Slim HTPC is based on AMD Fusion E-350 APU

Plugable Wireless Audio Kit

If you prefer new AMD Fusion E-350 APU platform to nVidia Ion 2 for your HTPC the Giada MiniPC A50 might be interesting for you. It’s based on a AMD Fusion E-350 APU with integrated Radeon HD 6310 graphics and supports HD video and audio. The slim case – just 25 mm, has enough space for 2GB of RAM and 2.5″ 350GB HDD. The Giada MiniPC A50 sports HDMI output, USB 3.0 port, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n WiFi, built-in IR receiver and multi-card reader. The box is bundled with Media Center remote to control it the same way as the rest AV devices.

The Giada MiniPC A50 will be available in two colors – black and white, and in two configurations – ready-made with Windows 7 Home Premium ($449) and barebone ($299). Good to know this PC is compatible with Linux. So, you may install XBMC, Boxee, MythTV with a networked HDHomeRun tuner or VDR with USB DVB-S2 card and enjoy power and open source system on your quiet (just 26dB noise level) and energy efficient (30W power consumption) HTPC.

[via eHomeUpgrade]

Mouse, keyboard and gamepad in one

Home Brew X10 Plus XMBC Control

Mimi Wireless Gaming Keyboard combines a mouse, QWERTY keyboard and gamepad in one. The compact device, looked like XBox game controller, sports a built-in accelerometer, two analog joysticks and digital buttons. So, it should help you not just easily navigate through web pages or media libraries, but also provide a convenient way to play in games.

The Mimi Wireless Gaming Keyboard is powered by rechargeable battery which gives 20 hours of constant use. It also provides an auto hibernate mode to extend battery life.

You can get this amazing game/HTPC controller just for £89.99. But note it’s supported by Windows and Mac OS X only.

PS: The Mimi Wireless Gaming Keyboard is produced by Cideko. I already wrote about its wireless HTPC keyboard with navigation buttons.

Boxee announced next firmware update

Boxee Box

Boxee finalized the periodicity of firmware updates for Boxee Box and other Boxee-based devices. It’ll be released every three months. So, next update should be available in May. It’ll include following improvements – faster loading and scrolling, favorites and history in browser, improved ffwd/rwd controls, new look for on-screen-display, possibility to sort by source, .nfo support, new languages and support for iPad.

Also Boxee promised fix a log of bugs in the upcoming update, such as generating of duplicate button presses in case of using USB IR receiver, impossibility to invoke HTTPS URLs from search bar, wrongly displaying of special characters etc.

AMD E-350 APU vs. Intel Atom D525 with ION 2

AMD E-350 APU vs. Intel Atom D525 with ION 2

Long time platform nVidia Ion didn’t have any competitor in case if it’s needed compact, noiseless HTPC with 1080p support. Maybe that’s why its second generation was mostly marketing ploy. But now situation changed. AMD launched its new platform AMD E-350 APU which combines CPU and GPU on one chip. And according to information Hot Hardware and AnandTech it beats Intel Atom D525 with ION 2 on all categories except gaming – productivity, music, PCMarks, communications, and movies. Moreover, AMD E-350 APU supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA bitstreaming over HDMI. So, looks like nVidia should know what new features and improvements will be in the third generation of Ion. If it’ll be released, of course.

[via eHomeUpgrade]

HDMI-CEC to USB and RS-232 bridge

HDMI-CEC to USB and RS-232 bridge/converter

I recently wrote about kwikwai – device which is used to send control command over LAN, USB or RS232 to the AV equipment connected to it via HDMI. Actually it should replace old school IR transmitters to integrate AV equipment into whole house control system. RainShadow offers similar device but it works opposite way, i.e. it sens commands from AV equipment to the HTPC using HDMI-CEC technology. Currently the HDMI-CEC to USB and RS-232 bridge is supported by both Windows and Linux without custom device drivers.

If you’re interested to buy the HDMI-CEC to USB and RS-232 bridge you can do it now by reasonable price – $134 including international shipping.

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