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XBMC Running On an Atom-Based MID

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the to-watch-programs-made-by-other-acronyms dept.

Media 97

reborn writes "Someone's got XBMC running on one of those MIDs. This one is a Compal Jax10. It runs Linux and is powered by an Intel Atom processor clocked at 800Mhz along with Intel's GMA500, which is basically a licensed PowerVR SGX GPU. Except for the better GPU (and its screen and keyboard, of course), it is similarly specced as some of the lower-end netbooks. XBMC would make a great portable media player, given its ability to play media off the network and virtually all file formats, but in the end it depends on the price-point of these MIDs. Here's the video."

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frist ps0t (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26247155)

lol cocks

Re:frist ps0t (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26247427)

I release this joke under the GNU GPL v3:

What's better than being the President of the United States?

Not being a nigger!!!

second post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26247171)

I don't use XBMC, but here's my story:

I dropped a brown rope this morning the size of a small black child. At one point, I wasn't sure if I was taking a shit, or it the shit was taking me. And while I'm on that point, what's the deal with taking a shit? Shouldn't it be leaving a shit? I'm certainly not taking anything with me when I'm done.

But back on topic, XBMC sucks ass

Re:second post (-1, Offtopic)

Rod Beauvex (832040) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247547)

God, I thought you were about to tell a story about eating golden turds or something.

XBMC, MID, GMA500, SGX GPU... (5, Interesting)

NinthAgendaDotCom (1401899) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247175)

Jeez, could we get a few more acronyms and buzzwords in this summary please?

Re:XBMC, MID, GMA500, SGX GPU... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26247217)

None of those are buss words.

Re:XBMC, MID, GMA500, SGX GPU... (3, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247227)

I had to open four tabs to find out what the article was about. But then it wasn't so interesting. To me, anyway.

Maybe I should submit an article about running open office on ubuntu: "Pull down Applications menu..."

Re:XBMC, MID, GMA500, SGX GPU... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26247301)

A-OK!

Re:XBMC, MID, GMA500, SGX GPU... (4, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247369)

PCMCIA! (People Can't Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms)

Well...maybe some of us can.

Oh yeah, TANSTAAFL!

Re:XBMC, MID, GMA500, SGX GPU... (1)

Majik Sheff (930627) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247571)

Personal Computer Manufacturers Creating Indecipherable Acronyms

Re:XBMC, MID, GMA500, SGX GPU... (1)

N Monkey (313423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247867)

Jeez, could we get a few more acronyms and buzzwords in this summary please?

Sorry for yet another "acronym" but if they want to be running an HD media player, my guess it's not so much the SGX technology they want to use, but the vxd [wikipedia.org] (more info here [imgtec.com] ) unit that is also in the chipset.

VxD? (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26248179)

Sorry for yet another "acronym" but if they want to be running an HD media player, my guess it's not so much the SGX technology they want to use, but the vxd [wikipedia.org]

Really? I thought VxD [wikipedia.org] died with Windows 98.

Attack of the birthday paradox? (1)

N Monkey (313423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26248271)

Sorry for yet another "acronym" but if they want to be running an HD media player, my guess it's not so much the SGX technology they want to use, but the vxd [wikipedia.org]

Really? I thought VxD [wikipedia.org] died with Windows 98.

I guess there are only 26^3 TLAs so the birthday paradox has got to pop up from time to time :-)

Re:XBMC, MID, GMA500, SGX GPU... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26254285)

Hmm. I see only one acronym in the list. (If you can actually pronounce "XMBC" as a word, then my hat is off to you.)

It can't do HD.Fail. (4, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247187)

if it can't do proper HD then it's not interesting. there are plenty of tiny low res video players on the market now.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247235)

My current laptop cant even do "HD"..

Considering that BluRay gunk stores 2048x1536 (?) sized videos, which my monitor is only 1280x800. Even if I could play it 100% no drops, it's still 4x my resolution in terms of area.

