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almot09's Avatar almot09
12:52 PM Liked: 10
post #61 of 794
09-26-2010 | Posts: 101
Joined: Oct 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by NX3 View Post

Dell UK prices to Dell USA even by usual standards, on this new Zino are terrible.

$349 for the P320 model to £429 in the UK !!!

You don't seem to be able to configure anything and no details on IR remote or receiver.

I'm sitting on the fence - old mATX PC still works, but will have to go in 2-3 years (if won't die sooner).

Missing IR receiver is not a big deal, you can always use RF like Gyration 4101us, its mouse and navigation arrows will work right out of the box, and with some patience you can program it via EventGhost to use particular buttons for particular purposes. It has IR transmitter too, but to avoid confusion when using same buttons for TV or PC, you have to hit the Input button on this remote every time, so I don't find this useful.

There is almost identical remote by Dell for same $30, btw - don't know who stole from who.

$350 for basic Zino with tiny HDD is in line with pricing of mATX PC, but I don't like what I read about this Zino yet. Is there any mATX with HDMI under $370?
palehorse's Avatar palehorse
01:06 PM Liked: 12
post #62 of 794
09-26-2010 | Posts: 2,393
Joined: Nov 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by almot09 View Post

Boxee Box is (I think) comparable to WD media player that costs much less. Both are rather limited devices, you're stuck with their proprietary front-end and included soft player whether you like it or not. I forgot what I didn't like about Boxee front-end when tried it on my PC, something was wrong with files library.

He can use Boxee software alone or Zinc browser http://www.zinc.tv/get-zinc on Zino or any other PC. For internet streams I like Zinc better - nice interface and lots of pre-loaded catalogs. None is good for playing local files, though.

The Boxee Box is nothing like the WD Live streamers. I don't know where you got that idea...? Boxee is based on XBMC, and the Boxee Box will actually have more functionality than the PC/mac versions currently available -- including HD audio bitstreaming and BD ISO playback. In fact, the intel-based Boxee Box is probably the closest any media streamer has come to a HTPC.

As I said, if all he needs is internet video playback, there's absolutely no reason to buy a full-blown HTPC. Heck, the newer $99 AppleTV is probably a better idea -- for him -- than wasting money on a HTPC.

The only problem with the Boxee Box is that we still don't know which premium content partners will be available at release.
almot09's Avatar almot09
01:43 PM Liked: 10
post #63 of 794
09-26-2010 | Posts: 101
Joined: Oct 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by palehorse View Post

... Boxee Box will actually have more functionality than the PC/mac versions currently available -- including HD audio bitstreaming and BD ISO playback.

May be.
I didn't see much specs on the Boxee home page - it only says "If you can create it, Boxee will play it". But then, in WD Live specs it says "any video files", and I don't see neither DivX nor FLV on their files list, while both formats are pretty common on the web.

HD audio - could you elaborate? I have to admit my limited knowledge here, but any hard or soft player will only output what is receives from the web (or from local drive). Netflix can only do 2.0 stereo (not even 2.1), so any audio output will do - even analog 3.5 mm jack. When passed via digital output (both WD and Boxee have it), the sound doesn't become any better, it still remains 2.0 with frequency response good enough for average human ear.

I'm not advocating neither WD nor Boxee Box here, my personal subjective preference is to stick to PC for now.
renethx's Avatar renethx
01:53 PM Liked: 389
post #64 of 794
09-26-2010 | Posts: 16,243
Joined: Jan 2006
Boxee Box: The Inside Story, Swapping Tegra 2 for Intel CE4100

Quote:


Bitstreams HD audio from MKV, M2TS and ISO containers


CDLehner's Avatar CDLehner
02:38 PM Liked: 308
post #65 of 794
09-26-2010 | Posts: 9,118
Joined: Aug 2006
Sorry...I've been sort of waiting on these, but this release snuck up on me. I see talk about configs; odd that they force the monitor on you in the first model with a dedicated GPU. I've already seen the talk that 2.2 x 2 might make more sense than 1.7 x 4; how high a premium are we placing on that GPU? Anyone taking a chance on the 4250/P340 with no monitor?

