Author Topic: Pricing components in FiireStation Cube Set-Top  (Read 5191 times)

Greg

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Pricing components in FiireStation Cube Set-Top
« on: November 20, 2007, 04:01:42 am »
I think I've found the exact components of the FiireStation Cube Set-Top Box:

$222.00
Free Shipping
$0.00
$86.00
$13.99
Shipping & Handling
$12.82
Grand Total
$334.81

The FiireStation Cube Set-Top Box goes for $499.00 + $39.26 S&H = $538.26
So, for about $204 you get:
  • Assembly
  • LinuxMCE installation & configuration (Video standard and port, but not resolution?)
  • Test
  • Licensed Unchrome Pro II drivers with UI-2 Alpha-blending support
That seems a little high, but not outrageously so.

DeadPenguin

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Re: Pricing components in FiireStation Cube Set-Top
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2007, 08:27:24 am »
For that price I'll take a MSI Media Live and add my own CPU  - RAM - HD and still come under that price.




Greg

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Re: Pricing components in FiireStation Cube Set-Top
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2007, 02:54:46 pm »
It's been reported in these forums that the Unichrome Pro II chipset produces visibly better video playback quality than any NVidia solution.  You also get much lower power consumption.

BTW, I think I also found the same 2.2" case:  The Casetronic C158B


ITX Depot has the 60W, 90W, and 120W versions for $92, $115+, and $120 respectively, with $10.85 S&H

They also have an  assembled barebone system, with 60W PS, VIA EPIA-EX15000G and 512MB DDR2 for $351.00 + $14.29 S&H = $365.29.

That brings the Fiire markup down to $172.97

They also have a barebone system available in the 2699R case
for $338.00 + $15.24 S&H = $353.24

marrandy

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Re: Pricing components in FiireStation Cube Set-Top
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2007, 05:03:01 pm »
 Posted by: Greg

"It's been reported in these forums that the Unichrome Pro II chipset produces visibly better video playback quality than any NVidia solution. "

The big problem with VIA is their lack of co-operation with the open source community.  If you go to http://www.viaarena.com/  and more so,

http://forums.viaarena.com/categories.aspx?catid=28&entercat=y

you will after reading several threads get a gist of the issues.

It looks like VIA are setting Linux 5-years back with their abject failure to provide proper, opens source compliant, API documentation.

Maybe everyone should email them and ask them about the closed source open unichrome II Pro drivers that are only available to system integrators.

mkt@via.com.tw
« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 03:30:41 pm by marrandy »

DeadPenguin

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Re: Pricing components in FiireStation Cube Set-Top
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2007, 07:00:19 pm »
Thanks Marrandy for the address. I will email.
Travla cases are nice I have ran across them a lot when I was looking to do a car PC.
I used ATI until I discovered Linux. After that it has been Nvidia since.

Thanks.

Regards,
Blair

Matthew

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Re: Pricing components in FiireStation Cube Set-Top
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2007, 08:29:14 pm »
What about the $233 HDMI MD I figured out how to source? Any reason it wouldn't work as well as these other DIY MDs, plus HDMI?

DeadPenguin

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Re: Pricing components in FiireStation Cube Set-Top
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2007, 02:56:52 am »
I just got this back from VIA.

Dear Blair,
 
The source code to the CX700M/2 drivers for Linux can be downloaded here:
http://www.viaarena.com/default.aspx?PageID=420&OSID=25&CatID=2580&SubCatID=184





Matthew

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Re: Pricing components in FiireStation Cube Set-Top
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2007, 05:59:02 am »
I just got this back from VIA.

Dear Blair,
 
The source code to the CX700M/2 drivers for Linux can be downloaded here:
http://www.viaarena.com/default.aspx?PageID=420&OSID=25&CatID=2580&SubCatID=184

Do those drivers offer UI2/alpha-blended on VIA HW?

