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Old 2010-02-14, 15:34   Link #101
MukiEX
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I was just looking at Broadcom's Crystal HD chip, which seems awesome but brings about two rather important questions. Once again, sorry for the hijack, as this is barely relevant but I'm not sure it warrants its own topic.

- Are there any netbooks on the market that have a real spare mini-PCIE slot? Using a USB wifi adapter on a notebook looks... dirty. Conversely, it'd be nice if Broadcom updated CrystalHD with a wifi chip and possibly got it into some existing netbook models. It's easily worth $50-100 price premium (compared to ION's ~$150)
- To anyone who's tried it (synaesthetic?): I've read it can't handle "Killa Sampla" (my vaguely definitive video accel. standard), but is this due to format limitations (macroblocks, doesn't accelerate at all) or performance limitations on the chip? (plays slowly, choppy). 1080p H.264 over XBMC on any OS for an extra $30-50 is pretty sweet any which way you cut it.
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Old 2010-02-14, 15:50   Link #102
synaesthetic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MukiEX View Post
I was just looking at Broadcom's Crystal HD chip, which seems awesome but brings about two rather important questions. Once again, sorry for the hijack, as this is barely relevant but I'm not sure it warrants its own topic.

- Are there any netbooks on the market that have a real spare mini-PCIE slot? Using a USB wifi adapter on a notebook looks... dirty. Conversely, it'd be nice if Broadcom updated CrystalHD with a wifi chip and possibly got it into some existing netbook models. It's easily worth $50-100 price premium (compared to ION's ~$150)
There are lots of netbook models with secondary Mini-PCIe slots that can be used for a Broadcom Crystal HD card. However, many of these netbooks only have the pads on the motherboard, and do not actually have the physical slot soldered on (so you'd have to do a little modding).

Netbooks that I know have an open and ready-to-use Mini-PCIe slot that works for more than just a WWAN radio are: HP Mini 110, HP Mini 210 and the Samsung N120.

There are many more netbooks with free Mini-PCIe slots, but like I said, you often have to do some soldering. I know that both the Asus eee PC 901 and 1000HE can be modified to turn the WWAN radio slot into a fully-functional Mini-PCIe slot.

ION is of course much more capable, but you can easily adapt a Samsung N120 for HD video playback with minimal cost, by picking up a used or refurbished N120, then buying a Broadcom card off ebay for $20.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MukiEX View Post
- To anyone who's tried it (synaesthetic?): I've read it can't handle "Killa Sampla" (my vaguely definitive video accel. standard), but is this due to format limitations (macroblocks, doesn't accelerate at all) or performance limitations on the chip? (plays slowly, choppy). 1080p H.264 over XBMC on any OS for an extra $30-50 is pretty sweet any which way you cut it.
According to Terracode's test with a Broadcom accelerator in an Acer Aspire One, it can handle the "Planet Earth" 1080p clip, which is a pretty intensive bit of imagery to render, in the L5.1 profile with 16 reference frames.

It can handle a lot, but I don't really see the point in playing back 1080p Blu-ray rips on a netbook with a 9" or 10" screen. I can understand wanting 720p playback, since many fansub groups only release 720p encodes, but 1080p is a ways away before it becomes the standard.
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Old 2010-02-14, 20:01   Link #103
grey_moon
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@synaesthetic - I guess the eeepad will be an Android device then. Nice to see them diversifying again after that embarrassing episode with the smartbook!
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Old 2010-02-16, 10:48   Link #104
MukiEX
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Anything that requires soldering in a PCI-E connector is probably more work than it's actually worth (given time spent and all), and like I said, it's not worth it if I have to take out the wireless chip. I'd rather go Linux/ION for the extra scratch. Heck, the only reason I haven't is because there are no ION tablets on the market, let alone tablets under $500. That's part of what makes the Adam so enticing. While it's ARM, the 1080p playback should be on-par with the 9400's.

There are a few Anime releases in 1080p at the moment via Blu-Ray rips, but it's more about having a "future-proof" setup. 2160p is, in all honesty, probably a decade away, given how ridiculous the diminishing returns are on it, especially when it comes to 2D animation (heck, without CG, 1080p itself gets some nasty diminishing returns, especially compared to a good upscale filter). As such, as soon as you have a player that can do any 1080p H.264/VC-1 setup under the sun (including audio codecs and softsubs), you're essentially done.

While the Adam's screen (and the screen of many netbooks) is 600p, the HDMI port works up to 1080p and there's something to be said about being able to arbitrarily hook it up to an HDTV. In a pinch, a house with an HDTV usually has at least one device hooked up via HDMI and you can just use its cable, provided you didn't bring your own for the front port.

