Network Attached Storage, (NAS) isn’t anything new in the computer world. In fact it’s been used for years to ease up the disk load for computers on a network. But, what if you could use your network storage as a server. What if you could use your NAS to download specific files, then unpack said files and make them available for all the devices that are attached to your network? This NAS would be a dedicated server, wouldn’t it? The Popcorn Hour A “ 210 does just that, and it even has a built in Usenet and BitTorrent clients.
The A “ 210 comes with all the hardware of it’s counterpart the C “ 200, except for the cooling. The A “ 210 has an aluminum chassis and huge heat sinks inside to take care of the cooling passively…and quietly. Here’s a few more things:
Chipset: Sigma Designs SMP8643, 667MHz CPU
Memory: 512MB DDR2 DRAM, 256MB NAND Flash
A/V Outs: HDMI v1.3a, 36bpp deep color, Component Video, S-Video, Composite Video, Stereo Analog Audio, S/PDIF Optical and Coaxial Digital Audio
Network Ethernet 10/100/1000 Mbps
Interface: 1 USB 2.0 host on front panel, 1 USB 2.0 host in the rear, 1 USB 2.0 slave in the rear, internal 2.5″ or 3.5″ SATA HDD, Infra-Red Remote Control
Playback is excellent for the unit, and the interface is easy to get along with. The company does provide a 12 month warranty, but we were surprise at the amount of community support the company enjoys. Their forums are jam packed with information on all of the units they make and sell. There is an app store for those wishing a little beyond the packaged software, and new software is being developed all the time.
While controlling the unit is easy using the IR remote control, it works just as well using SABnzbd, Couch potato, Sick, Beard, and other Usenet oriented applications for real remote control over your NAS/Media Server. According to the developers in the community, it is also possible to install your favorite Usenet client on it, too. Though there have been issues with SABnzbd being a processor hog. Also according to the community, Sick Beard and Couch Potato work well with the unit’s client NZB get to add files and remotely control your downloads.
Over all this is a great unit that will provide excellent performance for your media needs, even with the issue of getting alternative Usenet clients installed.