I was going to write a feature length review on this, but in light of the problems i had actually getting it to work ‘as expected’ out of the box, and the lack of any adequate documentation with the PCH C-200 i decided to write this essential quick start guide.
Step 1. Un-box.
Step 2. Install Blu-Ray / DVD optical drive (compatibility list here), internal HDD or USB Stick. I suggest installing a Blu-Ray drive in the 3.5″ slot, and if you want to store media locally (although thats not the point) a 2.5″ HDD internally.
Side note: A USB stick is required for BD-Live, unless you install a internal HDD. If you want to use the PCH as a file server or a torrent box you will need an internal HDD. See Appendix A.
Step 3. Connect PCH C-200 to TV, plug it in (If you need help with this consult the quick start guide provided with the unit) – done that? Super. Now let’s get started.
Step 4. Power on and check your firmware. The current firmware can be found on the official PCH website, i suggest you install the latest firmware following the instructions here. If you do not install the latest firmware expect bugs. You have been warned!. At the time of writing, the 02-01-091008-19-POP-408 was the latest firmware, and thankfully worked without fault.
Step 5. Set DVD Region (UK is region 2)
IMPORTANT: THIS WILL WORK ONLY 5 TIMES IN EACH OF THE SETUPS!
1.) Insert a DVD Disc which has the region you want to set-up, if the region is not the same as the disc, it will not work!
2.) Go into the ‘Setup’ page
3.) Press now “Slow, 1, 6, 8, 3” on your remote
4.) Now a popup shows up, on the remote use the number for the region you want to set.
1 Canada, United States; U.S. territories; Bermuda
2 Western Europe, incl. United Kingdom, and Central Europe; Western Asia; including Iran, Israel and Turkey, Egypt; Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho; French overseas territories
3 Southeast Asia; South Korea; Taiwan; Hong Kong; Macau
4 Mexico, Central and South America; Caribbean; Australia; New Zealand; Oceania;
5 Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Continent of Africa, excluding Egypt, South Africa, Swaziland, and Lesotho; Central and South Asia, Mongolia, North Korea.
6 People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong
Step 6. Set Blu-Ray Region (UK is Region B)
1.) Go into the ‘Setup’ page (no need to put a BluRay into the drive)
2.) Press now “Slow, 1, 6, 6, 3” on your remote
3.) A popup shows up, on the remote use the number keys to select the region you need.
1 = Region A
2 = Region B
3 = Region C
Step 7. Setup Network Media Shares
1) Go to Settings > Network Share
2) You can either browse for a network share or add one manually. Personally i found adding them manually was preferred as browsing the network did not find my smb shares hosted on my Synology NAS. It did however find the default DNLA media server shares, but my NAS media server does not support playback of .ISO, so its beneficial to disable the NAS media server and use the PCH to playback the majority of media file formats.
The following guide shows you how to create both samba (SMB) and network file system (NFS) shares.
Hopefully at this point you can watch your Blu-Ray discs, watch/listen to media on your home network, and of course waste hours watching uTube.
To conclude, the Popcorn Hour C-200 is a very competent and worthy (network media steamer) piece of hardware, however the firmware and user interface still needs work. Syabas have rushed this to market, no doubt due to unprecedented demand (i waited two long months for this baby!), it does require some tinkering to experience all it has to offer. The latest firmware fixes many of the major bugs, and with each revision of the firmware more features are added, and more functionality is unlocked. No doubt in a couple of months time if Sybas continue to work diligently on the firmware the PCH C-200 will be leading the market (if it isn’t already – check out the competition from Western Digital, Digitech and Xtreamer).
Sadly it would seem Sybas expect paying customers to be beta testers.
Appendix A. What is the internal USB connector?
It is a standard USB slot intended for use when using a BD ROM and no internal HDD. BD Live requires 2GB of memory, and this internal USB has been provided to give the user more options to provide that memory without the need for a HDD.
1.) Format an USB Stick with 2GB or more to fat32 or ext3
2.) create directories “bdj/ada/” and “bdj/buda” (case sensitive) on the Stick
3.) plug in the USB devices and will be automatically mounted as PERSISTFS
4.) Now you can playback BD’s with BD-J and BD Liv