On the outside, it would be easy to mistake the F88 clamshell netbook with Asus' Eee PC 1002HA, but appearance is about all the two have in common. Unlike the 1002HA, the F88 packs a VIA Nano processor (1.6GHz, 800MHz frontside bus) with S3's Chrome graphics and boasts 1080P playback on its 10.1-inch LED display.
Further distancing itself from the netbook-norm, the F88 comes configurable with up to 4GB of DDR2-667 memory and up to 500GB of hard drive storage. Not bad for a market used to seeing 1GB of memory and 160GB hard drives.
Other specs include WiFi, Bluetooth, a 1.3MP webcam, HD audio, multi-card reader, three USB ports, HDMI output, and a 6-cell battery.
There's a good chance the F88 will appear in rebadged form, though in the meantime, no word on price or availability.
Just this week Renesas Technology Corp. announced their SH7370, a SH-Mobile HD1 application processor for mobile phones. The tiny processor is the first to support full 1080p (1920 x 1080) video playback and recording potential, and can support H.264/MPEG-4 video compression at 30 frames per second.
This processor also has two 24-bit dedicated audio digital signal processors that help lower the CPU’s load, while lowering power consumption. This allows for audio to stream at up to 5.1-channel Dolby Digital quality.
The whole thing is currently shipping with 512Mbits of synchronous DRAM, integrated onto a single package. Said package measures in at a compact, 10nm x 11mm.
Recently Via announced their VX855 Media System Processor that allows their Nano, C7 and Eden processors to support 1080p video. This entertains the possibility that Via will provide a more attractive option an Intel and Nvidia when it comes to platforms to base a netbook off of.
The VX855 is designed for mobile PCs and comes with an HD video processor that gives smooth, hardware accelerated playback of high definition videos encoded in H.264, MPEG2/4, DivX and WMV9.
“For the first time, system developers have an ultra low power media system processor that delivers high bit-rate HD video to small form factor and mobile devices,” said Via’s VP of Marketing, Richard Brown. “The VIA VX855 opens up exciting opportunities for several PC segments, particularly the mini-notebook category that will now be able to offer true 1080p HD video playback.”
No solid information as to when we can expect to see this powerful little chip make its way into netbooks and nettops alike, but if its as good as they say, we should see it making a splash relatively soon.
I purchased a 37-inch Westinghouse LVM-37W3SE LCD 1080p HDTV monitor in June 2007. A few months later, I found out that this particular model has faulty firmware that prevents it from working properly with many devices. For example, the Nvidia driver recognizes it as a different model Westinghouse 1080i monitor and refuses to set it in 1080p mode. I contacted customer support and received permission to return it. The monitor was returned in November, and it was received by Westinghouse two days later. I hadn’t heard anything from them until about a month ago, when I finally made a call to find out about the RMA status. (I’ve been out of the country on a business trip.)
I was promised a follow-up by several people, but no one would commit to when the monitor would be sent. They basically asked me to wait until I received my product. It has now been more than seven months, and I believe I have waited long enough! Thank God my trusty 15-inch LCD is still working fine.
DISH network became the first satellite provider to offer video in a full 1080p or 1920x 1080 progressive resolution on August 1st. The first movie they are offering in 1080p is I Am Legend on their Video On Demand service. DISH will use 1080p in place of 1080i or 720p whenever the content is available. The upgrade in resolution won’t be available for everyone. It will however, be available at no additional cost for any subscriber who has an HD DVR.
DISH will also greatly expand the number of HD channels that it can carry to 150 by this fall.
With cable and satellite companies to begin offering content in the higher resolution 1080p format closes the distance between TV and physical media such as Blu-ray and leaves the competition from download services like Apple TV and Xbox 360 movie rentals out in the cold.
It remains to be seen just how high a resolution do we need to be able to enjoy our movies or TV in. Is 720p really so bad? Many people just cannot see any reason to throw out their old DVD player and movie collection in favor of the slightly sharper picture available on Blu-Ray. The slow adoption of Blu-ray reflects this trend. For truly wide spread adoption to take place rapidly, we will need to see Blu-ray undercut DVD prices across the board. VOD and download services moving to 1080p may only hinder Blu-ray’s already sluggish adoption rate.
Have you already jumped over to 1080p or plan to soon? Sound off and tell us what convinced you to make the switch.
Chances are you own at least one high tech, handheld gadget, whether it be an iPod, iPhone, PSP, or other device capable of playing back movies. It's also a safe bet to say you probably don't look forward to transcoding your favorite flicks into a compatible format, particularly when dealing with HD content. That's what makes CyberLink's achievement so noteworthy.
It’s easy to be seduced by Alienware’s m15x notebook. From its handsome silver-gray case to its cool-yet-tasteful LED accents to its comfortable lap weight of less than eight pounds, this 15.4-inch machine had us at hello. Of course, only excellent performance would keep us interested.
We like Netgear’s EVA8000—a lot. Its industrial design fits in with the rest of our AV gear, its user interface is as elegant and polished as it is easy to use, it supports resolutions up to 1080p with an HDMI port, and that’s just the beginning. But if you buy one, make sure it has the latest firmware update before you do anything else. We couldn’t configure our review unit at all until we updated the software. With that housekeeping accomplished, we were on our way to streaming bliss. Although the EVA8000 has dual antennas, it’s still limited to 802.11g speeds and cannot reliably stream high-definition video content without a wire, but it delivered excellent image and audio quality.