Acer Aspire Revo – First impressions

On Thursday I purchased the Acer Aspire Revo as my media centre solution. After living with it for a few days I thought I would write a quick round up of the positives and negatives of the Revo.

Positives

  • It is quiet… VERY quiet
  • Fairly small
  • Has a VESA mount (I used it to put it on the wall!)
  • Runs XBMC very well

Negatives

  • Doesn’t currently like playing DVD images, although hi-def content and divx work fine
  • No remote control
  • No IR port
  • Iphone remote is ok, but no solution full-fime, and keeps losing connection

The remote control issue doesn’t seem too important at first, until you look at the cost of remotes that will work with XBMC (no-IR port). They come in at around £20, but add this to the cost of the Revo, already more expensive than some media centres that come with remotes, and suddenly the cost is starting to creep up.

The main benefit I see of choosing the Revo over the likes of the Xtremer is the fact you can run XBMC on it. Some of the scripts and themes for XBMC are very slick indeed and the community is great.

One of the negatives I listed is playback of DVD images (std resolution). I think this could be the fact I am using the Alpha version of the new software. I cannot think of a reason why it could stream 1080p content fine yet struggle with DVD images. I will do a bit of digging and find out.

Overall I am very happy with my purchase. It does the job well (and quietly) and lets me run some excellent software on it. The only thing I am considering next is whether to replace the live version of XBMC with the Ubuntu version and see if I can add some TV playing/recording functionality in the future, maybe using MythTV?

UPDATE: I have figured out the issue with DVD’s. I run FreeNAS on one of my machines and for some reason it was maxing out around 1MB/s. I have upgraded the software version and now it is maxing out around 4MB/s, still not great but good enough for DVD playback. Anyway, as far as the Acer is concerned it is working fine 😀

5 replies
  1. Rarst
    Rarst says:

    I have to admit I don’t have media center (or need for one), but I wonder why don’t people simply use wireless mice instead of remote?..

    Maybe I just hate remotes – they have too many buttons (because more of such crap impresses people) and are overall confusing.

    Reply
  2. Jim
    Jim says:

    I agree, there are times where a wireless mouse would work really well. However, if I was watching a dvd I think the traditional remote would work better. Without a flat surface to work on trying to operate a mouse on the arm of the sofa isn’t ideal. Not sure the live version of XBMC supports wireless mice.. might be something to look into though.

    Reply
  3. Rarst
    Rarst says:

    @Jim

    I use wireless mouse (rebranded OEM Logitech, was bundled with my notebook) on sofa. It’s not as good as table surface of course, but bearable.

    I also had once tried using mobile phone as remote, but my desktop bluetooth dongle is really crappy. 🙂

    Reply
  4. menu cafe
    menu cafe says:

    Can anyone give me a hand on what type of ram to purchase for this. I already know its DDR2 at 667 MHz but i need to know what pin to choose. If you dont know, how can I tell how many pin to choose.

    Reply

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