Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Media Programming Television Hardware IT Technology

Neuros LINK Mixes Quiet, Aesthetics, and Ubuntu 121

Posted by timothy
from the gone-to-seed-is-before-the-good-stuff-in-this-context dept.
jonniee writes with a link to Dr. Dobb's Journal's look at a rather cool living-room-suitable media-centric computer from Neuros (presented as being suitable mostly for developers and serious hobbyists for now), excerpting: "The Neuros LINK is essentially a quiet x86 PC running Ubuntu Linux with an ATI graphics card delivering video via VGA, DVI, and HDMI output. ... What makes the LINK such a compelling platform for these folks and Linux/open source developers in general is the recognition that a real business entity is stepping forward to spend the money necessary to market and commercialize what tech enthusiasts have been doing for years."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Neuros LINK Mixes Quiet, Aesthetics, and Ubuntu

Comments Filter:
  • I'm actually looking setting up a media center, but I think I still rather build my own machine for it. It also gives the advantage of reusing old hardware that's just laying around anyway
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I use an old Dell gx620 with a Nvidia 8400GS. Running Ubuntu and Xbmc, easy as pie.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Specifically any Nvidia chipset that will let you use VDPAU.

        mplayer now supports it and you can easily drive 1080p with an underpowered PC, as long as the video card is up to the task.

        (And if you're into that sort of thing, off hours you can be contributing to projects that use CUDA to offload to the GPU and thus do stuff much faster).

        • Re:Nice (Score:4, Interesting)

          by marcansoft (727665) <hector @ m a r c a n s o f t.com> on Monday August 10, 2009 @11:08AM (#29010969) Homepage

          The 8400GS is a great choice for a linux media center. I got an Asus EN8400GS Silent 512MB and highly recommend it. 512MB is required to decode some reference frame-heavy h.264, and the 512MB version seems to have a better heatsink (and it is, of course, fanless). There are also two versions of the 8400GS chip (one based on an older Gxx architecture - I forget the specific number), and the Asus card uses the newer one which has better VDPAU features.

          Of note, although not advertised, the card does have an SPDIF header - so with a simple RCA to pin-header cable you can get HDMI audio out of it with any DVI->HDMI converter. I've been using this card to watch a lot of 1080p HDTV lately without any issues. If you're looking for a cheap Nvidia card to do 1080p h.264 decoding with VDPAU to an HDMI TV (with audio), it fits the bill perfectly.

        • by Sancho (17056)

          Have they fixed the problems with b-frames in playback with mplayer/VDPAU? If they haven't (and I can find no indication that they have) then it's pretty worthless for a lot of people.

  • Yes but... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Yes but does it run... wait... nevermind.
  • by OrangeTide (124937) on Monday August 10, 2009 @05:38AM (#29008883) Homepage Journal

    It looks like it is only $250, not too bad. I could probably use it replace the Roku and AppleTV, which each kind of suck but at least do their one function well.

    I wonder how quiet it is, some of the pictures had fans...

    • by value_added (719364) on Monday August 10, 2009 @05:46AM (#29008911)

      I wonder how quiet it is, some of the pictures had fans...

      At least you clicked the link. ;-)

      In the text accompanying those pictures it said 27dB. Not quiet, but not noisy either.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by aaaaaaargh! (1150173)
      The price is fine and all that. Unfortunately, at least according to my (personal) doesn't it doesn't look good in the literal sense. It looks like one of those cheap PCs back in the time when they were put on the desk below the monitor. The keyboard looks horrifying, too. Are all good industrial designers working for Apple?
      • Looks fine to me.. This is meant to go in an entertainment center, so you should be comparing it to your DVD player or your A/V receiver. That's the reason for the horizontal case. Also, that keyboard has been around a while and it's actually very ergonomic for non-desk use. It also has good battery life and quite long range. It has a trackball that you use with your thumb and the mouse click is on the index finger of the right hand. Left and right mouse buttons are also found on the left side. My on