DeadPenguin

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Re: Pricing components in FiireStation Cube Set-Top
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2007, 06:42:30 am »
That is what I was hoping. I do not have a via box to test. That was Via's response to my request that provide the Unichrome Pro II drivers to the public.
If that is the driver that will produce UI2 w/ alpha I will have a new Via box soon.

jvizueta

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Re: Pricing components in FiireStation Cube Set-Top
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2007, 06:58:14 am »
This post I already published it on another thread (http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=3326.0), but I think it may be useful here too

$200 Wal-mart's gPC vs $500 Fiire Station (set top box)
This might seem to some of you like comparing apples with pears but well, here it goes anyway
  • Processor: Via 1.5 Ghz
  • RAM: 512 MB
  • Audio: VIA Vinyl Audio 6-channel AC’97 surround sound
  • Video: VIA UniChrome Pro IGP graphics core integrates a 128-bit graphics engine, hardware MPEG-2 decode acceleration and an AGP8X interface.
  • Network: 10/100 Mbps Ethernet
  • USB connectors: 2
  • DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive
  • 80 GB hard disk drive
  • Processor: Via 1.5 Ghz
  • RAM: 512MB
  • Audio: Via Vinyl 6 channel audio.  SPDIF coas and tos-link for digital audio
  • Video: Via UniChrome Pro II PC graphics plus hardware-accelerated alpha blended open gl and MPEG 2 decoder using licensed drivers and codecs
  • Network: Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB connectors: 4
Please, if you see I'm missing something feel free to say so
From some posts I've read gPC comes with keyboard and mouse too (I see some speakers on the picture also), but I'm not sure about that
Update: Confirmed, keyboard, mouse and speakers do come with the gPC
References:
fiire station:
http://fiire.com/fiire-station.php
gPC:
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=7754614
http://www.via.com.tw/en/initiatives/empowered/pc2500_platform/index.jsp
http://healthysystem.blogspot.com/2007/11/200-gos-gnulinux-photo-review.html
« Last Edit: December 17, 2007, 07:16:52 am by jvizueta »
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Matthew

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Re: Pricing components in FiireStation Cube Set-Top
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2007, 07:41:51 am »
Here's another clear official statement from Fiire that's still inconclusive, in Re: Fiire Station 2.2" Review/Specs:
**FIIRE'S RESPONSE**

All the FiireStations, 1" and 2.2" and STB, use the same graphics engine, based on an embedded Via solution.  Neither the standard Via Linux  drivers, nor the OpenChrome drivers support alpha-blending.  Only nVidia does, but nVidia has problems with video tearing.  So, special drivers were developed just for LinuxMCE for the Via engine.  Fiire licenses those drivers.

These drivers do support alpha blending and high-quality video playback.  The alpha blending is done in a non-standard way.  It doesn't use Xorg's composite extensions, and the popup portions of the menu are not alpha blended.  However the menu itself is.  So is the media file browser screen.

The big problem with these licensed drivers is that MythTV doesn't work with it, nor does Kubuntu 0704 or 0710, or the KDE desktop.  So, the FiireEngine ships with a special diskless image for the FiireStations based on Kubuntu 0610 without KDE.  It works fine for media playback, and you can record Myth shows on the FiireEngine, but you cannot run Myth locally.

We're currently trying to get the OpenChrome and/or Via stock Linux drivers to work with the Fiire Stations and Kubuntu 0710.  When we do, FiireStation users will have the choice of using those standard drivers with the latest LinuxMCE, Myth, and KDE, but without alpha blending, or continuing to use the proprietary drivers which we licensed which do alpha blending, but don't run Myth or KDE.

I don't think any of the drivers on that VIA page offering their source are the proprietary ones that do UI2/alpha-blend. Which don't work with Myth or KDE either. So I don't think there are even any satisfactory drivers, with or without open source.

However, it looks like Fiire is still trying to get a driver on their VIA HW that will do UI2/a-b, in every mode (including KDE/MythTV). And that VIA is inclined to open their source. So maybe sometime soon there will be such a driver. Especially if we keep encouraging VIA and Fiire, like by promising to buy their products when they work.