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PopBox STB To Ship Soon But Without Netflix, Pandora

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the littler-and-later dept.

Television 56

DeviceGuru writes "Syabas says it is nearly ready to ship the PopBox, which it announced in January (though they said at the time it would ship in March). The $129 Internet-based A/V streaming set-top box will offer a variety of user-selectable media-streaming apps, but is unlikely at launch to include Netflix instant downloads (promised at announcement), Pandora music, or Amazon pay-per-view video support. According to Syabas, the PopBox only works with HDTVs and not standard definition TVs, and has component outputs in addition to HDMI; plus, the company says the device supports RealD 3D. More details are on the PopBox website."

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Yawn (5, Insightful)

CaptainNerdCave (982411) | more than 4 years ago | (#32872528)

Without Netflix, and without support for standard resolution televisions, why should I consider buying this over a Roku or any of the other "set-top multimedia" boxes?

Re:Yawn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32872618)

Yawn! Who gives a flying fuck about Netflix. Netflix doesn't support GNU/Linux so why should I give a fuck about Netflix? And they've shown zero interest in supporting it. Netflix also sucks. They've got zero content anyway. What was needed is a box to stream pirated content from sites like gotmovies.net. Although they went bye-bye (voluntarily though) with the recent government initiatives to go after sites aggravating links to embeding streams but not hosting content to sites pertaining to where to find unauthorized streaming of copyright movies and television shows.

Re:Yawn (2, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#32873208)

this is OSS Linux. instead of being entertained you can spend all night hacking it and playing with the file system

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32874688)

Or just gloating that you use Linux and therefore are superior as an individual. Isn't that why everyone here uses it?

Re:Yawn (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#32877578)

If you want to spend all night hacking it, a better plan would be to build one yourself from scratch.

Re:Yawn (-1, Troll)

segin (883667) | more than 4 years ago | (#32873260)

Except nobody owns standard definition televisions no more. With the rate of American consumerism, 120% of all SDTVs have been replaced!

Re:Yawn (2, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32873614)

Maybe it would be easier to tell us what it DOES include. No Netflix, Hulu, or Youtube, as far as I can tell. What does that even leave?

Re:Yawn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32874786)

err... it leaves Linux. Hence why 50% of its purchasers will be the /. readers that have their heads so far up the FOSS ass that they will actually pay for this.

No Netflix? DOA. (2, Insightful)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 4 years ago | (#32873820)

I couldn't care less about the standard res portion of that. But, without the single most popular stream service on the face of the planet, it is DOA.

Re:No Netflix? DOA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32875362)

most popular stream service on the face of the planet

Really? Which one is that? Netflix service is limited to the USA.

Re:Yawn (1)

Phoghat (1288088) | more than 4 years ago | (#32885846)

Got me a Roku box and it has Netflix (which is adding more recent films and features as we speak) and Amazon streaming, it has everything else the PopBox has plus other features like news, old ass movies, and syncs with your iTunes movies and music. It cost me less that $100. I should by a PopBox for more and giving me less? Que Lastima! It seems the Roku box is Swiss Army knife

Doesn't require Windows "server" software? (2, Interesting)

longbot (789962) | more than 4 years ago | (#32872548)

This appears to be the first inexpensive STB that supports discovery and streaming of media directly from a SAMBA or other protocol server. Most of the set top boxes to date have been dependent on software running on a host OS on a computer elsewhere in your network (I have one of the Kodak ones).

Re:Doesn't require Windows "server" software? (2, Interesting)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32872604)

Not so... WDTV Live (SMB, UPNP-AV, YouTube) has been around for a while and supports custom firmware. I have one, I can even play DVDs over USB DVD drive or SMB share (providing you have some sort of DeCSS tool running on the server/machine you're streaming from). To me, it looks like a bit of a waste if you just want to stream off your network. Other applications it may work well for, but I'll stick to my WDTV Live in the bedroom and my Beyonwiz DP-P1 in the lounge.

