Tuesday, September 15th 2009

VIA EPIA-P720 Brings Fanless HD Video Playback to Pico-ITX

VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient x86 processor platforms, today announced the VIA EPIA-P720 Pico-ITX board, which takes advantage of the latest VIA VX855 media system processor to deliver stunningly smooth playback of the latest HD video formats for next-generation digital interactive devices.

"VIA continually strives to offer customers compelling product designs that open up new worlds of possibility," said Daniel Wu, Vice President, VIA Embedded Platform Division, VIA Technologies, Inc. "The VIA EPIA-P720 enables a new class of extremely compact embedded devices that can comfortably handle the most demanding video playback whilst remaining entirely fanless. No other compact platform currently offers these features in tandem."

Today's digital interactive devices give users a more immersive and enhanced experience, employing high quality, high resolution video content. Using the latest video compression technologies, like the increasingly popular H.264 codec, HD media playback usually requires a substantial processing overhead, negating the possibility of a completely fanless compact system.

With the VIA EPIA-P720, the VIA VX855 MSP takes the video decompression burden from the central processor, applying industry-leading hardware acceleration for the most compression-intensive codecs, including H.264, VC1, WMV9 and MPEG 2/4, at display resolutions up to 1080p. The VIA EPIA-P720 also boasts several display connectivity options including native HDMI, VGA and LVDS support.

The VIA EPIA-P720 - Small yet Powerful
Measuring a mere 10cm x 7.2cm, the VIA EPIA-P720 is based on the VIA-developed, ultra compact Pico-ITX form factor. Powered by a low power, fanless 1GHz VIA Eden ULV processor, the VIA EPIA-P720 supports up to 2GB of DDR2 system memory and is the first Pico-ITX board to feature the VIA VX855 Media System Processor.

A highly integrated, all-in-one chipset, the VIA VX855 MSP is specially designed to provide flawless hardware acceleration for the latest HD video codecs including H.264, WMV, VC1 and MPEG 2/4 at high bitrates and display resolutions of up to 1080p. The VIA Chrome9 HCM 3D integrated graphics core boasts full DirectX 9.0 support and a 128-bit 2D engine with hardware rotation capability.

The VIA EPIA-P720 uses a specially designed I/O add-on-board, the VIA P720-A, which complements the native HDMI port to add a VGA port, a Gigabit LAN port and two USB 2.0 ports. The VIA Vinyl HD audio codec provides 6 channel, DTS capable audio with S/PDIF support. Storage is provided in the shape of an onboard 44-pin IDE connector and one S-ATA port.

On board pin headers provide support for an additional 4 x USB 2.0 ports, an LPC connector, SMBus connector, PS/2 support, audio jacks, LVDS, 4 pairs of DIO and two UART ports. For more details about the VIA EPIA-P720 please visit this page.
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20 Comments on VIA EPIA-P720 Brings Fanless HD Video Playback to Pico-ITX

#1
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
This is seriously cool. HD playback on something that can be fit in a Gamboy. :D
Posted on Reply
#2
adrianx
for via ... it's simple world...with no amd, no intel or nvidia :D
Posted on Reply
#3
lemonadesoda
Eden™ ULV CPU, 1.0GHz

I do wish VIA would put their new Nano processor across the product range. Even a ULV slow Nano would significantly outperform the Eden (IIRC) and would give a little more scope for running the embedded system on Windows... e.g. easy for a user to build a media station or skype video phone system on this. The Eden 1GHz is just a little slow.
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#4
Easo
Niiiiice...
Posted on Reply
#5
Mussels
Moderprator
i want to see one in a gamecube now, go make me one frick
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#6
Cuzza
Gamecube eh? I need a new project...
Posted on Reply
#7
AsRock
TPU addict
GRRR no DVI port. But you get a VGA port :|
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#8
Mussels
Moderprator
by: AsRock
GRRR no DVI port. But you get a VGA port :|
it has HDMI, so you can use a HDMI to DVI adaptor.
Posted on Reply
#9
qwerty_lesh
but why no eSATA?
If someones going to cash out for one of these tiny little awesome machines, they're gonna put a large disk on it to 'backup' theyre h.264 video, Don't get me wrong, the gigabit lan is nice, but Gigabit lan and an eSATA socket is nicer!
Posted on Reply
#12
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
by: Jstn7477
Do they have different back I/O plates for it? I don't think this board uses the standard Pico ITX header layout that I have seen on other Pico ITX boards.
i dont think you get an i/o plate. if you look at the inards of the case it comes with its own PCB that connects to the backplate.
Posted on Reply
#13
audiotranceable
Where does the ram go, in the bottom ?. Guessing that it takes laptop ram if it's that small:)
Posted on Reply
#14
pr0n Inspector
by: qwerty_lesh
but why no eSATA?
If someones going to cash out for one of these tiny little awesome machines, they're gonna put a large disk on it to 'backup' theyre h.264 video, Don't get me wrong, the gigabit lan is nice, but Gigabit lan and an eSATA socket is nicer!
look closer.
Posted on Reply
#15
A Cheese Danish
by: qwerty_lesh
but why no eSATA?
If someones going to cash out for one of these tiny little awesome machines, they're gonna put a large disk on it to 'backup' theyre h.264 video, Don't get me wrong, the gigabit lan is nice, but Gigabit lan and an eSATA socket is nicer!
You could hook up an external drive via ethernet to a router/switch. Or you can hook up a standard SATA hard drive.

by: matthewbroad
Where does the ram go, in the bottom ?. Guessing that it takes laptop ram if it's that small:)
I don't think it has ram slots...:confused: but I could be wrong.

Pretty nice though :cool: I wouldn't mind owning one of these for an HTPC, dedicated strictly to video playback.
Posted on Reply
#16
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: Mussels
i want to see one in a gamecube now, go make me one frick
....

That's actually something I should think about.

...

Or better yet, in a Gameboy! ^^



BTW, what will the price be? I've found some swedish stores that will take them in, but they'll be like $450. -_-
Posted on Reply
#17
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: pr0n Inspector
look closer.
You can look as close as you want, it doesn't have an eSATA port.

Not that I think it is needed, I'd use this to stream the media from my media server, and really for the purposes of this machine USB would be fine.
Posted on Reply
#18
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
There is a SATA port, you could use the IDE connector for storage and the SATA for external purposes..
Posted on Reply
#19
audiotranceable
by: A Cheese Danish
You could hook up an external drive via ethernet to a router/switch. Or you can hook up a standard SATA hard drive.



I don't think it has ram slots...:confused: but I could be wrong.

Pretty nice though :cool: I wouldn't mind owning one of these for an HTPC, dedicated strictly to video playback.
r. Powered by a low power, fanless 1GHz VIA Eden ULV processor, the VIA EPIA-P720 supports up to 2GB of DDR2 system memory
It supports so I wonder if it does have one in the bottom.
Posted on Reply
#20
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Most setups like this use a SO-DIMM slot on the bottom, so that is likely where it is on this one also. Since it isn't in any of the pictures, and that is the only side we don't have a picture of, I would assume it there.
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