After Popcorn Hour announced an updated version of their media streamer, the A-110, we’ve been waiting to see if the changes really could make the great device any greater. According to Crave UK, they have: for an extra $35 the biggest improvements are HMDI 1.3a, DTS downmixing and USB Target functionality. In fact they describe the changes as “seriously worthwhile”.
DTS downmixing, to be added to the new hardware in an imminent firmware update, will allow the A-110 to decode DTS surround sound and downmix it to stereo, suitable for output on any TV. The HDMI 1.3a compatibility is what gets you the DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD output, and the USB Target port means you can plug the A-110 into your computer and have it show up as an external drive. Should shave a fair bit of time off of transferring files versus doing it over your network.
If there’s a downside, it’s that the advertised SATA update (the A-100 only supported IDE drives in the internal bay) is in fact only a SATA bridge, and so there are no speed increases to be had. Still, at $215 (with no internal drive) it looks to be even more of a bargain than before.