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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since the Intel Compute Stick is up for preorder at various places, could this in fact be the 'One Stick/One box to rule them all?'

Since it's a full installation of Windows, it could potentially run everything needed for an all-in-one HTPC. Add in the right software and you have your own PVR, install XMBC or something similar + NAS or external hard drive and you now have every movie you ripped at your fingertips, and you can add in the Netflix Metro app for extra movie/TV shows.

That's assuming that Netflix can run on an Atom processor, and that the hardware/software on the stick can output HD audio.

So, what do you guys think? Intel Compute Stick could be the One Stick to Rule Them All and be the killer of the media center boxes like Popcorn hour/Dune/Med8er, even Chromecast/Chromebit/Amazon Fire Stick?
 

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For perspective, I'm able to play Blu-Ray ISO's, flawlessly, on a
 

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Netflix plays fine on atom until you allowHD. The Netflix/silverlight PC combo is STILL a ravenous monster even all these years and complaints later. I'm pretty sure the optimization team has been on a decade long vacation.
That said, I've (running on desktop) paused and walked up to the screen several times with and without allowHD and honestly can't see a difference in detail or anything else..after the initial buffer phase of blegh is over anyway.

Some of the really RAM starved atoms (1gig or less) have trouble outputting a 1080p resolution to the monitor, but the 2gig or more versions run it fine.

Edit: I should've clarified, I'm talking about the baytrail quad-core single-threaded..sorry about any confusion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Netflix plays fine on atom until you allowHD.
No HD Netflix on Atom processors? If that's the case, then the Intel Compute Stick is useless.

I have a very high bar in terms of requirements. No HD on a stick from 2015 when a PS3 from 2010 can handle it fine.

For perspective, I'm able to play Blu-Ray ISO's, flawlessly, on a
 

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I have yet to see any HTPC rule them all, and that is without any of the processing power/expandibility limitations this stick has. With that in mind, I doubt it will conqueror where others have failed.
 

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No HD Netflix on Atom processors? If that's the case, then the Intel Compute Stick is useless.

I have a very high bar in terms of requirements. No HD on a stick from 2015 when a PS3 from 2010 can handle it fine.
You can't really compare it to a gaming console that originally costed over twice as much, is many times bigger, and infinitely noisier.
Since this is the htpc forum I suggest you build or buy an itx celeron or pentium based rig (I3 if you need 3d).

If I'm going to be watching blu-rays, I need a 40+ inch TV. A tablet of any size just doesn't cut it. Plus, I need the surround sound. Like I said above, I have a high bar for watching media.
That person never implied that you should watch it on a tablet. The point is a 100$ tablet that presumably has similar hardware could play it just fine. Also most tablets can be connected to an external display (surround may or may not be supported).
 

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Netflix plays fine on atom until you allowHD.
Atom is a brand. Celeron and Pentium too. What's being called "Atom" now has no relation to past Atom processors. You can't assume that because it's didn't work on the previous generation Cherry Trail that it doesn't work on the completely new architecture Bay Trail processors.

Silverlight / Netflix HD has been working on Intel embedded processors since the C847 which needed about 85-90% CPU to do it. The C1007U/C1037U when I tested them it was more like 60%. Having tested it on the J1900 I didn't even both to look at CPU utilization since they're fanless and I still couldn't feel even warmth coming from the machine.

Also, does anyone really think a 55" 1080p display needs a bigger CPU to drive it vs. a 12" 1080p display because it's "bigger"? It's the same resolution...

Ignore brand names and look at the testing/reviews.
 
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Atom is a brand. Celeron and Pentium too. What's being called "Atom" now has no relation to past Atom processors. You can't assume that because it's didn't work on the previous generation Cherry Trail that it doesn't work on the completely new architecture Bay Trail processors.

Silverlight / Netflix HD has been working on Intel embedded processors since the C847 which needed about 85-90% CPU to do it. The C1007U/C1037U when I tested them it was more like 60%. Having tested it on the J1900 I didn't even both to look at CPU utilization since they're fanless and I still couldn't feel even warmth coming from the machine.
In fairness to the C847 and C1007U/C1037U, they're based on Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge architecture. As far as I'm aware, they have better IPCPC compared to the Bay Trail. Mind, Bay Trail wins on the power consumption front.

