I like to keep track of HTPC video cards here are Smidgen PC, which is I have an HTPC video card buying guide. However, even the cards in that guide are not really HTPC-specific video cards. They are rather low-power video cards which work well in HTPCs because they are small, support HDMI and provide the power required to play high definition video. But now it looks like ASUS is going to release a “real” HTPC video card – the first such product I’m aware of.
Called the Bravo220, the video card is based off the Nvidia GT220. The card is passively cooled, unlike most GT220 cards which use a fan. ASUS is also claiming that the card is 21 percent more power efficient than competing models. We’re probably talking about 6 or 7 watts of juice here, but ever bit counts.
But that is just the tip of the iceberg. ASUS is also claiming that the card with feature an EMI shield to prevent interference from other PC components and an intelligent image enhancement suite which will be able to dynamically adjust image quality to present the best image possible. If ASUS can actually deliver on the promise of improving image quality this card will be a must-have for anyone with an HTPC. ASUS is also throwing in a media center interface called BravoMediaCenter and a remote control.
The bad new is that ASUS has not announced pricing or a release date yet, which usually indicates it will be awhile before we see product on store shelves.