Today I got chance to play with a Samsung NC10 netbook, which must be one of the best netbooks around. It’s miles away from the EEE PC 701 I have and for most tasks could replace my Tablet PC as my main devices. So as I have done with just about everything else in sight I installed Windows 7. When you first power up the NC10 it gives you the option of creating a partition so I create one for Windows 7 and setup it up to dual boot with XP, which I needn’t have bothered as Windows 7 is working so well I will not be booting up XP. Installing Windows 7 over the network worked well and I got the drivers from HERE. I wanted to see how Media Center performed on the atom machine and especially wanted to see how Play To worked.
My first test was playing a h.264 mp4 file from a USB stick which worked fine without any codecs needed any took about 60% CPU when playing the video. Next I tested the same file stored on another Windows 7 machine and from that machine I used Play To to play the file on the Samsung. Play To worked fine and the CPU usage was around 95% so the wireless connection seems to use more CPU, I then I tried playing the same file but using the shared library feature and initiated playback from the NC10 with the file hosted on the other Windows 7 machine, this again played fine and took around 75% CPU. I did the same Play To test with a WMV file and it look around 50%, in all the tests the playback was glitch free.
I also testing playback from Windows Media Center which would play some test files without any issues. I could play TV files recorded on my Media Center PC over the network and that worked fine. This is pretty impressive considering this is running with 1GB
So that is Play To and Media Center working so the NC10 which makes a great netbook for Media Center use, I can imagine this working nicely with a USB tuner but I see it more as a playback machine than a recorder and with the 6 hour battery it would be a nice devices to watch movies on the plane
The problem I have now is that I don’t want to go back to using Vista, I am really loving Windows 7
9 thoughts on “Windows Media Center on a Netbook”
Thanks, needed this ethernet drivers so far i havent used it wired but im sure that will come in handy sometime, Windows 7 works really well on my NC10 and i cant remember the last time i booted into XP, one think I have notice enough times for it not to be my mind going that sometimes the sound will go so i have to boot into XP unmute it and the boot into Windows 7 as regardless of muted or unmuted and/or system volume i get no sound…
I am running Win7 on my NC10 without any problems. When I got it I installed Vista which ran fine as well. I did upgrade it to 2gig, so maybe that helps. I think it is a great netbook..
Good article Ian. I am interested in hearing your thoughts on the AMD Yukon Platform (HP DV2). Seems like its right up your alley, given the usage model you tested against.
@John Try getting the updated audio drivers from
they fixed the mic problem I had
@Casey, I am very keen to try the DV2. I think it should work very well
Can you comment on the resolutions of the media files in your tests?
i will do some more testing and post on the resolution
I am thinking of getting the Samsung NC10, install Windows 7, then the media center to hook it to Xbox so that I can stream stuff from the Net book to the TV. Can you tell me if this is possible and do you see any issues?
@anuj it should work but i have not tested it yet, it may tax the processor a little but I would need to test it to be sure