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The Future of Popcorn Hour
01-18-2011, 09:09 PM
Post: #1
The Future of Popcorn Hour
The rumors goes that a port of XBMC is in the works. But that it will only be available on new hardware, newer models of the PCH.

These news got me quite upset, angry and disappointed. I've been an owner of the PCH-C200 for about 6-12 months... Fat chance that I would give more money to Syabas when they can't even finish this product. Like I would purchase a new model when am not even satisfied with this one.

OK, don't get me wrong, I see that's easy to do when I write this way. But that's just me. I write whatever gets in my head. So to clarify, I like my PCH-C200 for the fact it plays what I want, is more quiet then fart in space.

The only thing really that get on my nerves. Is the "need" for an 3rd party Jukebox. I am very picky so I constantly change the workings of in my case YAMJ. Trying to make it better fit my needs, and to one day let it run all by it self Big Grin

When you think about it its insane!!! You're probably thinking, hey, The PCH was made to play a wide rage of media formats, not to look good.

Okay, sure . . . in that area they succeeded

Now think about the first time you read about the PCH C200. The impression I got wile reading about all the formats it could handle. Not to mention many good reviews. Gave at least me the impression, this is one Kick Ass Media Center! Later to find out I was truly mistaken.

One of the things that makes a Media Center good. Is its smooth, fast, good looking INTERFACE! here the PCH-C200 fails miserably as it has non of the above.
Take Xbox Media Center as an example. From the first get-go there GUI was just right at that time. It was fast, user friendly, lot's of options. This was on hardware from 2001, namely the Original XBOX. Even back then it still looks better then the current GUI for PCH-C200 does today!

I been using XBMC for XBOX all this time. First when 720p and 1080p releases became more popular, XBMC evolved. XBMC became available for Windows. And people began to purchase HTPC's to run the new XBMC witch could playback 720p and 1080p content I started thinking it was time to move on.

For some time I did not care, I watched my blurry crap on my ûber Xbox from 2001 that still works to this day.
Finally I got my new big ass TV, now it was time to evolve. I took Google for a spin looking to find a better Media Center solution. That could take use of my surround system and HD TV. I found a couple interesting products. I wanted something equivalent to the Xbox. No setup just up and go. So I got the PCH for it's wide codec support, good reviews, active user community and simple setup. Today, the only thing I find true is the active user community. As for fast updates, not so much. They most have meant updates for all the 3rd party software in here. As there is truly some skilled coders in here. Big whoops for the YAMJ team and the creator of NMT Server.

Heh I realize most of you don't give a .... about any of this. But some may find it entertaining. It feels good to get the frustration out of my system. And at the same time let Syabas know what many feel, and what we want to change.

I am myself to blame obviously. But with that in mind, why would I be fooled ones more to buy a new product made by Syabas when the one I got stays the same. During my time as owner of this sweet baby almost nothing has changed. I think there been 3-4 firmware updates. The good thing due never had any issues with any of the firmwares except for one. The one before the current one where there was some audio problems. However I hear others who have gone through hell and back. Reason that I have not is probably because I normally only watch 4 different kinds file "types" with either of tease codec Xvid, x264, H264 and some other.

My wishes or more demands are. . .

1. Make an GUI (Jukebox) that include most of what XBMC does. ON THE PCH-C200 That is. Stuff that users actually need. The forum is full of request but nothing happens.

2. For the love of God! an auto off feature. Every time I wake up, first thing I do is to shutdown the PCH, as I fall a sleep "watching it" How hard can it be? I know PCH uses very little power but so what, its also a fire issue.

3. Fix the Auto "resolution" function.

4. No need to go on, as I said. The forum is packed with requests.

I know am not alone feeling this way. So if you like us to stay, maybe its time for a change.

AMP: Onkyo TX-SR507 SPEAKERS: Focal JMlab Chorus 700 series PLAYER: PCH C-200 TV: LG 50 50PS8000
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01-18-2011, 09:28 PM
Post: #2
RE: The Future of Popcorn Hour
The cpu on the popcorn box is very weak. It was not designed as a fast general purpose cpu when the media boxes were first envisioned. Putting a gui on the popcorn is hard as is already being learned by the company with the NMJ firmware version of their gui. I would envision getting xbmc on the popcorn as enjoyable as running windows 7 on an old pentium pc.

