Popcorn Hour and Popbox Integration
Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:38 AM
At Extra Vegetables we are always on the lookout for new products that can integrate with Control4. Whilst the Popcorn Hour players have been available for several years their latest models are ideal partners for a Control4 system. Not only do you get the same movie playback features as with other media players you also get Music and Photo Slideshow integration too!
With three models to choose from there's almost certainly one to meet your needs. Total cost including driver is low - contact your Control4 dealer for more details.
The Popbox V8 is a small network media player and easily installed behind a TV screen. It's native media management provides a folder based display. But with Control4 managing the media you can present your customer with a full details of their movies collection via the Control4 OSD, touchpanels or mobile apps. It will playback multiple file types including Blu-ray .iso and mt2s backups. As it does not use Java when playing back a Blu-ray it will skip straight to the main feature. It also has both analog and digital audio out.
Popbox Player US$130 retail
Popcorn Hour C-300
This is the original Network Media Tank (NMT) but improved for 2012. The new C-300 is a full size AV component with a full colour display panel. There is a slot for a slim-line Blu-ray player and a bay for a hard drive. Of course it can also stream content from your network. The Popcorn Hour products have their own movie jukebox on-screen display which not only automatically catalogues a movie collection also allows you to filter and search for content in your collection. The C-300 has full Blu-ray menu support. Like the Popbox it is fully compatible with Control4's media database and just about every file type you can mention.
On the music side the C-300 also displays your music and can handle all forms of non-DRM file types.
C-300 $349 retail
Popcorn Hour A-300
Sitting between the other two products is the A-300. It has the power similar to the C-300 but without full Blu-ray menu support (it will automatically play the main feature). You can install a hard drive internally if required. It also features the full on-screen Media Jukebox display of the C-300.
C-300 $219 retail
Network Media Jukebox
The Popcorn Hour players have a built in Network Media Jukebox function. This allows them to scan and retrieve metadata for movie content directly from the Internet. The On-screen display is then attractive and really easy to navigate. There's no additional software to install.
The Pop players have access to an Apps market. This has a number of mainly free Apps which provide access to vaious online streaming services. This includes You Tube, Facebook, Twitter, Shoutcast and many more services. There is also a free CD copying app for the C-300.
Full integration with Control4 movie database. Select and playback any movie content scanned by Control4.
:)Fast movie playback - Popbox knows instantly what the file type is, no more problems with DVD .iso rips.
On-Screen Display control. Full control of the the on-screen display and movie playback functions.
Music playback. Browse any network share or attached storage from any Control4 device and playback music tracks and full albums. Supports all non DRM music formats including 96/24 flacs. * ^
Photo slideshows. Browse any network share or attached storage from any Control4 device for photos and start a slideshow. If music is playing it continues in the background. *
Non scanned videos. Browse any network share or attached storage from any Control4 device for video content. Location does not have to be scanned by Control4 first. *
Many additional programming features including setting default subtitles from programming.
* Requires music/photo driver or bundle version
^ Cover art is not displayed on Control4 interfaces
Extra Vegetables Website: http://www.extravege...corn-hourpopbox
Popbox Website: www.popbox.com
Popcorn Hour Website: www.popcornhour.com
New York - London
Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:33 PM
Can you specify what folder to rip the music files to on the cd ripping app?
Also, movie coverart is displayed, correct? Just the music coverart that is not?
Posted 23 March 2012 - 02:53 AM
With moives you can scan these in Control4 in the normal way - then you will see cover art on the C4 interfaces as normal. The driver doesn't retrieve or display any cover art from the Pop players themselves.
New York - London
Posted 23 March 2012 - 03:45 AM
Posted 24 March 2012 - 08:16 AM
The Dune may be the better piece, I can't find anyone to comment that has tried both...
wish i knew about this 2 weeks ago...its never too late, but already forked up for a Dune
Posted 25 March 2012 - 07:49 AM
I'll let you all know what I think. I haven't bought any Dune players yet so I can't make that comparison. If there's anything specific anyone wants be to try, let me know.
Posted 25 March 2012 - 06:36 PM
Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:01 AM
We have already made some improvements to the Pop drivers based on dealer and user feedback. It's good to see that so many folks were waiting for some better integration with these products. There are differences between the Dune and Pop devices. We think the small Popbox player is really going to score on cost concious installations and its small size is a real advantage.
Whilst we do only sell drivers to dealers I would expect the total cost of a Popbox or Popcorn Hour integration with hardware and driver to be very similar to that for a Dune.
New York - London
Posted 03 April 2012 - 04:09 PM
I am hoping to have a driver later tonight or tomorrow...god knows when I get a chance to get this in the project and put it through it's paces.
I'll make sure and post a proper review.
Posted 03 April 2012 - 05:16 PM
I already installed it and fired it up. surprise, surprise - there's a new OS update... no biggie - the update process is easy.
Loaded the Extra Vegetables driver.
Loaded AVI, MKV, MP4, DVD rip and BD rip.
Hard to believe but the unit works flawlessly with all format but MP4s - thank you Steve Jobs...
IP control seems to work nicely but I will continue to test this thoroughly. I found one issue and I have opened a ticket with EV - they are currently looking into it.
I am definitely disappointed from the "apps" or "channels" selection provided.
"Lame" selection and I am being nice...
I like the Apple channels and/or XBOX channels....
I guess my main use for this box will be to watch movies.
Why can't one manufacturer get it right?
Edited by eytanvestin, 03 April 2012 - 05:18 PM.
Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:34 AM
The hardware is top notch. The GUI is simple, but intuitive. The driver is really well written, and has commands to replicate the entire Popcorn Hour remote...there aren't ANY commands missing. I tested some Bluray ISO files, as well as some 1080p MKV files. Both performed flawlessly. It was also easy to go back and forth between the movie playing and the Popcorn Hour GUI...something not so easily done with the Netgear EVA9150's I've been using. I did install the YouTube videos app, and it worked good for searching and viewing YouTube videos. I'm excited to use the "photo viewer" part.
If anyone has anything specific they want me to try or they want answered just let me know. I guess these will be readily available for purchase in a couple of weeks. From what I can see so far, it's a great player at a great price.
Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:51 AM
Both. I still have disc changers full of discs, so I need one library to display ALL my movies available...be it a physical disc in the changer or a digital video on the NAS.
^ Dan, are you using C4 for your GUI, for the thumbs and metadata, or are you using the native NMT for this?
What I use the NMT GUI for is to browse home videos, things other than "Hollywood Films". I'm hoping that one day I'll have all my DVD's archived digitally and can ditch the massive DVD changers...so much rack space is eaten up. The problem is finding the time to rip them all. I have started doing that, but it's a time consuming process and time isn't something I have right now. It's also discouraging because whether I have 4 discs or 400 in the changer, I still need the changer. Thus, the reward of ripping the discs isn't realized until the very last one is ripped.
Posted 09 May 2012 - 02:41 PM
My concern is how well the Popbox handles navigation of the ISO files. Its still unclear to me what I loose between the Popbox V8 and C-300, and if that difference is worth the $200 price difference. I rarely navigate the special features of my discs, but would hate to box myself in with no access to them too. Thanks in advance.
EDIT: Also, any issues with the V8's onboard network adapter not being Gigabit rated? I saw that in the cut sheet...whereas the C-300 is. Just wonder how it would factor into real-world use.
Edited by mteele, 09 May 2012 - 03:26 PM.
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