CD
jakmal's Avatar jakmal
02:50 PM Liked: 12
post #66 of 794
09-26-2010 | Posts: 1,059
Joined: Dec 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

Sorry...I've been sort of waiting on these, but this release snuck up on me. I see talk about configs; odd that they force the monitor on you in the first model with a dedicated GPU. I've already seen the talk that 2.2 x 2 might make more sense than 1.7 x 4; how high a premium are we placing on that GPU? Anyone taking a chance on the 4250/P340 with no monitor?

CD

These AMD mobile processors are an unknown quanity! I see that the 4250/P340 combination also makes an appearance in the Dell Inspiron M5030 laptop announced a week back, but there are absolutely no reviews in yet.

I also read somewhere that the HTPC specific capabilities of the Intel HD Graphics are as good as the 4250 IGP. So, an Arrandale or Clarkdale based solution may actually turn out cheaper than the 4250 based Zino HD model.

Without the bitstreaming capabilities (might be perfectly OK for a secondary HTPC), a ION2 nettop might make more sense (but hopefully the AMD mobile processors have more oomph than the Atom). We just have to wait and see
CDLehner's Avatar CDLehner
06:52 PM Liked: 308
post #67 of 794
09-26-2010 | Posts: 9,118
Joined: Aug 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakmal View Post

These AMD mobile processors are an unknown quanity! I see that the 4250/P340 combination also makes an appearance in the Dell Inspiron M5030 laptop announced a week back, but there are absolutely no reviews in yet.

I also read somewhere that the HTPC specific capabilities of the Intel HD Graphics are as good as the 4250 IGP. So, an Arrandale or Clarkdale based solution may actually turn out cheaper than the 4250 based Zino HD model.

Without the bitstreaming capabilities (might be perfectly OK for a secondary HTPC), a ION2 nettop might make more sense (but hopefully the AMD mobile processors have more oomph than the Atom). We just have to wait and see



Man...I hate it when I can't rent videos!

CD
GreenEyez's Avatar GreenEyez
12:53 AM Liked: 20
post #68 of 794
09-27-2010 | Posts: 2,258
Joined: Jan 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by palehorse View Post

The Boxee Box is nothing like the WD Live streamers. I don't know where you got that idea...? Boxee is based on XBMC, and the Boxee Box will actually have more functionality than the PC/mac versions currently available -- including HD audio bitstreaming and BD ISO playback. In fact, the intel-based Boxee Box is probably the closest any media streamer has come to a HTPC.

As I said, if all he needs is internet video playback, there's absolutely no reason to buy a full-blown HTPC. Heck, the newer $99 AppleTV is probably a better idea -- for him -- than wasting money on a HTPC.

The only problem with the Boxee Box is that we still don't know which premium content partners will be available at release.

It may be based on XBMC but it`s a patetic joke compared to it, or the Plex fork. The first thing that went through my mind when i opened Boxee a couple of days ago was : "1998 called, they want their GUI back". Just load up XBMC with the AeonMQ theme and see what i`m talking about. Both GUI design and functionality.

And i agree, for just streaming movies the Roku player and the Apple TV are enough. I`d recommend the first since it uses Amazon VOD, besides netflix, that let`s you buy TV shows for the same price Apple charges for renting.
palehorse's Avatar palehorse
05:41 AM Liked: 12
post #69 of 794
09-27-2010 | Posts: 2,393
Joined: Nov 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenEyez View Post


It may be based on XBMC but it`s a patetic joke compared to it, or the Plex fork. The first thing that went through my mind when i opened Boxee a couple of days ago was : "1998 called, they want their GUI back". Just load up XBMC with the AeonMQ theme and see what i`m talking about. Both GUI design and functionality.

And i agree, for just streaming movies the Roku player and the Apple TV are enough. I`d recommend the first since it uses Amazon VOD, besides netflix, that let`s you buy TV shows for the same price Apple charges for renting.

