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Elektron EHP-606 Network Media Player unboxed - first impressions

Written by Matti Vähäkainu (Google+) @ 15 Dec 2008 11:43 User comments (20)

Elektron EHP-606 Network Media Player unboxed - first impressions Elektron EHP-606 is the re-branded sister of network media player Popcorn Hour A-110 which is also based on the same Networked Media Tank platform. With identical file support and user interface, what does EHP-606 offer that Popcorn Hour doesn't? Well, first of all the EHP-606 has a VGA output. It also has support for NMT (also familiar from the Popcorn Hour) applications such as FTP, Samba and NFS servers and most importantly a built-in BitTorrent client - or actually two different BitTorrent clients.
The box included:
  • Elektron EHP-606 Networked Media Player
  • Remote control
  • AC adapter, USB A-B, A/V cable (composite video, stereo audio) and an HDMI cable
  • User manual

    So basicly what you get for under $280 is a network media player with HDMI 1.3, VGA and component outputs, 3 USB-ports (one for a connection to a PC, two for external hard disk, flash and optical drives), 100mbit ethernet connection and support for Internet video and audio. The device doesn't come with an HDD but it does have an internal tray slot for a SATA hard disk drive.

    The first impression about the device is pretty good. The player is small and the sleek metal casing gives it a quality feel. The remote is nothing to write home about but isn't by any means the worst we've seen. Button placement could be better though if you've used the Popcorn Hour remote and liked it you won't be disappointed with this either - both Elektron and Popcorn Hour share the same remote controller layout.

    Unlike Popcorn Hour A-110 the Elektron EHP-606 has an actual, physical power switch, so you don't have to pull the plug shut the device. With a USB ports on the side of it you don't have to reach for the rear panel to attach a USB drive. As an addition to USB drives you can attach an USB keyboard to the device.

    More about the device, file support and especially the user interface later on. Stay tuned.

    Technical specifications:
  • Sigma Design SMP8635 c CPU
  • 256MB DDR RAM, 32MB Flash ROM
  • Video: HDMI 1.3, VGA, Component (YPbPr), and Composite output
  • Audio: Coaxial SPDIF output, analog stereo output
  • Network: 10/100Mbps wired Ethernet
  • USB host: 1 USB host port
  • USB: 2 USB ports supporting removable media and keyboards
  • HDD: internal SATA HDD support (HDD not included)

    Supported video, audio, image and subtitle formats:
  • MPEG1/2/4, MPEG2 Transport Stream, MKV, XVID SD/HD, H.264 and VC-1 video
  • AAC, M4A, MPEG audio, WAV, WMA, FLAC, OGG audio, DTS, DTS-HD, AC3, Dolby True HD and Dolby Digital audio
  • JPEG, BMP, PNG and GIF images
  • SRT, SMI, SUB and SSA subtitles
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    20 user comments

    115.12.2008 11:52

    Wow...more choice! I love my PCH A-100, but this device would be a nice upgrade. The lack of a power switch on the PCH has always been a sore spot for me. I'd like to see the user interface, because the PCH interface leaves more to be desired. I'll wait a while. My PCH A-100 does everything I need it to do. Anything more would be a luxury, and I can't afford luxury right now.

    215.12.2008 12:11

    this is not the only one with a power switch the HDX900 and HDX1000 allso have one anyways i like how this Elektron EHP-606 looks nice.

    This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 15 Dec 2008 @ 12:12

    315.12.2008 12:30

    How does this compare to the WDTV for $99? I see this device doesn't support .MKV?

    415.12.2008 13:57

    wdtv, according to what looks to be Elektron's website it does support MKV.

    515.12.2008 14:33

    MKV support that is really nice, the only reason i got the wdtv. With bittorent support this thing is heaven for any pirate out there. No more HTPC, very cool.

    615.12.2008 16:49

    Originally posted by wdtv:
    With bittorent support this thing is heaven for any pirate out there. No more HTPC, very cool.
    Yes, but I wouldn't use the built-in BT to download anything illegal, too much risk of getting caught since you can't use PG2 on this.

    Since it has networking capabilities you could probably use it as an external hard drive and have your PC (with PG2) download a movie directly to the devices HDD.

    On the HTPC comment, I almost built my parents a HTPC for their theater room but then I found out about Popcorn hour and am going to hook them up with one real soon.

    Considering I have seen 1+ TB internal HDDs for ~$100, space won't be a problem either.

    715.12.2008 20:18

    There is no replacement for a good HTPC, but this popcorn hour and what not can come pretty close. for me however not close enough.

