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Pinnacle Showcenter 200 £89.99 - 4% cashback @ Play.com = £86.39 delivered

£86.39 @ Play.Com
Anyone looking to stream their media from a PC or NAS could do worse than order the Pinnacle Wireless ShowCenter 200 for only £86.39 from Play.com. Yes I know it's got no HDMI output but so what? I…
jyonda Avatar
8y, 5m agoFound 8 years, 5 months ago
Anyone looking to stream their media from a PC or NAS could do worse than order the Pinnacle Wireless ShowCenter 200 for only £86.39 from Play.com.

Yes I know it's got no HDMI output but so what? I've got a CRT with Scart input so it'll do me. The important thing for me is that it's been around a while and had some firmware upgrades so Pinnacle are still supporting it, plus there's a lot of other knowledge and support available generally on the internet. It's also possible to replace the firmware with other interfaces like Swisscenter and will work with TVersity. I want to stream movies from a Buffalo Linkstation without having a PC on.

Specifications
* Hardware
* The ShowCenter 200 player delivers optimum video and audio
* The A/V connectivity is equivalent to a premium quality DVD-player
* SCART 21-pin connector (Europe-only, also known as Peritel connector or Euroconnector) with composite, Y/C, RGB, stereo audio
* Component video output (''YPrPb'', 3 x RCA)
* Composite video output (1 x RCA)
* Y/C (''S-Video'') video output (1 x Hosiden)
* Stereo audio outputs (Line-Out) (2 x RCA)
* Additional stereo audio output (for separate connection to stereo system) (2 x RCA)
* Digital audio outputs, both optical (1 x Toslink) and electrical (S/PDIF 1 x RCA)
* Ethernet RJ-45 (100BASE-T) with associated connection/data LEDs
* Integrated Wi-Fi 802.11b/g interface with built-in antenna
* Power cable connector
* IR receiver
* USB connector on front panel
* Switches and Indicators
* Power button on front panel
* LED for standby or power ON mode
* LED on front of ShowCenter indicates a new media file is ready
* Supported File Formats
* Music: MP3, MPEG-1 layer 2 (MPA), PCM WAV, WMA.
* Incompatible audio files (such as WMA Lossless, WMA Pro) will be converted to MP3 at 192kbit/s.
* Video: MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-2 VOB, MPEG-4 AVI, XviD, WMV9
* HD Video: WM9 HD up to 1080i, WM9 HD up to 1080i with DRM, MPEG-2 HD up to 720p, MPEG-4 HD AVI up to 720p
* Incompatible video files (such as DV) will be converted to a ShowCenter compatible format as set by the user.
* Images: JPEG, BMP, PNG, and GIF. All portrait-oriented image files are rotated by 90° as defined in the ShowCenter 200 database
* The pictures are optimised on the fly for TV screen display and stored as a copy in JPEG format, preserving the original image file
* A software colour correction and flicker filter is selectable from the ShowCenter 200 player.
* Video standards for A/V outputs:
* PAL 25 fps full D1 720 x 576 interlaced
* NTSC 29.97 fps full DV 720 x 480 interlaced
* HD 480p, HD 720p, HD 1080i
* Physical Specifications:
* Dimensions: 300 x 230 x 40 mm
* Weight: 2.4 kg
* Minimum System Requirements:
* Intel Pentium III 1.0 GHz or equivalent AMD Athlon CPU or Celeron/Duron 1.2 GHz
* 256 MB RAM
* EIDE hard disk with minimum 10 GB free space
* DirectX 8 (or higher) compatible graphics
* DirectX 9 or higher compatible sound controllers
* CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
* 802.11b/g for wireless connection or 10/100BASE-T for wired Ethernet connection
* Mouse
* Windows XP (Professional or Home edition) or Windows 2000
* Service Pack 2 or higher
* Recommended System:
* Intel Pentium 4, 1.8 GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1800
* 512 MB RAM
* UDMA hard drive with 80 GB or more disk space
* DirectX 9 (or higher) compatible graphics and sound controller
* CD or DVD recorder
* 802.11g for wireless connection or 100BASE-T for wired Ethernet connection
* Mouse
* Windows XP Home or Professional edition Service Pack 1 or higher

Description
Pinnacle ShowCenter is a bridge between your PC and your home entertainment system. It comes complete with the ShowCenter player, remote control, and Pinnacle MediaManager software so you can enjoy the entire realm of digital media. Stream your stored PC files and your Internet purchased premium content music right into your living room.