I agree with all of that. But, we were discussing functionality, not comparing GUI's.
tocheeba's Avatar tocheeba
10:20 AM Liked: 10
post #70 of 794
09-27-2010 | Posts: 18
Joined: Apr 2007
I currently have a Popcorn Hour A200. After installing Dharma2 on my desktop and playing around with it, and I want to replace my PCH with a HTPC. I use to build PC's all the time, but now that I don't have the time (and more specifically, patience), I'd prefer to buy a pre-made one.

I'm interested in the new Dell Zino HD 410. I don't know much about Linux (and from what I'm reading, ATI isn't good under Linux), so I'd prefer to use Windows 7 anyways.

Would this be an OK setup for running 1080p MKVs?
I'm choosing the $349.99 setup, and configuring it this way:

AMD Athlon II X2 P340 Dual Core Processor, 2.2GHz, 1MB
4GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM3 at 1333MHz- 2 DIMMs
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 Integrated Graphics

Will those be fine to use the AEON skin with XBMC in Windows 7 and run 1080p MKV rips? It seems to run fine on my Lenovo laptop (2.26ghz C2D with 3GB of ram, Intel HD gfx), so I'm assuming it should run fine here too, right?

I really want to replace my PCH with a HTPC because the interface is so much better, and I prefer to use SABNZBD for usenet downloads because the interface is better and I use MyNZB on my iPhone. The XBMC remote app is awesome as well.

So if this setup will work, I'm sold The only thing I need to figure out then is how to automatically update my Movie/TV Library when I add a show. My girlfriend will be at home, and I'll download TV shows remotely to my PCH, and as soon as they're done downloading, she'll watch them. I don't want her closing XBMC and restarting it just to update the TV Shows library.
DAGESQ's Avatar DAGESQ
01:10 PM Liked: 10
post #71 of 794
09-27-2010 | Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2010
I am a complete newbie when it comes to htpc, but that did not stop me from buying the zino 410, with all the bells and whistles yesterday. But am completely confused about sound. It does not have much in the way of options for connecting the sound. I assume THX TruStudio PC means I have surround sound options but what is the best way to hook it up? Obviously the lone audio port is out, so I am guessing I need connect to the tv via hdmi and use the tv's audio out or is there a better way?

I know probably a really basic level question, but I could use the help.
tocheeba's Avatar tocheeba
01:17 PM Liked: 10
post #72 of 794
09-27-2010 | Posts: 18
Joined: Apr 2007
If I end up purchasing this (if people can confirm whether these specs should run 1080p MKV high bitrate in Windiows 7), then I'll probably just use HDMI for video & audio since I don't have any surround sound system. So for simple stereo audio, HDMI should work. I read somewhere that the 410's video card (HDMI audio out) supports 5.1 surround now.
scJohn's Avatar scJohn
12:08 PM Liked: 13
post #73 of 794
09-28-2010 | Posts: 471
Joined: Jan 2006
Audio.

THX TruStudio PC sounds like a software solution fore laptops that have built-in spekaers. And maybe for desktops with speakers that are directly attached, like the Zino. I would not expect this feature to work on audio sent via a HDMI and/or optical output.

The HD 5420 have the ability to transmit/passthru) HD audio formats (like Dolby True HD or DTS HD Master Audio) with up to 8 channels and 192 KHz / 24 Bit over HDMI 1.3a.

The 4250 will NOT be able to handle the HD audio formats. The 4250 should be able to handle the older audio like DD 5.1 and DTS and maybe DD+.
pdiehl's Avatar pdiehl
12:19 PM Liked: 10
post #74 of 794
09-28-2010 | Posts: 8
Joined: Aug 2010
bump.

can anyone post regarding what system set-up is required to view 1080 mkv videos on a big (42-50" screen)? also how fast does it have to be to stream hulu or netflix without stalling?
jakmal's Avatar jakmal
12:34 PM Liked: 12
post #75 of 794
09-28-2010 | Posts: 1,059
Joined: Dec 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdiehl View Post

bump.

can anyone post regarding what system set-up is required to view 1080 mkv videos on a big (42-50" screen)? also how fast does it have to be to stream hulu or netflix without stalling?

