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

W.Kenworthy billk at iinet.net.au
Fri Oct 8 11:57:22 WST 2010

On Fri, 2010-10-08 at 11:37 +0800, James Bromberger wrote:
> On 08/10/2010 10:24, Michael Holland wrote: 
> > On Fri, Oct 8, 2010 at 10:05 AM, Tim <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 addresses)
> * 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:
> http://www.engadget.com/2010/09/08/acer-introduces-atom-d525-equipped-aspire-revo-3700-your-den-sw/
> http://news.ecoustics.com/bbs/messages/10381/654732.html
> http://www.techhail.com/gadgets/acer-aspirerevo-ar3700-nettop/8247
> 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 @
> Futuresphere.
>   JEB
> 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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I am using one of these as a myth frontend


The advantages are the box is almost a mesh so ventilation is very good
meaning you can get by with a quiet, slow fan, or none at all according
to some users.  You can get a VESA mount for it to attach to the back of
a standard TV. 

I am running gentoo on it as a diskless PXE system for mythtv using the
HDMI to an LCD TV.  Works perfectly well with standard definition, but
not quite fast enough for some of the higher rate hi def shows - this is
apparently a limitation of the dual atom chipsets and may be worse with
the latest ones due to design decisions forced by Intel sueing nvidia
over the type of bus used from what I have read.


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