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Gorphrim (11654)
        The keyboard looks like it might be this Adesso model: http://www.amazon.com/Adesso-Wireless-Keyboard-Optical-Trackball/dp/B000JJM7S0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1249910929&sr=8-1 [amazon.com] If so, my experience with it is that it is crap. Every time I woke the PC up from a sleep state, I had to re-sync the keyboard with the USB dongle. Typing sporadically dropped keystrokes, and the trackball was jittery. Overall it felt very cheaply made. Just my two cents.
      • I personally would not bother getting the keyboard version. I would watch movies on it, not type my memoirs.

      • The keyboard looks horrifying, too.

        If you want something a bit more compact, you could always use something like the palm-sized Logitech diNovo Mini keyboard [logitech.com]. I use one with an old Mac laptop I've relegated to handling internet media, and on the whole I'm pretty happy with it.

        But my main reservation about this gadget is that it won't replace my (much-hated) LG HDD recorder for live-to-air stuff. I might need to spend some time looking at MythTV for this, but there seems to be a lot to learn here. Last ti
        • by itsthebin (725864)
          perfect for a media centre except it also needs a learning IR remote built in.

          what do you do first - turn the television on with an IR remote.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by addsalt (985163)

      FYI - XBMC now runs very well on the AppleTV (aside from HD support). You can replace your Roku and AppleTV with, well an AppleTV. It removes all the crappy restrictions and provides a beautiful interface my 3 and 4 year olds can use and my wife is happy with. It might be worth a look if you haven't tried it

    • by Thanshin (1188877) on Monday August 10, 2009 @08:11AM (#29009329)

      I wonder how quiet it is, some of the pictures had fans...

      Maybe the fans are to be pointed down to keep it levitating like a hovercraft.

      A very silent hovercraft.

      That runs linux.

    • by casings (257363)

      I have one, and honestly the noise isn't noticeable. Without anything else on (pc, ac, etc.) you can hear it, although I would definitely say it is certainly quiet enough. Also, I only turn it on when I actually want to watch tv or a movie, and in those situations I never notice it.

  • Looking good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Osmosis_Garett (712648) on Monday August 10, 2009 @05:39AM (#29008889)
    One of the main things I look for in my entertainment systems is that they run quietly, and its promising to see a company develop a system capable of 1080p in a low sound output system. It is however disappointing to see that the system is just a reorganized PC, including multiple fans for cooling, which add the majority of decibels. As it takes on load (say, for running video in 1080p) and the fans kick it up to cope with the added heat, its going to increase in volume substantially, and as the system ages, it will start to make a fair bit of noise... not sounds I really want to be hearing as I'm engrossed in some sort of cinematic masterpiece.

    Ideally, I'd like a system much like the PS3 to use for a entertainment hub, something the PS3 is actually quite good at doing and doing quietly as well. Its just too bad that its a Sony product.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by OrangeTide (124937)

      "Noise: under 27dB"
      That's from the device's specs [dvrupgrade.com]. Although I'm not terribly impressed, that seems rather high for a box that needs to be near my entertainment center.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Azaril (1046456)
        According to wikipedia, 27dB is actually as loud as a "very calm room" [wikipedia.org], and is a minimum of 20 times quieter than talking. The PS3 weighs in at 24dB at idle [videogamesblogger.com], so this box is twice as loud as that (I believe from googling, that source shows the new, smaller process PS3 though this may not be the case).
        • "a minimum of 20 times quieter than talking"

          You failed math, how many times? You can't turn that statement into a mathematical equation. If you were able to do so, you would have stated it properly.

          • by Azaril (1046456)
            Well given that 27 decibels is 13 less than 40 (which is the minimum for talking according to wikipedia), it is a minimum of 20 times quieter. 27 dB is 20 times quieter than 40 dB. How many times did you fail maths?
            • I asked for a mathematical equation, not for a circuitous rationalization for your poor grammar.

