tegra-mobinnova-firefoxA few new details are coming about about NVIDIA’s Tegra platform for low cost netbooks. First, as expected, these things can handle HD video without using much electricity at all. The Tegra 600 platform can handle H.264 video at 720p resolutions, and the Tegra 650 can do 1080p. And as TechVideoBlog discovered, that doesn’t just go for videos stored on your hard drive. They’ve posted a demo video showing a Tegra-based netbook streaming HD video from the web.

But what about Flash? Well, we have more mixed results there. The NVIDIA GPU certainly helps render graphics generally, and the demo unit handled Flash heavy sites like Flash Earth quite well. No word on how it handles full screen Flash video from sites like Hulu or YouTube. I really wish more people would adopt a Hulu test as a de facto standard, because it’s the one site that I’ve found Intel Atom processors struggle with once you have a screen larger than 1024 x 600 pixels. Of course, the Computex trade show is in Taiwan, while Hulu doesn’t stream video outside of the US, but a demonstration of HD Flash video streaming from YouTube would have been nice.

Anyway, the other impressive thing from the TechVideoBlog video is that the Mobinnova élan demo unit is running Firefox 3.5. On Windows CE. Most Tegra-based netbooks are going to be saddled with 512MB of RAM or less, which means they’re going to struggle to display more than 3-4 Firefox tabs at a time. But I’m thinking I might not mind dealing with the limitations of a Windows CE device if it can run Firefox. Incidentally, yesterday Acer was showing off a netbook running Firefox on Google Android.

You can check out the complete video from TechVideoBlog after the break.

via Engadget


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6 replies on “Video: NVIDIA Tegra netbooks playing HD video, Flash”

  1. Sadly, the Tegra, nor probably no other DSP or GPU for ARM laptops yet, will not support Youtube’s current HD 720p video stream. Something to do with advanced H264 encoding profile that Youtube is using for it at 2mbit/s. So that would probably need another chip or to wait for Youtube to encode all HD videos as well in for example a more hardware friendly Mpeg4 (DivX like) 720p quality as well (which can look really great as well with around 3.5mbit/s at 720p when encoded in Insane mode with B-frames) and Youtube should pull that automatically, so only the High Quality 480×272 Youtube videos at 1mbit/s will work. At computex Youtube is not yet smooth on Tegra, but Nvidia is promising that they will have full Flash support fixed in the coming weeks before the release of the product. Nvidia and Adobe and Adobe itself with many other ARM and GPU providers have announced that they plan full Flash support on those devices.

  2. Or they can just bundle Opera, which not only doesn’t have performance issues on constrained hardware, but it looks to be more and more geared towards netbooks… (Opera Turbo does indeed speed up things quite a bit on gprs/etc. connection)

  3. I hope Nvidia remember to include good PIM software and make sure this machines PIM’s are syncable to a desktop machine. They are missing a big trick if they leave this out.

    John

  4. They may only have 512Mb ram but they don’t have a massive heavy OS taking up most of it – the OS if in ram will take very little space – but they may even run the OS directly from ROM which would be great if they make the rom fast enough.

    Netbook with XP running 1Gb would likely be a closer comparisson so you may be fine with more than 4 tabs.

    Not that I often have more than 4 running at once.

    Nice to see nvidia is obviously serious about supporting the platform and seems to be attracting software producers to get on board. Firefox and IIRC Adobe said it was doing full flash for the tegra.

    John

  5. CE is a non-starter for me. I was saddled with that in the past and there is no way I am going back. At least with linux most of the major limitations can be addressed by the community.

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