, Bliptv, Break Podcast, CBS Evening News, CNN Anderson Cooper 360 Daily, CNN The Larry King Podcast, NBC Today Show, The CNN Daily, CNN In Case You Missed It, NBC Nightly News, NBC Meet The Press, CBS Face the Nation, Podfinder UK, Motorz

Audio : Jamendo, iPodcast, BBC Podcast, Indiefeed, CNN News, ABC News

Photos : Flickr, Picasaweb, Pikeo, 23, Photobucket, SmugMug

RSS feed : Yahoo! Weather, NMT Forum, Bloglines, Cinecast, MSNBC News, Traffice Condition, Yahoo! Traffic Alerts, Yahoo! News, Weather Bug

Peer-to-peer TV : SayaTV

Internet Radio : Radiobox, Live365 Radio

Supported Media File Formats

Video containers:
MPEG1/2/4 Elementary (M1V, M2V, M4V)
MPEG2 Transport Stream (TS, TP, TRP, M2T, M2TS, MTS)
Matroska (MKV)
MOV (H.264), MP4, RMP4

Video Decoders:
MPEG-4.2 ASP@L5, 720p, 1-point GMC
MPEG-4.10 (H.264) : BP@L3, MP@L4.0, HP@L4.0, HP@L4.1
SMPTE 421M (VC-1) : MP@HL, AP@L3

Audio Containers:
MPEG audio (MP1, MP2, MP3, MPA)

Audio Decoders:
Dolby Digital
MPEG-1 Layer 1, 2, 3

Audio Pass-Through:
Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD

Other Formats:
ISO, IFO navigation
AVCHD navigation
Blu-ray ready (requires addition of compatible BD-ROM and at least 1GB USB memory stick)

Photo Formats:
Hardware accelerated JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF

Subtitle Formats:




512MB DDR2 DRAM, 256MB NAND Flash

Audio/Video Outputs

HDMI v1.3a with CEC, 36bpp deep color, 12-bit xvYCC processing and HDCP 1.2 content protection
Component Video
Composite Video
Stereo Analog Audio
S/PDIF Optical and Coaxial Digital Audio

Other Interface

192×64 dots white text on blue background LCD display, with software adjustable brightness
Power button with standby, reset and full power down
2x USB 2.0 host at the front
2x USB 2.0 host at the back
1x USB 2.0 internal
2x SATA (one occupied by HDD tray)
3.5″ HDD tray
Internal mounting for 2.5″ HDD
2.4GHz RF Remote Control
Infra-Red Remote Control port (Infra-Red Remote Control optional)


Ethernet 10/100/1000
miniPCI MII interface for 11n WiFi card (optional)


100~240V AC, 50~60 Hz, max 2.5A
typical: 13 W (no additional device installed/attached)
maximum: 70 W


Width x Depth x Height : 425mm x 290mm x 80mm (16.73″ x 11.42″ x 3.15″)


3.7kg (8lbs 3oz)

Dolby Digital: “Dolby” and the double-D symbol are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories. Manufactured under license from Dolby Laboratories.

Article by

Hi, my name is Damian, and I'm tech gadget addict! Although I always had some interest in technology, it wasn't until I got my EX470 and more importantly found Mediasmartserver.net, that my interest became an addiction. My goal, aside from world domination and to see the Mets/Broncos win another championship, is to set up the perfect digital home where all my media is available at the click of a button. When I am not writing for Mediasmartserver.net you can find me over at my blog at http://www.adigitalhomeblog.com or follow me on twitter


Diehard August 25, 2009 at 8:26 am

I have the A100. It plays everything I send it, but like others, the screens UI needs an upgrade. I have not seen any screen shots for the C200 yet, any links ?

$300 bucks and you still have to buy the hard drive and Blu-ray, OUCH.

Damian August 25, 2009 at 8:43 am

Haven’t seen any screenshots yet. My understanding (which could definitely be wrong) is that the stock UI will be the same HTML UI that comes with the A-100/A-110. That is definitely a big weakness, I would prefer to have a stock UI that has all the bells and whistles without having to install a 3rd party app like YAMJ.

I think the C-200 is meant to compliment the A-110 more then serve as a replacement. Once the C-200 has been out and any quirks in the firmware resolved, I would hope PCH would release an updated A-110 based on the new Sigma chipset. I do agree though that the price of the C-200 could get expensive (figure close to USD 400-500 with a HDD and BR Rom Drive) which will put it up squarely against the PS3 and HTPCs.

