I like to watch HD content on my NC10 but the CPU struggles with higher bit rate files. To overcome this issue I wanted to install one of the Broadcom HD decoder cards e.g. here.
Two things held me back from doing this:
1. The Broadcom HD decoder card was only supported by one software player - TotalMedia™ Theatre - whereas I wanted to use MediaPlayer classic.
2. The NC10 only has one PCI-e slot and it is currently occupied by a wifi card. So I'd have to get a USB wifi adapter which kind of defeats the object of a portable netbook.
Issue 1 has been resolved as the cards are now compatable with Windows Media Player and Media Player Classic (see http://www.broadcom.com/support/crystal_hd/).
This post relates to resolving issue 2.
The NC10 does actual have a second PCI-e option printed on the motherboard but there is no socket actually in place for it. All the threads I had read suggested that the NC10 BIOS would not accept a second slot. However it turned out you simply need to solder a mini PCI Express connector into the pre soldered holes and you're good to go.
Here's what I did:
The hardest part was locating a supplier for the PCI-e socket. I ended up going with Farnell who ship for free. I imagine it costs more to ship than the cost of the socket itself (£1.50) so you might want to be kind to them and buy some other stuff :-)
Essentially either of these will do. The only difference is that one rises 5.9MM and the other is slimmer at 3.5MM.
JAE - MM60-52B1-E1-R650 - CONNECTOR, MINI PCI EXPRESS, 5.9MM
JAE - MM60-52B1-B1-R850 - CONNECTOR, MINI PCI EXPRESS, 3.9MM
I wasn't sure which size I required so I bought both. I used the 5.9mm version in the end as it more closely matched the existing one in the NC10.
The pins on the socket are tiny so you need a steady hand. Make sure you haven't been drinking the night before.
Place the socket into position on the motherboard and it will settle into the pre-drilled holes. I found that all the pins were already lying on their corresponding pre-soldered holes.
While holding the socket into place, I first heated the solder below the tiny clips/legs at the very top and botton of the socket. (You can see them in the picture above. The little hook on the left and right edge of the socket.) This helped it sink down a fraction and kept it in place.
Next I just went from pin to pin and touched the solder with my soldering iron until it melted. Once it melts, the solder will generally flow up a little and attach to its corresponding pin without any trouble.
The solder job doesn't look bad. As mentioned, thankfully everything was pre-soldered. If I'd had to start adding my own and think it would have become a mess.
At this point I plucked up the courage to move the WiFi card into the new slot and startup Windows... fingers crossed...
Note the card doesn't lay flush to the motherboard as there is nowhere to screw it down. Probably some tape or other adhesive would resolve this.
Once I booted up Windows to my surprise it actually worked. The new hardware was detected and the WiFi drivers were reinstalled. An additional PCI Express Root Port also showed up:
Next step is to get the Broadcom HD decoder card and see if both cards work together. I don't see any reason why they wouldn't.
[Mod Edit] Long link fixed and images re-sized ~ jeepers01