$129 Popbox Aggregates Online Content


New DLNA-compliant Popbox adds Clicker.com, Netflix, Twitter, Flickr and other partners; streams 1080p from devices on the home network.

Jan. 06, 2010 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Syabas, creator of Popcorn Hour, is slowly emerging as a leader in digital content aggregation.

Syabas, creator of Popcorn Hour, is slowly emerging as a leader in digital content aggregation.

At CES 2010, the company will demonstrate a new piece of hardware, the DLNA-compliant Popbox, along with some new content partners that were sorely missing in the original Popcorn Hour lineup.

Popcorn Hour started as a simple streaming solution for digital media stored on PCs and other storage devices on the home network. The original box, the C-200, also enabled streaming from a handful of partners in the music and video world, such as Shoutcast, Flickr and popular news stations.

Popbox is the successor. Electronista reports:

Video processing has also been given a lift and now supports 1080p video up to a 100Mbps bitrate. As with the Popcorn Hour, the sheer variety of formats is the selling point and includes all common MPEG formats, H.264, VC-1, WMV and XviD; it can not only handle common containers for Internet video like Matroska (MKV) but also multiple subtitle formats, including Microsoft’s own. On a local network, the Popbox can stream content from an iTunes computer or media server using Apple’s Bonjour and can also recognize content delivered by DLNA and UPnP sources.

Hardware is kept simple and uses just Ethernet for networking and component and HDMI for video input; RCA and SPDIF are available for audio. While there’s no built-in storage for the Popbox itself, it has two USB ports to take external hard drives and an SD card slot. Syabas also promises a quiet device that consumes less than 15W of power and doesn’t require a fan.

More importantly, Syabas has added important new content partners for Popbox.

The original Popcorn Hour is probably best known for rankling YouTube, which yanked its support in late 2009.

Who cares now? Plenty of other content providers will support Popbox (below). There’s Netflix, which was not available initially. There’s still no Hulu, but Clicker.com is an apt replacement.

Developers are invited to develop their own apps for Popbox using Syabas’s DAVID platform. Applications can be deployed through the Popbox app store.

Expected to ship in March for $129, Popbox will compete with products and services from the likes of Boxee, Clicker.com, Hulu, Yahoo Widgets, Windows Media Center, Roku, Tivo, Vudu, ZeeVee, and myriad others, including the very-high-end ADMS from Crestron.

New Content Partners for Popbox

BlipTV: Distributes 48,000 independently-produced Web shows

Clicker: An Internet TV guide that catalogs all broadcast programming online, along with TV-quality Web originals, making it easy to discover what’s available to watch (and what isn’t) online, where to watch it and what’s worth watching

Crunchyroll: An online video service and community that offers full-length episodes and movies of the very best in Japanese anime and Asian entertainment

Eyecon: Enables consumers to connect to their content and seamlessly route it to any compatible playback device in the home

FunSpot: A casual gaming service that offers everything from multiplayer board, arcade and card games to puzzles, strategy and quizzes

Internet Movie Database: (IMDB) A video search engine that supplies the metadata that integrates a consumer’s video collection with the corresponding movie’s artwork.

Internet Video Archive: The entertainment industry’s leading aggregator of movie and TV trailers, game previews and music videos. The channel features 500,000 unique video assets from over 1,200 content providers

Livestation: Live video streams of international news channels to give you more choice and perspective wherever you are.

MalaysiaKini: An independent media organization that streams Malaysian video news and views

Mediafly: An Internet service for managing digital media shows such as video and podcasts and downloading them to many types of devices

MetaChannels from Channels.com: A video aggregation and distribution service that enables device manufacturers and application developers to integrate the best shows on the Web into their product offerings

Netflix: The world’s largest online movie rental service, with more than 11 million subscribers

NextNewNetworks: Producer of online television networks that creates, packages, brands, markets and syndicates some of the Web’s most popular regularly scheduled and episodic programming

Photobucket: The premiere site on the Internet for uploading, sharing, linking and finding photos, videos and graphics

PicoChannel: A service that makes it easy for people to share their personal photos and videos with friends and family on connected TVs and picture frames

Swarmcast: Transforms the Internet into a reliable medium for distributing high-quality video enables content providers to engage global audiences through high-quality viewing experiences

Twitter: A free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables consumers to send and read messages up to 140 characters in length

Twonky: Streams music, photos and videos to compatible devices in the home

Waterfront Entertainment: Develops casual games for interactive TV, Web, mobile and emerging platforms

WeatherBug: The leading provider of weather information services that manages and operates a proprietary network of over 8,000 WeatherBug Tracking Stations

Additional partners already announced include:

CCTV: The largest media content and television programming producer in China

FrameChannel: Offers over 1000 RSS-based content widgets in 12 different languages including everything from sports scores, to stock quotes, weather and news, photos, status updates from your favorite social networks and more

Revision3: Creates and produces original programming for passionate, committed fans who want to watch shows about technology, movies, video games and music that entertain, educate and help to expand their life experiences

SHOUTcast: A radio directory that allows Popcorn Hour owners to access more than 32,000 professional and community programmed radio stations that span more than 30 genres of music, news, talk, public, community and world programming.

Return to full story: