Okoro Media Systems has a long track record of putting out excellent Home Theater PC hardware. The company’s products aren’t particularly cheap, but they tend to come with fast processors, large hard drives, and fancy media doohickeys like Blu-Ray discs, TV tuners, and 7.1 channel audio.
And then there’s the new OMS-Q200. This machine is basically a souped up nettop with a dual core Atom 330 CPU, NVIDIA ION graphics, 4GB of RAM, a Blu-Ray drive, a 320GB hard drive, and a remote control and wireless keyboard. And while that certainly makes it the most powerful nettop I’ve seen to date, the fact is that the dual core Atom 330 CPU is still going to have a hard time performing some tasks like transcoding video from MPEG2 to H.264 or DiVX. In other words, I think most people are going to expect better performance from an HTPC… especially one with a starting price of $1295, not including a TV tuner.
On the other hand, it looks like NVIDIA and Adobe are poised to announce hardware acceleration for Flash video soon, and NVIDIA has already demonstrated some software that can take advantage of the NVIDIA ION GPU for tasks that are normally CPU-killers like transcoding video. So a low power HTPC could be appealing to a select few… it’s just that you could probably put together your own for far cheaper.
Update: This post accidentally pointed to the Okoro OMS-Q100 at first. That model sells for $1395 and includes an Intel Core 2 Duo mobile processor. The NVIDIA ION-powered nettop is the OMS-200, which starts at $1295. If that makes any difference to you.