Egreat Popcorn media player. M34A to A110…

Posted 25 January 2011 by

The eGreat M34A front and back


ack in June or July,last year, I bought an eGreat M34A media player. I chose this device instead of a Popcorn A110 or a Western Digital WD TV Live player as the eGreat seemed to be the bees knees compared to the others. It played more types of media than the others and had more types of connections, including a Sata connector. Besides, it was darned cheap.

I fell in love with this device straight away. It was actually capable of playing anything I threw at it and played it well, including streaming from my Sheevaplug (Plug Computer) via Samba share (I never did work out how to get NFS working). It’s never crashed on me once.

As often happens with these things, the company went out of business. No more firmware updates. Not that I needed them at the moment, but it’s always nice to know that you can eek a few more years out of a device, if there are firmware updates available. Now,I knew that the M34A, and it’s sibling, the M31B were virtually the same as the Popcorn Hour A110, so that had me wondering I could use the firmware from the A110 on my M34A. It just so happens you can. So, I did…

I stumbled across a thread in the Avsforum which explained how to turn the M34A into a Popcorn Hour A110, or at least make the M34A think it is an A110. The method of doing this is called crossflashing (cross-flashing). Something I’d never heard of before. These instructions should work with the M31B as well.

I tried downloading the first firmware mentioned in Post 386 of the AVS Forum, but that didn’t work for me. The second link in Post 386, the firmware from itokazie (Please Note: This link is a direct download link for the .rar firmware) was the one that worked. Thanks for that. This is what you do. It’s a LOT easier than you may think.

M34A to A110 Cross-flashing instructions. These are Itokazie’s instructions, but I’ve tried to make them easier to follow:

1. Unzip and copy all files into the root directory of a USB thumbdrive.

Itokazie's M34A to Popcorn cross-flashing firmware.

You only need to copy these three files to the USB stick.

2. Plug the USB thumbdrive into the NMT.

File Folder

Navigate to your USB device and select the File Folder.

Select the USB Drive under Media Source.

Select the USB Drive under Media Source.

3. Browse to the USB device and use the File Icon to browse to usbupdate.html.

Select usbupdate.html

This will install Itokazie's firmware to make the M34A think it's now a Popcorn Hour.

4. Press Enter on usbupdate.html, and another Enter on the listed firmware update link.

Eula ???

Are you sure you really want ot do this?

5. Firmware update will commence and will automatically reboot when finshed.

Donwloading the image...

Zzzz....go make a cup of tea.

Checking CRC...

Checking CRC...

Checking CRC...

Checking CRC...

Updating Firmware - Programming the Kernal

Looking good so far.

Updating Firmware - Programming...

Updating the firmware...patience please...

Reboot after update with Popcorn firmware.

Now to see if it's worked.

6. After NMT boots up with new firmware, if a NMT applications update is needed, the NMT applications update Wizard will start automatically.

It was great seeing the Popcorn Hour logo show up.

It was great seeing the Popcorn Hour logo show up.

7. Go to Setup – Maintenance and select check for firmware update. This will update your new “Popcorn Hour” with the latest updates.

My M34A showing the updated A110 Popcorn firmware.

My M34A with the newly updated A110 Popcorn firmware.

That’s it. Enjoy your new Popcorn Hour.

Bad Kiwi.

Image of Bad Kiwi

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6 Responses to Egreat Popcorn media player. M34A to A110…

  1. Hi,
    Do you know of anyone who used it with egreat 32B?
    From the screen shot I can see you have no HD, does it matter? I also have a DVD drive.

    If you have further information or guidance it would be really appriciated.

    Thanks for the information.

  2. Bad Kiwi says:

    My first commenter 🙂

    I’m not aware of anyone who has used this trick with the 32B. HOWEVER, a quick internet search tells me that the 32B uses the very same SMP8635 Chipset as the M34A & M31B, so I expect this trick should work on your machine. Do your own research first. Confirm this though. A good place to start is by checking out the thread on the AVS Forum and ask there, if you’re still uncertain. Here’s a link to the AVS Forum where zrbd talks about the Sigma 8635 Chipset.

    The hard drive shouldn’t be an issue as the M31B has an internal hard drive. Likewise the DVD drive. It may require setting up again, but this shouldn’t be an issue. I’m not sure just how easy it is to brick these eGreat devices, but they seem pretty robust to me. From what I’ve read on the AVS forum, it’s pretty easy to revert back to the original eGreat firmware, if you need to.

    What I would suggest is that you ask the good people on the AVS Forum. I’ll probably be going there myself, as I’m about to try doing all this again, but with setting up the Apps on a USB Stick or external hard drive.

    I suppose I should put in a disclaimer, saying something like “Do this at your own risk”, but hey, I’m not your Mumma. Take care.

  3. Hi,
    I managed to do it.
    I used the PCH recovery procedure.
    The outcome is that my egreat 32b runs the A110 firmware and nmt apps.
    The only issue is that I lost all the indicators on the front panel of the egreat 32B. Maybe someone could figure out how to mereg the PCH firmware and the egreat specific code.

  4. Hi,
    I was about to sell my M34A because no more firmware updates for it (couldn’t play some new encoded anime/movies I have) when I found this post.

    I successfully crossflashed my M34A and now I can play those new anime and movies.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  5. Bad Kiwi says:

    I’m really glad my post has helped someone other than myself. All credit to Itokazie though. It is his firmware. Right now though, I’m locked out of my eGreat/Popcorn via Telnet. I can’t remember the password or user name. I though it was the default, but it’s not being accepted. I’m now trying to find a way to create a new user, so I can access it and make some internal changes. Maybe I should just try re-flashing it again and see if I get given access again? Enjoy your refreshed M34A. It’s a great device.

  6. Hi, I already have a M32B which doesnt have an update till 2009. I wonder how to make a firmware recovery as smbody mentioned for m32B.

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