              Had you stated, "1/20th the volume" your statement could be incorporated into any mathematical equation. 20 times quieter is meaningless marketing babble.

              • by Fyzzler (1058716)
                Here's some math, since you are insisting on it.

                y = 20 * x

                ergo, x is 20 times quieter than y, assuming x and y are based on linear units of quiet. The math gets slightly more complex if you insist on using logarithmic units like decibels. I leave that as an exercise to the reader with reference source here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_pressure [wikipedia.org]
                • "something times less than"

                  "20 times quieter" means "20 times less than"

                  It is a meaningless expression. It is a grammatically idiotic expression, which does NOT translate into mathematics.

                  You have left NOTHING as an exercise for the reader. Express yourself properly.

                  An educated person who wished to express the concept you wish to convey, might very well say "this machine produces a noise level .05% of ambient noise in a quiet room"

                  • by RogL (608926)

                    An educated person who wished to express the concept you wish to convey, might very well say "this machine produces a noise level .05% of ambient noise in a quiet room"

                    When flaming someone else about their math, it helps to get your units right: .05% != 20x

                    • LOL - I made the error, caught it during proof reading, and decided to let it stand. And, you're the first to catch it! ~13 hours for an obvious mistake to go unchallenged on a geek forum? I guess geeks != math major college grads!

                      However - I don't think that you typed what you meant to say, either. How about .05% != 1/20th ? To say precisely what the GP was ATTEMPTING to say, I would need to remove the decimal point.

                      But, I'm confident that those who commonly use terms such as "20x quieter" aren't goin

        • Exactly, I think 24dB is closer to what we want. And I don't want something close to normal talking at all if I'm going to watch a movie. I don't think I want to even have anything close to whispering at 1m, which I assume would be like a movie theater.

    • by dabadab (126782)

      Look no further, check out the ION offerings. They can be run fully passively without any moving parts (although manufacturers tend to build complete systems with a single (smallish) fan, you can get a passive Ion mobo with a passive fan from Zotac) yet fully capable of playing back anything. And yes, it does run Linux (http://www.xbmc.org/ [xbmc.org]).

    • PS3 is quiet? I'd hate to have a loud machine. In my experience PS3s sound like they're cooled by aircraft propellors.
  • ATI? eek! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by X0563511 (793323) on Monday August 10, 2009 @05:41AM (#29008895) Homepage Journal

    Using ATI in a linux MPC... that's just asking for trouble.

    I hope they give these things a _good_ testing...

    I see they are using an ATI Radeon HD 3200 - does anyone have any gaming performance numbers handy for this card, without all the benchmark-website-bullshit? If this thing works well enough... I may consider finally getting away from nVidia. But I thought these Radeon HD cards were giving Linux trouble? Did this get fixed?

    • by blackpaw (240313)

      Yeah - I've had and heard nothing but trouble when it comes to ATI and video playback. NVidia + their binary all the way thanks.

      • Plus having the GPU as an on-board component is a sure-fire recipe for disaster. Been there before, and never again, at least for desktop-type machines.
    • by TyFoN (12980)

      Yeah my thought exactly
      The ATI drivers don't support accelerated H.264 yet either do they?

    • Re:ATI? eek! (Score:5, Informative)

      by javilon (99157) on Monday August 10, 2009 @06:00AM (#29008957) Homepage

      There is another reason for considering Nvidia. They have vpdau [wikipedia.org]:

      VDPAU (Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix) is an API designed by NVIDIA for its GeForce 8 series and later GPU hardware, targeted at the X Window System on Unix operating-systems (including Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris).[1][2][3] This VDPAU API allows video programs to offload portions of the video decoding process and video post-processing to the GPU video-hardware.

      This would allow them to use fairly quiet and cheap processors, like the atom, and still get flawless HD 1080p output.

