Monday, November 9, 2009

Media Streaming

As I might have mentioned before, I'm the proud owner of a PopcornHour A110. Having such a device in the living room reminds me of the excitement of the first portable MP3 player I had.

Besides the awesomeness of being able to stream everything to my TV, it is possible to configure the A110 to do other cool stuff. Here's a list of my recommendation:

1. Using the Community Software Installer for NMT, it is possible to install additional software on the A110. Since the OS is NMT (which is Unix-like) and it runs a PHP-enabled web server, almost everyone can write additional software for the A110. I recommend adding a SSH-server and the transmission bittorrent client. The torrent client can be managed remotely via port 9091. This means that once these services are installed, the A110 becomes a full fledged downloading machine, and not just a mere streamer.

2. Using a media jukebox software, such as YAMJ, gives the second power-boost to the device. It adds amazingly looking menus with movie posters, plot summaries and other information. Also, if configured correctly, it'll pull Hebrew subtitles automatically (!!!), which is a great bonus.

3. The A110 has a service which makes it a UPnP server. This means it can stream media to other devices at home, such as a gaming console or a laptop. So the streaming works both ways.

The setup in my house didn't give me the option of having an Ethernet cable between my router (which is in a different room, along with the PC) and the A110. Drilling or passing thru tunnels in the walls wasn't an option either. Since using the Wifi dongle isn't very much recommended, I decided to put a 802.11n access point in the living room. This tiny device does a great job, even when streaming HD content, and the A110 believes it is connected to a wired network, which is easier to manage. Initial configuration of the AP was a little annoying, though.

Should any of the reader be interested in further information of my setup, I'll be glad to share it.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I have little suggestion regarding the A-110 Transmission setup. It turns out that you can also install an RSS reader for downloading torrent via RSS, this software is called TorrentWatch it's also web managed.

    I just started using it, but it seems to work so far.