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Dell Zino HD - New mini HTPC - Page 9

post #241 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

This I'm taking with a grain of salt. I used to have a Radeon HD3450 and the ION does much better with 1080i MPEG-2 broadcasts. I believe the HD3200 in the RS780 is a step below the HD3450 so I'm going to have to assume that it won't be any better at handling interlaced content. I've since replaced the HD3450 with an HD4550 and that one handles 1080i MPEG-2 beautifully.

Take it however you please. I am a person of integrity and would never try to mislead anyone for the sake of a sale. In general terms and for most content sources, the two parts are roughly equivalent.

Some source content like interlaced material may be better on the 9300 I don't know. I have not seen it on a 9300.

I have a 780 based Maui solution at home and it does fine with 1080i, but I do have a more robust quad core CPU in there.

I will try some 1080i content on the Zino HD and see how it does. However, I stand by my earlier statement on relative performance between the 2 parts. I did not say that our part was vastly superior in all cases, I say they were on par with each other. I believe that to be true for a large segment of the content sources.
post #242 of 5041
Could you please also try 1080i content and 1080p rips? Thanks in advance.
post #243 of 5041
Java Jack, thanks for all the information. I was scouring the internet for comparisons between the 3250e and 6850e all weekend, but didn't think to check out AVSforums. You are earning your keep for AMD, and providing a great service to us consumers.

Looks like the Zino HD will be pushing $500 for me, but seems well worth it. It has high WAF, and the gloss black matches my TV and AVR. Only wish the Zino HD had Bluetooth built-in, but adapters are cheap.

I'm sold on the Zino HD, but I am not sure if the 4330 discrete graphics are worth the upgrade. The 6850e seems to handle HTPC tasks well. What are the expected improvements with the discrete GPU?
post #244 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by gearguy77 View Post

Java Jack, thanks for all the information. I was scouring the internet for comparisons between the 3250e and 6850e all weekend, but didn't think to check out AVSforums. You are earning your keep for AMD, and providing a great service to us consumers.

Looks like the Zino HD will be pushing $500 for me, but seems well worth it. It has high WAF, and the gloss black matches my TV and AVR. Only wish the Zino HD had Bluetooth built-in, but adapters are cheap.

I'm sold on the Zino HD, but I am not sure if the 4330 discrete graphics are worth the upgrade. The 6850e seems to handle HTPC tasks well. What are the expected improvements with the discrete GPU?

Thanks. I don't know yet. As soon as I get one I will be testing it out as well. However, I am not sure how soon I will get it.

From what I am hearing, orders seem to be strong for Dell on these units.
post #245 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredz85 View Post

Could you please also try 1080i content and 1080p rips? Thanks in advance.

It's on the list to test.
post #246 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcjordan View Post

SPDIF audio is a must for me. Can anybody think of a reason why a USB to SPDIF device would not work with the Zino?

Sorry to be a pest but this may have been overlooked... does anybody know if this will work?
post #247 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcjordan View Post

Sorry to be a pest but this may have been overlooked... does anybody know if this will work?

I don't see how the Zino HD would have any impact on whether this solution would work or not.

The USB ports on the Zino HD are just USB ports like on any other system. If the device in question works on other systems with USB ports, then it should work on the Zino HD.
post #248 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcjordan View Post

Sorry to be a pest but this may have been overlooked... does anybody know if this will work?

If it works on any other normal PC, there's no reason it shouldn't work on the Zino. It's nothing special, just a really small form factor PC... it still runs Windows, the drivers are the same, the way the audio is handled should also be the same.

I doubt JJ has a USB S/PDIF device to test with and he seems to be the only one that has his hands on one yet.

To anyone looking at this device, make sure you add it to your cart and check out the total after both shipping *and* tax if applicable. I don't know about other states, but in OK (and TX I'm sure) the tax plus shipping brings this unit from around 330 to over 400. Considering I already have an OS to put on it myself, and as much as I'd love to have such a beautifully engineered case, I can get a much more powerful machine for less than what I would end up paying for this, even after my Dell employee discount.
post #249 of 5041
Any interesting Bios options? - easy overclocking fast boot etc?
post #250 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by baltik View Post

Any interesting Bios options? - easy overclocking fast boot etc?

Yes it has a Fast Boot setting, looks like it is enabled by default. There are no options for overclocking... most, if not all Dell BIOS configurations leave out any kind of CPU/RAM clock manipulation.
post #251 of 5041
FWIW, problems deinterlacing 1080i with lower end ATI parts (e.g. 3450) seem to be relatively frequent complaints on the SageTV forums. There seems to be a perception that the 3D/shading components are not powerful enough. I don't have any first hand experience, myself.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Java Jack View Post

Take it however you please. I am a person of integrity and would never try to mislead anyone for the sake of a sale. In general terms and for most content sources, the two parts are roughly equivalent.

