The convergence of media centers (aka your TV and everything that plugs into
it) and the computer must surely be complete by now. The way we used to store
movies, video and music has edged pretty darn close to oblivion. After all,
tapes, CDs and almost every physical format has become a thing of the past .
With digital formats, computers and the internet are very good at distributing
content cheaply and easily.
The problem is that most people don't enjoy watching a movie on the computer,
and nor is always as quiet as watching a TV (CRT, LCD, Plasma or other). As
consumers we want digital access to our media, but at the same time we want big
screen displays not to be undone by the noise of a computer.
Intel thinks it may have a solution to this problem. Make a computer that is
cheap and quiet, and specialized at media playback in high definition. In
other words, a glorified PVR, without the R. The Intel Canmore Digital Video
Player concept was discussed this week at the Intel Developer Forum in San
Francisco, and Gigabyte have been quick to highlight its entry into this
Gigabyte's MD300 "Canmore" DVP platform has a comprehensive feature list
which for a media apparatus:
AC3 (Dolby), AAC, MP3 with (128k, 192k, 256k, 320kbps, ) WMA …
View by Cover
art, Artist, Album, Track, Play list, Genres
Video playback: MPEG, MPEG2 ,
MPEG4 , H.264, DivX (DivX support by software codec),
Photo browsing: JPG,
PNG, BMP format support
From HDD and external device such Card reader, USB
Following feature need Intel support
DLNA client v1.5 / UpnP
SAMBA server and client
Internet everywhere without PC
HTTP web Browser support for: YouTube, Internet Radio (Option)
Internet Gallery site: Flickr,
Photobucket, Picasa Web Albums,
The reference motherboard is a picture of connectivity - HDMI,
Component and S-VIDEO outputs. The 800MHz Canmore processor and memory are
integrated right onto the motherboard. Wired LAN and wireless LAN ensure easy
connectivity with another PC in the home, or to the internet.
A mock up white box was demonstrated as a proof of the concept.
It gives a good indication of how compact this computer system can be, and
highlights the lack of cooling vents or noisy fans.
The GUI is very much Windows Media center.
Here is the full feature set on Gigabyte's GN-MD300-RH system
board. The platform is this far unreleased, so consider this just a preview of
what's to come. I suppose we should take a minute to give credit to VIA for
blazing the 170x170mm miniATX trail all those years ago. Thanks VIA! Notable in
the system is a PCI Express x1 slot (ideal for digital TV tuner), 800MHz
Intel Dothan CPU and 768MB of onboard memory.