Summary: Already had the experience of the popcorn a-200. Also bought the cheaper Western Digital Live TV. The WD Live really disappointed me in configurability and file compatibility. Despite the bad customer reviews of the a-300 decided to buy one at a nice price. Connected everything and it plays like a charm. It finds movies everywhere on my network (given DLNA). I recommend this player to everyone that has basic knowledge of home networking.
Summary: This media server has the feel of a preproduction version, the kind when its numerous bugs are listed for rectification. There is even a website dedicated to these bugs and customer's valiant attempts to get round them. Many fail and give up as I did and send it back. It is a great shame as the basic package is good, the sound and picture quality were excellent. The problems are all to do with the execrable menu system and the Network Media Jukebox, i.e.
Summary: I've been through quite a few devices like this one, trying to find the perfect media player. Unfortunately, such a thing doesn't exist - at least, not yet. The current generation of devices all have their own little quirks and deficiencies, some of them more severe than others. But the Popcorn Hour A-300 is the closest I've found to perfection for my purposes, which gives the player a great deal of credit. Physically, the A-300 is just a brushed aluminium box.
Summary: I purchased the PCH a couple of weeks ago,as an upgrade from Lacie La Cinema, and while I was nervous at first, especially having read some of the negative comments I can honestly say I'm very impressed. It does take a while to set up so allow a good couple of hours to get started. You will need a hard disc but this doesn't have to internal. My PCH works fine with an external drive, a 2 TB seagate model.