Archive for the ‘HTPC’ Category
We haven’t heard from Britain’s own Tranquil PC in a hot minute, but the company’s storming into the new year with a machine that’s easy to overlook. In a good way. The MMC-12 Media Center measures just 1.5-inches thick, enabling it to be slid into (or under) just about any A/V rack. £649 (right around $1,000) nets you a Core i3 processor, 4GB of DDR3 memory (plus another open RAM slot), an admittedly paltry 80GB mSATA hard drive, CD / DVD burner, Windows 7 Home Premium and an HDMI port. You’ll also get a pair of USB 3.0 ports, two underwhelming (and bound to be unloved) USB 2.0 sockets, a gigabit Ethernet jack, DVI socket and an aluminum enclosure. The company recommends that you connect a couple of your favorite USB TV tuners for maximum enjoyment, and in case you’re wondering, Blu-ray drives and international shipping is available.
Logitech’s Revue isn’t the only connected TV platform getting some holiday season update action, as Roku just announced a major update coming to all of its Roku 2 players (and the LT) with a slew of new features to. The two biggest additions we noted were support for MKV playback — but no official local streaming channel yet, only USB playback is listed — and mobile support for an official Roku iPhone app (unofficial ones are already available on many platforms) it says is “coming soon.” That’s not all however, as 3D (read: polygons, not glasses) game performance has been upgraded with new titles arriving soon to take advantage of it, while WiFi, Bluetooth remote battery and audio performance have all been tweaked. Hit the company blog for the official list of tweaks and keep an eye peeled for v4.2 build 1006 rolling out over the next couple of days to experience them firsthand. OG Roku boxes unfortunately appear to be left out of the fun for now — the march from a onetime Netflix-only streamer to 300+ channels is not without a few casualties.
SOURCE via Roku
The tiny box that AnandTech called “the best SFF HTPC [they had] ever reviewed, hands down,” is finally joining the Sandy Bridge brigade. FINALLY! A tipster tipped Engadget about it, when he was doing a little Google-fu when he came across a listing for the unannounced Vision 3D 2nd Gen Series. The specs are certainly a worthy upgrade to last year’s Computex standout, including a switchable 1GB GeForce GT540M card, 1333MHz RAM and an HMDI 1.4a port. You still get a Blu-ray drive, NVIDIA’s 3D Vision, a media remote, four USB 3.0 jacks and your choice of Core i3, i5 or i7 processors — so this isn’t exactly a complete overhaul, but still a highly exciting product nevertheless.
Ripple Korea has announced the availability of the new Ripple Look with AMD’s Brazos architecture. Measuring 235mm x 215mm x 69mm and weighing at just 400 grams, the mini PC comes jam packed with a 1.6GHz ADM Zacate E-350 CPU, an ADM Radeon HD6310 graphics, a 2GB of DDR3 PC10600 RAM, a 320GB of SATA II HDD, HDMI and D-SUB. No word on pricing so far.
SOURCE via Akihabaranews
Roku has gone from a barely known streaming media box manufacturer to a retail darling in a remarkably short amount of time (the last hardware revamp launched less than a year ago) and it’s back with more new hardware to continue the assault.
The Roku 2 lineup will put their footprint in the spaces left by their predecessors when they hit shelves later this month without changing the price one bit. Besides being more energy efficient, it brings new channels including Angry Birds, Epix, MLS and more, while also upgrading the Netflix experience with support for subtitles, surround sound and 1080p video.
The pricing tiers of $60 (HD), $80 (XD) and $100 (XS) remain; while stepping up to the XD adds 1080p video output, splurging for the XS adds a game remote (a $29 accessory), included copy of Angry Birds plus Ethernet and USB ports.
SOURCE via Roku
ASUS has shown off one of their new motherboard offerings at Computex, which is a small form factor mini-ITX motherboard that is based on Intel’s new “Cedar Trail” platform.
This motherboard uses the NM10 chipset, comes equipped with a 32nm Atom D2700 chip, a PCI-Express slot, two slots for DDR-3 RAM, four USB controllers, and built in 5.1 channel sound as well as DVI video. It also has a considerably sized passive cooler.
Compared to Pine Trail, Cedar Trail adds 1080p playback capabilities and Blu-ray 2.0 support so the D27NM10-I IPC should make for a good base for a compact HTPC. If Intel managed to pull this off nicely, then this will be the new standard for HTPC, unless ARM manages to perform better than this.
