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Chart Courtesy of HKEPC
Native HDMI output with HDCP compliance

HKEPC has come across more details on Intel’s upcoming integrated graphics equipped Bearlake-G+ G35 Express chipset. The upcoming G35 Express is expected to support HDMI video output with HDCP compliance. According to the article the proper HDCP keys and HDMI signal mixing components are integrated into the G35 Express chipset. Supported HDMI video output resolutions include 720p, 1080i and 1080p which is pretty standard.

Although HDMI output and HDCP compliance are native to the G35 Express GMCH, the voltage output levels are different. Native voltage output from the GMCH is 1.2 volts while traditional HDMI voltage is 3.3 volts. Nevertheless, this can be fixed using an intermediary level shifter chip. Nevertheless, even with the required level shifter, G35 Express based solutions with HDMI outputs are expected to be more cost effective than G965 solutions.

The audio portion of the G35 Express has been slightly enhanced to accommodate the audio output capabilities of HDMI.  While high definition audio is typically a supported via ICH, the new G35 Express GMCH will have an integrated high definition audio codec. Audio functionality is still a part of the ICH though. Instead of connecting to a separate high definition audio codec, the ICH will connect directly to the GMCH  for multi-channel audio output across HDMI with video—minimizing cable clutter.

Expect Intel G35 Express and other Bearlake family chipsets to hit the market next Spring.

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Moving along to better, smaller MediaCenter PCs
By ninjit on 11/27/2006 3:18:21 AM , Rating: 5
Obviously this is going to do pretty well in small Home Theater PCs.

I hope Apple decides to use this in their next refresh of the mac mini - I'd find that a lot more useful than a discrete UPnP media player that a lot of companies are putting out, plus I'd think it would be more value for money too, many of the standalone media players I've looked at cost over $250.

I'm sticking to my modded xbox with XBMC until something else becomes more affordable to me. Unfortunately it doesn't handle h.264 playback very well at all - though I think that could be solved with better drivers for the nVidia chip in there I doubt they will ever help out with supporting modded xboxes.

By NullSubroutine on 11/27/2006 8:22:12 AM , Rating: 2
IMHO, I would say the modded Xbox lacks the needed horsepower for h.264 playback. While having only limited ram (unless you upgrade), with slow cpu power (even if you upgrade it still not a screamer), and no GPU acceleration you are looking at a pretty low performer for high cpu intensive tasks.

RE: Moving along to better, smaller MediaCenter PCs
By Aikouka on 11/27/2006 8:52:23 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed, H264 is just a killer without a decent gpu. It reminds me of when my friend had a GeForce FX and complained about the inability to skip around in H264 videos; citing that when he did, the thing took a good 10 seconds or more to actually start playing again. Then, he upgraded to a GeForce 6-series card and everything was fine. If I recall, the XBOX has a GeForce 4-series card in it, correct?

Although, I do also agree with the original poster that a Soft-modded XBOX with XBMC is an incredible home media device. I used one for awhile before I got my XBOX 360, which acts as a Media Extender. Coupled with a Media Center PC (with some power for...) and Transcode 360, there isn't a file you can play. Unfortunately, I can't seem to figure out how to add more videos without a real MCE Remote, so I can't just use my Media Center machine itself :/.

What really excites me about this new onboard graphics is the change to integrating audio in the HDMI connector. I mean, you could always grab a DVI->HDMI converter, but it won't have audio in it. I may spend the extra money and completely refresh my Media Center PC when this comes out as I'd love something a bit... quieter as well =).

RE: Moving along to better, smaller MediaCenter PCs
By OrSin on 11/27/2006 10:17:05 AM , Rating: 2
I have the same 360 set up. I had added video from my MCE and from 2003 server shares. I keep most video on the server so can I access it from another media extender device also. it funny I bought the 360 to play 2 games and stop playing them a while back, but I use it to stream movies and Download HD TV shows every day. I might just drop cable TV all together. YOu can dl TV showing in HD with no commerical like 6 hours after they air. Very sweet.
And yes I know its illegal. But its free TV anyway.

By Aikouka on 11/27/2006 11:38:25 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I also download HR HDTV shows, but that's because DirecTV doesn't offer my local channels in hi-definition and I like watching my Heroes and House in Hi-Def :(.

I'd also prefer to use the MCE PC itself to show videos, but like I mentioned, I'm having trouble using Media Center without a real Media Center remote. I've figured out how to do a lot of it with ATi's Remote Wonder 2, but just can't find that More menu >_<.

By ajfink on 11/27/2006 11:16:45 AM , Rating: 2
Indeed. In general, the PC market is moving in the direction that allows consumers to build / buy better and better media center PCs. Every component except dedicated graphics cards are moving toward greater and greater energy efficiency, and I would expect to see an effort to make them better in that respect, too.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates
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