Also, does anyone really think a 55" 1080p display needs a bigger CPU to drive it vs. a 12" 1080p display because it's "bigger"? It's the same resolution...
No but the performance requirement for a 7-8" 720p tablet is bound to be lower. Granted, as far as decoding goes the load should be the same. The processing power required to decode a 1080p video stream should be the same regardless of output display resolution. :p
 

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The point was that because Atom, Celeron and Pentium are brands, not architectures/etc., you can't assume what didn't work on something called Atom 2, 5 or 10 years ago will not work today. There's no way to compare them other than to rely on testing/reviews.

I've tested Netflix HD on a bunch of different embedded processors from "Atom" D2700 (miserable fail), "Celeron" 10x7U (works well enough) and "Celeron" J1900 (no problemo) and others have used it on "Atom" Bay Trail (also no problemo).

Today's Intel embedded processors, at least in my testing, have no problems with Netflix HD in Silverlight. It doesn't matter what Intel brands them.

All that aside, if someone doesn't want to buy something because it's called "Atom" or "Celeron", that's cool by me (it's not my money). My Dad bought a Toyota in 1972 and it was miserable. He still wouldn't buy anything called Toyota today because he's still sure it won't come with a radio and will fall apart in six months.
 

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FWIW, the Windows 8.1 version has a Netflix app and it doesn't use Silverlight so it's likely a moot point. Windows 8.1 w/ Bing doesn't have WMC so it's limited for HTPC'ers that use their HTPCs for Live TV. It almost seems worth getting the Windows version with the better specs and then installing OpenELEC on it, if the BIOS will allow it.

Good bit of testing on similar hardware here. Lots of good information in the comments.

http://www.cnx-software.com/2015/01...el-atom-z3735f-computers-running-windows-8-1/
 

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Ahem..

Compute Stick review from Anandtech.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/9167/intel-compute-stick-review/

Page 4 they have HTPC credentials test. Acceleration for MPEG-2, VC1, WMV9 and H.264.
Looks mighty impressive considering the size of that thing!

With MPC-HC DXVA2 Native + EVR-CP it has issues with deinterlacing 1080i60 streams. Well doh..
Other than that it handles stuff just fine. 1080p60 H264 among them. Of course 4kp30 H264 is out of the question.

Online streaming
GPU load was around 51.56% for the YouTube HTML5 (720p) stream and 4.53% for the steady state 6 Mbps Netflix (Super HD) streaming case. Mozilla Firefox is terribly inefficient in terms of power for YouTube playback. The same test stream, when played back in Internet Explorer, consumed only 3.55 W on an average and had a GPU load of 9.1% for the same H.264 stream.

But anyway. I'm gonna wait for version 2. 1x1 802.11n just doesn't cut it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
From anandtech:

"Note on HD Audio Bitstreaming
As of April 2015, the Intel graphics drivers for Bay Trail-T (32-bit) have support only for bitstreaming of DTS, Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus. This means that Netflix and other similar OTT sites are in the clear. However, users hoping to take advantage of lossless HD audio in Blu-ray backups are going to be disappointed. In any case, streaming of Blu-rays over a 802.11n Wi-Fi network will result in a bad user experience. So, it is possible that the absence of HD audio bitstreaming will not bother too many consumers.


Call me picky, but that completely disqualifies it as an HTPC. No HD audio means zero point in blu-ray playback, which eliminates any reason for it to be used as an HTPC.
 

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From anandtech:

"Note on HD Audio Bitstreaming
As of April 2015, the Intel graphics drivers for Bay Trail-T (32-bit) have support only for bitstreaming of DTS, Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus. This means that Netflix and other similar OTT sites are in the clear. However, users hoping to take advantage of lossless HD audio in Blu-ray backups are going to be disappointed. In any case, streaming of Blu-rays over a 802.11n Wi-Fi network will result in a bad user experience. So, it is possible that the absence of HD audio bitstreaming will not bother too many consumers.


Call me picky, but that completely disqualifies it as an HTPC. No HD audio means zero point in blu-ray playback, which eliminates any reason for it to be used as an HTPC.

Based on he reviews it isn't so hot anyway.
 
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