      • Re:ATI? eek! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by kinema (630983) on Monday August 10, 2009 @07:14AM (#29009155)
        What's wrong with XvBA [wikipedia.org] from AMD/ATI? What does vadau offer that XvBA doesn't?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by wagnerrp (1305589)
          Support. VDPAU is something that is in the drivers, and can be used right now. Last November, they added it to their beta drivers, and offered a patched version of mplayer to test and as a code example. XvBA has been rumored for years, and hints of it showed up in the driver in October, but it is still not functional.
        • by Trogre (513942)

          I don't know, but do the current ATi drivers manage to sync to vertical refresh correctly? I've never gotten it to work on a TV output with ATi chips. No problem with the nVidia driver.

      • Holy crap! I love my Atom netbook... except when I'm playing video. If this tech works with most of the popular video player software (including Flash), then I can totally see myself buying an NVidia netbook.

    • Re:ATI? eek! (Score:5, Informative)

      by TeknoHog (164938) on Monday August 10, 2009 @06:22AM (#29009037) Homepage Journal

      In my experience, watching video on Linux is hardly limited by the graphics card, and you certainly don't need a gaming monster to get get good video. I'm only interested in a good Xv implementation for hardware scaling, since the video formats are evolving anyway.

      My current media machine has a Mini-ITX motherboard with integrated Intel graphics and a Core Duo T2300 at 1.66 GHz. When I watch 720p H.264 (that's the most my monitor is capable of), only one CPU is used at 60%, and of course everything is smooth. The machine has only one fan, rated at 24 dBA, but it's running at 7 V instead of 12, so it's even quieter. The power supply is a passively cooled one (like PicoPSU) rated at 80 W.

      • by bami (1376931)
        There is also the difference in media players.
        My HTPC is equipped with intel graphics and a dualcore atom. It struggles with 720p under VLC, but it's smooth sailing under Media Player Classic (under Windows XP). I guess if I overclock the graphics card it could run 1080p too, but haven't tested it since my monitor goes to 1440x900.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jedidiah (1196)

        The problem with h264 "benchmarks" is that every h264 file can be different and
        the fact that you managed to get one particular sort of high res file to play on
        a particular system doesn't necessarily mean anything. Playing BBC or Apple web
        content is a bit different than playing and HD-PVR captures or BD rips.

        A $200 popcorn hour will play everything you throw at it.

        So will a $300 Revo running Ubuntu or Windows.

        This Neuros box is an interesting idea that was obviously flawed and
        somewhat behind the curve the mo

        • by TeknoHog (164938)

          The problem with h264 "benchmarks" is that every h264 file can be different and the fact that you managed to get one particular sort of high res file to play on a particular system doesn't necessarily mean anything. Playing BBC or Apple web content is a bit different than playing and HD-PVR captures or BD rips.

          Actually, my 60% CPU is surprisingly consistent over a wide range of different 720p H.264 sources, using MPlayer.

          However, I do have some experience on the graphics card limitations. On my somewhat older Intel laptop (Pentium M 1.6 GHz, 855GM chipset), 720p H.264 does not play smoothly using default settings. But it does with software downscaling, even though it increases the CPU load. Actually, this limitation went away with recent Xorg drivers, but at the time it was an interesting point to note.

      • by X0563511 (793323)

        Well, I need a gaming 'monster' mostly because I prefer to render the video in OpenGL and do the processing on it as a textured plane, with things like OSD and subtitles as another texture, that can have an independent "resolution".

        This means that I can use triliniar + anisinotropic filtering for scaling, and the hardware definitely can do that quickly (and it's not codec/container specific)... and even with a 320x420 video, I can have native resolution subtitles.

        It also means I can easily get vsync working

        • by TeknoHog (164938)

          Well, I need a gaming 'monster' mostly because I prefer to render the video in OpenGL and do the processing on it as a textured plane, with things like OSD and subtitles as another texture, that can have an independent "resolution".

          This means that I can use triliniar + anisinotropic filtering for scaling, and the hardware definitely can do that quickly (and it's not codec/container specific)... and even with a 320x420 video, I can have native resolution subtitles.

