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Discussion Starter #1
The Broadcom Crystal HD is a hardware video decoder chip thats available in mini PCI-e card format (for example on ebay: search for BroadCom BCM970012) for under 25 dollars. It can do everything a Nvidia card can do with VDPAU, but with much lower power consumption and therefore less heat.
http://www.broadcom.com/products/Con...tions/BCM70012


XBMC has just announced support for it:
http://xbmc.org/davilla/2009/12/29/b...-hd-its-magic/


Myth-TV seem to be looking at it too:
http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/Broadcom_Crystal_HD


The Linux drivers are open source and available:
http://www.broadcom.com/support/crystal_hd/


Flash support in 10.x is there, currently only in Windows (same as for Nvidia cards).


Some Atom boards (including the new Intel D510MO with the Pineview Atom, granted this board lacks DVI/HDMI but there will be others) have mini-PCI-e slots on-board, in my mind I'm beginning to see a 1080p HD Linux HTPC that's as small as a Popcorn Hour A-110, uses less power (less than 20 Watts), completely passively cooled, for under 200 dollars, but is far more powerful and flexible...



Has anyone tried the Broadcom Crystal HD yet?


I have one on order from ebay.
 

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This is should put new life in the atom htpc "movement".


Be nice to see more sellers then one guy on ebay, and one online store.


Wonder if this fits in a revo mini PCI-e slot?


(edit)oh that is a mini pci-e card, cool.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The Broadcom Crystal HD card is definitely not at USB device, it must use the PCIex1 bus of the mini-PCI-e interface as it needs to transfer the raw decoded video stream back to the cpu/gpu after decoding it, that can't happen over USB.
 

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OK, so, I know that most laptops manufactured in the last 3 or 4 years have MiniPCIe slots, but do any desktop boards have them? Also, the ebay ads mention a PCIe adapter (that is apparently not included with the card), is that meant for using the card in a desktop motherboard?


I could probably research this myself, but I'm feeling a bit lazy, so I'm asking you guys.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tux99 /forum/post/17819386


The Broadcom Crystal HD card is definitely not at USB device, it must use the PCIex1 bus of the mini-PCI-e interface as it needs to transfer the raw decoded video stream back to the cpu/gpu after decoding it, that can't happen over USB.

Yes, I sort of figured that this is the case. I only mentioned it because the second miniPCIe slot on some netbooks is set up as a USB slot.
 

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Discussion Starter #7

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil L /forum/post/17819559


OK, so, I know that most laptops manufactured in the last 3 or 4 years have MiniPCIe slots, but do any desktop boards have them?

There are some boards that have mini-PCIe slots, mostly Atom boards, also the AppleTV and the Apple Mac Mini and other small form factor PCs.

One of the new Intel Pineview Atom boards has a mini-PCIe slot too, see my overview of all Pineview Atom based motherboards .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil L /forum/post/17819559


Also, the ebay ads mention a PCIe adapter (that is apparently now included with the card), is that meant for using the card in a desktop motherboard?

I don't see any mention of any included PCIe adapter, but there are mini-PCIe to PCIe-x1 adapters available separately. Also Broadcom has mentioned they will release a PCIe-x1 version for desktops, too.
 

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I was reading a review about this board at AnandTech . I found something in the comments section referring to Adobe Flash being able to use this to display H.264 flash content. Since many in this forum are interested in flash playback, this may interest some.


In the Flashplayer 10 release notes , it says this.
Quote:
Broadcom

Hardware video decoding of H.264 content in Flash Player 10.1 is supported on the Broadcom BCM70012 video decoding chipset, found in systems with Broadcom Crystal HD Enhanced Video Accelerator hardware. Driver support is available at www.broadcom.com/support .

This may only be for Windows, though. It also says that support for the newer BCM70015 is NOT included.
Quote:
H.264 video hardware decoding:

Support for the Broadcom BCM70015 (FLEA) hardware decoder support is not yet enabled.
 

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Is there an open slot for this in a Aspire Revo? And if so, how do you open a Revo to get to it?


Edit: According to Newegg the Revo does have an open slot for this card!
 

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Discussion Starter #14

Quote:
Originally Posted by waterhead /forum/post/17820549


I see Broadcom has a newer version of this, the BCM70015.

http://www.broadcom.com/products/fea...crystal_hd.php
http://www.broadcom.com/products/Con...tions/BCM70015

Yes, the newer version was just recently announced, it adds divx, xvid and AVS (some chinese codec) support. I don't think it's actually available to buy yet, I wasn't able to locate it.

The BCM70012 off ebay is so cheap that I ordered it anyway, h.264, VC1 and mpeg2 is all I need anyway.
 

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I just got this working in my appletv under linux and it's very powerful. I am watching 1080P video and there is no stutter or frame drop at all. Before the appletv could not even remotely play these files. Very nice way for HD video to get into netbooks as well. Cheep upgrade for an AppleTV to HD instead of getting a Mac Mini. I paid just a little over $20.00 on ebay.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Here is a blog of someone who has built a HTPC with the Broadcom card and using a n Intel Atom D945GSEJT board (which uses the mobile Atom and chipset, therefore draws very little power), he's using Windoze but now that the Linux drivers are out and XBMC has support for the Broadcom, it should work as well with Linux:

http://d945gsejthtpc.blogspot.com/
 

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as you maybe know - the graphic videocards can't output corrected interlaced signal. That's why there's the very ineresting question - what about of deinterlace and upscaling for Crystal HD ?


how is it possible to do 1080i ----> 1080p and 576 ---> 1080 ?

Can Crystal HD to do it ?
 

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Discussion Starter #18

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goga777 /forum/post/17833042


as you maybe know - the graphic videocards can't output corrected interlaced signal. That's why there's the very ineresting question - what about of deinterlace and upscaling for Crystal HD ?


how is it possible to do 1080i ----> 1080p and 576 ---> 1080 ?

Can Crystal HD to do it ?

I don't have the card yet, so cannot speak from experience, but I would expect that it certainly does the deinterlacing, but maybe also the upscaling (in any case upscaling is something any graphics card and/or cpu can do with ease).
 

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I couldn't find in Broadcom specification any mention about of deinterlacing options. I suspect that Crystal HD will not be able do any de-interlacing work. If it's true - it's very pity
 

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I've been looking at this - and the guys in working on Linux MythTV development have discussed that the driver code for the Broadcom Crystal HD module has both decoding and de-interlacing stuff - so it looks hopeful.


No idea of the algorithms used though.


Hope they're right - I'd be very interested if 1080/50i and 576/50i de-interlacing is popular in hardware to 1080/50p at a decent quality. (De-interlacing of native interlaced content has historically been a problem with XBMC, but MythTV does a grand job in my experience)
 
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