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on March 1, 2014
The Poporn Hour units have solid output performance and really live up to the quality of construction that you expect. That said, they are also not built for beginners. Initial setup, firmware upgrades (of which there are several) and outfitting a unit like this with something like NAMJ can be both time consuming and confusing for those new to Popcorn Hour's methods.

If you've used other Popcorn Hour units, you'll appreciate the upgraded decoder, the full support of 3D encoded MKV, and the wide rang of media supports. But if you're looking for a straight forward media streamer, this is likely more than what you are after.
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on March 14, 2013
Where to start?

This item is completely useless. I purchased the a-400 to be used as my main media player for replay of .iso media files. This unit constantly buffers, locks up and losses network connectivity. I cannot imagine anyone being happy with the current state of this product. The manufacturer, Network Media Tank, releases firmware updates every few weeks but the problems persist. Check out the network media tank forums and you will see all of the complaints related to this problem. The hardware on this device is nice but the software is full of bugs. The manufacturer blames Sigma, the chip designer, but Sigma does not seem interested in fixing this any time soon.

This product looks great on paper, but not in actuality. Who cars about cool apps when the thing cant even play a movie without buffering every 60 seconds?

One of the worst purchases of my life.
2 people found this helpful
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on February 24, 2013
I own and use WD TV Live Hub, great small size player, but limited 1TB HD capacity dedicated HDD (can't swap HDDs), plus slow transfer via network, no USB transfer. I own and use LaCie LaCinema PlayHD larger 2TB HD capacity, but also dedicated HDD and no network connection, but good player and very happy with it otherwise. Have been looking for some time for a player with decent user Interface, swappable drive able to accept large 4TB HDDs, and tried players with features I am looking for, such as Micca EP350 G2, but had cheap remote and defective unit, erased all my data with any slight touch to the case, so returned it. Also tried Krizer Flavo Ultimate. Took over a year to fix firmware bugs and finally now works but has very noisy fan. I have been using my new Popcorn Hour A-400 with latest firmware for about a week now, and it works just as I had hoped. I have had none of the issues described by the 2 reveiwers before me. Perhaps it took a bit longer to get firmware bugs worked out, since those reviews. It is silent, accepts large capacity 4TB HDDs, and connects simulateously with USB 3 and eSATA slave drives. Nice build remote with great and reliable function from a good distance (I use from ~ 15 feet). Love the jukebox feature, especially with iPad! I LOVE THE IPAD JUKEBOX FEATURE! Only thing that would have made this pefect would have been if they included a built in wireless network adapter, but alas, one must add a wireless dongle to connect wirelessly to a network. I am OK with this, since these adapters are so inexpensive these days, and as I am just thrilled with the performance and features of this player.
2 people found this helpful
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on December 16, 2013
Out of the box the A-400 has a solid feel and looks good. Configuring it with my NAS and stored media took some time. This is not a plug and play device, however its not impossible to setup. It plays fully uncompressed blu-rays over the network flawlessly. Its a must have for people who want to digitize their movie collection.
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on May 6, 2013
The unit does work with most of my media files "after" I updated it with some of the available firmware updates. If you go to the network media tank forum you can get almost weekly builds of firmware that fix various things and introduce new issues all the time. I understand that this unit has a "brand new" chipset with not a lot of software experience behind it but it just seems like some basic functionality needs to be fixed first.

The media jukebox on it is nicer then some I have used but I found it still lacked and the best way to manage it was from a networked computer with the user created apps that let you manage the database.

I have always used Western Digital products in the past and love the media library on the hub and live streaming so perhaps it will just take some getting used to. This one does have some different features and ways to display the media. I did find that the scan for media with the unit itself will turn up a lot of wrong results and if you have media in the same folder you don't want to have in your library you can't just delete it from the library without deleting the file and if you delete it from the database management software you will pick it all up again if you scan the storage location for media again which is a large pain.

The remote works ok, but I use my Harmony remote which works a lot better in terms of angle of use.

All in all the main reason I bought this item was because it supported HD audio codecs (DTS-HD) that my WD units did not. Which after firmware updates do play fine. However I feel that there does need to be a lot of development on the firmware before it becomes really stable. I don't bother with 3D so I can't really comment on that piece.
One person found this helpful
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on January 3, 2013
I've been an owner of Popcorn media players for years. The C-200, the A-300, and then I bought the A-400. I heard there were some issues with the new A-400 player..but I didn't realize the issues were so broad or so bad! Before I continue, I did update the firmware as soon as I unboxed the A-400.
I put in a 3 TB hard drive, which I was told the player would read. It did see the hard drive, and once I formatted to NT filesystem...it saw the drive. But the 'slave' USB port on the back...does NOT work with the 3 tb drive. I put a 2 TB drive inside the A-400, and it worked just fine. So no USB 'slave' control with a 3 TB dirve. Issue 1.
Some movie files have sound issues. Drop outs, stopping..and some subtitles would not play. This happened with the 3 Tb drive, and the 2 Tb drive...either as an internal or an external drive. So, I put those same HD's in the A-300, and no problem. The same exact files played without a problem in the A-300. Put them back in the A-400, and again, the same issue. Sound drop outs! Screen black-outs, and subtitles issues! Issue 2.
How can this company release a new media player that does not work? Much less a new player that does not work as well as the older A-300? You would think the newer version would work at least as well as the older version...but it doesn't! So, I tried email support...it took a week for them to respond...and was not help. I tried phone support here in the US, which in the past as be very helpful....still has not returned my phone calls. 4 phone calls in the course of a week..and still no return call. Issue 3!
So, I'm returning the A-400 and getting another A-300.
What did work on the A-400? The iPad app where you can see your jukebox media player library. The one thing I thought would not work...worked without fail..and actually was amazing! The 1 star I give is for that...the iPad remote app. Amazing! So, I'm sad to lose that control....but I need the player to work at least as well as the A-300...and it doesn't!
20 people found this helpful
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on June 6, 2013
amazing picture quality and many features, superior quality, powerful CPU and VXP video, friendly jukebox interface, I am so happy
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on March 14, 2015
I purchased this unit when it was first released. Compared to other devices available at the time, this one was top of the heap. Every firmware update seemed to fix a few more small bugs and things were looking very good for this device. Unfortunately the manufacturer stopped supporting this device (in fact ALL their pre-2015 devices) by not updating their firmware, which is still desperately in need of attention. Outstanding issues include audio/video out of sync, and no audio for the first 1~2 seconds of each movie/audio file. While the device still works more or less as advertised, and I use it daily even with it's defective firmware, I am shopping around now for a replacement.

The manufacturer's customer support forums are heavily censored, anyone posting anything even slightly critical of their products will have their message deleted within minutes, your account may also be banned, or at best, you will get an earful from one of their moderators who claim not to be employed by the company, but certainly seem to zealously enjoy their power trip as moderators. Even criticism of their moderation policy will get you banned. This is certainly no way to run a business in 2015, and with this attitude it doesn't hold much promise for a successful business in the future. You've been warned. Browse their customer forum for yourself: http://www.networkedmediatank.com/forumdisplay.php?fid=124
6 people found this helpful
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on March 8, 2013
A product rushed to market that asks paying customers to act as beta (or even alpha) testers. I've never purchased a product before that makes you jump through as many hoops as this one, just to achieve the most basic functionality. My 3 year old Boxee Box blows this thing out of the water in every single department, except 3D ISOS which the Boxee does not play. Trying to watch a 3D iso on this thing is an excersise in futility. All you get is 20 seconds of playback at a time followed by 30 seconds of a spinning wheel.

I've never dealt with a product designed in such a counter intuitive way and with such a slow, unresponsive and half baked interface. I upgraded my pc to windows 8 and every other Tablet ad PC in the house could see its files over the network except for the A400. Everything you assume is basic and a given with any other player is backwards in the A400 or just doesn't work. And when you point this to other people at the networkmediatank forums, you're immediately silenced and censored by hostile moderators who think their beloved monstrosity can do no wrong and the fault always lies with the customer. I waited 4 months for a firmware update to fix all these issues and every firmware update would make the player worse. If it fixed something, it would break something else. I got fed up with waiting and just bought myself a mede8er MED1000X3D and never looked back. The mede8er does everything the A400 failed to deliver and it's even cheaper. It can even play 3DMVC-MKV which the A400 can't. Avoid this player like the plague, least until you can safely assume the bugs have been fixed which I just don't see happening in at least a year. Maybe never.
6 people found this helpful
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on April 21, 2013
This media player is working great for me playing mpg, iso and mkv files from my synology nas. It is buggy sometimes but many of these bugs are being aggressively worked on in constant firmware releases.

Picture quality is better than my cable box. Own an oppo bluray that bests it but this unit has a great picture.

NMJ app for jukebox is awesome with an ipad. There are apps you can use as well from your PC that can allow you to modify the NMJ database files.

In the past I used a PS3, Xbox, and Panasonic bluray to stream files but they all had issues.

The popcorn hour is for streaming local media I would not purchase if you want Netflix or the such.

There are issues with specific types of bluray iso playing properly like 3d bd 25 gb ios files. I do have issues streaming 3d content still but hope this will be fixed soon in a firmware release. The a-300 is pretty similar and cheaper if you don't need 3d streaming. I watch most of my 3d content via disk so this is not a huge issue for me.

The reviews that are posted don't tell the entire story here. Was the product released too early? Probably. Is it moving in correct direction. Absolutely.

I for one love it so far after a month and would recommend it to the person who loves to tinker with video electronics.

Gear
Synology DS411
Oppo 103
Denon avr
Jvc projector
Harmony remote
5 people found this helpful
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