Kaiboer K200 Network Media Tank

Posted on: 08/11/09 by Vince Sales


Funny name aside, there’s something familiar about the Kaiboer NMT-K200 Network Media Tank. It is in many ways a supersized clone of the Popcorn Hour A-110 Network Media Tank released last year, and that’s no coincidence. Don’t worry, this is a good thing…

The black box is a device that goes by many names; the most popular “media streamer” doesn’t help consumers figure out how it can make their TV lives so much better. All you need to know is that it plays back virtually all forms of digital media no matter what format they’re in. If you still watch movies from DVDs or if your AVI movies are trapped in your laptop, “Kaiboer” and “media streamer” are two terms to add to your tech vocab. It’s 2009 and in case you didn’t know, DVD is dead.

Setting up

The device, at its most basic level, works like a DVD player – except instead of DVDs, you have an internal hard drive which you can fill up with movies, photos and music. There are also USB slots for external hard drives, thumb drives, or card readers.

You simply plug in your TV, plug in your A/V receiver (or other audio device; your TV will work fine), and plug in your standard RJ45 Ethernet cable. Power it up, and everything works.

The best part of the Kaiboer experience is that almost any movie file format can be decoded without hunting for appropriate codecs as you do on your PC. Output goes all the way up to 1080p, and audio is in DTS or Dolby Digital where available (depending on your source movie) so by all means, throw away that DVD player now.

Head on over to Web services, and you’ll find that you have access to a number of streaming digital TV channels. It’s fun watching YouTube videos, but this is about as useful as this section gets. There are literally hundreds of channels available, but none of them are any good and connecting can be a slow process.

The most useful among Kaiboer’s Web services is Torrent, which allows you to – you guessed it – download torrents from file sharing networks. Whether you’re into that or not, this feature closes the circle nicely, allowing you to download and playback media from a single device, seamlessly and painlessly.

Kaiboer vs Popcorn Hour

One look at the Kaiboer NMT, and we were suspicious. It has all the connections of the Popcorn Hour A-110 (plus a few extras), it has the same number of USB slots and it also has an internal 3.5-inch hard drive. Then of course, it also sports the “Network Media Tank” tag that goes with its name, just like the Popcorn Hour NMT.

This is all because it is, essentially, the same thing. Surprise! It runs the same software, re-branded for Kaiboer. It has the same chipset, the stellar SMP8634/8635. Mind you, this is a good thing because we really love the Popcorn Hour. There’s even a very active community of NMT users online who can provide you with new tips, fixes, updates and even add-ons.

The Kaiboer NMT goes one step further than the Popcorn Hour though. The casing, for starters, is much larger than the Popcorn Hour, giving it a much more professional look. It won’t look out of place beside your Harmon/Kardon A/V Receiver.

The Kaiboer NMT also has a fan, something that Popcorn Hour doesn’t have. Either device doesn’t actually need one; they run hot but not too hot. But the addition of a fan is welcome to the paranoid.

We were thrilled to discover that the internal hard drive is slot loading, which is great if you have a lot of 3.5-inch hard drives lying around. It’s little touches like this that make the Kaiboer superior to the Popcorn Hour. 

And the list goes on: the remote control is backlit, it has both optical audio out and coaxial audio out (Popcorn Hour has only one, depending on the model), and the LED lights are more logical.

Networking

As a media streamer, the Kaiboer can network all the computers on your home network. As with most things in life, there’s a hard way and an easy way.

The hard way involves setting up sharing and access to the different movie, photo, and music folders in each PC. It’s easy enough, but it’s not for those who don’t know their way around a network. Once setup, your different computers should show up in the Sources menu.

All you have to do in the easy way is install a piece of free software called iHome on your PC. Fire it up, and the Kaiboer NMT will be able to see your computer (or any other UPnP devices), your iTunes library and all its goodies.  

The process also works in reverse. The Kaiboer NMT is likewise a UPnP device which you can connect to from any device on the network with a web browser (wireless router required for wireless connections).