JohnBick August 25, 2009 at 8:44 am

Well, Damian, I think I’ll wait for YOU to get one, review it, and compare it to the Sage HD-200. Since I an just now beginning to “get into” video, NetFlix, TV Tuners, etc. and have not committed to any extender(s) yet, your WHS/MSS-oriented review will likely be the primary basis for my first foray into the quagmire.

Not to put the pressure i\on you or anything…

Damian August 25, 2009 at 9:00 am

Haha, with all this pressure I may just go back to VHS and Betamax!!!

mike503 August 26, 2009 at 9:47 pm

This is like the Buffalo LinkTheater on steroids. I hate the interface. It’s slow (as in not very clean and responsive) etc.

Once you use XBMC even on an old xbox you won’t want to fuss with anything based off the same UI/engine – it’s basically just a pseudo proprietary web frontend with some special markup and basically just streamed over HTTP. At least, the original Popcorn Hour did.

This one though says Samba, which means perhaps it isn’t a “streaming” media player anymore, and might actually handle large files nicely and skipping through things without having to seek over HTTP… bleh.

XBMC is still the best in my mind. A friend is going to try out XBMC or a port of it (I forget the name) on an AppleTV or Mac Mini and let me know how well it works. It has the great UI, clean interface and works well with just about everything and it will have more horsepower and 1080p support too!

Damian August 27, 2009 at 4:57 am

Looks like the Popcornhour website got overwhelmed with traffic, site has been down all morning

Damian August 27, 2009 at 5:40 am

OK, can’t explain what is going on with the website. I tried accessing from work and it tells me the site is in the process of upgrading. I remoted in to my pc at home and was able to access the website without a problem.

For anyone trying to access and having problems, this URL works (at least for now):

The Fuzz August 27, 2009 at 8:09 am

Will be nice to see. I’d like to see if it works well with Tversity and PlayOn.. it will make a great box if it does. For the price though I am not sure why you wouldn’t just get the PS3 or the new PS3 slim.. I mean they come with Blu-ray

The Fuzz

Damian August 27, 2009 at 8:18 am

@ The Fuzz,

I know users of the current A-110 who have successfully used PlayOn.

The main reason for not going with the PS3 is because the C-200 will play almost every file under the sun, whereas there are a lot of limitations to what the PS3 can play (you can use Tversity or PS3MediaServer but those apps can be a real PITA). Also, you are stuck with the PS3 UI which I can’t stand. As much as I am not a big fan of the PCH stock UI, there are a lot of options (such as YAMJ) that can really enhance the experience. These are just my opinions obviously, I use my PS3 for nothing more then playing blu rays, but my PCH or HTPCs for all streaming duties.

John Pombrio August 27, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Looks like the New PCH does not have sound streaming through the HDMI (again). Love to be proved wrong but that to me is a necessary addition these days. No Hulu, no Boxee, no Netflix, only a couple of music streaming sites.
Nope, HTPC still is the way to go. Klamath on this site put together a nice Atom/Ion HTPC for not much money.

DamianP August 28, 2009 at 3:46 am

Hi John,

Not sure why you think you cannot get sound via HDMI? This works for the A-110 and should work for the C-200 just as well. Also, my understanding is that the A-110 and C-200 can bitstream HD Audio (such as DTS-MA). This is something no HTPC can do unless you get a dedicated sound card like the Xonar.

Tim Cooper August 30, 2009 at 7:27 pm

Still missing Pandora…wish that could be in there too!

david breedlove September 8, 2009 at 10:59 am

was up in the air between this and the netgear eva 9150 – this looks to be the winner, even sans the hard drive. all i really care about is being able to play .iso files, i’ve got about 3tb of them, and if this will drill down through directories (the eva 9150 won’t) i am set big time. i look forward to reading more, but probably will go ahead and order, i hear that there is a backlog already…

Damian September 8, 2009 at 11:09 am

@ David – I was actually able to sneak into the first batch which is supposedly shipping this Friday, so hopefully I will have by next week. Once I get set up I will definitely do a write up to post my thoughts. I expect it to be very similar to the PCH A-110, just a much faster UI and some other perks (RF Remote, Rom Drive, etc…)

David Lawrie September 9, 2009 at 2:08 pm

I would like to see a reivew as well, at the moment I’m between the c200 for features and awaiting the enevitable frimware upgrades or the Qnap NMP1000 media player which seems a lower spec processor but maybe a bit more end user ready.

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