Legit Mods and Ends Reviews
ASRock ION 330HT-BD 1080P Blu-Ray HTPC System Review
|Date:||Thu, May 27, 2010 - 12:00 AM|
|Written By:||Brian Wallace -|
HD content playback
Arguably the most important things we'll look at in this review are just how well it handles media playback, this being a dedicated HTPC and all. To try out HD playback we connected the ASRock ION 330HT-DB HTPC to out 1080P HDTV through the HDMI connector to see how it would perform.
The ASRock ION 330HT-BD has great playback of Blu-ray 1080p content with average CPU use of 25%. No dropped frames or out of sync audio. Our reference material was AVATAR on Blu-ray which is encoded at MPEG-4 AVC. Playback was handled by Total Media Theater 3 with the latest update specifically for AVATAR. TMT3 supports GPU hardware acceleration for playback on the ION system.
Hulu content is arguably the hardest thing for a HTPC to playback since it is Flash based. With the recent 10.1 update to Flash we get hardware assisted decoding with certain GPU's. Luckily the NVIDIA ION chipset is equipped with a GPU that can do hardware assisted decoding.
Our ION 300HT-BD struggled just a little bit playing back the series finale of Lost "The End" in full screen 1080 resolution. While CPU usage is not horrible at 75%, playback is a little bit choppy. It is watchable but is not as fluid as a more powerful system. It is still far better than the previous versions of Flash where playback of this same content was not acceptable. Our hope is that subsequent releases of Flash player will improve the performance of our system for Hulu content.
Next Page - ASRock ION 330HT-BD Conclusion
Page 1 - ASRock ION 330HT-BD HTPC
Page 2 - Inside the system and bundle
Page 3 - System performance and Power Consumption
Page 4 - HD content playback
Page 5 - ASRock ION 330HT-BD Conclusion