Murry Sparkles said:
I have the original Popcorn Hour A-100 and it still has firmware updates that keep it supporting every new codec I throw at it. You could probably find one of those online for cheap. They have newer models that are a little pricier, but they really are a great, small company owned and operated by true geeks who know their stuff.
Asterisk8 would you recommend the Popcorn Hour ?, i have been offered a Popcorn Hour A110 and im seriously thinking about buying it. Is there ever any problems with playback does it ever suffer from lag, is it easy to load the movies onto the onboard hdd?.
I would definitely recommend the Popcorn Hour, but I can only speak from personal experience which has been entirely without issue. I've read people who've had problems, but most if not all were resolved with firmware updates. I have the A100, which was their first model, got on pre-order right when they launched the website, so I was an early adopter and can't really comment on later models. Firmware updates have kept my A100 playing every codec I throw at it, which impresses me a lot considering I've had it since 2007. Depending on the file, I might get a second or two of a loading screen before the movie starts, and then perfect playback. I installed a drive, but opted to remove it and use external usb drives because they offered me more flexibility, and I felt the internal hdd heated up the box too much for my cabinet. I've never tried the streaming features, so I can't really comment on that aspect.
Popcorn Hours aren't the cheapest option, because they're a small operation and manufacture their devices on site instead of a third world country (at least they did a couple years ago, I guess I can't say that for certain now). If the WDTV can really be significantly improved by modding as ibleedspeed says, I wouldn't hesitate to try one should my A100 ever crap out on me, because they are much more affordable.
Sorry for the long windedness. :-)