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kerry.baker at orcon

Sep 7, 2011, 1:59 PM

Post #1 of 12 (2995 views)
Permalink
Acer Revo RL100

Hi all,
I recently upgraded my Mythtv system with this nice piece of kit. I
thought I would share my experience with you all.

My original Mythtv box was a Via EPIA SP13000 based system. It was a bit
of a nightmare to set up but has provided great service since then.
Unfortunately its getting a bit old and tired and it can't do high def.
After reviewing many options I decided to take a punt on an Acer Revo
RL100. Here is the product page:
http://www.acer.co.nz/ac/en/NZ/content/model/PT.SES02.025

Features to note: AMD K325 CPU (dual-core similar to Intel Atom D525 in
performance), 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, NVIDIA ION2 chipset, Blu-Ray drive,
HDMI, 802.11N wireless, DVB-T tuner card, a cool wireless
keyboard/trackpad and a case that doesn't look out of place next to my TV.

Because Linux Blu-Ray support isn't great I decided to keep the Windows
system (for playing BD discs) and dual-boot with MythBuntu 11.04 (for
everything else).

Installing MythBuntu was a breeze. Just about everything worked straight
away. I had a little issue with HDMI audio but solved it by following the
instructions here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1620926

TV: I didn't realise when before I bought the system that the NZ version
contained a DVB-T tuner (AverMedia A330). It was a nice surprise that
tuned to disappointment when I realised there is no Linux support.
However I had bought a HDHomeRun because I'm sick of driver issues with
tuners and its been great. Works like a charm.

Blu-Ray: A I mentioned before Linux support isn't great. The Windows
side however includes a Blu-Ray player in the form of Acer's Clear.fi
software. I hired a couple of BD movies to test it out. The first worked
fine. The second caused me a world of pain!
The picture was there but I just couldn't get any sound out of it. After
considerable research learning about DRM and HDCP I realised the problem
was the disc used DTS-HD audio. This is a high def digital audio format.
It requires a trusted (content protected) link all the way from the disc
to the speakers. If this is not possible the audio is supposed to be
decoded to a lower resolution.
Unfortunately for me my home theatre amp is a few years old and doesn't
support DTS. Clear.fi should then decode the audio but it doesn't because
its a free piece of crap. My options are to buy commercial Blu-Ray
software (about US$99), not rent or buy DTS discs, buy a new amp (I've
already spent enough!) or (illegally) rip the disc and convert the audio
myself. Grrr....

Wireless keyboard/trackpad: This is a really unique and neat feature. I
won't go into the details of it as its well described in reviews. It
works just fine in Linux and makes a decent enough remote control. I
wouldn't like to type large documents with it but then that's not what its
for. I also use Mythmote on my phone as a remote.

Performance: I like to keep my Myth system all on one machine so I am
using the Revo as a combined frontend-backend. I cannot complain about
performance. High def content up to 1080p is played flawlessly and looks
awesome on my 55" TV. I don't need to do any transcoding. The hard drive
isn't big by today's standards. I save TV recordings to it but other
content I access via a NFS share on another machine.

Conclusion: I took a bit of a gamble buying this machine and it has paid
off. I'm totally stoked with it. The cons are minor: I hope Linux
Blu-Ray support improves and it would be nice if I could get the internal
tuner working.
I highly recommend it. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask!


Kerry.


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hads at nice

Sep 7, 2011, 2:12 PM

Post #2 of 12 (2909 views)
Permalink
Re: Acer Revo RL100 [In reply to]

On Thu, 2011-09-08 at 08:59 +1200, Kerry Baker wrote:
> I highly recommend it. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask!

Hi Kerry,

Thanks for taking the time to tell us about it, sounds like a neat
little box.

One question from me, does it have a fan? If so what's the noise like?

