Interested in the latest gadgetry for BitTorrent? Here’s a collection of hardware that supports the best filesharing protocol in the world. PC not required.
Popcorn Hour A100
What is it? — A media player / streamer / torrent downloader.
Pros — MKV file support; FLAC audio support; HD video playback (1080p); plays virtually everything right out of the box (all major codecs); Component video & HDMI outputs. Firmware / middleware updated often.
Cons — Not easy to obtain - you’ll need to get onto a waiting list in order to purchase this baby. Also note that PopcornHour can only be used ‘wired’ (non Wi-Fi).
Review — The device has a lot of great features. Not only can you stream music, photos and videos, you can also browse YouTube clips and listen to podcasts and Internet radio stations from the comfort of your living room. But what really sets this box apart from the rest is the ability to download torrents directly to the unit without your computer even turned on. In fact, Popcorn Hour will even seed your torrents for you. A huge plus for avid downloaders.
Other Reviews — http://support.popcornhour.com/article.aspx?id=1010. See below for a video review:
HDX 900 NMT Media Player
What is it? — An external Media player / NAS / BitTorrent Downloader. The HDX 900 a revolutionary network media streamer that supports the most demanding video codec available today. Powered by Sigma Design 8635 chipset that is used in today’s BluRay player for decoding Hi-Definition content. Like PopcornHour, the HDX 900 uses the Networked Media Tank (software interface) from Syabas.
Pros — Great support team; virtually every container supported (including MKV, FLAC); pirate-approved codec support (DivX, XviD, and all the rest); DVD-ISO file playback; external storage connectivity (2xUSB, e-SATA) and digital audio output (coax & S-PDIF); internal 3.5” hard drive support; HDMI cables included.
Cons — No LCD front screen; no HDMI 1.3 support (only HDMI 1.1); no composite video output.
Other reviews — See here.
Price: $299 - $459
What is it? — Myka is a state of the art Internet video player. Video files are downloaded from the internet on to Myka’s hard drive. These videos can be played back directly to a television. Myka also has BitTorrent built in. That means Myka can download using the BitTorrent peer to peer protocol directly, no need to go though a PC. Myka is controlled by a remote control or can be programmed from the web.
Pros — WiFi enabled - 802.11/g; Direct ethernet connector for direct connection; HDMI, Composite, S-Video and SPDIF ports; Internal hard drive choice of 80, 160 or 500 gigabytes; BitTorrent peer to peer software built in; 1 USB 2.0 port; Web-based UI BitTorrent control for remote access.
Cons — No FLAC or OGG (lossless) as a supported audio format.
Other Myka reviews — See here.
Price: $178 - $218
iSTAR Mini NMT Player
What is it? — Digital Media Player with BitTorrent support / NAS. The ISTAR Mini Networked Media Tank player brings the magic of HD into your home theater. It is based on the renowned Sigma Design SMP8635 multimedia processor (the family used in many Blu-Ray Disc players). It can decode the highest bitrate consumer HD content available today.
The ISTAR Mini can access digital media content from a variety of sources, such as NAS, USB 2.0, eSATA and SATA devices (USB flash drive, SATA HDD, DVD drive, etc.) ISTAR Mini can also serve as a NAS and a BitTorrent peer-to-peer downloader (requires SATA HDD). ISTAR Mini also supports peer-to-peer Internet TV streaming technology from SayaTV, as well as popular unicast Internet TV sites such as YouTube, Google Video and Metacafe via its Media Service Portal.
Dune HD Ultra
What is it? — A media player / streamer / NAS / BitTorrent Downloader. The Dune HD ULTRA is a complex network digital media player with many integrated features, but all of these features are presented in a user friendly and simple intuitive user interface (GUI). The Dune will play back just about everything from 1080p, DivX/XviD, MKV, x264, FLAC, OGG.
Pros — 4 USB ports (2 in front); user can install optional IDE HDD inside the unit; Wi-Fi compatability
BitTorrent Features —Manage your torrent queue from your NAS via webserver application; Transfer .torrent seeds directly into your NAS from cut-and-paste or Web Service 2.0; Create torrent seed(s) from your NAS.
We’re not sure how to go about purchasing the Dune - there’s no sales link on the site.
What is it? — MZK-NAS01G is a high-speed, economical, powerful NAS (Network Attached Storage). Especially suitable for small business, SOHO or personal data sharing requirement. Supports a SATA/SATAII Hard disk to 1TB. It provides easy connection to other DLNA certified digital home devices. You can share your all photos or movies through network, iTunes Server function to share the music. BitTorrent function allows you to download data you need to your hard disk without leaving the computer on.
Price: $469 CDN
Honourable Mention - DVICO TVIX HD M-7000A
It’s the “Most advanced jukebox on the planet” - The TViX HD M-7000A plays it all! Uses a state-of-the-art Sigma Design SMP8635 chipset - way too many features to list here! While it doesn’t currently offer any direct BitTorrent support (but it does have NAS), this may be an added feature in a future firmware/middleware upgrade.
I have a Popcorn Hour. It is great. Had it now for 3 months and I got rid of my cable bill. Nice.
thanks a lot for the article
has been looking since a long time for these
These look good. I must say, as a message to anyone that makes these: format support is VERY important.