High Definition Photos and Video
The ultimate in crystal-clear pictures and CD quality sound! Enjoy High Definition output of your photo slide shows, videos, HD camcorder movies, and HD videos captured from TV broadcasts. Your high-megapixel digital camera photos will look sharper than ever on the big screen. Turn them into slide shows, complete with subtitles and background music.

Access To Premium Content
No more reloading your CD player. Pinnacle ShowCenter 200 gives you access to digital rights-protected (DRM) music that you've purchased online so you can watch or listen to them on your home theatre system, TV or stereo.

Handy USB Placement
A USB port on the front panel of the ShowCenter player makes it simple to watch or listen to your digital entertainment or connect your digital camera, external drive, or USB drive.

Easy Setup and Usability
Connect to your PC or home network with a wired or a wireless connection - integrated 802.11g wireless support gives you a choice. The Quickstart wizard leads you step-by-step through setup.

PVR Functionality
Control the Personal Video Recorder (PVR) features on your Pinnacle PCTV tuner card (purchased separately) from the ShowCenter unit in your living room without any subscription fees. Use the remote control to record your favourite shows directly from ShowCenter. Timeshifting lets you fast forward past commercials, rewind and replay your program.
Includes support for analogue, satellite, and DVB-T digital video broadcasting standards.

Product Includes:
Pinnacle ShowCenter 200
Power cable
Ethernet cable
SCART cable
Remote control
2 AA batteries 1.5 V for remote control
CD-ROM with drivers and applications
ShowCenter User Manual
ShowCenter Quick Start Guide
More From Play.Com:

All Comments

(38) Jump to unreadPost a comment
Comments/page:
#1
These are awful
#2
dc2447 - "These are awful"

what a completely unconstructive comment. Plenty of other people say otherwise on Amazon and in any case that has nothing to do whether it's a keen price for the item or not. I think you'll find there's a lot of stuff on here that could be criticised for one reason or another but we are all capable of making an informed choice except when people write something negative with absolutely no explanation!
#3
jyonda
what a completely unconstructive comment.


I don't need to expand, most people know how awful these are.
#4
most people now know what a WUM you are
#5
dc2447
These are awful


Care to expand on this comment? Do you own one?

Jason
#6
Isn't an old Xbox with freeware XBMC a good substitute for this ?
#7
jaypr
Care to expand on this comment? Do you own one?

Jason


I did, ebayed it.
#8
The market for media streaming is littered with boxes which haven't lived up to expectation for far more money than this. If I don't have to plug the laptop into the TV to watch movies then for 86.39 I'm happy.
#9
This is one of the better SD boxes you can buy. It isn't as nice to use as an Xbox with XBMC but has the following advantages:

1. Comes with remote, these are actually not that easy to come by for the Xbox.
2. Choice of RGB Scart, Svideo & component conections out the box (intead of just composite with Xbox).
3. Completely silent in operation, Xboxes are loud.
4. Vastly lower power usage.
5. Is available brand new, with warranty and does not need a mod kit or chip to be any use.

If it was me though I would save up about double that and import a Popcorn Hour Media Tank

http://www.popcornhour.com/onlinestore/
#10
sibeer


If it was me though I would save up about double that and import a Popcorn Hour Media Tank

http://www.popcornhour.com/onlinestore/


Id rather go with the cheaper istarhd (almost identical, but loses the scart for a VGA connection, and also has an optical out rather than the coax the popcorn has.
#11
yeah please say why something is awful, handy for those of us not in the know
#12
For some reason, the Play.com has no price showing for me! Are they in the process of changing it I wonder?