          It also means I can easily get vsync working.

          (i use mplayer, btw. not sure if other players can do this, commonly)

          Interesting, I also use MPlayer, but I had not though about those possibilities. This seems to work fine on my GMA950, except for the scaling/filtering options.

          Thus I admit that you could get a somewhat better picture with more hardware :) But there's also the tradeoff with noise, size and power consumption.

    • by Finite9 (757961)

      What's wrong with ATI? Depends on your point of view, but I suspect you may be comparing apples to oranges.

      If you take nVidias own driver and compare to ATIs own driver then yes, I agree that nVidia wins hands down. But we all hate proprietary drivers don't we? So if you compare an nVidia open source driver to..oh wait, it's still in alpha? Ok, if you compare alpha nouvau or whatever it is called, that currently doesn't ship with most distros and doesn't have much 3D support, to the open source driver f

  • by MukiMuki (692124) on Monday August 10, 2009 @05:44AM (#29008899)

    Even for power users, HTPC's can be aggravating. Why, in a world where you could put together a tiny monster PC for around $300 would someone buy a MivX or NMT player? Simple. Take any HTPC on the market, ANY.

    Plug it into a regular, yellow, composite television.
    Plug it into an HDTV via component or HDMI.

    If you can turn it on, boot it up, and play a video on it without a single configuration edit without any hassle from installation, then please, reply to this topic because as far as I know, an HTPC that does this is akin to a fucking unicorn.

    I have an iStar Mini and a Popcorn Hour, both NMT devices. The Mini's in the living room. If I wanna take that thing to the kitchen TV (13", composite in), I just put the movie on a USB stick and it's showing the film inside of the 2 minutes it takes to set up and boot. When it goes back to the living room, it's an HDMI connection to the TV and coax to the (admittedly cheap) surround system. Works just fine, automatically detects 1080p at startup. Over component, I'd have to hit two buttons to get 720p or 1080i (worst-case, 480p is instantly automatically enabled).

    I had a friend try to build a MythTV box. Hours went by as this man tried to get MythTV to show up at a decent resolution on his HDTV (this was a few years ago, via DVI). This is a guy who runs and actually knows how to use Gentoo, and would be a sysadmin if he wasn't a programmer at a Fortune 500 company (A good one, you've probably used their services at some point(s) in the last six months). On the AppleTV, the first test isn't even a possibility without some insane level of hacking (especially if you want color out of the composite out). I can only IMAGINE what it's like an a Windows Media Center rig. And in the last two cases, playing videos other than Quicktime or WMV, respectively, (let alone something like MKV) is a hassle that goes more hours into getting up and running than those devices are probably WORTH.

    As crappy and low-end as the interfaces are on mini video boxes are, they happen to work remarkably well for the simple process of "Plug into TV, watch stuff", whether "stuff" is on a usb stick or the network. Give me a call when the HTPC manages to get there on a remote-friendly interface.

    • by RMH101 (636144)
      For playback, rather than using as a recorder with a Tuner, I've been using XBMC on an original Xbox for a couple of years. It's amazing. Plays anything, it's small, can be made near silent with a couple of mods, and costs virtually nothing - the only problem with it is that in the days of HD, it doesn't have the horsepower for decent HD playback. Other than that - it's the best thign since sliced bread - the interface is brilliant, it's got a huge developer base, and it's genuinely living-room-friendly.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Tx (96709)

      Well, I did battle with a couple of those little standalone media players, but in the end I went to the trouble of building and configuring a full-fledged (XP and MediaPortal based) HTPC. If you can live with the limitations of those stand-alone things, then fine. But when you run into an unsupported codec on those things, that's it, your only option is to convert the video on a PC. If you want a feature it doesn't have, say you want to add a tuner or whatever, you're stumped. Network performance (if any) u

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jeffehobbs (419930)

      Check out the MSI media live bareBones. My daughter is watching Backyardigans right now via Ubuntu/Boxee. TV out has always worked, even 'out of the box.'