Now... Playing _the kitchen sink_ amounts of formats as seen on MPlayer and VLC could gain quite a bit of traction as then it wont matter if it's an Xvid avi, MP4, or OGM. That would kick ass.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (2, Informative)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247293)

bluray is at best 1920x1080 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc#Technical_specifications [wikipedia.org] , and i'm not talking about crappy small screen players, of which there are tons of already and i can't understand why we need another one (it runs linux.. so what?).

really we are all waiting for is for a small, silent, UPGRADABLE media player that can do full hd video/audio at a reasonable cost. so far you are either locked out of codec upgrades by vendors, or it's a fully fledged pc which is both expensive and bulky in comparison.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (3, Interesting)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247327)

If Nvidia's Ion platform takes off, an updated Eee Box 202, or the MSI Wind desktop, would fit the bill. Its not ready out of the box, but a $200 PC in the size range of a Mac Mini with full GPU video acceleration running XBMC or an equivalent is probably the closest we'll ever get.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

arashi no garou (699761) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249059)

Rumor has it the new Mac mini will have the same Nvidia graphics as the new MacBooks so, apart from price (it's a Mac after all), a mini with a third-party BD drive would be a great HD box.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26249379)

Just don't run XBMC on it.
Use Plex, a fork with an even nicer featureset, good support and a puppy for a mascot.

I'm running Plex on my old mini (1.66, 1GB), and it handles pretty much every 720p x264 I throw at it, and most 1080p ones.

Still want the January replacement or refresh though ;)

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26276433)

I'd rather stick to real open source software like XBMC than some random fork that uses XBMC for publicity. XBMC support is outstanding FYI, IRC #xbmc or the forums.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

happyhangone (599849) | more than 5 years ago | (#26254513)

Western Digital WDTV [wdc.com] is the closest thing to a perfect player for 100 bucks... and with the latest firmware update, is nearing perfection... if only had ethernet... :(

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

MPAB (1074440) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247701)

I agree. I've seen many standalone Media Players with huge hard drives that go straight to the tv and have just a remote control. They look cute and are cheap, but the main flaws is the lack of upgradeability (most are made by chinese one-product-per-brand-and-disappear companies) with no way of accepting new codecs such as FLAC, APE, Matroska, etc.
Also most of them can't accept discs.
The other strange flaw is that most have only a stereo output and digital sound. We can buy decent 5.1 speakers from logitech or creative for less than $90, but they have no decoder. I can connect the 5 inputs to almost any AC97 mainboard or a cheap 7.1-capable sound card. But I need a decoder (which costs much more) to connect them to the standalone Media Center. 5.1 speakers with built-in decoders cost in the range of the $300, so the saving goes away.
Myself, I have turned a laptop bricked by its battery into a Media center using MediaPortal. For some reason, XBMC won't get past the start screen in it. I have installed every codec I need and connect the speakers through the Audigy 2ZS Notebook I already had. I wanted to use Myth, but I was unable to set up the built-in ATI to manage the S-Video as a secondary screen. Linux support for NVidia is much better.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 5 years ago | (#26253601)

Media Hard Drives? The only one's I've seen have been by relatively well-known companies. The lack of upgradability is a downside, but if you keep to one format you should be alright and is like any other media device other than a HTPC.

And a digital sound decoder isn't that expensive. And it will certainly give a much better result than mainboard sound or a cheap sound card. Interference from within the computer case is a nightmare.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247329)

My 2 year laptop can do HD. Anyway, that's irrelevant - in this day and age, a media center computer *has* to play HD, while many laptops are actually regressing to slower speeds for increased battery life and portability. Comparing a media center with a laptop is an apple/oranges comparison.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247565)

You have a 720p screen (a little more than that, actually), so being able to play HD video - even if not full HD - could be a legitimate concern of yours. I believe the limited selection of iTunes HD content is in 720p, as are a very good proportion of movies and TV shows that you can grab from the seedy parts of the internet.

I'm not so sure that the codecs will be that much of a problem - everything is moving towards h.264/x264, and most content that's not in that is either DivX/XviD or one of the MPEG formats, even if it's in some obscure wrapper. Of course x264 is a bitch to decode relative to the other formats and needs a good strong CPU behind it (or a GPU to which you can offload the decoding), but creating a small box that can handle 1080p x264 playback will be THE standard for a while. Adding in additional formats/codecs/wrappers via software updates shouldn't be much of an issue - beyond that, it's mostly just creating a good interface. I don't particularly care for the look of XBMC (at least the stock one), but that's more of a taste issue than functionality.