Re:Doesn't require Windows "server" software? (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 4 years ago | (#32872942)

Let's not forget it's competition is also newer TVs and Blu-Ray set-top boxes with app support built-in.

There's also to consider Google TV and what that'll produce.

Re:Doesn't require Windows "server" software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32873328)

Yes. Service providers work for the consumer who (should) demand value for their money. Everybody is CTV shocked & dazed. For the same amount of $ [newegg.com] + blu-ray, netflix, pandora, youtube. The net's the limit.

Re:Doesn't require Windows "server" software? (1)

longbot (789962) | more than 4 years ago | (#32881786)

I didn't say it was the first, merely the first inexpensive one. Sub-$200 or so. Wasn't the WDTV box something like $299 when it came out?

Re:Doesn't require Windows "server" software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32882176)

No idea.

But I just bought one for AU$154.

And the WDTV Live Plus is either out or about to be released with netflix support.

Re:Doesn't require Windows "server" software? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#32873174)

a lot of new TV's will play media off a hard drive connected via a USB port. no need for separate media servers

Re:Doesn't require Windows "server" software? (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#32873932)

This appears to be the first inexpensive STB that supports discovery and streaming of media directly from a SAMBA or other protocol server. Most of the set top boxes to date have been dependent on software running on a host OS on a computer elsewhere in your network (I have one of the Kodak ones).

is dlna that hard?

Re:Doesn't require Windows "server" software? (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32874074)

No it isn't.

MythTV has a DLNA (aka UPnP AV) server built in, and MediaTomb works great for other stuff.

If this doesn't do Netflix, Pandora, or Amazon on demand, what does it do? It seems like it offers very little for $130 compared to slightly cheaper devices (like the WD TV)

This looks like a Slashvertisement for a pretty dull product to me. I've seen some comments that this might be based on Open Source with hackable firmware, but there's nothing about that in the article summary.

Re:Doesn't require Windows "server" software? (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#32874240)

That's sort of my point, Personally I use PlayOn to host netflix and local media to my DLNA machines though. Why is this better then a WD TV? The only difference I can see is it costs $50 more and only works on one TV in the house.

Doesn't require clunky software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32875194)

It's a STB for Mom.

RealD 3D.... (2, Informative)

metalmaster (1005171) | more than 4 years ago | (#32872614)

I was always under the impression that this tech was dependent on a specific projector. Wouldn't that mean that the TV would have to support it? The projector alternately projects right-eye frames and left-eye frames 144 times per second.[6] It circularly polarizes these frames, clockwise for the right eye and counterclockwise for the left eye. A push-pull electro-optical liquid crystal modulator called a ZScreen is placed immediately in front of the projector lens to switch polarization. -- Wikipedia entry

Re:RealD 3D.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32873026)

No, this STB will not magically transform your TV into a 3D TV, but if you have a 3D TV you'll be able to play 3D content using this STB.

Yes, you're a moron for being confused by this.

Already OBSOLETE !! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32872620)

More china junk for the unwashed masses.

If it comes with same firmware issues as before... (4, Informative)

ultrapenguin (2643) | more than 4 years ago | (#32872828)

If this unit has the same firmware development team (and likely, it does) who handle firmware for Popcornhour & etc, good luck getting this unit to a usable state until at least a year after initial release.

popcornhour c-200 is a perfect example of good hardware ruined by crappy firmware support.
there are still bugs over a year after release that aren't getting fixed. ridiculous.

Re:If it comes with same firmware issues as before (5, Informative)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#32873700)

I'm an original owner of the A100 and also C200 players from this company (pch, syabas).

what the parent says is true.

I would not have any confidence in this box's ability to do what its advertised (well) and to go beyhond it with meaningful updates.

they will claim some api or toolkit or library is holding them back. for years at a time, they'll say this.

so very lame.

sorry, but do not buy this box or their designs. they are not well thought out (spdif and NICs are also not well designed from a hardware POV).