    815.12.2008 21:41

    Best HTPC in my opinion is still the tried and true XBMC on the original xbox. It handedly beats every competitor on the market in terms of Audio/Video compatibility. You can run it on everything, from Mac/Windows/Linux PC's to a $40 Xbox.

    916.12.2008 5:32

    Originally posted by wdtv:
    How does this compare to the WDTV for $99? I see this device doesn't support .MKV?
    Seems that I forgot to add MKV to the list. Anyway, Elektron EHP-606 does support MKV files.

    1016.12.2008 8:07

    The popcornhour is really a great device. And this Elektron device is on the same playing field. It's a great solution for playing all forms of media if you are on a budget and can't justify the funding for a HTPC. The 1st gen A-100 popcornhour is still being sold, and is only $175. These devices play everything, and although leave out a couple of convenient options, are an incredible value for your dollar. I'm putting this Elektron device on my wish list. After having the popcornhour for 9 months now, the next device will only be better.

    A friend of mine has the WDTV. It's a stripped down NMT, and really only plays movies off a USB. No network functionality. It had some trouble handling 1080p that his popcornhour handles smoothly. Also some 720p. It really depends on the quality of the rip. For the most part, the WDTV is decent at best.

    1116.12.2008 10:00

    I can't help but think that this is just another box wrapped around windows media. Here's what I wish it had (in a perfect world)

    1) The interface should be clean and easy such that of "Front Row" that comes with all Mac computers. With search modes like genre, Actor/Artist etc.

    2) Cover art! cover art! cover art! please allow the ability for us to search through the files via a nicely laid out display of cover art. Even if we supply our own art it would be so sweet.

    3) Network from a RJ45 that can handle 10/100/1000 connection so as we can attach to a NAS device or server to stream faster.

    4) The ability to have a 1.5TB internal drive and still run fast enough to play back Blu-Ray sized files.

    These are just a few items on my Christmas list!

    1217.12.2008 4:28

    Well $280 is not that bad, but I'm thinking. Don't you thing it would be better to invest a little more and build your own Media Center PC?

    1317.12.2008 5:26

    i Think i might be finally getting one of these seems like they have pretty much gave me all i need now.

    it can play my HD Rips and has HDMI 1.3 with dolby true hd and DTS HD...

    if anybody can give me 3 logical reasons why building an HTPC would be better please be my guest.
    and rememeber this is only $280.

    This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 17 Dec 2008 @ 5:28

    1417.12.2008 8:08

    Originally posted by hermes_vb:
    Well $280 is not that bad, but I'm thinking. Don't you thing it would be better to invest a little more and build your own Media Center PC?
    It depends whether or not one has the money or space or time. What do you mean by a little more? I can't say I've ever tried spec'ing a Media Center PC. I'd rather save my money and build a killer PC for other things than to watch movies, play music and scroll through picures. Any talk I've ever heard about Media Center PC's usually came with a high pricetag. And the cheap ones just weren't worth building.

    Pro's of getting a Networked Media Tank

    1. Price - relatively cheap device that plays everything

    2. Convenience - take out of box. Turn on. Plug in USB HDD. Play movies.

    3. Portability - take it anywhere

    4. Real estate - takes up very little space (see pro #2 above).

    5. Upgradeability - downloadable firmware updates. New hardware not needed over time. At least for the foreseable future.

    1520.12.2008 14:27

    i think that building a media center pc is for pc building enthusiasts. having a slim box that handles all of your media would be better than constructing a whole computer just to look at movies. i have an unmodded xbox that i can use for a media center. i have a spare pc that i can refashion into a media center box. i'm just too lazy to make either of them work.

    although, i did seriously think about rebuilding the pc when the cheap dvd player i bought didnt play some of the dvds. i think it was the media i burned them on. but at the end of the day, depending on your financial situation, you will chose what is best for you. for me, it could be the xbox, or the pc. not this nice device though. simply because i can't afford it right now. the only thing i need for my pc is an RCA to S-video connector.

    1622.12.2008 22:27

    Nice device!

    It has ethernet port, WD hasn't!

    HDMI1.3! Not bad!

    1729.12.2008 11:19

    The wdtv is nice but I am waiting for a firmware update or a nice hack to fix the problems.

    1830.12.2008 3:26

    WD is good, but EHP-606 is much better I think with nice design and beautiful looking!

    1916.2.2009 4:12

    Hardware Media Player + Bitorrent client ... and the dream of all film producers becomes true.

    2016.2.2009 9:37

    Originally posted by pacendrix:
    Hardware Media Player + Bitorrent client ... and the dream of all film producers becomes true.

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