Basically, beef up the AppleTV a bit, make it more compatible with formats, and allow users to drag-and-drop content on (or have it scan remote folders) for those that don't want to use iTunes, maybe knock $50 off the price tag and you've got a massive winner. Even without the price drop, it would be a good choice. Certainly more attractive and compact than an Xbox, anyways.

add 30% to ATV outside usa. (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247811)

Thanks to the nature of apples subsidiaries ... structure, they like to 'overcharge' their local 'markups' for their own profit motives "cough marketing" , so that ATV is 30-40% more outside usa, especially since for some unknown reason the US dollar is rising for now.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249717)

Or maybe just a Nano/Atom with a GeForce 9-series chipset, running linux with mythtv (or something based on ffmpeg). It seems with the lowliest of the new Semprons (2600+ Sparta?) and an 8400GS you can use VDPAU to play h.264 videos barely hitting the CPU. (just at start and end)

Tegra would be better, though, being ARM and all. Too bad nVidia is full of shit and won't help linux developpers on it.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26254107)

Well, I started a rant about ffmpeg not supporting purevideo, but then I did a Google search and found this [phoronix.com] article which says that as of a month ago that has finally been resolved. Unfortunately it requires the closed drivers so it won't work on Atom but you should be good to go with Nano.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26259093)

Why would it not work on Atom?

Sadly Atom has no PCIE slots (unless you find a rarer DTX board) and the only 8400GS I found for PCI was really expensive (100$? yeah right). But it's x86 so it should support the nVidia drivers just fine... Was that what you meant? it's not ARM, just trying to push x86 into ARM's market (and not doing too well at it...)

Unless there's something else I'm not aware of?

Of course, Nano is my platform of choice, especially in a mythbox. That way I can actually play games and stuff.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (5, Informative)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247249)

http://focus.ti.com/docs/prod/folders/print/omap3530.html [ti.com]

The omap3530 can do HD, and it's not even an Intel processor, it's an ARM, so the power savings are enormous.

http://openpandora.org/ [openpandora.org]

This device will be able to play HD in about the size of a DS lite. It's not out yet however.

http://beagleboard.org/hardware [beagleboard.org] Right now, you can buy a beagle board which will do mostly the same thing, except not in a real handheld.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247521)

call me picky but none of those links actually state that those products are capable of a full 1920x1080 video signal.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247597)

http://embedded-system.net/omap3503-omap3515-omap3525-omap3530-processors-omap35x-dvsdk.html [embedded-system.net]

If you try to search for 1080p hd omap3530 on google you will get that it can do 720p no problem, but 1080p is a stretch at best. This is probably only decoding and displaying together however.

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/11/28/0033204 [slashdot.org]

Also remember this? Can YOU tell the difference between even 720p and 1080p?

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26248245)

Hell, on a portable device, I doubt I could barely even discern between 480p and 1080p. And yes, my eyesight is perfectly fine.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

amram9999 (829761) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249641)

The OMAP 3530 can only do 720p if you have a format that's not CPU intensive to decode, such as MPEG2. It takes quite a bit more horsepower to decode H264/AVC and I'm fairly certain that the OMAP 3530 can't handle that.

Oh, you want to play sound with that too? That adds more load to the CPU or DSP. The OMAP3's are beautiful little processors, but using them for a media center is pushing their limits.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

eloren (317389) | more than 5 years ago | (#26272863)

Actually, they can handle 720P H.264. I've seen 720P *H.264* video on OMAP3 from Ingenient. Here's a bit underwhelming video of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRI0NUaWko8. You can take a look what Archos does with the devices in their "Internet media tablets". Not much time has been spent optimizing the open source code, yet, but the DSP specifications are public. Libraries are being created to support the additional accelerator hardware.

720P MPEG4 decode can be done without even using the DSP using the open source FFmpeg!

