When the folks at Jolicloud announced that version 1.1 of the company’s Linux-based operating system would add support for 720p HD YouTube video playback and 1080p local HD video playback on a netbook with a dual core Intel Atom N550 processor, plenty of people were skeptical. While we still haven’t seen the 1080p promise turned into reality, Jolicloud has posted a video showing a netbook with an Atom N550 chip playing a 720p movie trailer from YouTube.

You can check out the video after the break. Playback looks pretty smooth — but the true advantage of HD video support on a device with a 1024 x 600 pixel or lower resolution display is the fact that you should be able to copy your HD video collection to your netbook and watch videos without spending hours transcoding them to a format that’s viewable on the mobile computer first. HD Flash video support is nice and all, but it’s honestly tough to see much difference between a 480p and 720p video on a low resolution display.

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4 replies on “Jolicloud Linux demo shows 720p Flash video playback with an Atom N550 chip”

  1. I guess that’s nice. Not sure if many people would want to play 720p Flash videos on their netbook. Maybe an occasional video played to a TV I guess but I won’t be doing that with most Flash videos I watch (YouTube or clips posted in news articles/blogs).

    I do want to see Jolicloud put up a video where it plays a 1080p .mkv video (high profile and high level) though. It’ll save me time re-encoding my .mkv files to just watch them on a netbook while on the go.

    1. Depends on the Netbook, some will have HD screens of 1366×768, basically 720p. And more will adapt it as higher resolution screens are growing in demand.

      Being able to support 720p is also a good show of improved performance as previous ATOM’s could only handle up to 480p flash without some sort of GPU hardware assist like with the Broadcom Crystal HD card.

      For far too long Intel has kept Netbook performance pretty strictly limited and now we’re finally seeing a small but at least measurable improvement with the N550 and can still benefit from the low power usage that lets netbooks run so long on battery power compared to higher powered laptops.

      For 1080p mkv video, lets hope the linux community can adapt Optimus. So we can add ION performance to list of options and not be limited to just Windows 7 Home Premium for that feature.

      The Upcoming Asus 1015PN for example would make an excellent portable HTPC if that could be worked out. Especially since it is presently being pre-ordered with Starter instead of Home Premium and that means no Optimus and having a Linux solution would definitely be preferable to having to upgrade to Home Premium just to get Optimus working. And besides there are plenty of popular media center distros that could then be used…

      1. I’m talking about Jolicloud proving their claim of being able to play 1080p videos with a netbook that has an N550 Atom CPU without using hardware acceleration. As for resolution, at least I can’t tell if a video is 480p, 720p or 1080p on a 10 inch screen no matter what its resolution is. That’s why I won’t be playing HD Flash on it.

        I agree with the rest of your comments but I specifically just wanted to see Jolicloud proving their HD video playback claims by playing a 1080p .mkv. I’ve been reading more about Jolicloud and it seems their 720p video file playback “capability” for version 1.0 was greatly exaggerated. I’ve been reading people saying that none of their 720p .mkv’s played well.

        1. Probably because simply playing mkv’s doesn’t mean all will play equally well. Different data bit rates, and over head like sub-titles, actual codec being used, etc. all contribute to whether a video file is playable on a given system.

          So just saying a 720p mkv video is playable on a system is like saying a netbook comes with a 14 hr battery but failing to mention that it’s only with minimal power settings that you can even get close to the claim. Very few claims could ever be taken literally with so many variables involved.

          But Flash video is impressive because aside from Intel GMA 500 and 4500 on up, none support Flash 10.1 hardware acceleration and thus like older netbooks it’s all done by the CPU and having it capable of handling 720p Flash when the older ATOM’s could only handle 480p is the only point I was making.

          No OS can go beyond the capability of the hardware it is being run on. So the only expectation you should really have is that Jolicloud either matches what you can get with Windows or pushes the limit of the hardware but remember these netbooks are really hobbled by the low performing Intel GMA 3150…

          So the test is more of how much extra performance the N550 provides than anything else…

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