Imagine a Mac Mini, but with HDMI and component video outputs, and with a custom Linux-based user interface: that’s Myka, a set-top home theater computer that is shipping now. The Myka is thick with features, playing nearly every video container format around (including .mkv)—there’s even a BitTorrent client on the box.
Even the price is reasonable: The 80GB version is just $280 right now, with free shipping; a version with a 500GB hard drive is only $390.
Having recently gone through a painful experience with an AppleTV and Boxee (more to come, but my quick take is “don’t bother”), I’m in the market. I was actually planning on getting a Mac Mini and putting Boxee on there, but now I’ll have to consider Myka, even though I am very doubtful that their interface is as polished as Boxee or even XBMC.
Another worry: The manufacturer never quite states what sort of processor is inside except to call it a “450 DMIPS SOC”. One of my biggest issues with trying to run Boxee on the AppleTV was simple that the 1GHz processor inside couldn’t handle everything that Boxee was trying to do (not to mention 1080p videos). A little poking around in the forum reveals that they’re referring to the Broadcom BCM7403 “video system-on-a-chip”, a 300MHz MIPS processor that is specially built for video decoding and encoding, but will be mostly useless for any heavy general purpose computing.
In fact, the more that I look at this, the more it appears to be a DVR-class box in a smaller form factor with a custom interface. That’s not a bad thing by any means, but it’s certainly not going to be a screamer. [via Technabob]