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HTPC hardware selection, need help

Last response: in Home Theatre
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September 23, 2011 2:55:18 PM

Hi

I decided to make me a HTPC, and went with an ASUS AT5IONT-I DELUXE, Atom D525 main board, with 2x2GB DDR3 ram, Win 7, 64 GB SSD hardrive. I put it all together and found it inadequate to play 1080p content. Tried all codec`s, all players, all drivers.
Playing content on the drive or streaming from YouTube, the onboard wlan cashed more than quick enough, the audio was seamless, but the picture was skipping frames like crazy. Just a bit too weak for the job.

So, to the question;
Does anyone know of a mainboard with form factor mini-ITX, with onboard graphics card (in I3 cpu or) with 802.11N wireless onboard and a cpu/ram/drive configuration that runs 1080p content FLAWLESSLY?

Meaning, you have built, tried, tested or witnessed it working flawlessly in playing off 1080p video stream. (files, youtube, Blueray)

Any tips links or posts are appreciated ;) 
September 23, 2011 3:29:37 PM

My Zacate board has handled everything except HD Netflix (Silverlight does not support hardware acceleration at this time). I've never tried 1080p youtube, but I can try it for you when I get home. All other media has worked great including h.264 and VC-1 blu-ray and mkv's.

See the link in my sig for build details.
September 23, 2011 3:55:28 PM

Wow,, your htpc looks realy nice! It is very much like what i had in mind for my htpc build. If you could test some 1080p youtube stream, let me know how it goes!
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September 23, 2011 4:40:27 PM

I'll look into it over the weekend. Is there a particular youtube clip you need tested for comparison? A particular browser to use? Any other file types/codecs you need tested?

With your current setup, are you sure you have hardware acceleration working? Ion should support HA for flash. Before exploring a hardware change, ensure you are using the latest flash with HA enabled.

I've changed my ITX HTPC a little since writing up the album in my sig. It now has a crucial M4 64GB drive because I missed having an SSD in my 'big' HTPC. Also, note that I swapped out the wireless chip in order to get 5GHz band WiFi-n... though I ended up using LAN in the end because I switch IP's and now my router is close to the ITX HTPC. There are no boards that come with 5GHz WiFi-n unfortunately, only 2.4GHz is available.
September 23, 2011 5:42:12 PM

Yeah i looked at jennifer lopes - on the floor, it`s an ok vid couse there is a lot going on in it. I ran full hd on my 42" lcd tv - hdmi, mosilla firefoxbrowser. I tryed several things. I let it cash in the full vid at 1080p (not running full screen) before i pressed play. I checkd the task manager, the cpu were at 4% load, then i started the vid, and it went up to between 20 and 80% load depending on were i had the harware accelleration bar in the Nvidia control panel. I can almoast play it of with out freeze if not in full screen, with max hardware acceleration. In full screen it`s no good no matter the acceleration.
September 23, 2011 5:44:57 PM

I have flash WIN 10,3,181,16
September 26, 2011 4:28:48 PM

Here are my Zacate results while playing that Jennifer Lopez video on YouTube @ 1080p..

Software decoding:



Hardware decoding:



As you can see, software decoding had hundreds of dropped frames and was choppy. CPU was pegged near 100%. With hardware decoding, I had zero dropped frames and CPU was around 40-60%. Playback was good.

There was some screwy stuff I observed though. When I was playing around with the flash settings, sometimes it would be doing software decoding even though I had "Use Hardware Acceleration" checked. Definitely right-click on your YouTube video and choose "Show Video Info" and see if "accelerated video decoding" is showing in the info screen. See my pics above.
September 26, 2011 8:57:26 PM

:na:  Spot on! The flash player was the problem. I could not get the flash player to keep both the decoding and the rendering at accelerated at the same time. I tried this and that, and all of a sudden I got one 1080p clip to play off with both on. And walla!! It played off flawlessly,, 30fps no frame loss, cpu at 12% load!! So I downloaded flash 11 beta for 64bit players and set the Nvidia console to «Let the 3d program determine the settings". It plays off all 1080p clips with both decoding and rendering accelerated every time,, works great! So I got my hopes up for this mother board again. I had another go at trying to get my media portal to stream a 1080p 20Gb .mkv file I got on a drive on my desktop pc. I downloaded a codec suit, and made sure that hardware acceleration was on. And it too played off great! With English sound and subtitles @ 30fps,, sweet! I take back that I said about this board being weak :D  It does just the job I wanted it to do,, being a HTPC. You just saved me both a bit of trouble and a bit of cash,, thank you rwpritchett!
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