Broadcom is rolling out an updated version of the company’s Crystal HD video accelerator for netbooks and notebooks. Like previous versions, the new Crystal HD chip is a media coprocessor that adds 1080P HD video playback capabilities to low power notebooks that wouldn’t otherwise be able to handle HD video playback.

In fact, there’s not a lot of information in the announcement about how the new Crystal HD accelerator differs from its predecessor. But it looks like the chip will be available in two forms: It can be included on a motherboard or sold as a PCIe card that can be slotted into just about any notebook with an open slot.

The new Broadcom BCM70015 supports Windows Media Player 12, Adobe Flash player 10.1 and other video players. It allows Blu-Ray playback as well as support for a number of codecs including H.264/AVC, MPEG-2, VC-1, WMV9, MPEG-4, DivX, Xvid, and AVS.

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16 replies on “Broadcom introduces next-gen Crystal HD video accelerator for netbooks”

  1. Here’s a question. Should I even care about high definition on a screen so tiny? I mean, a 17″ and 19″ HDTV or monitor looks like donkey balls when hooking a 360 to it. Jaggies everywhere.

    Isn’t to feel HD, you really need a decent size monitor? I mean, on a 10″ screen, it won’t look that much sharper really right?
    thé assam

    1. Justinwalter – best way I can describe why it makes sense for me is that while the display can’t show me all the dots, I don’t have to recode videos that will play on the netbook. This means I can play my hidef files on my pc or on my netbook on the go. Also sites like hulu for example which uses encryption on the video slows the cpu down by itself even before it gets to the actual video. The acceleration once flash is worked out will make that problem go away. I hope this explanation makes it easier to understand why this is a good thing.

      As for the new version of the chip its seems its adding divx special codec stuff.

  2. This is why OpenSource OS’s will never be mainstream for the average user and Windows will alway prevail. Unless someone comes up with a OpenSource OS that will be compatible with almost every piece of hardware with minimum tweaking to satisfy the average user you will just have to wait for Linux drivers to be developed or be a developer yourself. Bottom line by Windows and you don’t have to worry about driver compatibility. Overall I believe that its a very good concept and because not only will it fill the void of so many netbook user’s, it should also keep the prices down on the devices as well.

    1. Umm, unless Open Source gains more market share, and then OEM’s feel that they need to release drivers that play nice with Open OS’s because they’ll be loosing $$ ignoring them. It’s a chicken and the egg kind of deal. But your trolling doesn’t change the fact that if Linux or another open OS ever gets above 20% market share, then your argument won’t hold water any more.

    2. My problem is that from my experience, Windows sucks on Netbooks. My wife had an eeepc 900 with Windows XP and not only did the machine take 2 minutes to boot, but the web was practically unusable during the first 5 to 10 minutes because the antivirus was taking all the bandwidth and CPU resources. Actually she had given up on using the machine until I replaced Windows by Linux. For me a netbook must get you online fast, and that means short boot times and no antivirus, so I won’t buy a netbook anymore if it does not either offers that out of the box or support Linux in some way.

      1. Hmmm, I’ve still got XP on my computer with no problems. It’s boots fast enough for me and it surfs the web quickly even with the antivirus. I’m debating on whether to upgrade to Windows 7, but will probably stick with what works. I just loaded Dungeons and Dragons Online(an MMO) onto it and it plays really well all things considered and is definitely my newest obsession.

        This chip sounds interesting, I’ll have to look up more information on it.

        1. What Antivirus are you using? If it is a free one I may be interested. My problems were with Avast Antivirus, but maybe other antivirus perform better on netbooks. I just don’t want a commercial antivirus because there is no way I’ll pay $40 a year for definitions updates for a machine that cost $300.

          1. Microsoft Security Essentials works great on my Netbook with Windows XP

  3. The concept looks interesting, however Broadcom has a bad reputation when it comes to supporting Linux, so I would avoid this chip until they have clarified if they will provide Linux drivers. With ION at least you know you will get VDPAU acceleration if you use the nvidia proprietary driver. This is not as nice as a open source driver, but at least it works.

  4. Amazing, but will it be supported by OpenSource operating systems? will they give developer documentation or just blobs?

  5. the guy at netbooked said he couldn’t get the hardware accel working with 10.1 and that it’s very buggy- he was using the old card though maybe they fixed some bugs and released new drivers

    1. isn’t 10.1 still in it’s beta stage? so i would assume it would work properly after it’s official release.

  6. Sweet! But why do I get the feeling much like a child peering into a store window during Christmas? That the toy I’m seeing I’ll only have in my dreams not not under my tree, right?

    I said ‘sweet’ when I heard about ION too, but now it is only in a few systems.

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