July 27, 2009 at 12:45 pm
Trying to get high-definition video content playback is a no-go for most netbooks out there. Even the latest Intel GMA500 graphics included in the Poulsbo chipset has poor driver support, which means you’ll have to wait for ION-based netbooks to get some real HD goodness. However, Broadcom has an alternative with its Crystal HD Media Accelerator.
This PCI-E card enables “flawless playback of all internet steaming video” according to the company, along with support of 720p and 1080p (H.264) video content. It is currently included as an option with the HP Mini 110, although it hasn’t appeared on other netbooks thus far. Not wanting to wait, Terracode decided to mod their Acer Aspire One with the HD accelerator (BCM70012).
The difference that the card makes to HD video content is demonstrated in two videos below. Both have been outputted to an external monitor, after all, what use is HD video on a 1024 x 600 netbook display. The first video is made prior to the mod and you can see a slideshow of a video, full of stuttering and dropped frames. The second includes the Broadcom mod and highlights the difference made, with smooth video playback. Check out both videos below.
Without HD Media Accelerator
With HD Media Accelerator