Syabas has announced the latest iteration of its Popcorn Hour media player, the A-400. Like the models before it, this is a networked player that allows for easy media playback (especially in the case of local content), but unlike the models before it, this one can boast support for 3D video. It also brings a number of “studio-quality” video processing features to the table, including adaptive detail and contrast enhancement along with adaptive debanding.
You can connect the A-400 to your network through its Gigabit Ethernet port, but a Wi-Fi dongle is also available separately if you want to go wireless. The A-400 comes equipped with an SD card slot, an HMDI 1.4 connector, and an eSATA port to make local media playback easier, and you can upgrade the player with a 2.5 or 3.5-inch HDD or SSD to turn the A-400 into something of an external storage device for your content. Not too bad, but the media player seems to be lacking a Blu-Ray drive, a feature that will be sorely missed by some.
Once you’ve got your A-400 connected to the Internet, you can access the Syabas Apps Market, which contains “over 90 free and premium TV apps,” just in case you find your streaming options to be lacking. The whole thing is run by Sigma Design’s Dual Core 800Mhz SMP 8911 chipset, which should give you the power you need when you take advantage of the A-400′s 3D playback capabilities. As if that wasn’t enough, it seems that Syabas is considering tossing a USB 3.0 port into the mix before the player launches.
As for when that will be, we don’t have a specific answer yet. The Popcorn Hour A-400 is slated to launch in Europe sometime next month, and will come sporting a price tag of €289. For the moment, it seems that this is only scheduled for a European launch, but it probably won’t be long before the A-400 makes its way to the US. Stay tuned for more information.