You should be looking at anything not based on the Atom. Streaming performance is based on network conditions, so no powerful HTPC can help with stalling (buffering) Hulu or Netflix.

We don't have any concrete benchmark results on the Zino 410 yet. Review units are shipping next week, so we will know soon. Do wait for those results to come in before making a purchase decision.

As far as system setup goes for 1080p MKVs on a big screen (TV, I assume), any HTPC with a ATI 4xxx or higher or nV 2xx or higher card is enough. (I am assuming you don't want HD audio bitstreaming).
DAGESQ's Avatar DAGESQ
01:09 PM Liked: 10
post #76 of 794
09-28-2010 | Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2010
My graphics card is the
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5450 MXM Discrete Graphics Card.
I do not see anything about the audio other than the THX thing in the description of my order.

The reviews said there are options for audio including up to 7.1, but I was not given any audio choices, when I ordered. That is what has me confused.

Guess I will have to wait and see.

Thanks
jakmal's Avatar jakmal
01:18 PM Liked: 12
post #77 of 794
09-28-2010 | Posts: 1,059
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAGESQ View Post

My graphics card is the
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5450 MXM Discrete Graphics Card.
I do not see anything about the audio other than the THX thing in the description of my order.

The reviews said there are options for audio including up to 7.1, but I was not given any audio choices, when I ordered. That is what has me confused.

Guess I will have to wait and see.

Thanks

The explanation is simple. You have THX certified audio out of the analog audio ports (Line Out 2.1) and the optical SPDIF (7.1 digital audio out to AV receiver). This is not related to the 5450 MXM card.

On the other hand, the 5450 MXM card enables audio over the HDMI output. You get HD audio bitstreaming as well as LPCM to either connect to a compatible AV receiver or directly to the TV.
klas's Avatar klas
01:29 PM Liked: 10
post #78 of 794
09-28-2010 | Posts: 754
Joined: Aug 2005
I see Zino on EPP, but pretty much every configuration is more $$$. WTH!
Java Jack's Avatar Java Jack
04:39 PM Liked: 10
post #79 of 794
09-28-2010 | Posts: 1,784
Joined: Mar 2006
Ok. I got one of the units this afternoon. Will try and start testing this week to get a sense of how this compares to the previous generation box. Hope to have a blog ready sometime soon.

Stay tuned.
jakmal's Avatar jakmal
04:50 PM Liked: 12
post #80 of 794
09-28-2010 | Posts: 1,059
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Java Jack View Post

Ok. I got one of the units this afternoon. Will try and start testing this week to get a sense of how this compares to the previous generation box. Hope to have a blog ready sometime soon.

Stay tuned.

Great I am very curious to see how the AMD mobile processor in the Zino 410 stacks up against the Arrandale based HTPCs. Are there some specific benchmarks which would show the quad core in better light compared to the i3 2C/4T in machines such as the ASRock Core 100? What is the TDP of the quad core Phenom in the high end model? Reviews of AMD mobile processors are really hard to come by.

Also, please do some stress testing on the thermal design (The last model had lots of issues with heating up). 6GB of RAM and a 750 GB (7200 rpm or 5400 rpm?) hard drive inside such a small case seem to be just begging for trouble, but I am curious whether the thermal design has improved over the last generation product.
klas's Avatar klas
05:54 PM Liked: 10
post #81 of 794
09-28-2010 | Posts: 754
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I am mainly interested if system with integrated graphics is working smoothly with overlaying menus in Media Center, unlike HD3200
David James's Avatar David James
07:18 PM Liked: 72
post #82 of 794
09-28-2010 | Posts: 1,945
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I hope this works out as I'm looking for small and inexpensive computer to display:
  • Internet on my TV - hopefully 720P as more content is available &
  • SageTV from an HDHomerun dual

No ripped DVD's or BD's.

I was debating attaching an HD300 from Sage to the TV but I can't think of an easy way to get Internet to the TV without connecting it directly to the TV and no I'm not interested in an extended IR solution.
Java Jack's Avatar Java Jack
08:37 AM Liked: 10
post #83 of 794
09-29-2010 | Posts: 1,784
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Unfortuantely, I don't work in our labs and therefore, do not have access to extensive benchmark suites, competitive h/w, etc. to do such a review. Likewise, I am probably not the best person to provide that type of info. I do try to be open and honest with my findings and try to provide feedback based upon real world environment and testing.