    • I had a friend try to build a MythTV box. Hours went by as this man tried to get MythTV to show up at a decent resolution on his HDTV (this was a few years ago, via DVI).

      Things have improved considerably with regards to Linux support of TV out. My latest build involved little more than a change using the Nvidia control centre to get s-video out working. Video out over HDMI was even easier.....plug and play quite literally. Audio over HDMI would have been similar if I had managed to wire up the motherboard t

    • Looks to me like the devices you mention are pretty standalone. There is a lot of power in each device being able to recognize one another. Also, I'm not quite sure what OS any of these run; the websites don't mention it. That makes me nervous.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jmac_the_man (1612215)
      This is most likely heresy, but my HTPC runs the Vista version of Windows Media Center just fine. I've got cable running directly into my capture card. With an "unofficial extension" (3rd party patch) it plays the (admittedly common) videos I watch. (No AVI support out of the box was a stupid idea, but that's fixed with the patch.) There's an official Netflix plugin for watch instantly. A one time wizard sets up the tuner and program guide. The interface works over HDMI, so long as I have external speakers
    • by dasunt (249686)

      Even for power users, HTPC's can be aggravating. Why, in a world where you could put together a tiny monster PC for around $300 would someone buy a MivX or NMT player? Simple. Take any HTPC on the market, ANY.

      Plug it into a regular, yellow, composite television.
      Plug it into an HDTV via component or HDMI.

      If you can turn it on, boot it up, and play a video on it without a single configuration edit without any hassle from installation, then please, reply to this topic because as far as I know, an HTPC tha

    • by JoeBorn (625012)
      The parent post does a very good job of posing the problem that the NeurosLink is trying to solve (with the exception of composite output which we've left for dead). The traditional embedded devices are more plug and play and a PC is vastly more flexible, how do you combine the benefits of both?

      The problems with a HTPC being plug and play are not at the high level. As many posts in this discussion demonstrate, many people have an easy enough time installing XBMC on Linux and the machine works well at
    • That's the problem, trying to record and encode TV on a regular schedual yourself instead of getting someone else to do the hard work for you....

      I grab all my regular TV shows from usenet. I have the Alt.binz usenet client hooked up to the the tv and hdtv rss feeds from newzleech. It checks my wildcard text filters against the rss feeds, grabs the nzb files for the tv shows I want to watch and then downloads them for me overnight, automatically runs the parity check and fixes broken files then unrars the sh

    • by Finite9 (757961)
      The problem with media players is that they always have some bug that is a showstopper for someone. I read a lot of reviews because im ni the market for a good media player and some have good network support but poor music support, whilst others have good movie support and bad at everything else. It IS better to build your own on Linux with MythTV or some such.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Adobe Flash Player is the biggest CPU hog I have seen on my Ubuntu box, even with hardware acceleration enabled. Things have improved with version 10 but the experience is still considerably worse than flash performance on windows. Maybe if a few hundred thousand Neuros devices are sold, it will convince Adobe to put a serious effort into fixing these issues.

  • I don't want another fan heater in the liver room. At the moment the TV is just another screen for the desktop, the TV menu system is something I knocked together with pyGame, MPlayer and pyLIRC. Job done (all the existing media software was fat and/or HD only). If I'm going to get a separate machine for media, I want it not to add more noise or notable heat/power use. My perfect media machine is something like a SheevaPlug with Scart + HDMI (future proofing) output. If you can fit DVB input too, great. A
    • by Bert64 (520050)

      There are modern versions of the Dreambox available, like the DM800 (single tuner) and DM8000 (4 tuner slots), the tuners are modular, you can fit hard drives and it supports usb/esata devices too...
      I have a DM800 because i couldn't justify the cost of the 8000 and it works nicely... The only issue as far as a media player is concerned is that it will only play mpeg2 and h.264 (which it does in hardware because the cpu is too slow on its own), but most videos can be acquired in those formats these days anyw