Some source content like interlaced material may be better on the 9300 I don't know. I have not seen it on a 9300.

I have a 780 based Maui solution at home and it does fine with 1080i, but I do have a more robust quad core CPU in there.

I will try some 1080i content on the Zino HD and see how it does. However, I stand by my earlier statement on relative performance between the 2 parts. I did not say that our part was vastly superior in all cases, I say they were on par with each other. I believe that to be true for a large segment of the content sources.
post #252 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyodor View Post

FWIW, problems deinterlacing 1080i with lower end ATI parts (e.g. 3450) seem to be relatively frequent complaints on the SageTV forums. There seems to be a perception that the 3D/shading components are not powerful enough. I don't have any first hand experience, myself.

I have called that out too, but my 780G doesn't seem to have issues on de-interlacing 1080i content. So I think it's just an issue with the discrete video cards. The 4330 here is a mobile 4330, so it may behave differently than the desktop PCI-E 4330 which is quite a dog.
post #253 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post

I have called that out too, but my 780G doesn't seem to have issues on de-interlacing 1080i content. So I think it's just an issue with the discrete video cards. The 4330 here is a mobile 4330, so it may behave differently than the desktop PCI-E 4330 which is quite a dog.

So it would be better to buy it without the 4330?
post #254 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by Java Jack View Post

I don't see how the Zino HD would have any impact on whether this solution would work or not.

The USB ports on the Zino HD are just USB ports like on any other system. If the device in question works on other systems with USB ports, then it should work on the Zino HD.

Ah, yes. It is a matter of whether or not the OS, front end, and USB-SPDIF device driver all play nicely together. Duh
post #255 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

So I guess the million dollar question is has anyone tried running hulu HD on a T2350 based laptop?

I have a T2500 based laptop, which is a 2GHz Core Duo, which is like dual Pentium Ms on the same die....anyway, if I recall, that machine will play the Seeker HD clip in Hulu DT. Just. I can check again tonight if anyone is interested. That machine is currently sporting Win 7 RC1 32-bit, btw.
post #256 of 5041
Thread Starter 
I wonder if Java Jack would be willing to give XBMC under Linux a try on the Zino. ATI GPUs are notoriously finnickey under Linux, and I'd be very interested to see how well hardware accelerated videeo decoding works, and how easy it is to set up on this platform. I highly recommend Wubi for creating a painless virtual dual-boot installation. If HA just works under Ubuntu without any futzing around, that would make the Zino an excellent starter box for those who don't have much Linux experience.

I apologise for asking for more complicated tests, but you're the only one with the hardware at the moment.
post #257 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredz85 View Post

So it would be better to buy it without the 4330?

Not sure. You could post in the main 4XXX ATI thread and tsee what people recommend. Again, I don't know if the mobile 4330 works better than the pcie 4330.

Maybe java_jack can ask his GPU engineers about it.

BTW, there is no reason that de-interlacing had to depend on sharder performance. I think nvidia implements this in a different way, so it may just be a driver issue than a fundamental hardware issue. Either way, both Nvidia and ATI seem to put HTPC optimization asa relatively low priority. Though I have to say, ATI has been much more aggressive on implement HD audio features than nvidia, and with nvidia seeming to be changing focus on enterprise GPU computing away from gaming, I shudder to think what that means for HTPC use.

It seems right now the choice is between ATI (and 2nd tier HTPC optimization), and Intel which has 3D performance that blows chunks and a track record for flaky GPU acceleration.
post #258 of 5041
BTW, does anyone know if this system has the 128M sideport memory installed on the 780G? It sounds like it doesn't, but figured I would ask just to be sure.
post #259 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by candre23 View Post

I wonder if Java Jack would be willing to give XBMC under Linux a try on the Zino. ATI GPUs are notoriously finnickey under Linux, and I'd be very interested to see how well hardware accelerated videeo decoding works, and how easy it is to set up on this platform. I highly recommend Wubi for creating a painless virtual dual-boot installation. If HA just works under Ubuntu without any futzing around, that would make the Zino an excellent starter box for those who don't have much Linux experience.

I apologise for asking for more complicated tests, but you're the only one with the hardware at the moment.


It's on the list of things to try with this box. However, I am not sure when I will be able to get to it.