BoxeeBox (1)

Winckle (870180) | more than 4 years ago | (#32872864)

Hurry up and release please, or I might end up buying this.

Re:NUU Player (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32872928)

Look at the NUU player [nuumedia.com] as well.

Who is the market? (3, Insightful)

indytx (825419) | more than 4 years ago | (#32872976)

If you don't care about Netflix or Pandora, sure maybe this is something to buy. But I see inexpensive blu-ray players that have Netflix and Pandora for less. Who is the product's intended market? Not me; I don't see a need for any of the "apps" in the screen shot, and I certainly don't want something else by the TV sucking up electricity and using up space.

DOA?:Who is the market? (1)

eatvegetables (914186) | more than 4 years ago | (#32873086)

I have to agree. I took a look at the PopBox website and don't see the need that this device fills. Would be better to by a cheap netbook, laptop, or small-footprint desktop with HDMI-out. Would get all the "functionality" of PopBox plus a multi-purpose computer. Could be wrong, but I think that PopBox will be DOA.

Re:Who is the market? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32873096)

If you could please direct me to these devices (more than 1 or 2 as you seem to be implying) I would greatly appreciate it a long with supporting feature sets from a authoritative resource (ie. manufacture)?

I've actually been doing a ton of product research on set top boxes a long with existing feature sets available. I am yet to see anything at this price that offers ip functionality + blu-ray and is worth the money you pay for it so I would not expect this item to be worth anything as well. About 95% of what is out there was built without a solid foundation monetarily (ie. the product was forked from a "home brew" solution with nothing more then a bit of GUI mock-up , monetization capabilities were defined after the fact so delivering a quality product wasn't even really justified to begin with, etc.), however I have been focusing mainly on "set top" based solutions, not blu-ray w/ the addition of a couple of api + flash format decoding.

If you really do want to get some worth what you invest monetarily, wait about 8 - 14 months, and expected to drop between 199 and 299. Based on SoC's coming to market (especially the ARM basd push fo solutions), you're going to see a significant base resource increase which in turn should (and I say should as it will very much open up some new low cost high performance software solutions, this just depends on if anyone latches on to it) directly increase the ROI for these devices.

Below are my thoughts so no flames as these are opinions based on assumptions, NOT TRUTHS:

P.S. STAY AWAY from boxeebox if you value your money. It is actually fairly feature lacking behind some stuff you absolutely need to include to get people to shell out the $$$. And its hardware provider (dlink) doesnt' exactly have a good record in terms of providing quality IP based media platforms (ie. media lounge series). I mean really, boxee is trying to commercialize a content scraping platform with barely any support from the content providers themselves? -- You're basically going to get a cute looking box and that is it, and anything beyond basic video playback, ie. on demand content, etc. etc. is going to become so expensive specifically because of companies like boxee dealing with middle men and not the source.

Re:Who is the market? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32873176)

Who is the product's intended market?

How about the rest of the world?

For most people Netflix, Pandora and Amazon VoD just present you with a nice "Fuck you, you greasy foreigner!" message. So yeah, who cares about these services when they themselves only cater to a fraction of the global market.

Re:Who is the market? (1)

socialnetworkwhore (1128555) | more than 4 years ago | (#32873868)

Who cares? Obviously the markets they are available to. There isn't much reason in the current marketplace from a monetary reason to develop consumer electronics that are global in scale. So many different regulations, so many different requirements. The cost to deliver something that very much scales the global barrier beyond just language translation is something that just isn't cost effective for the end user. If you're unhappy with the fact that the part of the world you live in doesn't offer services that these set top boxes do provide you access to, start something yourself, don't just bitch about it and make a very, to be frank, very idiotic assumption. But that is another conversation all together.

Re:Who is the market? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32885110)

Oh but I'm not unhappy. These "screw you, foreigner" messages are the best endorsement The Pirate Bay can get.

