Intel

Mar 06 2014

News - Intel Haswell IPG May Support HEVC/H.265 Hardware Decoding

I can't claim to be the first to notice when HEVC decoding popped up in a recent Intel GPU driver update for Haswell (HSW) systems, and I was prepared to write it off as a mistake until an off-hand remark about the feature coming in a future driver update came up in conversation with a source well positioned to know. For now, I think it’s fair to count it as a rumor. Mistakes happen, as do misunderstandings about what hardware supports what, but I’m going to be watching the driver release notes a lot closer for the next few months.

Feb 23 2014

News - Intel D54250WYK NUC Custom Solutions Header (CSH) 3.3V Flaw

I was really excited when I found out Intel had placed the HDMI-CEC enabling Custom Solutions Header (CSH) on the D54250WYK NUC. It was exactly the kind of feature that belongs on this near-perfect mini-HTPC. Unfortunately, as we can see in the gallery, something isn't right with its ability to maintain 3.3V under load.

What this means in practice is that we can't use the 3.3V pin on the D54250WYK's CSH for Pulse-Eight's Internal CEC adapter - disappointing would be an understatement. Now it is possible to find 3.3V elsewhere on the board; I was able to pull it from the SATA power connector, but since that only powered when the system is in S0 (on) it's less than ideal. Intel has been contacted with these findings. Hopefully it's something that can be addressed with a BIOS update, but I'm not confident.

Jan 30 2014

News - Baytrail DN2820FYKH - No Intel Clear Video HD Support

When I talked with Intel about the DN2820FYKH Baytrail based NUC at CES, I wasn't shocked by the "No" when I asked if it supported Intel QuickSync (hardware accelerated decode and encode). What is surprising as I looked more closely at the Intel Celeron N2820 is that it appears to not support Intel Clear Video HD (hardware accelerated decode) either.

If true, it does take all the sheen off the system. Without hardware accelerated decoding, and the video processing (i.e. deinterlacing & scaling) that comes with it, there's no way that this little guy could be the cheap client HTPC that I was hoping for. Really dissappointing considering that "Atom" Baytrail chips, essentially the same chip but targeted at tablets, include QuickSync.

Nov 24 2013

News - Adding a TPM to Intel Motherboards

One of the frustrating things about many desktop motherboards is that they don't come with a built in TPM module. I can understand why, as this is more useful for enterprise and mobile installations. Many do come with the necessary header, like the Intel DH87RL, but I haven't been able to find a module to plug into it. Until now...

Oct 16 2013

News - Slightly Bigger Intel NUC On The Way With 2.5" Hard Drive Mount

As you know from our review of the D54250WYK Haswell NUC, while there are SATA & SATA power connectors on the board there isn't any space in the chassis to use them. Intel has been hard at work on a chassis to address this, and I just got word that the target (read not 100% firm) release date is December for when the larger case, in Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i3 trims, should hit retail. I was told that it will look very similar to the existing model, just a bit taller and with some additional vents along the side, making it just about perfect for a super-small PVR (after adding a network/USB tuner) or highly portable and functional HTPC.

You'll have to bear with my poor Photoshop, er... Paint.NET, skills because despite talents in other areas, the mockup/render is not within my natural domain :). UPDATE: Intel provided some pictures of the new chassis.

We'll keep you updated on this, and other, NUC ecosystem products as they become available.

Sep 18 2013

News - Intel Haswell NUC D54250WYK Includes HTPC Header

If you saw the recent Intel Haswell NUC D54250WYK announcment and thought "hey, that would make a pretty slick HTPC" - go ahead and sit down. Not only does it have all the good stuff like IR, SATA, USB 3.0, etc. that we mentioned before. It also has the HTPC_HEADER on board.

Unfortunately, there isn't space in the stock chassis to mount the Pulse-Eight internal CEC adapter so a custom enclosure will be required to get the most out of it. That said, frankly I don't care - this is awesome news!

Hopefully someone steps up to make a suitible enclosure or we will have to do something on Kickstarter Smile.

Sep 13 2013

News - Intel Announces Haswell NUC Kit - D54250WYK

Looks like the NUC is getting a Haswell update, and it's not just the IPG (i5-4250U with HD 5000) that changed with the updated system also getting IR, SATA and four USB 3.0 ports. With all that good stuff and a fast 2.5" hard drive and/or slim-line Blu-ray drive this could be a killer fullsize HTPC replacement given the right chassis. Full specs are at Intel's website, but unfortunatley the price isn't listed.

Sleek, shiny, and with a smaller footprint than a wireless modem, the Intel® NUC with the 4th generation Intel® Core™ i5 processor is at home in your living room, your office, or your media center. The D54250WYK SKU of Intel NUC is equipped with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, automatically allowing processor cores to safely run faster than the base operating frequency. It also includes Intel® Rapid Start Technology, ensuring you are quickly up and running, and Intel® Smart Connect Technology to keep you up to date at all times.

Intel

May 28 2013

News - GIGABYTE Launches BRIX Mini-PC

GIGABYTE BRIX

As we march towards more efficient CPUs it is great to see OEMs taking advantage of the inherent capabilities to deliver smaller form factors. We saw it with Intel's NUC, where they provided a very cabable bare-bones HTPC, and now GIGABYTE has come out with something similar. I'm really happy to see more vendors/competition in this space.

Full PR after the click.

Apr 08 2013

News - Intel Announces Media SDK for Linux

Quick Sync

Today Intel announced at the North American Broadcasters show that they will be releasing a version of the Media SDK (MSDK) for Linux. For those who don't know, the MSDK is the software layer that enables Quick Sync (QS) hardware accelerated video decoding and encoding. Given the location of the announcement Intel is probably targeting MSOs to use this technology in their rendering servers, but it also has potential for applications in STB as well. All that said, I'm much more interested in how it will play in the Linux media server market for applications like XBMC + Plex. The implementation is not limited (like is is on pre-Windows 8) to display device enumeration so it will work headless, and coolest of all should be API compatible with the current Windows SDK - so porting existing apps will be straightforward.

The limited beta starts soon, so if you're interested in having a go make sure to sign up ASAP. I will be :).

Mar 26 2013

News - Intel Drawing Closer to IPTV Service, Deals with Content Providers

Intel announced last March that they were working on developing a "virtual cable provider", offering subscription TV services over broadband to Intel-powered set top boxes. Now, Bloomberg is reporting that Intel is finally close to securing deals with a number of major content providers to help launch the service. Intel's proposed service would roll up live TV offerings, online DVR funtionality, and on-demand content in a manner in which traditional cable and satellite subscription services could never match. It's not impossible to imagine that content providers might see such a service as an antidote to growing discontent with rising subscription TV rates, but it's also difficult to imagine networks such as CNN and NBC that are owned by companies that also own cable service providers rushing toward an Intel backed a la carte future.

Intel

Intel is betting it can create a more flexible service, delivered through consumers’ broadband accounts, that gives subscribers more choices over the channels they receive and offers an easier-to-use electronic programming guide, Huggers said. The service would offer live channels and on-demand programming.

Bloomberg

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