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Recently announced was this new barebones PC from Zotac - a competant HTPC in my opinion. It features an Intel Atom D510 dual-core and Nvidia GT 210 graphics. For more, Google the product and check it out.

Anyways,


I'm looking at one of these for my set-up and I'm looking for an experienced user's opinion.


My plan is to have one of these plugged into a receiver and an Epson 9500UB projector with a 100" black diamond screen. I would most likely install Win 7 or XBMC (or a combination of the two). My media (music, DVDs and Blu-Rays) would be stored elsewhere and would stream to the device. I was wondering if it could also be used in conjunction with an HDHomerun box to stream HD television from elsewhere on the network. If I were to plug the HDHR into my Comcast set-top box and router, would I receive all Comcast channels on the Zotac wirelessly? Only the unencrypted ones? CableCards? Can I send the tv from the HDHR without plugging it into my router? Thanks ahead of time. I'm not interested in watching only OTA or unencrypted channels (I'm paying for Comcast, I want all the channels in my home theater.) was wondering if plugging the HDHR into the Comcast set-top box would solve this issue. Peace.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hgiklmpn /forum/post/18274140


Recently announced was this new barebones PC from Zotac - a competant HTPC in my opinion. It features an Intel Atom D510 dual-core and Nvidia GT 210 graphics. For more, Google the product and check it out.

Anyways,


I'm looking at one of these for my set-up and I'm looking for an experienced user's opinion.


My plan is to have one of these plugged into a receiver and an Epson 9500UB projector with a 100" black diamond screen. I would most likely install Win 7 or XBMC (or a combination of the two). My media (music, DVDs and Blu-Rays) would be stored elsewhere and would stream to the device. I was wondering if it could also be used in conjunction with an HDHomerun box to stream HD television from elsewhere on the network. If I were to plug the HDHR into my Comcast set-top box and router, would I receive all Comcast channels on the Zotac wirelessly? Only the unencrypted ones? CableCards? Can I send the tv from the HDHR without plugging it into my router? Thanks ahead of time. I'm not interested in watching only OTA or unencrypted channels (I'm paying for Comcast, I want all the channels in my home theater.) was wondering if plugging the HDHR into the Comcast set-top box would solve this issue. Peace.

I am running an a dual core atom with ion graphics. asus board running hardwired ethernet. I have a HDHR plugged into a Comcast cable jack with an ethernet cable from the HDHR to the router. I am only getting the local channels in Win 7 Media Center, I have not spent anytime to see if I could get more. I can assure you if it is encrypted you will not see it. There is a cablecard based HDHomeRun announced to begin shipping in the near future. For all I know it is already shipping. I am a little surprised about the claims of full screen flash. I have my atom overclocked and the 10.1 flash beta. I can not get it run full screen without halting and dropping frames. Also you will need to do some tweaking to get the picture quality up to par. I am happy with my Atom/Ion based box,but I was mostly driven to save energy. Maybe this Zotac box with the newer chipsets has been optimized a little. My personal opinion if you are going to run things at 100 inches, you want the best source quality you can get. I suggest a Tivo Premiere XL, a top notch BD player and maybe something like a Radiance XS or XE video processor. The HTPC will require a lot of futzing and in the end just doesn't quite perform on the same level as top notch CE devices like the Tivo's.


Plus with the PC you are always one driver or firmware release away from really working right, or crashing the whole thing and starting over.
 

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I for one am really excited about this product. Although there are early reports that the ION2 platform doesn't perform noticeably better than the original ION platform, there is a slightly better energy efficiency and in any case I would be getting the latest-generation chipset.


I was originally holding out for the Boxee Box, but not only have they delayed that D-Link partnership roll-out unreasonably (must be trouble in development), I am beginning to realize that you just can't beat the dynamic upgradability of an actual Windows HTPC. There are lots of ways that the upgradability of the Boxee Box could just reach a dead end, and there goes that investment down the tubes.


I plan to simply use this to run Beyond TV Link, Boxee, Hulu Desktop and Windows Media Center. Nothing more. This will be perfect. Can't wait! (And apparently it's overdue, as it was supposed to reach the market in March.)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuan /forum/post/18570820


The ZBOX HD-ID11 should hit US shores within the next two weeks....stay tuned...