Cheers,

hads
--
http://nicegear.co.nz



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nick.rout at gmail

Sep 7, 2011, 7:35 PM

Post #3 of 12 (2902 views)
Permalink
Re: Acer Revo RL100 [In reply to]

On Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 8:59 AM, Kerry Baker <kerry.baker [at] orcon> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I recently upgraded my Mythtv system with this nice piece of kit. I
> thought I would share my experience with you all.
>
> My original Mythtv box was a Via EPIA SP13000 based system. It was a bit
> of a nightmare to set up but has provided great service since then.
> Unfortunately its getting a bit old and tired and it can't do high def.
> After reviewing many options I decided to take a punt on an Acer Revo
> RL100. Here is the product page:
> http://www.acer.co.nz/ac/en/NZ/content/model/PT.SES02.025


I saw this reviewd in a mag recently and wondered how it would go as a
frontend, thanks for posting.

>
> Features to note: AMD K325 CPU (dual-core similar to Intel Atom D525 in
> performance), 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, NVIDIA ION2 chipset, Blu-Ray drive,
> HDMI, 802.11N wireless, DVB-T tuner card, a cool wireless
> keyboard/trackpad and a case that doesn't look out of place next to my TV.
>
> Because Linux Blu-Ray support isn't great I decided to keep the Windows
> system (for playing BD discs) and dual-boot with MythBuntu 11.04 (for
> everything else).

There is now quite a bit of support for BD in mythtv, although I THINK
you might still have to rip to hard drive first (ie mythtv will play
bluray disk structures from hard drive.)

>
> Installing MythBuntu was a breeze. Just about everything worked straight
> away. I had a little issue with HDMI audio but solved it by following the
> instructions here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1620926
>
> TV: I didn't realise when before I bought the system that the NZ version
> contained a DVB-T tuner (AverMedia A330).


Shame it is unsupported. Can you swap it out for another?

>It was a nice surprise that
> tuned to disappointment when I realised there is no Linux support.
> However I had bought a HDHomeRun because I'm sick of driver issues with
> tuners and its been great. Works like a charm.
>
> Blu-Ray: A I mentioned before Linux support isn't great. The Windows
> side however includes a Blu-Ray player in the form of Acer's Clear.fi
> software. I hired a couple of BD movies to test it out. The first worked
> fine. The second caused me a world of pain!
> The picture was there but I just couldn't get any sound out of it. After
> considerable research learning about DRM and HDCP I realised the problem
> was the disc used DTS-HD audio. This is a high def digital audio format.
> It requires a trusted (content protected) link all the way from the disc
> to the speakers. If this is not possible the audio is supposed to be
> decoded to a lower resolution.
> Unfortunately for me my home theatre amp is a few years old and doesn't
> support DTS. Clear.fi should then decode the audio but it doesn't because
> its a free piece of crap. My options are to buy commercial Blu-Ray
> software (about US$99), not rent or buy DTS discs, buy a new amp (I've
> already spent enough!) or (illegally) rip the disc and convert the audio
> myself. Grrr....
>

Try as above with mythtv?

> Wireless keyboard/trackpad: This is a really unique and neat feature. I
> won't go into the details of it as its well described in reviews. It
> works just fine in Linux and makes a decent enough remote control.

That is really excellent to know and one of the questions I asked on
the mythtv users list - got no response!

> I
> wouldn't like to type large documents with it but then that's not what its
> for. I also use Mythmote on my phone as a remote.
>
> Performance: I like to keep my Myth system all on one machine so I am
> using the Revo as a combined frontend-backend. I cannot complain about
> performance. High def content up to 1080p is played flawlessly and looks
> awesome on my 55" TV. I don't need to do any transcoding. The hard drive
> isn't big by today's standards. I save TV recordings to it but other
> content I access via a NFS share on another machine.
>
> Conclusion: I took a bit of a gamble buying this machine and it has paid
> off. I'm totally stoked with it. The cons are minor: I hope Linux
> Blu-Ray support improves and it would be nice if I could get the internal
> tuner working.
> I highly recommend it. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask!
>

Noise?

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kerry.baker at orcon

Sep 7, 2011, 11:08 PM

Post #4 of 12 (2892 views)
Permalink
Re: Acer Revo RL100 [In reply to]

I'll try to answer all your questions here:

Noise: Virtually silent! If you listen closely you can hear the hard
drive working. My home theatre amp has a fan and it makes more noise than
the Revo!

