Which Atom Media Center PC?


Standard Member

I would like to build up a quiet Media Center PC based on the Atom CPU and the Nvidia Ion GPU to support Hardware Acceleration for video decoding.

Now I am looking for the right device. I have already seen the Acer Revo 3600 series and got the Asrock Ion 330 recommended here in the forum. Now I wanted to ask if there are any other alternatives that would be worth considering?

Biggest drawback of these two is for me that the Acer doesn't have a built-in drive at all and the Asrock only can take a DVD but not Blue-Ray. I know that I could extend them with an external drive but would prefer an internal one to keep my multimedia rack nice and clean.

Another feature that I would look for is HDMI-CEC support but as far as I know Nvidia does not support it yet. Is there any viable alternative that does?

And one last general question, does the Nvidia Ion support audio over the HDMI port or do I need to use separate audio cables?

Thanks for your support, regards, Robert


Distinguished Member
The Asrock can take a Blu-ray drive in fact there is a version sold with a Blu-ray drive.

It uses the standard notebook optical drive form factor if you buy a notebook Blu-ray drive you can stick that into the Asrock Ion 330.

HDMI-CEC isnt supported on any PC as far as I know though I could be wrong.

If your looking to power on the unit what I do (I own an Asrock 330 and use it as a media player using XBMC Live) is get a Microsoft media center kit that has a USB IR receiver and remote. This can put the Asrock unit into sleep mode and wake it up but the MS remote is no good for other devices.

Get a Logitech Harmony remote and add a Microsoft Extender/Media center PC entry into it and you can control the Asrock unit plus all the other AV devices you have.

HDMI-CEC isnt all its cracked up to be, this is what Logitech Harmony One does

Powers on Panasonic TV
Switchs to selected HDMI input on TV
Powers on AV sound system with HDMI pass-through (Asrock is plugged into this)
Switches to correct input on AV sound system
Wakes Asrock Ion 330 from sleep

Powers everything off at the touch of a button.


Standard Member
Hi next010,

HDMI-CEC isnt all its cracked up to be, this is what Logitech Harmony One does.

I like the Harmony a lot and am considering to get one. How does the Harmony connect to the Asrock? Do you need an external IR receiver or does it have one built-in?

Cheers, Robert


Distinguished Member
The harmony remote works the Microsoft Windows media center USB IR receiver that comes part of the package when you buy a Microsoft media center remote (though check to make sure it comes with it as some only sell just the remote).

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