These messages actually make me smile. No matter how hard the MAFIA organisations fight, they are losing exactly because of them; because of their own stupidity.

Re:Who is the market? (2, Interesting)

Nukenbar (215420) | more than 4 years ago | (#32874352)

The market is for people that download 4-8GB Bluray rips off of the PirateBay and want to play them on their big screen HDTVs. Most laptops older than 3-4 years that were not top of the line will not have the horsepower to do a 1080p mkv, let alone have an HDMI and optical audio output.

This might not do everything, but If your main goal is to play Hires movies that you already have on your network, this is not a bad option.

I own a WD TV Live (4, Informative)

Beowulf_Boy (239340) | more than 4 years ago | (#32872992)

And am really unhappy with it.

They advertise that it works with network shares. The pains I had to go through to get it to work with windows 7 was crazy. It just wouldn't recognize the shared drive. I'd be able to see it from my wifes PC just fine, but the WD Live wouldn't see it. Had to go through 3 or 4 howto's online to figure out how to make it work. Finally got the right combination of settings and it worked, but if you disconnect the network cable from it (I only have one cable ran to my living room and it has to share with my 360) it takes about 15 minutes before it'll start talking to shared drives again. It'll get online and let me watch youtube, so I know it has access, but it won't talk to the drive on my laptop.

This is going to sound kinda dumb, but I also really hate how small it is. It doesn't look like it fits in my TV cabinet with everything else.

In order to use Hulu and netflix, I have to use a program that runs on my laptop called Playon. It essentially transcodes the video and acts as a media server. So I use the WD Live, go to media servers, then Playon, then select hulu, and I can search TV shows. It also works for netflix, amazon video, ESPN, Comedy Central, and a few others. The interface is really bad, it looks just like folders in explorer in windows. Actually searching for something is impossible, you just have to look through alphabetically. And no way to make playlists or anything. I'd like to make a playlist that has my favorite shows on hulu so I can check it quickly, but instead I have to check each show for new episodes individually.

Re:I own a WD TV Live (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32873698)

Hulu doesn't work on any STB, only full computers. Your Playon situation is basically a hack, no wonder you aren't thrilled with it. That's hulu's fault, not WDTV.

Netflix works on the new WDTV Live Plus but not the previous generations because the Sigma chip didn't have DRM built in until the Live Plus. Annoying but not the end of the world.

Network shares not working is probably a Windows error, not the fault of WDTV. There are lots of web forums to help you will this problem. I seem to remember lots of people complaining about Windows 7 shares. I run Ubuntu and the shares come up perfectly

I would suggest you start by flashing your box with wdlxtv firmware from b-rad. One of its upgrades is that you can mount network shares so that they are treated like local drives by the OSD software. You have no idea how powerful your little WDTV box is until you get the upgraded firmware. It's a little linux computer and can grab all the media you want/need by itself hosting it's own P2P sessions. There's another great alternative but I won't break the first rule of ******, don't talk about ******.

You have to remember that the WDTV's nick-name is the pirate's friend. To quote the meme, "You're doing it wrong."

Re:I own a WD TV Live (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32875934)

I discover that if you go in the computer that has the share folder and browse the network then browsed the WDTV then the WDTV will pick up the computer. It takes like 30 seconds. I think is using netbios and the computer might not be broadcasting. The WDTV will pick up my linux box configured with samba the second I connect that computer to the network.

Re:I own a WD TV Live (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32882310)

"They advertise that it works with network shares."

It did. Then Microsoft changed things and released Windows 7. Later releases of the firmware provided official Windows 7 support.

Re:I own a WD TV Live (1)

ISurfTooMuch (1010305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32883482)

I can't comment on the WDTV, since I don't own one, but why are you switching the network cable? Get yourself a cheap switch at Newegg and be done with that hassle.

popcorn hour (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32873042)

I own the popcorn hour box (the same company - network media tank - as far I understand) and well, it leaves a lot to be desired. Internet is full of complaints from users trying to play their blue ray disks; youtube does not work even though there is some note about it on their main page (now the support has been promised in the "next firmware version"), podcast clients (provided as standalone "application" for each podcast) are absolutely useless - no history, no forwarding, sometimes skipping a part of the podcast. Internet browser is worse than IE 3.0. Networking quite slow (4-5MB/sec in my case), even on a 1G network.