Linux and Blu Ray: As far as I am aware, with Linux the disc has to be
ripped to the hard drive, removing encryption which is a pain in the arse.
If it could be reliably played directly from the disc I would ditch
Windows altogether. To be honest I think Blu Ray could be more trouble
than its worth. The DRM is so onerous it practically encourages piracy.

AverMedia tuner: This is a PCI Express mini card. It could be replaced
but I'm not sure if any mini cards are Linux compatible. I didn't spend a
great deal of time trying to get it to work as I have the HDHomeRun. If
anyone has taken the time to get it working I'd love to know about it!


Anything else you want to know?

Kerry.


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nick.rout at gmail

Sep 10, 2011, 4:55 PM

Post #5 of 12 (2881 views)
Permalink
Re: Acer Revo RL100 [In reply to]

On Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 6:08 PM, Kerry Baker <kerry.baker [at] orcon> wrote:
> I'll try to answer all your questions here:
>
> Noise: Virtually silent! If you listen closely you can hear the hard
> drive working. My home theatre amp has a fan and it makes more noise than
> the Revo!
>
> Linux and Blu Ray: As far as I am aware, with Linux the disc has to be
> ripped to the hard drive, removing encryption which is a pain in the arse.
> If it could be reliably played directly from the disc I would ditch
> Windows altogether. To be honest I think Blu Ray could be more trouble
> than its worth. The DRM is so onerous it practically encourages piracy.
>
> AverMedia tuner: This is a PCI Express mini card. It could be replaced
> but I'm not sure if any mini cards are Linux compatible. I didn't spend a
> great deal of time trying to get it to work as I have the HDHomeRun. If
> anyone has taken the time to get it working I'd love to know about it!
>
>
> Anything else you want to know?

Yes, is this ION or ION2? could you possibly run lspci -n and let us
have the model number? ie my revo (not the same device at all) gives
10de:087e.

You can run lspci on it's own and it will give a line like:

03:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation ION LE VGA (rev b1)

Then when you run lspci -n you need to look at the line that
corresponds to the graphics card (in my case the one that starts
03:00.0, eg:

03:00.0 0300: 10de:087e (rev b1)

Thanks in advance.

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krizze at bluezone

Sep 12, 2011, 1:35 PM

Post #6 of 12 (2860 views)
Permalink
Re: Acer Revo RL100 [In reply to]

På Thu, 08 Sep 2011 08:08:43 +0200, skrev Kerry Baker
<kerry.baker [at] orcon>:

> I'll try to answer all your questions here:
>
> Noise: Virtually silent! If you listen closely you can hear the hard
> drive working. My home theatre amp has a fan and it makes more noise
> than
> the Revo!
>
> Linux and Blu Ray: As far as I am aware, with Linux the disc has to be
> ripped to the hard drive, removing encryption which is a pain in the
> arse.
> If it could be reliably played directly from the disc I would ditch
> Windows altogether. To be honest I think Blu Ray could be more trouble
> than its worth. The DRM is so onerous it practically encourages piracy.
>

I think (can't actually say it works, 'cause I haven't tried it myself)
you can play
Blu-Ray on Linux without dumping the whole thing to the hard drive.
You can use a program called makemkv, that decrypts on the fly, and
supports
streaming the Blu-Ray as a network-stream you can play with MPlayer, VLC,
etc:

http://themediaviking.com/2010/bluray-linux/

Should be possible to make a script that does everything for you
automatically
(looks like this has been done for XBMC:
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=67420).

As I said, I haven't tried it - let us know if you try (I don't have a
Blu-Ray drive yet).



--
Regards
Kristian

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kerry.baker at orcon

Sep 12, 2011, 6:59 PM

Post #7 of 12 (2865 views)
Permalink
Re: Acer Revo RL100 [In reply to]

...
>
> Yes, is this ION or ION2? could you possibly run lspci -n and let us
have the model number? ie my revo (not the same device at all) gives
10de:087e.
>
> You can run lspci on it's own and it will give a line like:
>
> 03:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation ION LE VGA (rev
b1)
>
> Then when you run lspci -n you need to look at the line that
> corresponds to the graphics card (in my case the one that starts
03:00.0, eg:
>
> 03:00.0 0300: 10de:087e (rev b1)
>
> Thanks in advance.
>

Nick,
Its ION2.
lspci shows this:
02:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation GT218 [ION] (rev a2)

lspci -n:
02:00.0 0300: 10de:0a6f (rev a2)

Kerry.