(£124.99 for the Showcenter 250)
#13
dc2447;3077158
These are awful

i disagree mate
i have 2 pinnacle show center 200's
and cant fault them
i can be watching a only fools and horses on one downstairs
and someone else can be watching the same episode or a different one in the other room
had problems watching both at the same time at first or it not seeing the router
but once i reset my router with the reset button
haven't had no problems since
will output hd through component (1080i) but can be a littl jerky
was told to try a N1 ROUTER
heat added
#14
scoot;3077771
i disagree mate
i have 2 pinnacle show center 200's
and cant fault them
i can be watching a only fools and horses on one downstairs
and someone else can be watching the same episode or a different one in the other room
had problems watching both at the same time at first or it not seeing the router
but once i reset my router with the reset button
haven't had no problems since
will output hd through component (1080i) but can be a littl jerky
was told to try a N1 ROUTER
heat added


Sounds like it would be btter with 200Mb/s powerline ethernet connection, and getting rid of wifi altogether :-) Even the 85Mb/s ones have been a GREAT buy for me.

I am wanting something better than I have, (old Hauppauge MVP using GB-PVR & a NAS server too) yet not so keen to go for the dearer D Link units, nor scrape around Europe for the Popcornhour ones, and these seem to fit the bill, as well as being "inbetween" price-wise,

The reveiews I have read are MAINLY good, so where the bad reviews are supposed to be is a mystery to me too
#15
I'd written off the Popcornhour as they aren't actually sold in Europe so you have to order from China I think, plus they didn't have wireless.
#16
jyonda;3077953
I'd written off the Popcornhour as they aren't actually sold in Europe so you have to order from China I think, plus they didn't have wireless.


Don't let lack of wireless be a problem, as powerline Ethernet using your house mains cables is definitely THE way to go :-)
#17
I would personally accept the slightly longer lead time and the lack of WiFi to get the better player. Home plugs, or just an RJ45 wire if possible, are much better for video and are essential for the bandwidth needed for true HD content.
#18
nihcaj;3077879
Sounds like it would be btter with 200Mb/s powerline ethernet connection, and getting rid of wifi altogether :-) Even the 85Mb/s ones have been a GREAT buy for me.
[COLOR=red]normal dvds used to struggle on the original show center via wireless[/COLOR]
[COLOR=red]think they were called show center 100 and was only 802.11b[/COLOR]
[COLOR=red]but was fine using an ethernet cable so im sure they would play hd files ok[/COLOR]


I am wanting something better than I have, (old Hauppauge MVP using GB-PVR & a NAS server too) yet not so keen to go for the dearer D Link units, nor scrape around Europe for the Popcornhour ones, and these seem to fit the bill, as well as being "inbetween" price-wise,

The reveiews I have read are MAINLY good, so where the bad reviews are supposed to be is a mystery to me too
#19
One used Showcenter 200 starting on ebay.co.uk at £79.99 + £12 p&p
New Showcenter 200 from Amazon £141.34

vs.

£86.39 for a brand new box inc p&p with warranty!!!!!!

Where's the heat people?!
#20
jyonda
I'd written off the Popcornhour as they aren't actually sold in Europe so you have to order from China I think, plus they didn't have wireless.
They now support wireless dongles afaik.
#21
jyonda;3078374
One used Showcenter 200 starting on ebay.co.uk at £79.99 + £12 p&p
New Showcenter 200 from Amazon £141.34

vs.

£86.39 for a brand new box inc p&p with warranty!!!!!!