Which online retailers should we keep our eyes on? No pre-ordering?
 

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Sneak-peek from Hot Hardware: http://hothardware.com/News/Zotac-Ne...ox-Sneak-Peek/


512mb DDR3 video ram onboard is interesting. Maybe not having to use shared video memory is what gives this the extra edge needed to get fullscreen HD flash running? I wouldn't have thought memory was the bottleneck, but whatever it is, these guys seem pretty insistent that it works. I will definitely be checking out the full review.

 

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This sounds rather worrying:

http://www.zotacusa.com/forum/topic/...ss-n-is-awful/


I should like to hope that it will be painless to buy an external USB wireless adapter so that I can bring the capabilities up to snuff. On top of that, the specs fail to specify whether it has dual-band Wireless-N capability, and I need 5 GHz for interference-free HD streaming. I seriously doubt it, though -- another reason I'm forced anyway to buy an external wireless adapter.
 

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It would have been nice if the wireless card was a standard mini-PCIe board that could be swapped out, but I don't see it in the internal shot. I don't see anything that looks like wifi hardware, so maybe it's on the bottom? I don't see an antenna either. Maybe the problem is simply a crappy internal antenna on the underside of the board. If so, it's an idiotic design choice that just might ruin an otherwise interesting option for a lot of people.


According to comments on some other forums, this appears to be available in Europe already for ~$290. It's pricey for a nettop, but I still think it's the cheapest device that can do HD flash, if it can do HD flash.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by candre23 /forum/post/18583562


According to comments on some other forums, this appears to be available in Europe already for ~$290. It's pricey for a nettop, but I still think it's the cheapest device that can do HD flash, if it can do HD flash.

Zotac had better not jack up the price again (announced at $209, increased to $239 mid-development) merely by gauging interest. That will make a lot of people angry, or at least will make Zotac look bad. It is a barebones PC, after all.
 

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At $240, you can get a complete machine (minus OS) for just about $300. That's assuming you're willing to settle for 1GB of RAM and an 80GB HDD, which should be fine for HTPC purposes, considering it has 512MB video RAM built in. That's not terrible, but it's not excellent either. It's a lot farther from excellent if you also have to figure in the cost of a replacement wifi dongle.
 

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No new info here, but it is at least nice to see they built this with XBMC-live in mind. Is it too much to hope that this means it will work with live out-of-the-box with none of the futzing about needed with the Asus nettops? Also, if they had HTPC functionality in mind, why no IR receiver? Would the extra 10 cents really have broke the parts budget?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_FFK5xU3KM


It's also interesting that they don't mention wifi capability at all. If it is really as bad as some early users are claiming, perhaps Zotac is just going to cut their losses and not advertise it as even having wifi, to avoid the flood of returns when people see how bad it is.
 

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The onboard WiFi is on a mini-PCIe card on the bottom side of the PCB. However, you risk voiding your warranty by removing the PCB from the system.


All ZBOX mini-PCs have a newer antenna setup to enhance range.
 

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In-depth review from Anandtech: http://anandtech.com/show/3702/zotac...se-than-ion1/1


Pretty much as I feared/expected. Performance is mostly better than older ION nettops, but not by much. HD flash still doesn't work. Nvidia claims they'll have an update to fix that next month, but we've all heard that before. XBMC live still requires futzing around with manual driver updates to get sound working. Higher-power ATOM + higher power GPU means that the fan is noticeably loud when the system is under load. If it had an IR or RF receiver and shipped with a boxy-box style qwerty remote, or if it could do HD audio bitstreaming, these problems might be worth dealing with. But since it doesn't, it looks like the zbox is just another near-miss. Looks like they're available from Newegg now for $230, but with all the same old problems, why bother?


You have to wonder why manufacturers keep going through all this effort to make new nettops that still have so many dealbreaking flaws. Either do it right, or don't waste your time.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by candre23 /forum/post/18600243


Looks like they're available from Newegg now for $230, but with all the same old problems, why bother?

So you made that up, right? It's not at Newegg.
 
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