I tend to limit my testing to everyday usage models and not benchmarks or lab environment testing. For competitive comparrison, benchmarks, etc, I think sites like Anandtech is a better source for that level of detail and information.

As such, I am just testing this as a stand alone device and showing some of the differences between the original Zino and this current itteration.

I will be happy to look at some specific things once I get the first round of testing done and the blog posted. I can then go back and try different front ends and content to give people an idea if it will work for their solution, but that is based upon time allotment as I still have my regular duties to perform and blogging/testing is not at the top of my regular work load. I squeeze it in as I have time.
Java Jack's Avatar Java Jack
12:52 PM Liked: 10
post #84 of 794
09-29-2010 | Posts: 1,784
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Just as an FYI- the unit I have right now has the Turion II P520 (2.3GHz @25W TDP) with the 880 chipset (Radeon 4250).
jakmal's Avatar jakmal
01:04 PM Liked: 12
post #85 of 794
09-29-2010 | Posts: 1,059
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Java Jack View Post

Just as an FYI- the unit I have right now has the Turion II P520 (2.3GHz @25W TDP) with the 880 chipset (Radeon 4250).

Jay, Thanks for the info on the TDP. I believe that the 4200 IGP doesn't support HD audio bitstreaming. What is the UVD status on that ? Is it v2.2 or v2.0 ?

Can you get me more information about AMD's mobile offerings? I assume the Phenom II quad core in the high end config of the Zino 410 would be pit against the Core i7 quad core mobile offerings. What is the TDP on that? And pricing information similar to what you guys put out for the desktop parts would be nice to have too

No problems about being unable to run benchmarks ( that is what we are there for ). End user experience is what we wish to see discussed here, I guess
klas's Avatar klas
01:17 PM Liked: 10
post #86 of 794
09-29-2010 | Posts: 754
Joined: Aug 2005
Quote:


Just as an FYI- the unit I have right now has the Turion II P520 (2.3GHz @25W TDP) with the 880 chipset (Radeon 4250).

Can you tell us if overlaying menus are smooth in Media Center?
Java Jack's Avatar Java Jack
01:24 PM Liked: 10
post #87 of 794
09-29-2010 | Posts: 1,784
Joined: Mar 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by klas View Post

Can you tell us if overlaying menus are smooth in Media Center?

I am loading up a TV tuner now and should be able to tell you shortly.
NX3's Avatar NX3
01:30 PM Liked: 10
post #88 of 794
09-29-2010 | Posts: 45
Joined: Jun 2007
I'd be interested to know the idle power consumption, x number of watts please Java Jack. Also how quite it is on idle...
Java Jack's Avatar Java Jack
02:00 PM Liked: 10
post #89 of 794
09-29-2010 | Posts: 1,784
Joined: Mar 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by NX3 View Post

I'd be interested to know the idle power consumption, x number of watts please Java Jack. Also how quite it is on idle...

I will be covering all that in my testing and posting results in the blog. I can't do much with noise here because we have white noise generators thoughout the office. However, I will see if I can get my hands on the noise meter and do some testing at home. Unit seems pretty quiet when I put my ear up to it, but with all the office noise, it is really hard to tell how good it is.

Klas, so far, overlay looks good. I have an HD TV signal running in background and guid menu on top. On the old unit, video in back would get chunky until guide was gone. It required either the Athlon II part (not generally available) or the discrete MXM part to resolve it. This one does not appear to be having any issues at all with HD video playing while guide is up.

I may try to shoot some video and embed it into the blog so people can see how it is working. Depends on if I can get legal approval to post it, we'll see.

Stay tuned.
klas's Avatar klas
03:00 PM Liked: 10
post #90 of 794
09-29-2010 | Posts: 754
Joined: Aug 2005
Thanks Jack! This is great news, I may just have to go with cheaper option.

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