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nick.rout at gmail

Sep 12, 2011, 8:10 PM

Post #8 of 12 (2871 views)
Permalink
Re: Acer Revo RL100 [In reply to]

On Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 1:59 PM, Kerry Baker <kerry.baker [at] orcon> wrote:
> ...
>>
>> Yes, is this ION or ION2? could you possibly run lspci -n and let us
> have the model number? ie my revo (not the same device at all) gives
> 10de:087e.
>>
>> You can run lspci on it's own and it will give a line like:
>>
>> 03:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation ION LE VGA (rev
> b1)
>>
>> Then when you run lspci -n you need to look at the line that
>> corresponds to the graphics card (in my case the one that starts
> 03:00.0, eg:
>>
>> 03:00.0 0300: 10de:087e (rev b1)
>>
>> Thanks in advance.
>>
>
> Nick,
> Its ION2.
> lspci shows this:
> 02:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation GT218 [ION] (rev a2)
>
> lspci -n:
> 02:00.0 0300: 10de:0a6f (rev a2)

Excellent, feature set C for vdpau.

My ION 1 has feature set B with the restriction on h264 files it will
accelerate, including:

"GPUs with this note may not support H.264 streams with the following
widths: 49, 54, 59, 64, 113, 118, 123, 128 macroblocks (769-784,
849-864, 929-944, 1009-1024, 1793-1808, 1873-1888, 1953-1968,
2033-2048 pixels)."

I have a lot of 576p files, 16:9, therefore exactly 1024 wide, and
vdpau does not work. Very annoying.

By the way how much did you pay for yours. An offlist reply is fine if
you don't want to tell the world.

For those interested it is Appendices A & H
http://us.download.nvidia.com/XFree86/Linux-x86/280.13/README/index.html

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hads at nice

Sep 12, 2011, 8:33 PM

Post #9 of 12 (2857 views)
Permalink
Re: Acer Revo RL100 [In reply to]

On Tue, 13 Sep 2011 15:10:46 Nick Rout wrote:
> Excellent, feature set C for vdpau.

While we're talking about small Ion2 boxes, I just picked up a couple of
Shuttle XS35GT-V2 boxes. They aren't here yet but I'll let you know how they
go when they arrive.

hads
--
http://nicegear.co.nz

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nick.rout at gmail

Sep 13, 2011, 1:21 AM

Post #10 of 12 (2851 views)
Permalink
Re: Acer Revo RL100 [In reply to]

On Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 3:33 PM, Hadley Rich <hads [at] nice> wrote:
> On Tue, 13 Sep 2011 15:10:46 Nick Rout wrote:
>> Excellent, feature set C for vdpau.
>
> While we're talking about small Ion2 boxes, I just picked up a couple of
> Shuttle XS35GT-V2 boxes. They aren't here yet but I'll let you know how they
> go when they arrive.
>

Are you going to be selling those via nicegear?

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hads at nice

Sep 13, 2011, 1:44 AM

Post #11 of 12 (2854 views)
Permalink
Re: Acer Revo RL100 [In reply to]

On Tue, 13 Sep 2011 20:21:49 Nick Rout wrote:
> Are you going to be selling those via nicegear?

Not planning on it as I don't have an official supply for them, just purchased a
couple for personal use.

If I could find a decent supply it's always a possibility though.

hads
--
http://nicegear.co.nz

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kerry.baker at orcon

Sep 13, 2011, 4:39 AM

Post #12 of 12 (2846 views)
Permalink
Re: Acer Revo RL100 [In reply to]

...
>
> By the way how much did you pay for yours. An offlist reply is fine if
you don't want to tell the world.
>

I paid around $830 incl GST and shipping. But it looks like I got mine at
just the right time. A quick check of Price Spy and it looks like there
aren't any more.
http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=750973

As you can see from the price history it dropped like a stone from around
$1200 originally. I guess that's why they sold out.
I'm now wishing I had got a second one!



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