[COLOR=red]Where's the heat people[/COLOR]?!

i added heat
it was on -8 and i got it back to zero
also it doesnt seem to be showing a price now
so either the web page isnt dispalying propaly or is now no longer for sale at play
#22
I'd rather have something that works out of the box without me having to spend more money and time on acquiring other bits and bobs, then end up with a mess of cable around my telly, but that's just me.
#23
scoot
i added heat
it was on -8 and i got it back to zero
also it doesnt seem to be showing a price now
so either the web page isnt dispalying propaly or is now no longer for sale at play


Typical, less than a couple of hours later and they've pulled the plug on it. Oh well.....:whistling:
#24
jyonda;3078374
One used Showcenter 200 starting on ebay.co.uk at £79.99 + £12 p&p
New Showcenter 200 from Amazon £141.34

vs.

£86.39 for a brand new box inc p&p with warranty!!!!!!

Where's the heat people?!


It is chilling, probably because the price, and with it, the buy option is not showing online when you load the page, as I mentioned a good bit earlier!

If yours is, maybe it is because it is in the browser cache, as it will not show for me, or for a friend when I asked him to try! (Firefox and IE)

Hence we couldn't buy one if we tried, we don't even know if it is still in stock
#25
jyonda;3078374

New Showcenter 200 from Amazon £141.34


You can get the 250 for less than that.
#26
istar mini is the way to go, I have 2. There is an ebay seller doing them for £140 (if you make an offer).
#27
fieldsy;3081537
istar mini is the way to go, I have 2. There is an ebay seller doing them for £140 (if you make an offer).


Not when I have searched a few minutes ago there isn't. "istar mini" in the UK produces exactly ZERO results!

Even if you could get it at 140 quid it is still the best part of TWICE the price of this deal, (& a lot more, at 195 + delivery from the only UK source I could find in a quick search) and to be honest, there is more information on the working of the Chinese Government out there than there is on this, and what there is is all US based!
The Popcorn hour machine suffers some of the same drawbacks - hard to get hold of, meaning ZERO recourse if it goes bust too, but it has a LOT bigger user base, when you do have problems.

Also, as it is effectively a NAS server, for those of us who already have NAS it is expensive overkill too.

If you have unlimited money to throw after a media streaming setup, the choice is wide, but for those of us who want something that works at a budget price, then that takes a bit more waiting and looking! :-(
#28
Anyone willing to order the popcornhour may want to also consider the HDX 1000 or the HDX 900.

You can bypass the hassle of ordering from China and paying additional VAT import duty by ordering from
divxplayer.nl who are a specialist importer of these types of devices. Obviously you end up paying a premium but it doesn't look too onerous. 2 year warranty also as standard.
#29
dc2447
These are awful


They are not awful mate, they are fine, however you must use a different software system rather than the pinnacle software that it comes packaged with, their software is pure awful. Use swisscenter instead and it works like a dream, its free.

Or it sounds to me you are trying to get it to play files it is not supposed to play. Its not a HD player.

For simple avi playback it is fine.

It wont do HD, mkv, .iso or anything fancy but what it was supposed to play it does it well.

Anyway this has expired now by the looks of it.

I also have an istarHD and thats great too for .iso, .mkv etc playback.
#30
jyonda;3085891
Anyone willing to order the popcornhour may want to also consider the HDX 1000 or the HDX 900.

You can bypass the hassle of ordering from China and paying additional VAT import duty by ordering from
divxplayer.nl who are a specialist importer of these types of devices. Obviously you end up paying a premium but it doesn't look too onerous.


I don't call ordering from the Netherlands "less hassle!" They may well all speak English, but that's the only benefit.

It's hard enough to get a fair deal, and the remotest of "customer service" in the UK if something goes bust, and I am prepared to risk a few quid if something from Dealextreme costing 3 quid turns out a bit cheap and nasty, but for all intents and purposes purchasing from the Netherlands might as well be Outer Mongolia - you have spent your money, and you won't be getting it back!
It is bad enough chasing stuff through small claims here.