Conclusion

We’ve seen this device before, and it’s small differences that make it better than previous incarnations. If you own a Popcorn Hour, there’s no reason to upgrade, but if you don’t, the Kaiboer is a better choice if you have room for it. If you’ve never seen or heard of a device like this, it’s about time you bought one. If you don’t mind getting movies from shady places like the Internet, you should definitely get one. We wholeheartedly recommend it.

Click here to see the Kaiboer NMT- K200 in the Buyer's Guide.

 

Performance
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Value
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Overall
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+

Plays (almost) everything

Plays MKV

Easy streaming from PC

Easy streaming to PC and other devices, like the PSP or iPhone

More mature and “evolved” than the Popcorn Hour

-

Tweaking settings can be tricky

File transfer over Samba is slow

Networking isn’t always easy

Bottom Line
Looking for a media streamer? This is it.
Gold Award
Editor's Pick Yes
Price P13,000
Tech Specs

  • Disc/Media Types Supported
  • Flash Drive
  • External HDD
  • Internal HDD
  • Audio Formats Supported
  • AAC, M4A
  • MPEG audio (MP1, MP2, MP3, MPA)
  • WAV
  • WMA
  • Audio pass through:
  • DTS, AC3, DTS-HD MA, DTS-HD HR, Dolby True HD, Dolby Digital Plus
  • WMA, WMA Pro
  • AAC
  • MP1, MP2, MP3
  • LPCM,  FLAC
  • Video Formats Supported
  • Ports
Video:
  • HDMI 1.3 (1080p)
  • Component (Y/Pb/Pr) 
  • Video Composite

Audio:
  • HDMI 1.3
  • Optical SPDIF
  • Coaxial SPDIF
  • 5.1 audio
 
Network:
  • LAN (10/100 Mbps)  (Ethernet )
  • USB-WiFi 802.11n 300 Mbps ( *WiFi adapter not included)
 
USB :
  • 1x USB 2.0 slave(connect to your PC)
  • 2x USB 2.0 host (supporting playing media files from external USB DVD ROM/USB HDD/USB Flash drive /WiFi)
SATA :
  • 1 x SATA HDD Bay for HDD 3.5" SATA (Easy access, no any tools needed for install )
  • Others
Connectivity:
  • Bonjour
  • UPnP SSDP
  • DLNA
  • Windows Media Connect
  • Windows Media Player NSS
  • SMB
  • NFS
  • HTTP servidores: myiHome, WizD, SwissCenter, MSP Portal, Llink, GB-PVR
  • BitTorrent P2P
  • NAS: SMB, NFS, FTP
  Web Services
  • Video: YouTube, Google Video, MetaCafe, VideoCast, DL.TV, Cranky Geeks
  • Audio:iPodcast, Radiobox, ABC News
  • Photos : Flickr, Picasaweb, Pikeo, 23, Photobucket, SmugMug
  • RSS feed : Yahoo! Weather, NMT Forum, Bloglines, Cinecast, MSNBC News, Traffice Condition, Yahoo! Traffic Alerts, Yahoo! News, Weather Bug
  • Internet Radio: Radiobox, Live365 Radio

  • Size 355 x 200 x 65 mm
  • Weight


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COMMENTS


  1. Christian Miranda: wow, if only the price would go down it would be perfect. :-P
    August 12, 2020 at 6:39 am

  2. giandlr: Good review. Where can I get one? And does the 13K include an HDD?
    August 12, 2020 at 3:12 pm

  3. Editor: Sadly no, you have to pay extra for a hard drive. The good news is you can get a 1TB HDD for around 5k nowadays, cheaper for smaller capacities.
    August 12, 2020 at 3:46 pm

  4. andrew ty: i think i saw one in Listening in style at Shangrila Mall.
    August 21, 2020 at 12:13 pm

  5. Bryan: try visiting my site
    September 6, 2020 at 8:01 pm

  6. nico: mijn kaiboer mt200 heeft een probleen.
    als ik de harde schijf en software wil installeren krijg ik een foutmelding bij het downloaden van de firmware. vervolgens moet ik rebooten... en begint het verhaal opnieuw. kan iemand me verder helpen?
    June 4, 2020 at 3:36 am

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