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26250275)

Also remember this? Can YOU tell the difference between even 720p and 1080p?

Considering that one runs at 30 fps and the other at 60 fps, yes, you certainly should be able to tell the difference when watching anything with fast motion.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26247751)

Playing HD video takes very little CPU compared to playing ENCRYPTED and DRMed HD content.

However, my Acer Aspire One runs XBMC fine, not at HD quality but all my divx rips play fine, and you can it a few in 7GB of flash drive for a long trip, but it was only NZ$600 what do you expect?

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

Racemaniac (1099281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247921)

while it's nice to see people promote the pandora (i'm in the first batch), lets not go overboard by making huge claims.
it'll probably do 720p, but not 1080, which is impressive indeed, maybe someone will one day port xbmc or so, dunno.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26253015)

Whether or not the CPU can do 720p, the OpenPandora only has a 800x480 display, as does the Jax10 shown in the video.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26247261)

On a screen that size, standard definition is more than enough. HD is nice for a 100-inch Plasma display, but my pocket watch doesn't need to output 1080p.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26247353)

Seriously. "If I squint extra, extra hard, I can kinda almost see a jagged line. LAME!"

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247525)

why would anyone want to watch anything on a tiny screen like that to begin with.

oh right you LIVE in that plasma's box.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26247689)

Which isn't relevant to anything GP or GGP said. Nice going!

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26247725)

You miss the point. SD on an 8-inch screen or whatever will be every bit as crisp and beautiful as HD on your home television set, if not far, far more so. It's overkill.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

badkarmadayaccount (1346167) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262121)

Hey, AC, there is this new invention called external screens, try it sometime!

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26263959)

Do you carry this invention with you into the crapper as well? Maybe on flights as well?

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

badkarmadayaccount (1346167) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278885)

*facepalm*

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (5, Informative)

zealot (14660) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247383)

From what I've read elsewhere, the chipset involved does have video decode acceleration support. After googling, anandtech.com has an article that says that the chipset can support 1080i and 720p decode. A tomshardware.com article says that it can do hardware decode of H.264, MPEG2, MPEG4, VC1, and WMV9 formats.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247899)

The way I see it, it's great mostly thanks to low power usage.

But...Intel just had to showel old, craptastic, power-hungry chipset with Atoms used in netbooks...

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (2, Informative)

zealot (14660) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249795)

But this ISN'T that old, craptastic, power-hungry chipset used by most Atom netbooks. It's a new chipset code-named Poulsbo designed specifically to go with Atom. Quoting a tomshardware.com article:

"The Atom Z500 has a TDP that varies between 0.85 W (for the 800 MHz version without HyperThreading) and 2.64 W (for the 1.86 GHz model with HyperThreading enabled). The SCH consumes approximately 2.3 W in its most evolved version, which brings the SCH + CPU together to under 5 W. By comparison with existing solutions, thatâ(TM)s obviously a big step forward â" the Via Nano, for example, is announced at 25 W for the 1.8 GHz version and a Celeron-M ULV at 5 W at 900 MHz."

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-atom-cpu,1947-3.html [tomshardware.com]

In addition, the Atom Z-series/Poulsbo combo supports the C6 idle power state where the CPU saves away its architectural state in a small SRAM which remains powered up while the rest of the CPU shuts off entirely. Idle power for the processor is somewhere from .01W - .1 W (this is from what I remember reading somewhere, but I can't find a link right now). Not sure what the chipset's powercomsumption is like when idle.

The biggest known downside to this chipset is that it supports 1 GB of RAM max.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250277)

Uhm, that was my point. They DO have great chipset for the Atom - and it's great "mostly thanks to low power usage" (because surely it's capable enough, even with 1gb ram limit, imho)

However Intel keeps it for high-margin MIDs, leaving netbooks with the fate of "old, craptastic, power-hungry chipset"

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

badkarmadayaccount (1346167) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262135)

Hmmm, third party chipset market reincanation, anyone? /dreams

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#26248641)

The real problem is not lack of chips supporting hardware decode, it's the lack of a common API to use it.

