The Broadcom Crystal HD video accelerator is a mini PCI-E card that you can throw in some netbooks and notebooks to enable HD video playback even on low power devices with Intel Atom or similar processors. A handful of netbooks including the HP Mini 210, Dell Inspiron Mini 10, and HP Mini 5102 are available with the Broadcom card preloaded. But a number of folks have been picking up cheap cards on eBay for the past few months. But a few weeks ago we noted that the eBay prices had quadrupled from around $25 to nearly $100.
But it turns out that eBay isn’t your only option for picking up a Broadcom Crystal HD video accelerator. Retailer Logic Supply is selling the Broadcom BCM970012 for $49. As Logic Buiy point sout, the card is targeted at system builders and ships without drivers or any support documentation. But you can find most of those things at the Broadcom web site.
The Broadcom video accelerator can decode H.264 and VC-1 files with resolutions up to 1080p. In my experience, it works best with local content. HD Flash video is a bit more hit or miss at the moment, although future driver updates might address that issue.