Intel Atom powered netbooks with integrated graphics are known for long battery life and halfway decent performance. They’re not known for handling CPU-intensive tasks like decoding HD video. For that you have third party solutions like the NVIDIA ION chipset or Broadcom’s HD decoder for netbooks.
While some companies including Dell and HP are offering machines with an optional Broadcom decoder, most netbooks don’t come with that option. But that didn’t stop SammyNetbook Forum member Banzai from picking up his own Broadcom card and adding it to a Samsung NC10.
The Samsung NC10 has only one Mini PCIe slot, and it’s occupied by the WiFi card by default. So in order to add the Broadcom decoder, Banzai needed to remove the internal WiFi card. But it’s much easier to find a USB WiFi adapter than a USB video card, so I think he probably made the right call.
In order to get everything working properly you’ll need to pick up a Broadcom PCM970012 HD Decoder, which you can find on eBay for around $25 or less. You also need to download the device drivers, and install a custom version of Arcsoft Total Media Theatre designed to play nicely with the video decoder since it’s the only application that will actually take advantage of the HD decoding features of the Broadcom module.
You can find step by step instructions and software download links in the SammyNetbook Forums. There’s a video of Banzai’s NC10 playing HD video after the break.
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