I got messed about with a purchase from France once, and won't be repeating the "foreign experience" whether it is EC or not :-(
#31
Broadsword;3086019
They are not awful mate, they are fine, however you must use a different software system rather than the pinnacle software that it comes packaged with, their software is pure awful. Use swisscenter instead and it works like a dream, its free.

Or it sounds to me you are trying to get it to play files it is not supposed to play. Its not a HD player.

For simple avi playback it is fine.

It wont do HD, mkv, .iso or anything fancy but what it was supposed to play it does it well.

Anyway this has expired now by the looks of it.

I also have an istarHD and thats great too for .iso, .mkv etc playback.

it will play hd content 1080i MWV HD which you can download free of charge from here
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/musicandvideo/hdvideo/ContentShowcase.aspx
one to test it is the robotica one its only 20 meg and looks awesome
i was able to play mp4 videos on mine not through the pc but by plugging in my archos 560 into the usb on the front even though the archos doesnt support mp4 files
does the swiss center software support anologue sound from a dolby digital soundtrack as thats one of the plugins you have to pay for when using the pinnacle software
another thing is do you have to totally un-install the pinnicle software or can you still leave it on the pc and/or swap between the two
#32
nihcaj
I don't call ordering from the Netherlands "less hassle!" They may well all speak English, but that's the only benefit.

It's hard enough to get a fair deal, and the remotest of "customer service" in the UK if something goes bust, and I am prepared to risk a few quid if something from Dealextreme costing 3 quid turns out a bit cheap and nasty, but for all intents and purposes purchasing from the Netherlands might as well be Outer Mongolia - you have spent your money, and you won't be getting it back!
It is bad enough chasing stuff through small claims here.

I got messed about with a purchase from France once, and won't be repeating the "foreign experience" whether it is EC or not :-(


So you think ordering direct from China (possibly outer Mongolia) would be a better idea for ordering a Popcornhour? Because that was the alternative. It's less hassle because they have them in stock so you don't have to preorder or buy off ebay with no guarantee.
I assume your French experience was with Pixmania? I have no first hand experience with divxplayer.nl but they are a niche retailer so unlike Pixmania might know something about what they sell and be closer to their customers. I think people can make up their own minds but to do that they need to know the options.
#33
jyonda;3089358
So you think ordering direct from China (possibly outer Mongolia) would be a better idea for ordering a Popcornhour? Because that was the alternative. It's less hassle because they have them in stock so you don't have to preorder or buy off ebay with no guarantee.
I assume your French experience was with Pixmania? I have no first hand experience with divxplayer.nl but they are a niche retailer so unlike Pixmania might know something about what they sell and be closer to their customers. I think people can make up their own minds but to do that they need to know the options.


No, it is the SAME option. I don't buy anything of a substantial price when I know I can't get my cash back or a proper repair. Full Stop.

If it isn't available here, it isn't available. Where it is available abroad makes very little difference, except probably how long it takes to arrive, IF it arrives!

Why is eBay a problem, when buying from a UK retailer? (not a private individual) Same as buying anything else from a UK retailer, with the one added advantage of being able to pass comments on how lousy they are, and the Paypal option for refund if it doesn't arrive. Ebay are not going to help in any other situation, but it is no big deal to use the online small claims system as with any other purchase.

With foreign retailers, whatever their specialist place in the market, if you have a problem they won't or can't resolve, there is no PRACTICAL way of getting it sorted. I find that situation happens on a REGULAR basis here in the UK, with the difference of the option of going to Court simply and cheaply, so why would it not in another country when they KNOW you can do nothing about it? The option of foreign proceedings are just laughable, EC countries or not, so unless it is thousands you are spending, forget it!

Even if the company are cooperative, expect delays and costs sending it back, oh, and a UK mains cable or adapter too.

Never bought from Pixmania, was tipped off about them a while back, before I was ever tempted to buy from them. It was some company a lot of years ago, in the days when phone calls to France were a LOT more expensive too!