The XBMC guys are going to have to develop hardware decoding routines for Windows, then again for Linux, and again for MacOS.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

badkarmadayaccount (1346167) | more than 5 years ago | (#26262155)

WHoa! You still run 9.x!? Hard-core! (Sorry, couldn't resist)

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247939)

if it can't do proper HD then it's not interesting. there are plenty of tiny low res video players on the market now.

Even at it's native resolution heavily compressed h264 might be too much to decode in real time. Then again, it seems the chipset supports hardware acceleration according to another post. If that works it would work out.

But it's hard to tell if 720p or 1080i would work even so. Those resolutions can be hard to get working properly even with dedicated hardware decoders. (I work with IPTV technologies.)

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (1)

MrZaius (321037) | more than 5 years ago | (#26248649)

http://www.engadget.com/2008/12/03/asus-eee-box-b204-b206-grows-an-hdmi-port-handles-high-def-ma/ [engadget.com]

Like that?

Considering that we're talking about a tiny little handheld device without a video-out port, it's a bit ridiculous to expect proper HDMI screen resolutions. It'll definitely be interesting, however, to see how well this works on the B204/B206 series of HDMI-enabled, Radeon-powered Eees.

Re:It can't do HD.Fail. (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26248833)

It's also non news.

I had XBMC running under ubuntu on my Acer aspire one already.

it's just not impressive to see someone get a Intel based program port running on a intel processor.

Off topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26247229)

As of now, I stream the movies on my computer to my TV via an xbox running XBMC. However, it's not able to do HD video. I'm strongly considering buying a netbook that can and replacing my aging xbox as my tv's media player. Wifi, hdmi/composite video out, and a power cord and you'll be set. I'm not the biggest tech person so maybe there's something I'm missing, but it sounds like it would work.

Re:Off topic (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247657)

Your missing that it won't be powerful enough to do HD with the XBMC interface. You'll be forced to run some Windows thing on it in order to get accelerated drivers in hopes of having a prayer of playing HD. Of course Netbooks mostly come with a really crappy Intel video chipset so even then it will be a stretch.

Better you should look into the threads on the XBMC forums about putting together a 1080 capable PC. The last one I built was about $400 and I could have done it a bit cheaper if I'd tried...

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=9999386 [newegg.com] - needs an MCE remote to be complete, oh and a display!

Re:Off topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26247735)

Better you should look into the threads on the XBMC forums about putting together a 1080 capable PC. The last one I built was about $400 and I could have done it a bit cheaper if I'd tried...

If you're spending $400, why not just get a PS3? It plays h.264 and Xvid out of the box.

Re:Off topic (4, Interesting)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250753)

why a netbook? if it's going to be a HTPC then why get something designed for portability? having a tiny 9" screen is also kinda pointless when the system's plugged into a TV. a low-power VIA C7 processor [via.com.tw] paired with VIA's EPIA NX Nano-ITX motherboard [via.com.tw] would be far more suited for a media center PC or set-top box. the EPIA NX comes with the CX700M IGP chipset [via.com.tw] and features:

  • built-in HDTV encoder
  • hardware-accelerated MPEG-2, MPEG-4, and WMV9 decoding
  • up to 1080i playback
  • dual monitor support
  • video de-blocking
  • adaptive de-interlacing
  • VIA VT1708A High Definition Audio Codec / VIA Vinyl HD Audio
  • VIA UniChrome Pro Graphics Core / Chromotion video engine
  • PiP support

alternatively, you could get the VIA C3 [via.com.tw] or the 7.5 watt fanless VIA Eden processor [via.com.tw] + CN400 chipset [via.com.tw] , which use even less power and still has:

  • hardware-accelerated MPEG-2/MPEG-4 decoding
  • video de-blocking
  • adaptive de-interlacing
  • integrated VIA Vinyl HD Audio
  • VIA UniChrome Pro / Chromotion CE
  • full HDTV support up to 1080i/720p
  • integrated V-RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 0+1, and JBOD (SATA) support

lastly, there's the VIA CoreFusion Processor Platform [via.com.tw] , which is also based on the C3 Nehemiah core. the VIA Luke configuration features:

