With VIA claiming these boards can playback HD content I thought it would be fun to try it out and see how each platform does using 720P and 1080P video content. I used Microsoft’s WMV HD Content Showcase and grabbed the 720p and 1080p versions of the Coral Reef Adventure (IMAX) clip that can be seen above. Both the VIA Nano and Intel Atom systems would play the 720p video, but small stutters were observed from time to time with the Intel Atom system missing more frames. When it came to the 1080p version of the clip neither of the systems could play it at all. I gave our Microsoft XBox 360 HD-DVD player a shot along with our LG Blu-Ray player and neither were able to play 1080P content with the players. When I recently visited Centuar Technologies they showed me a demo with HD video being played, but it was on a 2GHz VIA Nano processor, so 1.8GHz just doesn’t cut it.
Looks like the marketing slide below didn’t hold true from what I was seeing. I wouldn’t call any 1080P playback ‘smooth’ on either system.