Testing ASUS P2-M2A690G as LinuxMCE media director


Yesterday I got barebone ASUS P2-M2A690G for testing as media director for LinuxMCE. That box is priced just in €100. But it’s really good: integrated ATI RadeonTM 1250 with HDMI output, S/PDIF-out (Optical) audio, slim form-factor and nice looking design.

Additionally I had Desktop Athlon 64 X2 5400+ and 2GB RAM. Installation of processor and memory took about 15 minutes (thanks to well thought-out internal design). By the way I like the quality of P2-M2A690G assembling. All wires are tied up into braid and placed around case. So, internal space looks very clear.

Read more »

Shuttle XPC Barebone SG33G5M

Shuttle XPC Barebone SG33G5M

Shuttle Inc. announced its new product – Shuttle XPC Barebone SG33G5M. It’s a small form factor PC with stylish design and impressive functionality. The SG33G5M supports processors of Intel’s Coreâ„¢ 2 Quad, Coreâ„¢ 2 Duo E6000/E4000 series, Pentium Dual-Core E2000 series and Celeron 400 series and can accomodate up to 4GB of DDR2-800 memory in dual-channel mode. It can play HD video (thanks to GMA 3100 onboard graphics engine and HDMI output) and allows playback of copy protected HD content through HDCP. The sound should be hight quality with built-in 7.1 HD audio chip with Dolby Digital Live! and DTS Connect certification. The integrated Gigabit-LAN connector is well-suited for data streaming in the local network or fast downloads from the internet. The remote control for Windows Vista Home Premium/Ultimate and the integrated VFD display complete the HTPC view.

The Shuttle Barebone originally produced for Windows but you can install Linux based media center as well (MythTV for example). The remote control sensor is compatible with lirc_mceusb2 and the Linux driver for VFD display is also available. You might be interesting to see the Python script to communicate with VFD display because MythTV doesn’t support it directly.

The Shuttle XPC Barebone SG33G5M will be available shortly with recommended retail price is €328.00.

Personally, I prefer Mac Mini form factor or something similar to Silverstone LC16M. The Shuttle looks a bit heavy for me. But its VFD display is really cool! I like it.

[via eHomeUpgrade]