Acer Aspire 1410 Hulu YouTube HD Playback Review

Just this week I purchased a new Acer Aspire 1410-2990 and while researching this “netbook” I never could get a definite answer on if it would be able to handle this type of demanding Flash video that I would love to be able to view in a hotel when I travel. The answer is Yes it can handle almost all of it. Check out the results below for detail.

Hulu Testing

  • Hulu 360p Windowed: Plays Perfect
  • Hulu 480p Windowed: Plays Perfect
  • Hulu 360p Full-Screen: Plays Perfect
  • Hulu 480p Full-Screen: Plays Well (depends on video)

This test was conducted using The Office – Delivery, part 1 which played well but had a few dropped frames in fast motion scene at 480p full screen. I also played a few Family Guy episodes 480p which looked perfect but this is probably not a very intensive video because it lacks lots of fast motions and many colors. I also played an American Greed episode which played perfectly. Please note that the Family Guy episode and American Greed are standard format where as The Office is in wide screen.

YouTube Testing

  • YouTube 360p Full-Screen: Plays Perfect
  • YouTube 480p Full-Screen: Plays Perfect
  • YouTube 720p Full-Screen: Plays Perfect
  • YouTube 1080p Full-Screen: Slideshow

This test was preformed with OK GO’s new This Too Shall Not Pass (Rube Goldberg Machine) music video.

These test was performed with out of the box driver set and Mozilla Firefox 3.6 and Adobe Flash running on Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium on battery with power plan set to “Balanced” over WiFi.


  • 1.2GHz Intel Celeron SU2300 Processor (Dual-Core / 1MB Cache)
  • 2GB DDR2 667MHz Memory
  • 250GB SATA Hard Drive
  • 802.11a/b/g/Draft-N Wifi Connectivity
  • 11.6″ HD WXGA Acer CrystalBrite LED-backlit Display
  • Intel GMA 4500MHD Graphics
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Up to 6 Hours of Battery Life


  • Acer Aspire AS1410-2706 Ruby Red
  • Acer Aspire AS1410-2990 Sapphire Blue
  • Acer Aspire AS1410-2920 Diamond Black

Please notice that there are other 1410 models that have either a Core 2 Solo SU3500 or a Celeron M 743 both of which are single core processors that on most benchmarks I’ve seen don’t perform as well as the Celeron SU2300. These processor are slightly faster in clock speed and may have larger caches, but I don’t believe that overcomes the true dual cores advantage that exist in the SU2300. Don’t let the Celeron name scare you this is much faster than those Atom based netbooks.

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Living without Cable

It is coming up on a year that I have not had to pay for cable television. I still have cable in my house as it it is the fastest cheapest internet source for where I live but I don’t pay for any sort of standard TV programming with that.

Before I went without cable I was spending about $140 a month for having an HD DVR, HD Channels and extended basic, with HBO and standard 3 megabit internet. I am currently paying $55 a month for just 8 megabits high speed internet. There is some real savings there of over $1000 dollars, but the real question is did I miss a show. No, is the answer to that, I have a DVR though Hulu which never misses a show unlike my DVR did, and if i’m hanging around that night and want to watch it live I am able to pick up ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC with Over-the-Air HD so i’m really not missing out on much HD primetime TV when I’m home, and Hulu and the other websites that give you TV over the internet do a full screen and look great on my TV using my HP Z555 Media Center PC connected via HDMI.

For the shows that I cannot find on Hulu or their respective networks website, I turn to torrents because if I have this problem so does everyone else. They are not hard to find especially if you are looking for the latest episode of Heroes for example, you can even get some in HD if you really want to spend the extra time downloading. I tend to stick with the standard divx file. Also with my skills of installing XBMC on Xbox it allowed me to see any of the media I have downloaded in the bedroom using my home network. Even better is that is Media Mall’s PlayOn Media Server which will access internet content including Hulu and stream it to “dumber” devices across your home network. This is how we have been able to see Hulu in the bedroom with out the use XBMC Hulu Plugin, which is still not ready for prime time.

For the most part I don’t miss a show, I do miss ESPN, Versus and Fox Sports because they tend to carry the live sports that I would like to see, and although ESPN has ESPN 360 it doesn’t carry the things I wanna see like Nascar races or some college football games. So if you are a sports lover then you still might need cable or satellite for that need, I find that it is just excuse to go find some friends and watch the game with them or find a bar and makes new friends watching the game.

I will continue not paying for cable and enjoying saving that bit of cash. The only real problem I can see with this is with bandwidth caps, that might force me to rethink this whole thing if the limit the amount of content that I can download from sources, but for now the pipe is wide open and I will use it to my advantage.

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