Plus, even if the screen can't handle the res, there's a value in not having to ever convert a video again. $50-100 bucks buys you a 2.5" drive in the 320-500GB range that uses up 5-10w of power while plugged in and stores more stuff than you'll probably ever need to have on-hand at any given moment in a rather tiny space. Heck, that's enough for a hi-def week-long anime marathon. A tablet-sized device that can function as an e-Reader and a PMP/STB would nearly be an end-all, especially when you can stuff it in your backpack and use your bluetooth headphones to listen to music with it. The only thing that would clinch it would be using Bluetooth dialing and Bluetooth CID to function as a cell phone extension, tho that might be more novelty than function.

edit note: Apparently retractable HDMI cables suck. They essentially have to be thin, and thin HDMI cables suffer too greatly from interference due to lack of shielding to be useful.

Last edited by MukiEX; 2010-02-16 at 11:17.
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Old 2010-02-16, 17:50   Link #105
synaesthetic
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Before declaring the Notion Ink tablet to be the winner, one of us needs to get our hands on it and be sure softsubs actually do work. Since that is a feature usually only fansub-watchers care about, I'd be willing to bet that there isn't a media player for Android that supports them.

And apparently the Tegra's GPU doesn't support VDPAU, so mplayer (assuming Notion Ink does what they said earlier and allows you to change the Linux distro on the device) won't help out very much...

As it stands right now, the HP Mini 311 is still probably the best way to go. It has excellent build quality for an HP consumer product, is the absolute cheapest ION netbook in existence (can be found in the base configuration for less than $400) and has quite a nice screen and keyboard for such a cheap computer.

Pick up a Mini 311-1000NR for about $400, yank out the crappy 160GB hard drive and replace it with a good budget SSD (Kingston's new SSDNow V series all run the same controllers as Intel's X-25M Gen 2, which cost much more). Pick up a 2GB DDR3 SODIMM and pop it in... load up CCCP and Media Player Classic, get DXVA all set up on Windows 7...

Combine all that with a 500GB USB HDDs full of fansubs and you've got yourself a very portable and very capable fansub-ready HTPC for around $600.
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Old 2010-02-16, 22:07   Link #106
MukiEX
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Quick bit: Notion Ink released a spec sheet right before MWC, and the big announcement is options for Android/Ubuntu/Chromium OS, which hopefully means it'll be very "open" to custom OS's (e.g. unsupported but unimpeded).

Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
Before declaring the Notion Ink tablet to be the winner
Yeah, I probably mis-spoke there. I want a Qi3, video accel, and HDMI out on a tablet. While the Adam is the first device that's announced those features, and I'm easily open to other options. There's a lotta time between now 'n June.

Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
And apparently the Tegra's GPU doesn't support VDPAU, so mplayer (assuming Notion Ink does what they said earlier and allows you to change the Linux distro on the device) won't help out very much...
In general, the VDPAU/VAAPI stuff seems to be more geared toward x86. On ARM devices, gstreamer seems to be the current standard (Like Tegra 2, open-source OMAP3 devices use TI-Openmax, which connects to gstreamer). At the moment, the players are limited to, well, Totem, but at least it's fansub-friendly

Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
Combine all that with a 500GB USB HDDs full of fansubs and you've got yourself a very portable and very capable fansub-ready HTPC for around $600.
Noted. However, I really am looking for something in the tablet form factor. I'd go with Asus's T91 if it wasn't running a desktop OS with no real touch optimizations (the outright disgusting driver situation isn't helping either).

Ubuntu proper hasn't really made an honest effort in tablet optimization, either. MID and Netbook Remix look abandoned, and neither is really anything that resembles "complete" for that form factor.

In all honesty I'm hoping that Maemo (or its successor, MeeGo) is up and running on Tegra 2 devices by June with DSP support 'n OpenGL ES. It has a real Linux environment (Quake 3 was ported, for instance), is intuitive and touch-friendly (even w/o multi-touch capabilities), and has a fully-featured player (with DSP support and healthy codec/container options) in the repositories. Add to that NTFS support (repos again, I'm not sure it's official) for said USB drive, and you have a much nicer mobile device environment than Android can provide.

Last edited by MukiEX; 2010-02-17 at 01:17.
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Old 2010-02-17, 20:32   Link #107
grey_moon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MukiEX View Post
Noted. However, I really am looking for something in the tablet form factor. I'd go with Asus's T91 if it wasn't running a desktop OS with no real touch optimizations (the outright disgusting driver situation isn't helping either).
Personally I would go for the Acer 1420P over the T91. They are the same price and even though the cheapest 1420P has a dual core celeron in it, it performs much better then z520.

I've been wanting a tablet, but I'm really having trouble justifying it. My Acer 1810TZ is the perfect size and power for carrying around. My main laptop is a 15inch Asus which i really only use to play guild wars and watch anime . Finally my N900 fulfils my other needs such as reading ebooks on the train on in bed. I guess that if I didn't have the 1810TZ then I could have gotten a tablet instead....

