As we pointed out the other day, if you hunt around on eBay, you might be able to pick up a Broadcom Crystal HD Video Accelerator for around $40. This is the same video accelerator that HP offers for the HP Mini 110 netbook. It offers hardware decoding for 720p and 1080p HD video, allowing you to watch high quality videos on an Intel Atom powered netbook without eating up all your CPU cycles.
But as Youtube member kepsux has discovered, the card is kind of useless if you don’t have the proper software to support it. HP normally bundles a special version of Arcsoft Media Theater with the netbooks that include this chip. The standard version of that application won’t take advantage of its hardware decoding abilities. Nor will Windows Media Player, VLC, or any other video player at the moment. I wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see software makers add support for the Broadcom accelerator in the not too distant future. But if you want to use the card in a netbook today, you’re either going to have to order a preconfigured model from HP or find a bootleg copy of the tweaked version of Arcsoft Media Theater.
Kepsux wound up returning his netbook and the video accelerator.
via Netbooked and MyHPMini Forums