Friday, August 15, 2008

Popcorn Hour and DVB-T broadcasts

The NZ DVB-T broadcasts use H.264 and AAC-HE LATM audio. Hard to play that stuff on a PC without a fast processsor and/or an accelerated graphics card. Since I had recently built a PVR decided to try something else and purchased a Popcorn Hour to play those videso.

For the most part using a HTPC and gbpvr (with a DVB-T device) to capture the recordings works well. And the Popcorn Hour (PCH) can play them with no problem apart from one. Kordia, NZ's television intrastructure company, decided that for stereo audio they would use AAC-HE LATM audio. Unfortunately there are few products that can play that format audio and alas, the PCH is not one of them. So while the PCH can handle the video fine, there is no audio. The only tiny shining light is the fact that broadcasts now are in both stereo and 5.1 audio (AC3) and the PCH can play that track fine.

Would be good to get a firmware upgrade so the PCH can play AAC-HE audio also

Friday, January 25, 2008

Toshiba HD-DVD A3 player

Picked up the Toshiba HD-A3 DV-DVD player for $178 including 7 free titles from Amazon. And of course a week later Warners Bros announces dropping support for HD-DVD. Still the Toshiba is a good HD-DVD player and also a pretty good DVD player with reasonable upscaling.

I guess more annoyingly, Toshiba announced significant price cuts on their entire line which means the A3 can be purchaed for $128 now. And since I purchased mine more than 30 days before I can't take advantage of the Amazon price guarantee :-(