I now have the eee box b202 working with my system.
Here are the hitches I encountered:
* There is an issue with the NIC that prevents automatic setup as a diskless media director. There are reports that this is fixed in 0810. (yay!!)
* The workaround for the NIC problem (see http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/ASUS_eee_box_b202_setup
) only works if the core is running the i386 version. My core was running the AMD64 version. I am now running the i386 version on my core. This change was a blessing unto itself -- my core is now more responsive and crashes less.
* The eee box would boot to a black screen. Using the xorg.conf from http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=6847.msg42485#msg42485
* connecting the eee box to my aquos tv with a DVI=>HDMI cable produced black flashing (see http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=6901.msg50757#msg50757
). I am using 720p VGA instead.
* I was not able to get a resolution higher than 720p working.
* The eee box would lock up once the on-screen orbiter was activated. Setting the photo screen saver to "static" mode reduced lockups dramatically.
* frequently the eee box isn't able to pxeboot. the only solution that I have found is to delete the media director from the admin page and recreate it. I wrote a shell script that does a bunch of the heavy lifting required for the NIC workaround.
* DVD rips playback flawlessly.
* Some 720p media plays almost flawlessly. I have a few 720p DivX nature shows that playback perfectly except on some scenes with moving patterns.
* Other 720p content cannot be played. The troublemakers all seem to use the MPEG4ISO codec. Many of these same files also push the limits of my M2NPV-VM media director.
* I was not able to get any 1080p content to play.
The eee box is small and inexpensive. My goal was to come up with a media director setup for the bedroom that was unobtrusive. The eee box definitely does the job. The whole unit and cabling mounts cleanly behind my TV. The network and power cables come through the wall, so it is a really clean setup. In fact, no cables are visible.
Overall I'm pretty happy with the eee box even if it chokes on some HD content. Hopefully this helps someone make a decision.