  • processor speeds of 533/800/1000MHz
  • max. thermal design power consumption of 6/8/10W
  • VIA UniChrome Pro
  • MPEG2 decoder: VLD, IDCT and Motion Compensation
  • MPEG4 decoder: ASP Level 5 and GMC
  • Dual Independent Display Support
  • display resolution: 1920 x 1440
  • alpha blending
  • scaling
  • video capture port
  • PiP support

oh, and VIA's Green Computing Initiative means all of their new processors and motherboards are RoHS [wikipedia.org] compliant, and many of there products are also lead-free. so not only are you reducing your energy footprint on top of getting a cooler/quieter-running system, but the manufacturing process is also more environmentally friendly.

Re:Off topic (1)

happyhangone (599849) | more than 5 years ago | (#26254531)

Or just purchase this thing... [wdc.com]

(Sorry to look like an lobbying bastard but if more hackers get into this little gem... amazing things could be done in the future...)

Re:Off topic (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26254733)

why would anyone purchase that to hack? that's the opposite of a hobbyist device--no keyboard/mouse input, no open hardware or software specifications, no tuner cards, no video encoding capabilities, no networking capabilities, and no hardware expansion slots to add those capabilities.

if you want a low-cost pre-built set-top box with just basic media capabilities, then sure that thing will probably do the job. but there are much better options out there IMO. the Neuros OSD [neurostechnology.com] for example is much more attractive to tinkerers and hobbyists. it's about $50 more than the WD TV, but its open source linux-based platform, video input & MPEG-4 encoding capabilities, networking capabilities, DSP hardware-acceleration, and support for PMPs like the PSP and iPod are worth it IMO.

plus, the hardware specs are publicly available [neurostechnology.com] , which is very helpful when hacking/modifying a device. i can't even find a shred of info on what kind of processor or hardware platform the WD TV is built on. that's hardly a hacker-friendly product.

Re:Off topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26262045)

All three of the systems you listed are less powerful and more expensive than an Atom based netboot with Intel graphics.

Re:Off topic (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26265197)

that's doubtful. all three of those solutions are about half the price of the cheapest Atom netbook. perhaps an Atom 330 w/ a generic mini-ITX motherboard would be cheaper than the C7 + EPIA, but a VIA C3 CPU/motherboard combo starts at around $60. and general-purpose processing power isn't what VIA processors aim towards. if you buy a VIA processor, it's going to be for:

  • its ridiculously fast [technovoyance.com] encryption capabilities due to VIA's Padlock Security Engine [via.com.tw] . in AES benchmarks the VIA CoreFusion Luke (based off of the 1 GHz Nehemiah C3 core) performs 13x faster than a 2.4 GHz P4 [mini-itx.com] --while using almost 1/7th the amount of power (TDP of 10W versus 67.6W). meanwhile, the 1.2 GHz C3 performs 6x faster than the 3 GHz P4 [computerpoweruser.com] .
  • low power consumption->low heat output->longer battery life and less noise. using a 16 stage fully-pipelined superscalar architecture w/ a specialized 128-bit vector FPU (2 in the VIA Nano), SWAR/SIMD instruction sets, out-of-order execution & advanced branch prediction, and on-die encryption & twin RNGs, VIA processors achieve the highest per-Watt performance of just about any processor on the market.
  • their multimedia-specific design. VIA embedded processors are exceptionally well suited to multimedia applications when paired with VIA's robust digital media IGP chipsets. not only do they possess on-die Floating Point "media" units, but by offloading processor-intensive tasks like video encoding/decoding and audio processing to off-die coprocessors, VIA embedded systems handle multimedia applications extremely efficiently. because of hardware-accelerated video processing, VIA systems can often match the performance of systems with twice their clock speed [silentpcreview.com] .
  • hacker-friendly open hardware [viaopenbook.com] . features like LVDS connectors, LPC interface, pico-ITX form-factor, Linux support [via.com.tw] , etc. make VIA embedded solutions perfect for building set-top boxes, embedded devices, and personal hacking projects.

