Just when I’d gotten used to telling people that new Pine Trail netbooks were pretty much the on  par performance-wise with models with Atom N270/N280 processors, the folks at Jolicloud have gone and proven me wrong. Within the next week or so, they plan to push out a new version of the Jolicloud operating system that will add support for 1080p HD video playback on netbooks with the Intel Atom Pine Trail chipset.

The same update will bring improved support for notebooks with NVIDIA ION graphics, GMA 500 graphics, and VIA C7-M processors. But as far as the Pine Trail netbooks go, here’s the cheat sheet:

  • 1080p HD video: DivX, Xvid, and most other MPEG4-based codecs should work… except for H.264
  • 720p HD video: H.264 should play smoothly
  • In order to play, you’ll need a netbook with an Atom N450 or N470 processor and integrated GMA 3150 graphics
  • No external processor such as the Broadcom Crystal HD video accelerator is needed

Unfortunately the new kernel will not be able to bring 1080p video support to netbooks with GMA 950 graphics. They’re just not up to the task.

Jolicloud founder Tariq Krim says the update will be available to Jolicloud users later this week or early next week. In the meantime, you can check out a video of the Samsung N220 netbook playing 1080p HD video after the break.

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13 replies on “Jolicloud adds support for 1080p HD video on Pine Trail netbooks”

  1. I’m running the recently released Jolicloud 1.0 on my Dell 1012 (with Broadcom Crystal HD card) and Jolicloud CANNOT handle 720p let alone 1080p streams smoothly. And it most definitey does not take advantage of the installed card which can handle HD content. Jolicloud will play 720p video files (not streams) OK though.

  2. I’ll be curious to see how they implemented this without hardware acceleration. Maybe it will mean better video playback for non-pinetrail netbooks (even if not smooth 1080p video).

    1. Looks like an N220 to me. If you look at the keyboard you’ll see that the Enter key takes up two rows. The N210 has a smaller Enter key.

  3. I was under the impression that Intel purposely disabled h.264 hardware decoding on the GMA3150. If it’s impossible on a hardware level, there should be no way this can even happen.

  4. The problem with playing HD video (h.264) under Linux is that you either need a beefy CPU, or an NVIDIA GPU. The only hardware acceleration available under Linux, that I’m aware of, is available with MPlayer using VDPAU, which can only be used with NVIDIA GPUs. VDPAU is like Windows’ DXVA. Windows has the upper hand here, because even Intel’s crappy GMA 4500MHD graphics can use DXVA.

    1. Linux can us VA API to enable H.264 acceleration on Intel GMA chips that support that feature (ie. GMA 500 and 4500HD).

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