HD video coming to netbooks– thanks to Broadcomm and Nvidia

Netbooks are here to stay.  We use them to surf the web, answer email, post on Facebook and Twitter, and watch the occasional video on YouTube.  The one thing a lot of people have been clamoring for has been the ability to play HD video.  This has not been possible since netbooks, almost by definition, have always been under powered.

Well, thanks to video card manufacturer’s Broadcom and Nvidia, this may not be the case anymore.

According to an article over at CNet:

For playback of high-resolution HD video–such as 1080p–Intel has “validated” an additional Broadcom chip that Netbook suppliers can include in systems, according to Anil Nanduri, director, Netbook Marketing at Intel.

However, consumers are going to have to find out on their own if their netbook has this new chip, the BCM70015 Crystal HD chip. Hopefully this process will be as straight-forward as it is too find out if a netbook has an nVidia Ion chip in it; otherwise, they will be stuck with 720p playback only.

Over at Nvidia, there is the nVidia Ion chip.  These chips will be demonstrated at CES this year.

“With Ion you’ll be able watch Hulu HD or YouTube HD at either 720 or 1080. With standard Intel components without Ion you won’t be able to do that,” said David Ragones, product line manager at Nvidia, disputing Intel’s claim that the Atom processor can do 720p video playback.

Between the new Broadcom and Nvidia chipsets, it looks like we can finally expect to see HD video playback arrive on many netbooks this coming year! Time to find that copy of Blade Runner in HD.

Here’s an video from Broadcom that shows how this new chip will impact how you watch videos on your netbook.