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Control your NMT from your Computer or iPhone

pch-a110I love my Popcorn Hour PCH-A110 media player and I use it all the time to watch TV Shows and Movies. This is just one of a class of devices known as a Networked Media Tank, or NMT. I can save my shows on a hard drive or USB device that I’ve installed in or connected to the player, or watch content from any of my other computers that are connected via my home network.

If you want to learn more about this kind of device, I’ve reviewed my PCH-A110 previously on this site.

This is an incredibly useful device, and recently I found a couple of tricks to make the user experience even better!

  • MediatankController 1.0 for Adobe AIR – browse and control your NMT from your PC. This is a remote control application for your that runs on any PC desktop. This is actually a cross platform App (built using Adobe Air) that can be installed on almost any computer. It provides a fully functional remote control that sits on your computer. You can also browse the media files available to your Popcorn Hour from a slick window on the desktop. Better yet, the popcorn hour responds faster to the controls on your desktop than it does using the remote, and the app provides keyboard support as well, which is far better than trying to type using the numeric keypad on the remote. This is a must have tool for any NMT owner. Although the app was built and tested on the PCH-A110, it should work on any NMT device.
  • MediatankController 1.0 for iPhone – browse and control your NMT from your phone (or your iPod Touch). I actually haven’t been able to get this one to work yet, but many other people have, so I’m sure I just didn’t configure it properly. It promises essentially the same functionality as the the similarly named PC desktop app, but built as web based app formatted for the iPhone. This app has also been tested on the iPod Touch and the Android phone, so any web enabled gadget or computer with a web browser should also work just as well.
  • Pure Web Remote Control. This one is a little bit less functional than the others, and a whole lot less pretty. It is a web based app that provides some of the same functionality as the two apps above. The main difference is that its design goal was to provide access to content on the NMT, via a browser based remote control, so that the user could listen to audio with TV switched off. This app also works on any web enabled phone, computer, or other gadget, and I had no problem accessing it with my iPod Touch. I have to say that it’s really ugly, but it works very well. When you consider it within the context that it was designed, it’s actually a pretty cool little app.

This is just one more way to make my life faster and easier. If you know of any other great improvements to make your Popcorn Hour media player (or any other NMT for that matter) even better, please drop me a comment and let me know about it!

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