I think subconsciously even though I like a physical keyboard the idea of the single swivel hinge makes me feel like it will break really easily...
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Old 2010-02-19, 00:13   Link #108
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The 1810TZ should also play anime pretty flawlessly with a few settings tweaks in MPC-HC; the GMA 4500MHD supports full hardware h.264/AVC decoding through DXVA (even though MPC-HC's homepage says it doesn't work).

Since the 1420P has the same GPU, it should also handle it quite well.
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Old 2010-02-19, 02:58   Link #109
MukiEX
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As a small caveat, I've seen the 4500MHD (I've installed MPC-HC on some friends' Vaio's with that chip) macroblock on some 720p content. Framerate stays high, but the image gets chunky in regions. It was running on Vista 64.
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Old 2010-02-19, 03:01   Link #110
Edgewalker
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
I'm saying this device doesn't fill any specific niche. For the life of me I can't think of something the iPad can do that a number of other devices cannot do better, faster and cheaper.

So I'm finding myself wondering, what's the point of this thing?

It's point is to siphon money from people who don't know about the devices that can do it better, faster, and cheaper.

Last edited by Edgewalker; 2010-02-19 at 03:02. Reason: Avoid flame
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Old 2010-02-19, 04:26   Link #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MukiEX View Post
As a small caveat, I've seen the 4500MHD (I've installed MPC-HC on some friends' Vaio's with that chip) macroblock on some 720p content. Framerate stays high, but the image gets chunky in regions. It was running on Vista 64.
Are you sure it's the 4500MHD that causes that though? I know CoreAVC had trouble with blocking artifacts in certain encodes for a while.
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Old 2010-02-19, 05:43   Link #112
MukiEX
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You're right, it could very well be the encode. Tho I've had it, in general, macroblock more often than my Radeon 4850 (which, admittedly, doesn't accelerate some of the higher end H.264 clips). CoreAVC in general has some issues with image quality, and my guess is that this isn't entirely disconnected from its ability to play H.264 vids at a much faster speed than most implementations.

Going back to Tegra 2, hopefully we'll have a good idea as to its honest playback limits when the Boxee Box comes out. If it's honestly based on XBMC like Boxee itself is, there's really no reason for it to not at least attempt to play anything thrown at it, putting pure video decoder limitations out in the open. If only it didn't look so atrociously bad and supported regular TV-Out (the Tegra 2 is, in fact, capable of NTSC/PAL; it's listed in the manual).
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Old 2010-02-19, 20:14   Link #113
grey_moon
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I've had loads of trouble with the 4500mhd especially in linux land. With my 9300m and Ion (for the little time I trialled the 1201n) I've had hardly any problems at all for ages!
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Old 2010-02-20, 01:14   Link #114
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Deblocking on the 4500MHD is broken if you use the internal MPC DXVA filter. Use the Microsoft one and it should work (better, anyway).
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Old 2010-03-02, 09:31   Link #115
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I finally found out how Jobs is planning his approach to Apple releases for years to come!

Spoiler:
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Old 2010-03-02, 13:15   Link #116
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laughing very hard
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Old 2010-04-05, 00:33   Link #117
[T]ensio[N]
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Well, this is the new thing for apple. It's a tablet PC (or if you ask me, it's a giant Ipod Touch ). Anyways, I was thinking of buying it but I want to here some thoughts and opinions first.

Link: http://www.apple.com/ipad/
i think it'll be malfunctioning for the 1g
wait for the 2nd generation to come out or you might waste like $500 on a paperweight
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Old 2010-04-05, 05:17   Link #118
grey_moon
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Any one got one yet?
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Old 2010-04-05, 10:51   Link #119
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZ44S17mHO4
Sped up video.. about half an hour of work.. struggling with the interface. I am laughing so hard right now

I think the screen will get very VERY dirty in the long run
I am still waiting for complaints.. I heard about an overheating rumor which is obvious seen the specs of this thing
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Old 2010-04-05, 16:52   Link #120
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the way I see it, iPad is like a Wii, it's just all empty hype and it's something that is going to tank in the long run, like what is happening with the Wii right now.
yes, people do tell me "it's going to be like the iPhone". I laugh and say "sorry buddy, not this time". Don't get me wrong, I love my iPhone, but iPad is no iPhone nor it can make the same magic happen.
the main reason is the fact that iPad is just an underpower computer that you can use your finger to do some stuff on that, yet it's more expensive than other computer of the same class.
I rather get that EEE tablet, at least the screen won't get damage when I put it in the bag with my other stuff, plus it's a hell lot cheaper with more to offer... but then again I am still happy with my EEE1000HD that I got a year ago :P

Last edited by gummybear; 2010-04-05 at 19:22.
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