bit-tech.net

Habey has Atom box playing true HD

Habey has Atom box playing true HD

The BIS-6550HD from Habey uses a dedicated video decoder chip to give the 1.6GHz Atom a helping hand in the 1080p playback department.

Although the GN40 might have turned out to be a bit of a let down in the HD playback department, all is not lost for the low-power Atom chip – PC maker Habey has announced a miniature media centre PC based around the 1.6GHz Atom N270 which is fully capable of playing 1080p video.

As reported over on Electronista, the BIS-6550HD is built around the same 1.6GHz Atom low-power process you find in your average netbook, but has an additional hardware video decoder chip which is capable of offloading AVC, VC-1, and MPEG-2 playback – enabling even full HD videos to play back smoothly without upping the power requirements too much.

Indeed, the entire thrust of the miniature system is low power: the total power draw is estimated at under 13W even at maximum load, which is a significant saving over traditional media centre PCs. The Habey solution to HD playback even beats the Nvidia Ion platform, which draws almost twice as much power under load.

Habey claims that the onboard HD playback chip is so efficient, 1080p H.264 videos use less than 15 percent of the CPU's available horsepower during playback – with WMV-HD files requiring even less. Unlike the Intel's GN40, Blu-ray playback is supported as standard – as is H.264 and VC-1 video at bitrates of up to 40Mb/s, and MPEG-2 at up to 125Mb/s.

As for connectivity, the fanless box – which has the option of supporting two SATA SSD drives or mechanical drives – has everything you would want from a media centre box: VGA, HDMI 1.3 with HDCP support, composite and S-video, and four USB 2.0 ports. A gigabit Ethernet port hooks the device up to your network, unless you'd like to shell out the extra on the optional WiFi adapter.

Sadly, while Habey has been keen to demonstrate their commitment to true HD playback on the Atom platform, the company hasn't been quite so forthcoming with pricing information or a launch date – so if you're hoping for a quiet, HD-ready media centre PC you might just have to hang fire a while longer.

Has Habey spotted a gap in the market here and found a use for Atom chips that doesn't involve netbooks, or is the company barking up the wrong tree? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

20 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
markwalker84 12th March 2009, 13:47 Quote
surely this is the holy grail of the HTPC world?
Fod 12th March 2009, 13:51 Quote
it's very reliant upon having the GPU do the decoding though, isn't it. this won't work for MKVs and a lot of downloaded stuff.
p3n 12th March 2009, 14:10 Quote
The chip inside the popcorn hour and other NMT's (SMP8635) does all this without the need for a pricey atom PC? :>
Nexxo 12th March 2009, 14:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by markwalker84
surely this is the holy grail of the HTPC world?

It certainly is its future. Me like.
yakyb 12th March 2009, 14:16 Quote
i want to game on my htpc so sadly this does sort my issues also whats teh audio solution on it?
bubsterboo 12th March 2009, 14:29 Quote
And you could do the same with a atom + nvidia 9300/9400 chipset. Damn Intel!

Nvidia has the best hardware acceleration support ATM. With updated software you'll have trouble finding H264 content it won't accelerate.
LAGMonkey 12th March 2009, 14:34 Quote
EDIT::: im an idiot. i didnt read the article properly

i like now ive read things
cjoyce1980 12th March 2009, 15:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bubsterboo
And you could do the same with a atom + nvidia 9300/9400 chipset. Damn Intel!

Nvidia has the best hardware acceleration support ATM. With updated software you'll have trouble finding H264 content it won't accelerate.

look and anandtech review of the the atom with nvidia 9400, you will find that the nvidia 9400 just doesn't cut it and forces the cpu to do most of the work, forcing frames to be dropped, especially with blu-ray

i would like to see some real world test first, but it does sound just like what intel and nvidia have promised and failed to delivery
perplekks45 12th March 2009, 15:15 Quote
I'd like to see this one in action though I'll definitely have to wait for any word on pricing before I can say "I like".
Zider 12th March 2009, 15:18 Quote
IR in the front and guaranteed linux access to the decoder chip and I'd definitely get one. Funny tho, I don't see that gigabit port anywhere on the case..
Fod 12th March 2009, 15:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zider
IR in the front and guaranteed linux access to the decoder chip and I'd definitely get one. Funny tho, I don't see that gigabit port anywhere on the case..

it's on the FRONT. the box is designed for signage applications. the box and board design are, funky, to say the least.
War-Rasta 12th March 2009, 15:41 Quote
Sounds interesting... I'm currently using my original Xbox (which is modded of course :-D) with XBMC for all my media needs but it won't play anything bigger than 720 as the hardware won't handle it without MAJOR skipping. If I can get one of these and load XBMC on it I'd definitely be buying one, unless they turn out to be too expensive of course.
HourBeforeDawn 12th March 2009, 19:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fod
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zider
IR in the front and guaranteed linux access to the decoder chip and I'd definitely get one. Funny tho, I don't see that gigabit port anywhere on the case..

it's on the FRONT. the box is designed for signage applications. the box and board design are, funky, to say the least.

well the way they word it, sounds more like you either have an Ethernet port on the back OR you have a Wi-Fi card, not both.
Fod 12th March 2009, 19:03 Quote
*sigh* people these days, never googling.

http://www.habeyusa.com/EmbeddedBarebone/bis6550/6550_1_Big.jpg

as i said, the board is funky
http://www.habeyusa.com/EmbeddedBarebone/bis6550/6550_3_Big.jpg

it looks like these things aren't going to be sold in huge quantities; judging by the bulgin switch on the front of that they're all handbuilt too!

moar info:
http://www.habeyusa.com/EmbeddedBarebone/bis6550.html
Stonewall78 12th March 2009, 19:31 Quote
Not all Vandal resistant switches are made by Bulgin... Why the heck is the SD slot on the back??
perplekks45 12th March 2009, 19:42 Quote
To keep the clean look. :D
[USRF]Obiwan 12th March 2009, 21:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by p3n
The chip inside the popcorn hour and other NMT's (SMP8635) does all this without the need for a pricey atom PC? :>

Except native BR playback, some ISO playback issues and not playing all MKV containers.

This new toy got potential, XBMC anyone?
I also miss the optical/digital audio output...
Elton 14th March 2009, 06:00 Quote
Still waiting for AMD to come out with something.
Anakha 23rd March 2009, 21:12 Quote
Is it me, or does the image in the article look (badly) photoshopped from a flat image of the front and a generic image of a ITX case? There's no depth to any of the ports, or that antenna...
War-Rasta 24th March 2009, 15:20 Quote
Nope, It's not just you :-/
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums