aOpen MiniPC with Santa Rosa chipset

Aopen's MiniPC Duo

MiniPC from aOpen looks very good to be used as a client for home entertainment system. It’s small, power and stylish. Personally, I like it a bit less than Mac Mini but for my purposes aOpen MiniPC is ideal except one thing – it’s graphic card. The point is that I’d like to use it as media director (media client) of Plutohome home automation system. But since Pluthome is based on Linux it doesn’t provide drivers for the latest graphic chipsets. As result, MP945-VDR doesn’t display UI2 Alpha Blended and doesn’t play HD video.

Anyway, the new model MP965-D is based on the Intel Santa Rosa chipset and sports Core 2 Duo with 800MHz FSB, SATA HDD, S-VIDEO, DVI and PCI slot Express. As I see aOpen MiniPC has two USB ports on the front. It makes it ugly IMHO. The previous version with power button only looked much more stylish.

aOpen miniPC MP945-VDR is ready for HD!

miniPC MP945-VDR

AOpen miniPC is perfect to be used as media PC for home entertainment. It’s stylish, quiet and power enough to replace satellite receiver and DVD player in your living room.
We tested aOpen MP915-X as Plutohome media director. It’s based on Intel Pentium M processor and it’s good for ordinary TV. When we tried to play HD TV it produced some delays and the video decoding took 100% of processor.
Recently aOpen announced MP945-VDR – HD and Vista ready miniPC. It features Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel 945GM OnDie video adapter, Built-in IR receiver, DVI / YPbPr / S-Video / HDMI interface, 5.1 Channel. Additionally it can include TV Tuner, Wireless 802.11 b/g and Bluetooth Module.
MP945-VDR seems cool and we’re going to test it with HD TV and Plutohome. I’m not sure about positive result but we should try.

aOpen Mini PC

(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

Recently I found a new aOpen mini PC which is very similar to Mac Mini. It’s amazing! If we won’t be able to boot Plutohome Media Director on our test Mac Mini aOpen can replace it.