See this tiny nettop with an annoying antenna and a blue power button? This tiny box is very hippy and typical. But don’t let its shape and size fool you. This thing is powered by a Core i7 processor.
This tiny black box is called the Stealth LPC-670, and is designed together to work with the new Sandy Bridge Intel Core i3/i5/i7 mobile processor with low operating voltage.
Measuring 6.5-inch x 6-inch x 2-inch, the Stealth LPC-670 features a rugged aluminum chassis, up to 750GB of HDD and up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM. Other specifications include a choice of a DVD burner or a DVD/ Blu-ray combo drive, an integrated 802.11g WiFi, HDMI and USB 2.0. Let’s not forget the powerful hamster sponsored by Intel that’s running in it too.
The Stealth LPC-670 is now available for $1650 each, and should look quite good and very stealth in your living room, unless of course you prefer something more aesthetic yet less powerful, like the Mac Mini.
SOURCE via Stealth
NAS are getting very handy these days, as we can have access to our data regardless of any device that we’re using right now. D-Link has announced two new ShareCenter NAS servers, and they are the DNS-320 and DNS-325. These new NAS servers get some speed bumps in contrast with the older models.
Both pack dual SATA 3.5-inch drive bays for up to 4TB of total storage, a single USB 2.0 port, RAID support, integrated P2P, gigabit Ethernet, and a built in web file-server app. It’s a rather disappointment that they don’t include any iOS or Android apps, and there’s no support for USB 3.0 or even Thunderbolt. Thankfully these are DLNA-certified.
Available now, the $110 DNS-320′s got an 800MHz processor and 128MB of RAM, while those willing to top up to $200 for the DNS-325 get 1.2GHz silicon, 256MB of memory, photo gallery and audio streaming apps, plus the ability to host your blog directly from the device. Yes, hosting your own blog by using the built-in DYNDNS.org function.
If you want a 1TB drive pre-installed, prices jump to $200 for the DNS-320 and $280 for the DNS-325 when they drop next month.
SOURCE via Slashgear
Get ready for some bombardment from AMD in the netbook and ultraportable laptops, and nettops market. Previously known to be shipping at Q3 of this year, AMD has surprisingly announced that their new 32nm Llano APU processor has just shipped off to OEM manufacturers. In fact, AMD’s Singapore plant just celebrated the first shipment of the company’s 32nm Llano A-series APUs, complete with discrete-level graphics.
Of course, just because these chips are headed out to OEM partners doesn’t mean that they’ll be gracing the pages of your favorite PC maker tomorrow; Chief Financial Officer and Interim CEO Thomas Seifert notes that AMD is looking forward to seeing Llano-based machines during this quarter, but given that Q2 just got going, we may be waiting awhile still for a month or two.
When it comes to low-end graphic card market, they always get last from the introduction of a new generation. Then again, graphic card manufacturers somehow are struggling to keep things in place in this low-end sector. You have AMD’s Radeon HD5450, which is considered one of the most perfect HTPC graphic cards out there. But then again Intel’s HD3000 embedded graphics is capable of going neck to neck at time. So how does AMD go and outperform their already great HD5450 in such a crowded market?
The Radeon HD6450 is codenamed Caicos, and is one of the last two Northern Island GPU families from AMD. It’s still using the same 40nm process TSMC, but with some of the improved features from the HD 6000 series cards. The numbers of processors are doubled from 80 to 160, and there’s now support for GDDR5. Of course, there’ll be two version of the card, a GDDR3 HD6450 and GDDR5 HD6450, to cut cost and have prices driven down.
For the GDDR5 6450 the core clock is 750MHz and the memory clock is 900MHz (3.6GHz data rate), making it 100MHz faster than the HD5450 and having over twice the memory bandwidth too.
With the new display controller comes a new set of output options for the 6450. The 6450 has gained both DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4a compliance. The former is going to make it very easy to drive three digital displays from a 6450—cards almost universally come with a VGA port as the 3rd display otherwise. The latter is going to make it possible to drive 120Hz TVs at 120Hz for 3D content, primarily for Blu-ray 3D given the limited rendering capabilities of the 6450.
AMD has put the MSRP of the 6450 at $55. This will cover both the 512MB GDDR5 and 1GB DDR3 varieties. Pricing of low-end cards rarely toes the line, so expect prices to be all over the place in two weeks’ time.
Read the full review over at Anandtech