[plug] [OT] Purchasing "Nettops" in Australia

James Bromberger james at rcpt.to
Fri Oct 8 11:38:15 WST 2010

 On 08/10/2010 10:24, Michael Holland wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 8, 2010 at 10:05 AM, Tim <weirdit at gmail.com
> <mailto:weirdit at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     I'm trying to locate places in Australia that sell Nettops for turning
>     into a media centre at a decent price.
>     In particular, nettops like the Acer Revo. I plan on setting up a
>     small computer for my inlaws to use as a media centre, running XBMC.
>     Ideally, it would have traditional TV out (Analog) as well as
>     HDMI(DVI) out. And of course, it'll need a decent GPU and CPU for
>     running a media centre. 

> Staticice show no local ones, but a few in NSW.  With the A$ high, I'd
> be tempted to use Amazon.
> Have you considered using a netbook hidden behind the TV?

I have had a Revo for about 2 years - since the original Atom 230,
single core, hyperthread ones came out. Its a lovely little box; didn't
come with the promised 8 or 16 GB SSD but a 160 GB HDD, so I splashed
out on a 1.5 T USB disk a while back, and am now contemplating an extra
2TB of eSATA for a bit more space I/O speed. Its using the NVidia ION
chipset, and with processing of video offloaded to this chip-set, it
works a treat. Indeed, this mini system is my primary development system
these days; yes, it is running MythTV with HDMI to my telly, but it is also:

* Backing up my laptop with BackupPC
* Serving file&print content with Samba
* Serving media with DLNA (Mediatomb)
* Serving Songs to iTunes, etc, with Firefly/MT-DAAP
* My IPv6 router and tunnel end point
* DNS server for my home network (as most DSL routers do not return IPv6
* For a while, it was also my home print server with Cups
* For a short time, an Urban Terror game server... :)

And all this without any issues. And for those who know me, you'll
understand its running Debian. But, for the video performance, it is
running the NVidia closed drivers. I don't have a blu-ray on it, and am
not sure about the throughput there - perhaps a blu-ray would have to be
on the one and only eSATA port?

VGA instead of HDMI - then youhave to play with additional cabling for
audio. Bah humbug! :) One cable to rule them all.  HDMI can handle
surround, but getting the mappings correct from ALSA to whatever AV
receiver you have can take some play with - it seems that while channels
1 & 2 for left and right stereo is pretty standard, the rest of the 3-8
channels (for 7.1) is NOT standard, so Sony may have the sub on channel
3, or the centre on 3 and the sub on 4 or 5, etc....

But anyway, the bigger news is the new Revo 3700 (SKU AR3700-U3002 with
Win7 Home Premium) that came out last week, sporting the new dual-core
Atom D520 proc, and ION-2 chip-set, gig Ethernet (whereas the older ones
were 100 MB), and 802.11n:


Like the older ones, it too can be VESA mounted behind your TV.

The worse thing for this product is the clear lack of interest from Acer
to retail this device effectively. Their web site is almost completely
devoid of any product information. But its a dream to use. I've blogged
about it several times. It seems that, while the original Atom 230 model
had a Linux option (ie, no Win tax), this seems to not be the case
(yet??) that I have seen with this new model. I'd love to have  a
bare-bones version, that doesn't even ship with OS, a keyboard or mouse;
just the box and power supply.

One other tip for using HDMI: many (most?) TVs do "overscan", which
hopefully in a menu buried deep within your TV you can turn off.
Overscan discards the edge "n" pixels (5 - 15) and stretches the
resultant image back to FS.

I'd agree about buying overseas. In the US the price for the new unit is
around $300 - $400, I saw a price here in Aus for $600.

Happy to discuss this unit with anyone. See you all Tuesday evening @

PS: Yes, back from London after 8 years. No, not taking on another LCA
at the moment! :)

*James Bromberger*
Aus Mobile: +61 422 166 708
Email: james /_AT_/ rcpt.to, Web: www.james.rcpt.to
MSN: james/_AT_/rcpt.to, AIM: JamesEBromberger, Skype: james.bromberger
(/_AT_/ -> @)
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