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Popcorn Hour and Popbox Integration


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21 replies to this topic

#1 ExtraVeg

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:38 AM

Movies, Music, Photo slideshows and online streaming - the total media player solution :D

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.

Popbox
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.

Apps
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.

Driver Features
:) 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
Control4 Drivers and 4Store Apps for Control4 Dealers
www.extravegetables.com
New York - London

#2 DanH

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:33 PM

How does this compare the Dune? I'm intrigued by the photo slideshows, the YouTube and Facebook integration (wife is a Facebook junkie), full Bluray support and the CD Copying app.

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?
Can Control4 really be done completely DIY? http://www.c4diy.com/

Dan - dan@c4diy.com

#3 ExtraVeg

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 02:53 AM

The Popcorn Hour devices are different from the Dune players. The smallest supported player (The Popbox) can fit behind the TV which is a real bonus. Also the integration possibilities are greater - this allows us to provide the music and photo navigation for example. Full Bluray support with menus is only on the C-300 - the other players will play blu-ray rips and jump straight to the main feature. They then offer simple navigation of Blu-ray menus. If you are a BD extra freak you would need the C-300.

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.
Control4 Drivers and 4Store Apps for Control4 Dealers
www.extravegetables.com
New York - London

#4 wappinghigh

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 03:45 AM

You EV guys totally Rock. I seriously don't know what I would have done without you guys. You move the whole Control4 experience into another dimension, and this is just another example. But "the total media player solution" I'm not sure about that....Have you been reading the recent threads on the forum about mac media server's and Vudu? Your AppleTV Mk1 driver and solution was close, but alas Apple dropped the HDD from the AppleTV (as you know). I just wish you could get a workaround solved for this little "problem" :)

#5 Big_Carl

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 08:09 AM

wish i knew about this 2 weeks ago...its never too late, but already forked up for a Dune

#6 DanH

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 08:16 AM

wish i knew about this 2 weeks ago...its never too late, but already forked up for a Dune

The Dune may be the better piece, I can't find anyone to comment that has tried both...
Can Control4 really be done completely DIY? http://www.c4diy.com/

Dan - dan@c4diy.com

#7 Big_Carl

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 06:12 AM

wish i knew about this 2 weeks ago...its never too late, but already forked up for a Dune

The Dune may be the better piece, I can't find anyone to comment that has tried both...

Dune is back order...no clue has to when i will get it

#8 DanH

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 07:49 AM

I pulled some strings and will have a C-300 here next week. I'm excited to try it out.

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.
Can Control4 really be done completely DIY? http://www.c4diy.com/

Dan - dan@c4diy.com

#9 xc420

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 06:36 PM

Dune makes some great media players. I don't have any experience with popcorn media players but if I had to choose I'd rather have a dune but to be certain which is better I'd compare processors and user interfaces. Another plus is the Dune driver is free and with popcorn hour you don't know how much the driver is because EV won't tell you but it will cost whatever a dealer has to pay plus however much they decide to mark it up.

#10 ExtraVeg

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:01 AM

Hi

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.
Control4 Drivers and 4Store Apps for Control4 Dealers
www.extravegetables.com
New York - London

#11 DanH

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 04:09 PM

A Popcorn Hour C-300 was delivered to me today, it's sitting on my credenza right now. It's a dang big box for a media player...hopefully it's just lots of packing in there!

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.
Can Control4 really be done completely DIY? http://www.c4diy.com/

Dan - dan@c4diy.com

#12 Controlfouruserguy

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 04:23 PM

How does this compare with the Control4 Media Player......... JUST KIDDING!

#13 DanH

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 04:38 PM

How does this compare with the Control4 Media Player......... JUST KIDDING!

LOL. I don't think I need to open the box to answer that question...ha ha ha.
Can Control4 really be done completely DIY? http://www.c4diy.com/

Dan - dan@c4diy.com

#14 RyanE

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 04:49 PM

Well, they both have power and HDMI connections.

That's where the similarity ends.

:)

RyanE

#15 Chas

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 05:15 PM

The Dune players are great, with one major problem. When watching a DVD folder, and you use FF or REW, you will lose audio. Replicated on multiple players on multiple jobs.

#16 eytanvestin

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 05:16 PM

I received my demo Popbox V8 today. (every time I look at that name - I think of the commercial - could've have a V8)
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.

Eytan Vestin

#17 DanH

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:34 AM

I got the Popcorn Hour installed last night. Setup was quick and easy, and while I haven't had much time to play with it, I like what I see so far.

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.
Can Control4 really be done completely DIY? http://www.c4diy.com/

Dan - dan@c4diy.com

#18 lvs

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:00 AM

^ Dan, are you using C4 for your GUI, for the thumbs and metadata, or are you using the native NMT for this?

#19 DanH

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:51 AM

^ Dan, are you using C4 for your GUI, for the thumbs and metadata, or are you using the native NMT for this?

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.

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.
Can Control4 really be done completely DIY? http://www.c4diy.com/

Dan - dan@c4diy.com

#20 mteele

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 02:41 PM

Dan, would like to hear an update from you on this if possible. The Popbox V8 + EV driver appears to be the route for me to take. I am in the process of moving my DVD/Blu-Ray collection to a NAS device (Synology DS212j w/ 3 TB hard drive), with a large number of Blu-Ray ISO files. I had been using my PS3 and running PS3 Media Server on my PC, but I am tired of the poor navigation and unreliability in playing different video formats.

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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