PCH A-100, A-110 & A-200

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01-18-2011, 09:30 PM
Post: #3
RE: The Future of Popcorn Hour
You are misunderstanding syabas is not working on an xbmc port sigma is. That means pch does not have to make a new xbmc box. And as you have seen first hand sigma takes forever.
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01-18-2011, 09:39 PM (This post was last modified: 01-18-2011 09:40 PM by accident.)
Post: #4
RE: The Future of Popcorn Hour
although I think tis the xbmc guys actually doing the port for sigma.. probably why they rushed into non-profit status in december..
ADD:

ok I'm wrong, its outsource..

http://xbmc.org/theuni/2011/01/12/more-about-sigma/
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01-18-2011, 09:44 PM
Post: #5
RE: The Future of Popcorn Hour
I will tend to agree on almost all points stated.
When I received the c-200 late last year all I got for documentation pretty much was plug the cables in.
Oh and here are some screws to add a internal drive and a cooling fan.
Documents that have probably not changed since the inception of the first popcorn.

I had a simple problem with the new nmj feature.
At popcornhour they just referred me to post here.
All they said was it works here so post at networkmediatank so someone can help you.

After that you have to fend for yourself.
If it weren't for this site most all users would be completely lost

Finally a user gave the information I needed.
So in my opinion support at popcornhour leaves much to be desired.

Thank goodness we have the people here to help.

Don't get me wrong I like the product.

But I would think that popcorn would be a little more proactive on improving customer support first than just producing here is a new model"figure it out for yourself'.
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01-18-2011, 09:48 PM (This post was last modified: 01-18-2011 09:50 PM by Mr.Blackkatt.)
Post: #6
RE: The Future of Popcorn Hour
(01-18-2011 09:28 PM)xor Wrote:  The cpu on the popcorn box is very weak. It was not designed as a fast general purpose cpu when the media boxes were first envisioned. Putting a gui on the popcorn is hard as is already being learned by the company with the NMJ firmware version of their gui. I would envision getting xbmc on the popcorn as enjoyable as running windows 7 on an old pentium pc.

It's not week, or at least the Wole "system" is not. Anything that can play 1080p that good is powerful. And that power is not needed during non playback, so why not use it for the interface?

BTW, could somebody tell me about tease two companies, why are they often named together, what's the deal?

AMP: Onkyo TX-SR507 SPEAKERS: Focal JMlab Chorus 700 series PLAYER: PCH C-200 TV: LG 50 50PS8000
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01-18-2011, 09:51 PM
Post: #7
RE: The Future of Popcorn Hour
(01-18-2011 09:48 PM)Mr.Blackkatt Wrote:  It's not week, or at least the Wole "system" is not. Anything that can play 1080p that good is powerful. And that power is not needed during non playback, so why not use it for the interface?


The ability to play 1080p is because the codec to decode 1080p is in hardware, it is not done by the cpu. Your media is decoded in hardware which is very fast.

PCH A-100, A-110 & A-200

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01-18-2011, 09:53 PM
Post: #8
RE: The Future of Popcorn Hour
(01-18-2011 09:09 PM)Mr.Blackkatt Wrote:  The only thing really that get on my nerves. Is the "need" for an 3rd party Jukebox. I am very picky so I constantly change the workings of in my case YAMJ. Trying to make it better fit my needs, and to one day let it run all by it self Big Grin

When you think about it its insane!!! You're probably thinking, hey, The PCH was made to play a wide rage of media formats, not to look good.
You could try using Oversight
http://www.networkedmediatank.com/forumd...hp?fid=107
http://code.google.com/p/oversight/wiki/OversightIntro

[Image: ovs2-page1.jpg]


