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Andrew Pollock


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Thursday, 18 November 2010

Finally decided to order something

Okay, I've finally settled on something. I decided to pass on the ASRock box. The price was just too high for my liking, and I've ordered a Zotac ZBOX HD-ID11. Yes, it's going to have a dirty proprietary NVIDIA graphics chipset. The interwebs tell me that it's the only one that will do H.264 decoding in hardware. I'm not sure I particularly care, for my application.

It comes with DVI and HDMI, and a DVI-to-VGA dongle, so I should still be able to plug it into whatever floats my boat. What I did did just realise, about 15 minutes after I placed the order and was changing Zoe's diaper, was that I don't have a remote control solution now. The ASRock box included a remote control.

I figure I can use one of the 6 USB ports and get some sort of USB infra-red adapter, and probably keep using the Hauppauge remote that came with my PVR-350 card.

With the money I've saved buying the ZBOX, I've ordered a 40Gb Intel SSD, so that should make for a nice, no-moving-parts front end (assuming everything works).

Everything should arrive before Thanksgiving, so I'll have a few days off work to tinker.

Here's hoping I haven't bought a lemon.

[18:17] [tech] [permalink]

Avoiding Pouslbo like the plague

I got a fair bit of feedback from my latest post about the Boxee Box, none of it particularly favourable about the GMA500/Poulsbo chipset, so regretfully, I won't be buying a Boxee Box. Too bad, it looked cute, and was cheap.

A David Härdeman dropped me an email, and brought to my attention the ASRock Core 100HT-BD

I was nearly going to buy the wrong thing off Amazon (there's also an NVIDIA ION-based variant), but I found a non-BluRay variant on NewEgg for about $100 less than the BluRay version. It's certainly more expensive than something like a Boxee Box, but hey, if it's going to work...

I think if I had the choice, I'd get an SSD for it, but I can see how this goes with a rotating disk. The current MythTV box has a rotating disk in it (just not for storage of recorded content) and it seems sufficiently quiet.

The other nice thing about this box is it has VGA and HDMI, so I can totally try this thing out on the current TV before replacing it.

Now the question is, do I place an order today...?

[11:21] [tech] [permalink]