      • by jabjoe (1042100)
        Never seen a DM8000 on offer any where in the UK, there always "out of stock" or "coming soon". The price looks to dear anyway, now you tell me it can only handle a few formats. I thought you could get vlc for it. It's a shame it's pricy and not up to spec, because other than that, it's exactly what I want. Maybe one of the Linux ARM/Nvidia netbook would fix the bill. DVB cards would be nice, but is increasingly less important.
        • by Bert64 (520050)

          A friend of mine bought a DM8000, and yes they are very pricey...
          It has a 400MHz cpu, and a hardware decoder for mpeg2/h.264, so using vlc it will play anything that can be played on such a spec of system, not sure if divx/xvid would play correctly.
          I only have the DM800, which has a slower cpu than the 8000, most of the videos i want to play on it are h.264 encoded anyway which it plays using the hardware support. It handles 720p video perfectly, and i don't have any 1080p video to try with it.

    • by JobyOne (1578377)
      I have to wonder: If your TV is already plugged into your primary machine, complete with what sounds like a sweet menu system you made just how you like it...what exactly would you need another dedicated video machine for?

      "Time to watch a movie, let's shut down computer A and watch it on computer B!"
  • MP4 / Patents (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I notice that it supports MPEG4 with mplayer/xine/vlc, I wonder if Neuros licensed the relevant software patents to allow them to ship this codec.

    • by JoeBorn (625012)
      yep, sure have. It's funny just today in the mail I got a big envelope from a law firm I didn't know, and I put it aside just figuring it was another letter from a patent troll demanding royalties. That's just a routine part of being an electronics manufacturer nowadays. It turned out it was something else for once, but generally big envelope from a law firm you don't know mean patent troll nowadays.
  • by sanermind (512885) on Monday August 10, 2009 @06:34AM (#29009073)
    Honestly, nvidia's vdpau [wikipedia.org] is the only way to go now for playing hi-def content (like that produced by the HDPVR1212 [mythtv.org])on anything other than a super high end box. (Seriously, even my quad core2 clocked at 3.2Ghz can't handle high bitrate x264 hi-def), although I've heard there's an experimental ffmpeg branch that can decode across multiple cores.
    • What about XvbA [wikipedia.org] from AMD?

      Also, this ATI is close to release it a seen here [phoronix.com].

      Of course is not perfect yet and they have been pushing the release date but still, i don't see right now a big gap between NVIDIA and ATI.
    • by wagnerrp (1305589) on Monday August 10, 2009 @07:51AM (#29009275)
      A 3.2GHz Core2 should be able to handle any video an HDPVR can throw at it. The HDPVR really isn't even that high bitrate. Peaking at 13.5mbps, it's less than half what you might find on Bluray disks. The problem is that it is single sliced. You can currently only use one core per slice. The ffmpeg-mt branch should being decoding within range of most dual core processors.
      • by sanermind (512885)
        That's working now, is it? I'll have to try it again, last time I looked, it wasn't. Also, if we're talking high end processors, we aren't talking about this particular device.
        • by JoeBorn (625012)

          Also, if we're talking high end processors, we aren't talking about this particular device

          A 2.8GHz single core is a pretty careful choice. It's a pretty good balance that supports a wide range of content, remember not everything supports multiple cores well (or hardware acceleration for example). This processor does everything up to 1080p24 (what you see on apple.com for example) and also supports flash video, etc. On one hand, there's a great deal of discussion of ION or other graphics centric solutions, which are great when that hardware matches *exactly* what you want to playback, but then

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 10, 2009 @06:34AM (#29009075)

    TFA reads like an ad...

    Here's another:

    Have a look at the r3600 from Acer. I have just bought one and it is fantastic. It passes the girlfriend test by being silent and attachable to the back of the TV -- no wires visible except the power cord, and it is pretty happy at decoding HD video, thanks to NVIDIA VDPAU (ION platform). Costs next to nothing and is available in a Linux configuration. Couple that with a nice TV and a wireless keyboard and you get a pretty neat setup...