Best regards

Jerome
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01-18-2011, 10:04 PM (This post was last modified: 01-18-2011 10:05 PM by Mr.Blackkatt.)
Post: #9
RE: The Future of Popcorn Hour
(01-18-2011 09:53 PM)Jerome Wrote:  You could try using Oversight
http://www.networkedmediatank.com/forumd...hp?fid=107
http://code.google.com/p/oversight/wiki/OversightIntro

[Image: ovs2-page1.jpg]


Best regards

Jerome

thnx, i like yamj better.
(01-18-2011 09:51 PM)xor Wrote:  The ability to play 1080p is because the codec to decode 1080p is in hardware, it is not done by the cpu. Your media is decoded in hardware which is very fast.

decoded "in hardware" then use the same hardware to render graphics for the interface.

AMP: Onkyo TX-SR507 SPEAKERS: Focal JMlab Chorus 700 series PLAYER: PCH C-200 TV: LG 50 50PS8000
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01-18-2011, 10:17 PM
Post: #10
RE: The Future of Popcorn Hour
(01-18-2011 10:04 PM)Mr.Blackkatt Wrote:  decoded "in hardware" then use the same hardware to render graphics for the interface.
There is a big difference between movie decoding and rendering. This is not a usual PC. Sigma is very specialized SoC.
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01-18-2011, 10:22 PM
Post: #11
RE: The Future of Popcorn Hour
(01-18-2011 10:04 PM)Mr.Blackkatt Wrote:  decoded "in hardware" then use the same hardware to render graphics for the interface.
(Someday insert a lengthy analogy using a car and a horse to explain why this is not feasible) Smile

Audio, video, disco - I hear, I see, I learn.
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01-18-2011, 10:24 PM (This post was last modified: 01-18-2011 10:29 PM by Mr.Blackkatt.)
Post: #12
RE: The Future of Popcorn Hour
(01-18-2011 10:17 PM)uncle_g Wrote:  There is a big difference between movie decoding and rendering. This is not a usual PC. Sigma is very specialized SoC.

Yes, but in the end its all data that needs to be calculated. As the nVIDIA GPU can crunch data normally handle by the CPU so should Sigma? in practice?

to put it even more simply, a GPU's job is to render if I remember correctly. But in fact nVIDIA's CUDA can do a CPU job as well with supported software.

AMP: Onkyo TX-SR507 SPEAKERS: Focal JMlab Chorus 700 series PLAYER: PCH C-200 TV: LG 50 50PS8000
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01-18-2011, 10:26 PM
Post: #13
RE: The Future of Popcorn Hour
Sigh you really need to do some research

http://www.sigmadesigns.com/uploads/docu...640_br.pdf

All advice is supplied packaged by intellectual weight, and not by volume. Contents may settle slightly in transit.
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01-18-2011, 10:26 PM (This post was last modified: 01-18-2011 10:27 PM by halfelite.)
Post: #14
RE: The Future of Popcorn Hour
(01-18-2011 10:04 PM)Mr.Blackkatt Wrote:  decoded "in hardware" then use the same hardware to render graphics for the interface.

Video and audio are handed off to specialized parts of the chip what are known as RISC which stands for Reduced instruction set computing. Since they only have on purpose IE decoding HD video they can do it very well. The video goes through one of the these to demux the stream then the stream is sent to another one and out comes the video/audio. They can not be used for an all purpose cpu. There is no instructions inside them for anything other then video playback. The general purpose cpu is a 667mhz mips

Sigma and pch are usually hand in hand because pch has always used the newest sigma chips in there product lines.

Things like NVIDIA gpu usually never offload 2d graphics only 3d.
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01-18-2011, 10:31 PM
Post: #15
RE: The Future of Popcorn Hour
The major requirement for XBMC is 3D graphics which the current NMT's can't do, and software 3D won't be fast enough. For me, the main news in the XMBC/Sigma announcement is going to be the availability of hardware assisted ffmpeg. Ffmpeg and the related libraries really are what HTPC's so powerful on Windows on linux and ability to adapt to new codecs. It's a good move for Sigma, but difficult power for Syabas to compete against.

Martin
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