To test video decode and playback capabilities of the Zotac ZBOX Nano XS AD11 Plus, we attempted to play back a wide variety of 1080P H.264-encoded QuickTime clips, numerous 1080P MKV files, and HD Flash videos, both locally and streamed over the web or LAN. We also used both the wired and wireless network connections while streaming. We then fired up Windows Task Manager take a look at CPU utilization in all instances.
|HD Video Playback and CPU Utilization
|HD Video Decode Performance
1080P YouTube Video Full Screen
SD Hulu Content, Full Scaled To Full Screen
SD Hulu Content, Windowed
Our experiences playing back various file types on the ZBOX Nano XS AD11 were mostly good. When playing back SD or HD .MKV files locally, the system performed flawlessly. Our experiences were also very good while playing numerous different file types from a NAS device using the Nano XS AD11's wired network connection. When using the included USB WiFi controller to stream files over the network, performance was generally good with SD content, but we did run into some framerate issues and wireless connection stability when playing large HD videos. If you plan to stream HD content from a NAS or server on your network, using a wired connection is preferable.
Streaming content from the web was mostly good as well, but we did have some issues with content from Hulu. Our system had a fresh Windows installation with the latest Flash Player and AMD Catalyst drivers installed (v12.3), and YouTube content played back flawlessly. We'd see high CPU utilization during initial playback of 1080P HD content from YouTube, in the neighborhood of 60% - 70%, but once the vide completely downloaded utilization would drop into the teens. With Hulu, however, CPU utilization remained somewhat high regardless of the video resolution. If we played back SD content and scaled it to full screen, for example, CPU utilization hovered in the 70% - 80% range. Scaling the video down to a small window, however, would reduce utilization significantly.