CyanogenMod 7-RC4 dropped just a few days ago and it is a very exciting release as far as the Nook Color is concerned. As of release candidate four, CyanogenMod is officially supporting the Nook Color, and hardware acceleration of video and OpenGL is now working.
CyanogenMod 7-RC4 is the first firmware I burned to the internal flash memory. Everything went pretty smoothly. I only made one mistake that slowed me down; I tried to use Clockwork Recover 126.96.36.199. You have to use 188.8.131.52 to install CyanogenMod.
It is probably one of the safest Android devices that we have. It always attempts to boot off of the microSD card first. If there is no boot loader there, it will attempt to boot off of the internal flash.
The tablet seems to run a bit smoother now. I’m not entirely certain if this is because the internal flash is more efficient than my microSD card or if it is due to improvements to the firmware.
Video playback capabilities of the Nook Color
It looks like the PowerVR 530 in the Nook Color can accelerate H.264 baseline profile video with a resolution up to 848x480. It would have been nice to be able to play back some pixel-perfect 1024x600 video, but this isn’t bad at all.
I’ve encoded a few videos with HandBrake. I started with the “Apple Universal” HandBrake preset and tweaked up the settings a bit to get better looking video with smaller file sizes. I exported my Nook Color presets just in case anyone wants to download them. I’m pretty happy with the results with the RF set to around 20 or 21.
My Galaxy S phone has no trouble playing back 720p H.264 high profile video files, not that it has that much resolution anyway. I’ll probably just encode all my portable videos for the Nook Color, since most of my devices can play those just fine.