    • by frehe (6916)
      Your girlfriend is silent, attachable to the back of the TV, has no wires visible except the power cord, and is pretty happy at decoding HD video? Well, you sure are one lucky man!
    • by yuna49 (905461)

      I take you live in Europe or, more likely, the UK? AFAIK, devices like the r3600 are still not for sale in the US. Anyone want to suggest reasons for this? It's pretty much impossible to find ION-based netbooks here as well. No major PC manufacturer that I can find ships anything other than Intel-only systems. Since the ION is an Atom-based system, you'd think Intel would be happier seeing these shipped than systems like the Neuros running ATI gear.

  • I can't comment about true HD capability, and relative speeds, and respond to "does it do better than " type questions, but that machine looks like a regular PC in a shiny case to me. If you want something a bit more revolutionary, then a Fit PC might be more up your street: http://fit-pc.co.uk/ [fit-pc.co.uk] (and yes, it can run Linux).

    • by luca (6883)

      In the specifications they say that h264 is fully hardware accelerated, but I don't think it's possible with an intel GMA500 (at least under linux), is it?

      • by xlotlu (1395639)

        You're right, it won't under linux.

        Actually the GP is rather wrong in saying it will run linux. If you want to use your GMA500, you're stuck with a specific kernel version, a specific mesa, and a specific x.org, with no upgrade path for now.

        The Z series Atoms are nice, the chipsets paired with it are very low power, the PowerVR graphics kicks ass, and that tiny box is really sweet. But if you want linux, you have to stay away from Poulsbo.

  • Why are they using an ATI card? Nvidia cards have much better support under linux generally, including full 1080p h264, mpeg2 and wmv hardware decode support. ATI don't have any hardware video decoding support at all, so to play HD films you need a much more beefy cpu creating a lot more heat and noise than with the nvidia solution.

    ATI's drivers still haven't really got much better, tried installing them on a friend's Ubuntu pc the other day for a radeon 3650. Trying to enable compiz caused the entire syste

  • We know the machine will be quite, but the owner, not so much when he starts yelling, "Damn ATI Catalyst!!!"
  • Aesthetics??? (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by Shag (3737)

    If a black rectangular box - even a somewhat shiny one - strikes you as an example of aesthetics, you really need to pause "2001," lock the screen, step away from your Linux box, go up the stairs out of your mom's basement, put on some sunglasses and sunscreen and go spend some time in the big room with the bright lights and the blue ceiling.

    Find some people on the street - people whose life does not revolve around Linux systems of their own construction - and ask them whether they think a black box, shiny

  • Seriously, they took a stand microATX case, stuffed in regular desktop components, installed Ubuntu, and said "it's for hobbyists and hackers"? Wow. Gee. Amazing. NOT!!! Why not pick a slicker 17" wide case that matches existing AV components and work with a mini ITX Nivida ION based platform? At least then it would seem to be more than a computer. Throw in XBMC or Boxee if you don't want to deal with setting up MythTV and call it a day.
    • I just built an Ion based Myth Frontend. It's awesome:
      http://pdavila.homelinux.org:8080/blog/?p=347
      http://pdavila.homelinux.org:8080/blog/?p=348

      It's a great box for MythTV (frontend), XBMC and Boxee.

      I love NeurosTechnology but yeah why the hell did they go with an ATI card? They can still replace it. They're not locked to it by any means.

      • by atamido (1020905)

        Nice posts, but you should probably introduce the concept of paragraphs at some point.

  • Unfortunately for would-be worldwide adopters, a significant portion of the neuros.tv catalogued television content is only served to US ip ranges.

    The good news is that foreigners will still be able to view water-skiing squirrels.

  • Ubuntu and Aesthetics? NEVA!

  • Since when did Slashdot start posting slightly edited press releases from little-known hardware manufacturers?

This is a good time to punt work.

Working...