VIA Unveils Hi-Fi PC

In its technology forum in Taipei, VIA treated visitors with a sneak preview of the upcoming Hi-Fi PC. The device will be a complete multimedia hub, designed as a living room centerpiece, with DVD, CD and VCD playback and will be fully accessible by remote control

The VIA EPIA M-Series Mini-ITX Mainboard is a revolutionary, ultra-compact x86 platform optimized for today's killer digital applications. At just 17cm x 17cm, Mini-ITX is the world's smallest native x86 mainboard platform, and is fully compatible with Microsoft and Linux Operating Systems. Available with an embedded VIA Eden? ESP processor core for fanless systems with ultra low-power requirements, or an embedded VIA C3 E-Series processor for more demanding digital multimedia applications, the EPIA M-Series is the perfect platform for a whole range of small form factor, low-power digital media devices and home entertainment centers.

The EPIA M-Series' VIA Apollo CLE266 chipset features an embedded MPEG-2 decoder for silky smooth DVD playback, and integrated 2D/3D graphics for a rich multimedia experience. With the sizable memory bandwidth of DDR266 SDRAM and the high data transfer speeds of ATA/133, the EPIA M-Series ensures the high performance levels required of today's most popular digital media applications. The user's digital media experience is further enhanced by support for 5.1 surround sound, courtesy of the onboard VIA VT1616 6 Channel AC'97 codec.

The latest in high-bandwidth connectivity is supported with both IEEE 1394 and USB 2.0 connections provided, as well as S-Video and RCA TV-Out (NTSC & PAL) and 10/100 Ethernet for seamless broadband connectivity. The EPIA M-Series also offers support for the latest LVDS embedded LCD panels, has one PCI slot for expandability options, and is compatible with a full range of Mini-ITX chassis as well as FlexATX and MicroATX chassis.

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VIA Unveils Hi-Fi PC

If it's affordable enough, then VIA made a wise choice as consumers will not use it as a replacement for a desktop PC.That would be great to have simply so I could convert downloaded movies to VCD and still be able to use my real computer for everything else during the 12+ hours it takes. But hey, if it's as good as they say and there's no macrovision like the Geforce 4 cards (you can't play DivX movies through the TV-out without a 3rd party crack) then I wouldn't even have to convert movies.If it has TV-In, you could use it like a Tivo, but without a service contract! The ATA/133 would really help with capturing.

VIA Unveils Hi-Fi PC

Well why did they only put one pci slot on it, i can think of alot of different cards that i would add.Might i add whats the deal with this..."With the sizable memory bandwidth of DDR266 SDRAM and..."??sounds like they dont know what the ram is DDR or SD!

VIA Unveils Hi-Fi PC

nice concept hopefully it gets riped off and add a little comp to the market.i dont want any pci but it would be nice if it could have a built in fire wire and a rj45 jack or even a built ni wifi nicthe size allows a set top box that can act as a dvd player, tivo,jutebox, game console and a cdrecorder

VIA Unveils Hi-Fi PC

Make one with a TV in socket and then when dvd ram drives come down in price you have yourself a dvd video recorder. I know they already exist but this one has an ethernet connection so you can record stuff and then transfer it to a pc with buckets of storage space.This will make divx more popular than ever.Hopefully they wont use nvidia based graphics as it is pants for showing dvd on tv's, I hate that black box around the edges.

VIA Unveils Hi-Fi PC

wut's the big deal? it's just a mini mobo! oooooooo and by the way, it probably supports ddr and sdram. and the ram slot is normal, look at it in perspective to the serial ports. no big deal, seems like another product that i don't need =P

VIA Unveils Hi-Fi PC

It is never SD or DDR when it comes to computers, any computer that is compatible with SD ram, is compatible with DDR, they are built the same way, oly DDR is faster and better. Now I think they are dumb, if this platform was soppose to comete with the best, they should have made their platforms compatible with RD ram. RD ram is much faster than DDR and RD ram tecknowlegy is moving is growing at a much faster rate than DDR.

VIA Unveils Hi-Fi PC

I think it's a very good idea, and frankly it was only a matter of time before someone brought out something like this. Gap in the market. ;-)I wouldn't have one myself. I'm the kind of person to have a 19" monitor and a full tower case. Bigger is better if you know what I mean. :-DPS. That picture has been streched horizontally. It's supposed to be square (17cm x 17cm remember).

VIA Unveils Hi-Fi PC

would be nice to have Nforce 2 chipset with best videocard that support HDTV. Have SB Live soundcard to reduce cpu usage. Have one serial port for modified Mini LCD readout. No need a printer port. Should add more ram slot and have it to make ramdrive to boot up without Hardrive. I would like that for my car as a carradio. Add pcmcia slot might be good idea. Good Size tho, I wouldnt buy it if it cost more than my entainment system. Unless if the board is 5 year warrenty!

VIA Unveils Hi-Fi PC

I think they have got it perfect actually.Remember that this is meant to be fitted in an appliance PC. something that the user doesn't touch & change like a standard pc.It's fanless - no noise!It's all onboard, not loads of cards that have compatability & driver issues.Compared to other systems, -it's very high performance. it's ideal for multimedia playback, dvd's and as mp3 jukebox, and like u say, fitted with a tv-card, u have a tivo killer.Ideally it would run on emmbeded linux or win2k - just like the X-box.microsoft are pushing the idea of home appliance pc's, the game version: x-box. the multimedia pc & the flat pannel freestyle & mira.This mobo isn't for everyone obviously - It's not for gamers or pc most users. It's for custom systems.I believe virgin are going to use this in music stores to allow you to preveiw any movies & music they sell.it's a brilliant move on via's part.

VIA Unveils Hi-Fi PC

"DDR SD" whiners: what you say "DDR" actually is still SDRAM. Go check the abbreviations. :-) (DDRxxx is just the interface specification for the synchronous DRAM modules)I have a EPIA-mobo (the fanless 533MHz variety) and as I understood, the CPU bus is only 100MHz (the C3/800 has 133MHz bus)while memory is 133MHz. The extra bandwidth is used by the integrated graphics controller.So unless the new EPIA-system has improved CPU bus using faster memory only leaves more bandwidth for integrated peripherals.FWIW a decent nVidia or ATI card will still beat the crap out of the integrated thingies :-)Integrated MPEG2 decoder sounds interesting tho. I wonder if they'll release linux drivers for it.

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