So if you are looking for something to play your DVDs, .avi and .mkv, with optional subtitles, go for it. just do not expect it to do anything else. If you need more, it might be better/cheaper to buy a mini fanless computer with an external HDD.

no netflix, amazon, or pandora? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32873082)

Those are three things that came built-in to my most recent TV set. After having them built-in, I'm not sure I'd want a separate box to handle those things.

SPAIN TROUNCES NETHERLANDS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32873098)

Netherlands? That's right. The Dutch got their butts handed to them on a platter by SPAIN in a beating the dutch won't live down for many, many years to come. It wasn't even a match, more like the best against the worst. Go figure.

I want my XBMC (1)

samael (12612) | more than 4 years ago | (#32873320)

If someone will just produce a small form-factor XBMC-dedicated box then I will be very happy indeed.

At the moment I use a hacked Apple TV, which is perfect, except that it's too slow to play HD content.

Re:I want my XBMC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32876404)

The soon-to-be released Boxee Box from D-Link sounds like something you will like (D-Link Model DSM-380). Too bad its release was delayed from last March to next November (to capitalize on the holiday shopping season).

Re:I want my XBMC (1)

sockonafish (228678) | more than 4 years ago | (#32880876)

Get a Broadcom Crystal HD, pop it in to replace your Airport card. With that card in my Apple TV running XBMC I can play any 720p content, and even some 1080p content.

Re:I want my XBMC (1)

samael (12612) | more than 4 years ago | (#32884164)

Sadly, that would mean buying a router with more ethernet ports spare, and then running a cable across the middle of my living room.

Meet the competition (2, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#32873670)

The $129 Internet-based A/V streaming set-top box will offer a variety of user-selectable media-streaming apps, but is unlikely at launch to include Netflix instant downloads (promised at announcement), Pandora music, or Amazon pay-per-view video support.

Oh, so in other words, it's dead on arrival.

When you figure that Blu-Ray players can be had for $12 more than this piece of crap and the Blu-Ray player can do not only Netflix, Amazon, Pandora, Youtube, and so on, it can also play Blu-Ray, DVD, and CD media.

Fail.

Re:Meet the competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32875108)

No such thing as Netflix or Hulu or whatever else if you're outside the USA. I haven't seen a single TV show from these services, but I have seen the "You cannot see this content from this IP address" error millions of times.

The real competition will be when the godamn fucking studios get their heads out of their asses and start offering their content to everyone on this planet. Unless they're braindead, they should want our money.

Re:Meet the competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32875654)

No such thing as Netflix or Hulu or whatever else if you're outside the USA. I haven't seen a single TV show from these services, but I have seen the "You cannot see this content from this IP address" error millions of times.

Thanks for stating the obvious. Why did you think the GP should care about your scenario?

P.S.: Unless the MPAA can sue individuals for infringement in your country, good luck in getting them to allow online services. Enjoy the pirated media while you can... seriously.

Extra Cost for WiFi (1)

Pinky3 (22411) | more than 4 years ago | (#32873794)

From the web site:
Optional 801.11 N/B/G Wi-Fi
From Amazon.com:
PopBox Wireless Media Player Price: $149.99

Re:Extra Cost for WiFi (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 4 years ago | (#32877768)

801.11? Hmph. My Wifis go to 802.11.

PopBox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32874538)

Come on, you guys were hysterical when the Wii launched but haven't seen the obvious "PoopBox" joke by now?

PoopBox! Because TV is crap!

nice (1)

travel from (1854880) | more than 4 years ago | (#32885108)

netflix and pan. is nice
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