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Old Jan 29, 2013, 03:03 PM   #1
carbonmotion
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NEED YOUR HELP: Building XMBC box Using Netbook

I'm looking to buy a new or used netbook to use as: (1) a XMBC box for my flat screen TV and (2) a cheap netbook that I can occasional take on business trips around the world (Mostly Access and Visual Studio stuff).

Here are my requirements

(1) can be new or used
(2) the cheaper the better (less than $200 or even $150)
(3) HDMI out port
(4) can play 1080p video
(5) run windows (MS Project, Access, and Visual Studio)

The only candidate I've looked at so far is a used HP Mini 311 w/ the Nvidia Ion GPU and a HDMI out port.

Can you guys suggest some other options?
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 06:38 PM   #2
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Have you looked into getting a mini Android PC? Android now has XMBC.

This is like what I'm referring to:

http://www.amazon.com/OEM-SYSTEMS-CO.../dp/B008H3B736

Then, you can get a Chromebook for all your other needs, or even a used, older netbook that's cheaper.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 06:53 PM   #3
Signal-11
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Don't bother with the HP Mini 311. It'll choke on anything but the lowest bitrate encoded 1080p video. And you'd better hope that there's not a lot of motion, either, otherwise you'll be watching a slideshow.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 10:41 AM   #4
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This post got me thinking and I ended up going wiping my crufty Linux and W7 installs on my HP Mini 311 in favor of clean installs known good configs.

With XBMC at on Crunchbang and Win7, running moderately low bitrate (10 average - 15Mbps peak) 1080p encodings doesn't drop any frames and runs smooth. I haven't tried any higher bitrate BD rips yet, but will let you know. So offhand, Mini 311 doesn't seem as poor a choice as I'd originally thought.
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 11:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Signal-11 View Post
This post got me thinking and I ended up going wiping my crufty Linux and W7 installs on my HP Mini 311 in favor of clean installs known good configs.

With XBMC at on Crunchbang and Win7, running moderately low bitrate (10 average - 15Mbps peak) 1080p encodings doesn't drop any frames and runs smooth. I haven't tried any higher bitrate BD rips yet, but will let you know. So offhand, Mini 311 doesn't seem as poor a choice as I'd originally thought.
good sign, thanks!
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 02:36 AM   #6
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good sign, thanks!
Screwed around with it night and with ripped BDRay mkvs averaging 10-15 mbps with 30-35 Mbps peaks (11 gigabytes for a feature length movie) ran fine.
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 07:24 AM   #7
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Raspberry Pi works quite nicely. I have one hooked to my tv, and it reads pretty much everything
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 03:56 PM   #8
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thanks all! this is good info
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