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Discussion Starter #43
Looks like my review's going to be a little longer in coming. My A-110 hasn't shipped, yet. All rather irritating.

Maybe Monday... which means I should have it on Thursday or Friday.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
I'm now told that it won't be in stock before Wednesday... if it's delayed any further, I may not get it before Christmas. And that would really suck.

Ya know what else sucks? Ripping your entire DVD collection all over again for a different media centre, because your previous plan didn't work...! I'm not that mad, though; provided the PCH A-110 can meet my playback requirements in ways that the PS3 couldn't - if the A-110 can't do it either, I may have a stroke.
 

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Discussion Starter #46 (Edited)
Okay, guys. Here's my preliminary report:

The A-110's great, but it's not as user-friendly as you might think. Unless you've some experience with computers, both hardware and software, you're gonna need something more 'public domain'.

When I fitted my co-newly-purchased 1.5TB drive to my A-110, I realised I was going to have to format it before playing any media. What I didn't realise was that the drive was going to refuse to co-operate for two hours, and then only co-operate in a Linux fashion, thereby requiring me to install some Linux drive-mounting software so that my Windows PC could talk to it... this annoyed me a little.

Next up, the two external USB drives I bought in October to use with my PS3 didn't work either. And they still don't. Looks like they're incompatible - there are lots of drives with this problem... this annoyed me a lot.

But the good news is that it runs fully-ripped DVD images very, very nicely. They're upscaled well enough to look dandy on a 32" HDTV (EDIT: I make no promises to those of you with 100" projector screens...), and all the menus, features, subtitles, audio tracks etc. work perfectly. AND THERE'S NO ANAMORPHIC PROBLEM!!!

For me, the reasons to be cheerful outweigh the reasons to be cross. But be warned - if you buy one of these things expecting to just plug it in and watch it go, you may run into some frustration.
 

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Thanks for the report DH!

That drive recognition problem is a deal-breaker for me. Do you think it's a hardware problem with the drives themselves, or does the A-110 just not like Windows formatted drives? I'm assuming all these drives worked on a Windows box with no problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #48

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I have yet to put a drive in my Popcorn Hour A-110. Just have it access, via the local 100 Mbps wired network, the important shares on my two home PC's. Plus I've installed myiHome as a http:\\ server on my more powerful machine. Play's 1080i captured HDTV shows just fine. Without a drive the PCH is dead quiet, has no fan, and runs very cool.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Yeah, it runs silently without a drive. But, in my experience, it's quiet with a drive. I used to use an Xbox 360 for DVD playback, and they are hilariously loud. You wouldn't believe the noise. It's a like a jet engine...
 

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Discussion Starter #51
... hey folks. I thought this might be a better place for my A-110 lectures...! (Sorry again, Bill)

The A-110's working out beautifully. It's not without bugs, but there's nothing that gets in the way of video_ts playback.

I've resolved the external hard drive compatability mystery... myself! Then I disseminated this information to the wider community, which was appreciated.

There was a firmware update last month that's a little buggy, but shows the machine moving in the right direction. I wish I could get my mits on a WD TV HD, so that I could compare the two... don't suppose there's anybody out there who owns both who can fill me in?!
 
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