On my N310, there's a second PCIe card that came populated with a 3G card, totally useless to me. When I changed my Wifi card for an OSX supported one, I took out the 3G card and put some heatshrink around the antenna connectors to avoid shorts. So it was easy to open it up again and just plug the Crystal HD card into the second slot. Under Win7 Starter, all I had to do is install the latest driver and use either Media Player 12 or Media Player Classic HC (and introduce it to the Crystal HD filter) and it worked: 1080 HD plays back at about 30% CPU. The same would max out the CPU and stutter/freeze without Crystal HD. So great news: the extra PCIe seems fully functional on the N310. Even the Wifi card worked in it.
So now OS X: I basically froze my N310 at 10.6.3 because it was the most complete and stable install I have (the only thing that doesn't work is "sleep on lid close"). It turns out that XBMC (X-Box Media Center... for all platforms now...) is the only way to get Crystal HD to work on osx. I found all this out on Aehso's Output.
Broadcom Crystal HD latest drivers (latest version = 3.5.0)
crystalhd-for-osx (latest version = 3.6.0)
XBMC builds (latest = Dharma RC2)
1. Since I use NBI, I just put BroadcomCrystalHD.kext in the "Extras\GeneralExtensions\" folder and ran "UpdateExtra".
2. Get the latest "Dharma" build of XBMC. The previous version won't work with Crystal HD. It turns out lots of people are populating their Apple-TV or mac-mini's with this Crystal HD card so the new version will natively support it.
You're done! Run XBMC and you can check under System>Video>Playback where the CrystalHD should be preselected ("Allow hardware acceleration (CrystalHD)"). Then just run any file supported by CrystalHD and HD away!
- Your files have to be supported by Crystal HD: MPEG-4, DivX, Xvid, AVS, MPEG-2, VC-1, WM9, H.264/AVC, Flash 10.1, WMP 12 (some of these like DivX and Xvid are new on the 70015). Crystal HD won't do anything for other formats.
- I'm not sold on the Flash support; it seems to help but HD content CPU use still climbs high on youtube. It's not too important to me as lower res stuff is fine on that media. It's really hard to find any official news about Flash support from anyone especially Adobe; it really feels like they're sweeping this one under the carpet.
- It works fine on the internal monitor but only win7 works properly on the external; I think that's because it's possible to switch to the external monitor exclusively. I haven't figured out how to do this on osx (anyone know?); on osx, HD just isn't perfectly smooth regardless of how low res I set the external monitor. It could also just be an XBMC bug. Using the external monitor also costs more CPU, around 60% (on both os's).
- According to reviews battery life is only impacted if you watch a lot of HD video, but not as much as using a dedicated chip like the Ion. I haven't used it enough yet to make a firm determination, but I do know that 10.6.3 uses more power than win7; could be because my power management isn't ideal.
That's it! Working HD on an N310 netbook. FYI...