NVIDIA Ion platform looking sweet for a HTPC

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by Scruffie, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. Scruffie

    Scruffie
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  2. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    Does look like a VERY neat solution for SFF HTPCs doesn't it? If Microsoft would allow streaming of Live TV over the network it would be brilliant instead of a Media Center Extender.

    Wonder if the new Mac Mini (if it happens) will use this - or a similar 9400 chipset?
     
  3. DeadKenny

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    Interesting.

    One comment I've got about Atom's is they're not all that bad for media if paired with an accelerator chip of some sort. Got a Samsung NC10 netbook recently (has the Atom and the Intel Media Accelerator) and it's playing SD media beautifully and HD 720p almost flawlessly, just with some sync issues on certain files although that might be a configuration/codec issue (but still, that's considering apparently the intel graphics chip is underclocked to reduce power in a netbook so potentially it could have more 'grunt'). Even hooked up to my 1080 HD telly it works fine.

    Paired with a better graphics processor and given the low power and small form factor design it could be ideal for a silent, low powered, small HTPC and even off-the-shelf media player boxes.

    Another bonus is I believe the small form factor means that manufacturers can source XP cheap under Microsoft's "small PC" licencing, which is why netbooks with XP are still cheap.
     
  4. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    Yes - I think the XP licensing is based on RAM and CPU speed - and doesn't take GPUs into account.

    That said - Win 7 is shaping up to be significantly better than Vista - and the Media Center is much improved on the Beta. Still a few niggles - but looking better than it could have done.
     
  5. wHoMe

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    I can imagine there will be some pretty good products that will hopefully become available based around the Ion

    Wish they wouldn't tell us about them until they are ready though
     
  6. gunark

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    Ion + Atom 330 dual core + Panasonic UJ-130A notebook BD drive = micro HTPC heaven I'd bet, esp if connected to a home server storing all the goodies, leaving the HTPC to have a tiny drive for the essentials. Now just need an awesome case.
     
  7. Scruffie

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    This is a very good point made by guru3d.com

     
  8. DeadKenny

    DeadKenny
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    Though I beg to differ with them. I'm playing MKV 720p HD files on my Sammy NC10 fine enough. Or most of them. The odd few have some audio sync issues but as I say I suspect it's down to some underclocking going on to reduce power in a netbook.

    Besides that's with a lower spec Atom processor also.

    Also, I would have thought the container should not be a restriction. If the content of the container is H.264 and the GPU accelerated H.264, then I can't see that being an issue.

    As for the off-the-shelf media box point though, I have always felt that dedicated hardware is the better option. I have found they either just work or they don't. With Windows (or even Linux), I have always hit upon little niggling issues that cause something to not be quite perfect, and there's always the possibility of something kicking off in the background you didn't expect (or a Blue Screen!). With an embedded device, there's no bloated OS in the way, it's just going to play.

    That's why I can see Atom processors being useful for embedded gadgets, coupled with a suitable GPU. Though there are plenty of integrated CPU/GPU chips out there for such devices, including Divx/xvid support. Just less so with HD support.
     
  9. lmaolmao

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    would like to hear if MPCHC can do anything with the GPU with regards to "level 5.1" files.

    has there been any info on price?
     
  10. patwestlake

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    So how does the 330 (2 x 1.6ghz) atom fair on its own (vs single core?). Does this address the issue? I've been considering the D945GCLF2 board for a while (vs uATx on a noise/power basis). Initially I'm not looking for video decoding, but all the reviews suggest that it (coupled with the on-board GMA 950 gpu) can do video. Only issue I can see is the lack of HDMI output (s-video or VGA)

    You could take it that that is actually a statement that the system shouldn't be used for video work.....

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2009
  11. Scruffie

    Scruffie
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    Looks like nvidia are stepping it up a gear in pushing this platform
    from engadget

    Especially intersting seeing as it might support Core 2 processers in Q4
     
  12. DeadKenny

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    Updating on what I said earlier, the CoreAVC codec sorts out all my problems. 720p is flawless now. The NC10 with it's Atom processor makes a great little media player with (at least) 720p HD support.
     

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