I have a lot of requests in to try different things. Guess that comes with being one of the lucky ones to get one of the first boxes off the line.
post #260 of 5041
I thought the ATI Radeon HD 4330 had on-board 7.1 sound for HDMI out? I just went the the Dell configurator and they try to sell sound cards as an option. I guess for the people that don't have a HT receiver w HDMI. But if the HD 4330 has onboard 7.1 sound over HDMI, shouldn't Dell make it clear that if you're using HDMI to an HT receiver, you don't need a sound card?
post #261 of 5041
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nalawod View Post

I thought the ATI Radeon HD 4330 had on-board 7.1 sound for HDMI out? I just went the the Dell configurator and they try to sell sound cards as an option.

It does. The HD3200 also has 5.1 over HDMI capability. What Dell is trying to sell you is a set of "extended functionality" drivers which will enable simulated surround sound (think dolby pro logic) on the analog stereo output. It's pretty much useless from a HTPC standpoint, and really just a way to bilk the uninformed out of a few extra bucks.
post #262 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by nalawod View Post

I thought the ATI Radeon HD 4330 had on-board 7.1 sound for HDMI out? I just went the the Dell configurator and they try to sell sound cards as an option. I guess for the people that don't have a HT receiver w HDMI. But if the HD 4330 has onboard 7.1 sound over HDMI, shouldn't Dell make it clear that if you're using HDMI to an HT receiver, you don't need a sound card?

I have already pointed that out the the Dell.com online team. 5.1 over HDMI also works with the default config as well.
post #263 of 5041
I was wondering about this audio stuff too. Can the Zino bitstream the HD audio over HDMI? I'm mostly interested in blu-ray .m2ts rips.
post #264 of 5041
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ejhuzy View Post

I was wondering about this audio stuff too. Can the Zino bitstream the HD audio over HDMI? I'm mostly interested in blu-ray .m2ts rips.

No. As has already been pointed out, none of the GPU options in the Zino are capable of HD audio bitstreaming.
post #265 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by candre23 View Post

No. As has already been pointed out, none of the GPU options in the Zino are capable of HD audio bitstreaming.

Thanks for the link. So it can handle the HD audio, just via LPCM though.
post #266 of 5041
Regarding the audio - can I just hookup the Zino to my LG LCD via the HDMI, then use the audio output (optical) from the TV to drive the ancient Denon receiver? Will it pass thru 5.1 in this kind of setup?
post #267 of 5041
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralphkaz View Post

can I just hookup the Zino to my LG LCD via the HDMI, then use the audio output (optical) from the TV to drive the ancient Denon receiver?

That's up to the TV. You'll be passing either AC3/DTS encoded or PCM digital audio to the TV. If the TV is capable of passing that digital stream unmolested to the optical out, then you're fine. If the TV does something to the stream, or is limited to 2.0 or something, then you will have problems. Your user manual should provide the answer.
post #268 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralphkaz View Post

Regarding the audio - can I just hookup the Zino to my LG LCD via the HDMI, then use the audio output (optical) from the TV to drive the ancient Denon receiver? Will it pass thru 5.1 in this kind of setup?

I have an LG LCD (don't remember the specific model... 42" 120Hz) with optical out that I send to my receiver as well... it passes the audio untouched from my 360 to the receiver so I would assume it would do the same for the Zino.
post #269 of 5041
Quote:
Originally Posted by candre23 View Post

I wonder if Java Jack would be willing to give XBMC under Linux a try on the Zino. ATI GPUs are notoriously finnickey under Linux, and I'd be very interested to see how well hardware accelerated videeo decoding works, and how easy it is to set up on this platform. I highly recommend Wubi for creating a painless virtual dual-boot installation. If HA just works under Ubuntu without any futzing around, that would make the Zino an excellent starter box for those who don't have much Linux experience.

I apologise for asking for more complicated tests, but you're the only one with the hardware at the moment.


I though HW acceleration for XBMC Linux only works with (certain) nvidia video cards?
The Zino has ati graphics.

Am I wrong here?
post #270 of 5041
Yeah, there's a vast amount of voodoo involved in getting HTPC playback, particularly 1080i playback, working correctly and problems with particular hardware may have nothing to do with the hardware itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post

Not sure. You could post in the main 4XXX ATI thread and tsee what people recommend. Again, I don't know if the mobile 4330 works better than the pcie 4330.

Maybe java_jack can ask his GPU engineers about it.

BTW, there is no reason that de-interlacing had to depend on sharder performance. I think nvidia implements this in a different way, so it may just be a driver issue than a fundamental hardware issue. Either way, both Nvidia and ATI seem to put HTPC optimization asa relatively low priority. Though I have to say, ATI has been much more aggressive on implement HD audio features than nvidia, and with nvidia seeming to be changing focus on enterprise GPU computing away from gaming, I shudder to think what that means for HTPC use.

It seems right now the choice is between ATI (and 2nd tier HTPC optimization), and Intel which has 3D performance that blows chunks and a track record for flaky GPU acceleration.
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