Syabas to Launch $130 Popbox

Dave Zatz —  January 4, 2010

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Syabas, the makers of the Popcorn Hour Media Tank, have announced their intentions to launch a lower-cost media playback device this spring. The Popbox ($130) retains much of the impressive codec and high resolution/bitrate support seen in the Popcorn Hour line, but will also emphasize web content such as Netflix (via “Popapps”) and feature a refreshed user interface. However, it’s not enough to have a good idea in making the transition from geek niche to mainstream — as I learned firsthand with SlingCatcher. They probably have the right hardware, but they’ll also need right UI, the right bizdev folks, and the right project management to pull it all together. But I’m feeling optimistic, given that rich new UI (see below) and Syabas’ solid previous hardware initiatives. So I’ll do my best to crash their CES suite Wednesday or Thursday for more details. Stay tuned.

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2 responses to Syabas to Launch $130 Popbox

  1. Given their heritage and this price point, I hope Roku turns on their new USB port and/or LAN playback some time soon. I also wonder if D-Link needs to bring down the price of their Boxee box. (Something I’m also going to try and get close to in Vegas this week.)

  2. Dave,

    I wholeheartredly agree with your assessment concerning Roku and the USB port/LAN playback capability. To that I would add that Roku might need to add more premium content in the very near future. This market is getting crowded fast and if they hope to stay ahead of the competition, that might be a necessity.

    I have a Popcornhour A-110 but don’t use it that often because of the poor UI and general clunkiness. It will be interesting to see how the picture quality/audio quality of say Netflix compares between this (with the “Popapps”) vice a Netflix channel that is developed specifically for a device like the Roku DVP.