what is the minimum HW requirements for running an HD movie from a notebook to a LCD screen

Posted on 2009-12-17
Last Modified: 2013-11-06
I want to buy a small laptop that can easily use as a media player for my LCD.
I stumbled on Lenovo S12 2959-KUG.
It is a 12 inch notebook with an HDMI exit
Main features:
Processor: Intel® Atom" Processor  N270 1.6GH
Graphic accelerator: NVIDIA ION MCP79
Storage: 320GB SATA 5400rpm
Exits: HDMI, USB 2.0 x 2 ,VGA, Audio

My question is: can i use this laptop to play HD mobies with an HDMI connection to my LCD?
Question by:InsProf
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    your config is ok for Divx but for HD movies I would recommend at least a core duo proc and a graphic card which support HD VC-1 (minimum : ATI HD2600 or nvidia 8400)

    Author Comment

    Hi greg,
    do you mean that it is not possible, or
    when playing HD movies  it would stammer  and sometimes would not responde, etc.
    if it would work also 80% of the time, its good enough for me...
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment


    sorry for the mistake, this is a brand new architecture, so I had to look further.
    found a link (sorry but it's french) to confirm :
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    An Atom CPU is NOT capable of reliably decoding H.264 video -- and most of the Netbooks that use it are not equipped with video adapters that can do this decoding in hardware.   But the nVidia ION is an exception => it does a nice job of displaying at 1080p, and includes hardware decoding support for H.264, which helps a lot in reducing the CPU requirements. But it's questionable whether it helps enough to reliably play high bit-ray H.264 content.

    The French article referenced above shows a 30+% CPU utilization with the hardware encoding support on the ION for H.264 at 18mb/s bit rates. Note that BluRay movies (and other high-action H.264 content) can easily hit 40-45 mb/s bit rates -- and the article does not test video at these rates.

    Bottom line: The system you asked about will work very well for standard DVDs and low-bit-rate HD, but you may encounter significant "stuttering" on high-bit-rate encodings. Based on your comment "... if it would work also 80% of the time, its good enough for me... " I'd say it will be fine for your needs.

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