it's simply silly to try to compare Intel Atom netbooks with VIA embedded systems that are designed specifically for embedded multimedia applications. a netbook doesn't come with dual monitor support, TV out, S/PDIF, MPEG-2/4 hardware acceleration, a video capture interface, HDTV encoding, video de-blocking, etc. if you build a VIA set-top box, you're obviously not going to use it for gaming or to run Windows Vista. but as a set-top box, VIA solutions are more than adequate. so any additional processing power is just meaningless dicksizing with no real world benefits.

besides, the C7's successor--the VIA Nano [via.com.tw] --wipes the floor with [hardocp.com] the Intel Atom in multimedia encoding [techreport.com] (LAME mp3 audio encoding, Windows Media Encoder video encoding, DivX movie encoding, Vista Movie Maker, TMPG VOB to WMV, etc.), HD video playback [engadget.com] (1080p), and even in general-purpose [engadget.com] computing performance.

fir5t (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26247305)

INTO A SLING UNLEES turd-suckingly

That's nothing (2, Funny)

zoid.com (311775) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247307)

I got a RJ-96 running on a x-Jmad without even putting a modded CRANK i the EIEIO.

Stunning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26247419)

Now, how about a real, useful fucking link to the XBMC project instead of all this shit linking to wikipedia?

Re:Stunning (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247673)

XBMC.org maybe? SVN code log? http://xbmc.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/xbmc/branches/?view=log [sourceforge.net] Forums maybe? http://xbmc.org/forum/index.php [xbmc.org] They have their own Wiki too that has instruction on compiling http://xbmc.org/wiki/?title=HOW-TO_compile_XBMC_for_Linux_from_source_code [xbmc.org]

They got X motion block acceleration on a mobile? (1)

unkaggregate (855265) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247429)

Cool, maybe the mobile can effortlessly handle MPEG video now. Whoops! They said XBMC, not XVMC [wikipedia.org] . My bad...

I don't get it (4, Informative)

Turmio (29215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247445)

I don't get it what's the big deal here. An Atom-Based MID is a PC, which can run Linux, which can run XBMC. Just install Ubuntu Intrepid, add a couple of lines to /etc/apt/sources.list and a dozen pressed keys later you have XBMC installed. Yay.

Re:I don't get it (1)

iammani (1392285) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247569)

Unless XBMC can run without linux/windows underneath.

I am not clear either, but XBMC wikipedia entry seems to hint at this.

Re:I don't get it (1)

BungaDunga (801391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247679)

Well it can, on an xbox anyway.

Re:I don't get it (1)

StormShaman (603879) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247857)

An Xbox runs a modified Windows 2000.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26247605)

Guess what I can do? Run XBMC on Xbox, no way!

Re:I don't get it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26247629)

The big deal is that the MID has enough juice to run XBMC at a usable framerate, which requires OpenGL acceleration, something not very common in devices of this form factor. Of course, that'll change once the Ion and GMA 500 get more popular (if at all).

mplayerxbmc (1)

jtnak (1434091) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247589)

mplayer>xbmc

Re:mplayerxbmc (1)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247599)

XBMC uses mplayer

Re:mplayerxbmc (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247661)

XBMC on an XBOX uses it, XBMC on anything else does not.

Re:mplayerxbmc (1)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247667)

XBMC outside of an Xbox?? Isn't that kind of blasphemous

I suppose I had better get with the times though

Re:mplayerxbmc (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247773)

Sure if you want HD content the 733mhz P3 in the XBOX ain't going to cut it.

$400 http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=9999386 [newegg.com] an MCE remote, and a little work with Ubuntu will have you with the times. HDMI audio\video capable of 1080 display. You'll want to overclock to about 3ghz though.

More here -> http://xbmc.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=33 [xbmc.org] Can you say MAC, Linux, AND Winders ports?! :-O it will even run on an aTV just don't expect it to play too much more than your old XBOX :-( All of this still being tweaked mind you but it's looking pretty good.

Oh and Plex is a good MAC fork http://elan.plexapp.com/ [plexapp.com] and Boxee is a good fork on most every platform http://boxee.tv/ [boxee.tv]

Re:mplayerxbmc (1)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247781)

Oh yes, I've known about existing ports, but never really thought them as finished as the Xbox one. With a bit of polish (Aeon skin) and an ignorant eye towards the bit of lag from running in 720p (or the skip and stutter during DVDs in 1080i), I've been happy with it.

