i use a via epia mII 10000 with 512MB and a hauppauge PVR 350.
Everything runs very well. Watching TV with or without Timeshift (a little bit stocking at the moment because i test always the latest cvs-releases - watching the recorded tv-shows with mediaplayer don´t stock).
With 0.1.0.3 it works very very well.
Also hearing radio, mp3 works great. Watching DVD, DIVx, Xvid an ogg works for me fine.
But i only use it as a htpc i dont play any games (only the tetris plugin) on this machine.
Hope this was helpfull for you. And when you want some more power there is a epia ii M12000 with 1,2 Ghz available.
I recently built an htpc using an MII 12000 with 1gig memory and a hauppagge 500 dual tuner board. The MII 12000 is the beefiest epia currently available so I really didn't expect problems. I was seriously disappointed.
Mpeg4 (Divx, Xvid) played great and only used about 50% of the processor, but with the NVIDIA mpeg2 codec (which many people consider the best, and certainly isn't know for being a cpu pig) I could watch DVDs with about 90% cpu utilization, but for the htpc packages, when i could watch TV, the cpu utilization was at 100%, and it was usually too choppy to watch.
Needless to say, I am pretty disappointed. Low power usage, low heat, low noise, low cost. It sounded perfect to me. I'm now thinking I'll build a system around a micro-atx with a cheap athlon, and screw power usage. Although for something that would sit in my living room and never get turned off, I'd sure appreciate responsible power consumption, but I don't think I can talk myself into paying several hundred dollars for a mobile chip.
It's also worth noting that I am looking to build my system before July, when the broadcast flag stuff will go into effect.
As PJ pointed out, the upcoming SP and their new nano-itx mobo will both have real MPEG2 hardware decoding, and will have MPEG4 acceleration. Those boards also have some other stuff that might make them a little faster too.
But the key thing here is "If you can wait". Neither board is out yet, and apparently Via has a bit of a reputation for being late on deliverable dates. So the slated release dates of early this year might not get here in time for July. (of course if you aren't in the US then July is no hard stop for you)
Well, looks like the Epia SP should be in stock today for sales, so they may have missed 1Q, but not by much. It's $264 at logic supply. Same price for both the fanless 800mhz and the 1.3 ghz (with 25 db fan).
I didn't see any new news on the nano-itx.
VIA also recently announced a dual processor board, but that isn't currently available either. However, that will add beef to the processing power of the epia line once it is out.