I agree, people DO need to wise up, and I dare say some think they are as covered as they are here in the UK, as the politicians would have us believe! Hence my comments: Buy abroad, and if it is dud, you have thrown the money away. If you are willing to risk that, do. If your money is not so easily come by, don't.
#34
scoot
it will play hd content 1080i MWV HD which you can download free of charge from here
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/musicandvideo/hdvideo/ContentShowcase.aspx
one to test it is the robotica one its only 20 meg and looks awesome
i was able to play mp4 videos on mine not through the pc but by plugging in my archos 560 into the usb on the front even though the archos doesnt support mp4 files
does the swiss center software support anologue sound from a dolby digital soundtrack as thats one of the plugins you have to pay for when using the pinnacle software
another thing is do you have to totally un-install the pinnicle software or can you still leave it on the pc and/or swap between the two


Yes but the main HD files that people really want to play on a media streamer are not supported. So for all intents and purposes it isn't a viable option for HD media.

The swisscenter software can be installed along with or instead of the pinnacle software.

The pinnacle software will eventually stop working as the windows service will not load. You can restart it manually but the next reboot and its gone again. The only way to sort it is a complete reinstall and even then it will return again eventually. If you're not seeing this problem then you're lucky as most people do. Search for "cannot init database" for the problems.

As for analogue sound I don't think the software is the problem, more the firmware is it not? Dunno, as I just use my amp for sound so never had to pay the fee for downmixing.
#35
If you're worried about purchasing from companies abroad or even here in the UK then you should purchase using a credit card. Section 75 covers foreign transactions too:

http://www.oft.gov.uk/news/press/2006/60-06
#36
jyonda;3094024
If you're worried about purchasing from companies abroad or even here in the UK then you should purchase using a credit card. Section 75 covers foreign transactions too:

http://www.oft.gov.uk/news/press/2006/60-06


I know the theory.

In theory I can do a lot of things. It's in practice that matters :-(

Whatever way it is, with even a compliant company,any problem is going to cost a fortune in calls & carriage costs. Hassles I don't have by not buying abroad anymore, other than trivial "couple of quid" type items
#37
nihcaj
Not when I have searched a few minutes ago there isn't. "istar mini" in the UK produces exactly ZERO results!

Even if you could get it at 140 quid it is still the best part of TWICE the price of this deal, (& a lot more, at 195 + delivery from the only UK source I could find in a quick search) and to be honest, there is more information on the working of the Chinese Government out there than there is on this, and what there is is all US based!
The Popcorn hour machine suffers some of the same drawbacks - hard to get hold of, meaning ZERO recourse if it goes bust too, but it has a LOT bigger user base, when you do have problems.

Also, as it is effectively a NAS server, for those of us who already have NAS it is expensive overkill too.

If you have unlimited money to throw after a media streaming setup, the choice is wide, but for those of us who want something that works at a budget price, then that takes a bit more waiting and looking! :-(


my first unit I bought direct from the US, my second came next day @ £140 (+£10 delivery) from a UK ebay seller (based in Southampton). He seems to be selling various lfavours of network media tank.

There is also now a wireless dongle made by tp-link that you can use, that supports wireless HD streaming. I bought the dongle, worked fine for SD, but I dont have a wirelss N1 router for HD, though it would work.

If they break down am going to have to return the unit to the US, true, but it's the size of 2 fag packets, so it's no the end of the world.

I just thinking spending 90 notes on a limited device is pointless, an old Xbox with XBMC would be a much better budget choice.
#38
fieldsy;3097417
my first unit I bought direct from the US, my second came next day @ £140 (+£10 delivery) from a UK ebay seller (based in Southampton). He seems to be selling various lfavours of network media tank.


Well not now there isn't, there is one dealer selling at 171 quid delivered. The eGreat one is £202

Not really anywhere near the price band the original item is in, and still a lot dearer than it can be bought at standard prices.
Easy to have whatever functionality you want when you are pumping big money into kit. :-(

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