Although now that I've seen that wishlist I've got it in my head to follow up on a project I've had to make a decent media center... now if only it would play Xbox games! :)

Re:mplayerxbmc (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 5 years ago | (#26255261)

At least a few folks have managed to get MAME working anyway, sadly I am not one of them - yet!

Portable media player features (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26247591)

"XBMC would make a great portable media player, given its ability to play media off the network"

If I'm in my car, on an airplane, or anywhere else I'd take a portable media player, there is no network from which to play media. This is why portable media players emphasize disk space. Unless you're looking for a portable player for trips to another room of your house, network playback is useless.

Re:Portable media player features (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26248923)

What if at home you have High Speed Internet and have your media shared so you can access it through the internet. More and more places (like airports, coffee shops, restaurants, etc.) now have high speed wifi. Therefore you could watch all your media using such a device while traveling. Hell, even airplanes are adding wifi now.

Re:Portable media player features (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249089)

While this is true, flash drives are getting REAL cheap and the price just seems to drop more every week. I picked up an 8Gb for $10 a few weeks back and since my laptop doesn't do HD it is perfect for my SD rips. But if you really want to carry HD with you the 16-32Gb sticks have been falling too. Hell Amazon [amazon.com] has a 32Gb for less than $50 after rebate. So if this machine really can do HD on the go it really wouldn't be hard to load up the flash and carry it with you.

Re:Portable media player features (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26249875)

If I'm in my car, on an airplane, or anywhere else I'd take a portable media player, there is no network from which to play media.

In fact there is since this MID supports cellular networks too, so if you pop your SIM in, you can use 3G/GPRS from virtually anywhere (read the Jax10 link in the article).

It also has a MicroSD slot, which means 16-32GB storage in addition to the built-in 4GB. Finally it also has a USB port so you can plug in portable hard drives, albeit much less convenient than a MicroSD card.

WiFi is quite common these days, especially in airports and coffee shops etc. Playing media on the network is essential in portable media players in this day and age (even the iPod Touch supports it). Either way, it's pretty ignorant to say that network playback is useless unless you're at home.

Re:Portable media player features (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26254579)

XBMC can also play local content, so you can store the media on the HD or on a separate flash/usb drive

I realize some geeks are all about efficiency... (1)

404 Clue Not Found (763556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247621)

...but bWF5IEkgc3VnZ2VzdCBhbiBhcmd1YWJseSBiZXR0ZXIgbWV0aG9kIG9mIGFjaGlldmluZyB0aGF0?

Re:I realize some geeks are all about efficiency.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26247643)

FYI, base64 encoding is less efficient than plain text.

Re:I realize some geeks are all about efficiency.. (1)

404 Clue Not Found (763556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26251077)

Haha... whoops. Touche.

frost qpist? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26248233)

startling tu8n The latest Netc8aft a child knows

VGA / DVI Output? (1)

tji (74570) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249973)

Does it have a mini adapter to an external video output?

A tiny device like this would be great to use as an HD Media Player, and also be usable as a portable device if needed.

If it supported Intel's VAAPI, it could probably decode HD content.. certainly MPEG2 HD content. Other similar devices with NVidia GPUs could also be excellent options. Their new video decoding API seems great - MythTV has support for it in the dev builds.

XBMC still fails... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26254667)

I've got it installed on my media center PC because i wanted to try it, but the interface is so weird i could never figure out how to add networked files so i gave up. Maybe i will go look it up in the help or something, but it shouldn't be hard to figure out. I can set up a samba share just fine, i should be able to access it in XBMC without having to read up.
-Taylor (too lazy to log in)

I for one (1)

NotPeteMcCabe (833508) | more than 5 years ago | (#26254669)

I for one welcome our acronym overlords! What's that? Overload? Never mind.

uuuhh hmm ok? (1)

BigLonn (786463) | more than 5 years ago | (#26256785)

What did he just say??
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