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XBMC Running On Raspberry Pi

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the i'll-take-ten dept.

Media 177

jones_supa writes "The Raspberry Pi Foundation has a news release about Raspberry Pi running XBMC smoothly, turning the board into a media center the size of deck of cards. Looking at Pi's low price, small size and hardware 1080p support, this could make an interesting HTPC project. Included is a video demonstration of the setup. For this to be possible, the XBMC team created a customized version that targets the beefier Raspberry Pi model."

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Excellent (0)

click2005 (921437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819395)

HTPC in your pocket

Re:Excellent (5, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819451)

No, I'm just happy to see you.

Re:Excellent (5, Insightful)

Malard (970795) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819697)

What's more, we're working on getting libCEC [pulse-eight.com] to support the built in CEC support so you won't need the USB - CEC Adapter [pulse-eight.com] to get built in remote control support!

Re:Excellent (0, Troll)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819993)

Sure...so long as you're happy with video at eight frames/sec.

Re:Excellent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820037)

H264 video up to 1080p is decoded at 30fps.

Re:Excellent (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820279)

It has an H.264 hardware decoder.

Re:Excellent (0)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820455)

It has an H.264 hardware decoder.

Yep, I get that. A normal ARM isn't capable of decoding H264 so the Pi must have hardware and they must be using it.

So why is the video only 8fps? That's a factor of four slower than what's needed for an HTPC. Something is seriously wrong.

Re:Excellent (5, Informative)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820517)

You're mixing things: the video plays at full speed, it's the window below it that has 8 fps. Ie. It's as it should be.

Re:Excellent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820525)

That's not the FPS of the video. I think he says that's the rate the video info window updates. If you actually look at the video it runs smoothly at fullspeed.

Codecs other than H.264 (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820635)

Which means what if your collection is partly MPEG-2, partly MPEG-4 ASP, and partly VP8?

Re:Excellent (0)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820081)

But does it have enough power to actually record? Or is it just another media tank? hell if you want a full blown HTPC you can buy an AMD based for cheap [newegg.com] and slap on your choice of Linux or Windows and voila! Instant HTPC with XBMC (or if you use Windows WMC or MediaPortal) and if all you want is a media tank you can buy the Nbox HD for $59 that does 1080p and is ready to go or if you want streaming a WDTV for $99.

Don't get me wrong the Raspberry looks like a cool toy to fiddle with, i just don't see it having enough horse to be a full blown HTPC. Recording HD or even SD video can put a strain on a chip and the Raspberry was made to be low priced not high powered. But I have a feeling once you added all the stuff required to make it a fully functional HTPC you'd be better off just getting one the the AMD E-350s and calling it a day. According to Phoronix Ubuntu 10.04 and better has OOTB support for those chips so it should be a cakewalk to make a XBMC system out of one, everything works OOTB.

Re:Excellent (2)

smi.james.th (1706780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820293)

The plus side being that Raspberry Pi costs only $25... If you already have an external drive with media on it, then it's a bargain.

My suspicion is that its power consumption will also be quite low, which is a big plus these days. Looks like it'd suit me fine, I'm not an intense media consumer, so high-performance HTPC isn't especially something that I need.

FWIW, I suspect a large part of doing this is just because you can. To demonstrate that you don't need the latest and greatest (read: most expensive) hardware to do your basic things.

Re:Excellent (0)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820471)

The plus side being that Raspberry Pi costs only $25... If you already have an external drive with media on it, then it's a bargain.

Yes, but why? You just spent thousands on your TV, sound system, storage devices, etc. Why can't you spend more than $25 on the media player?

Re:Excellent (3, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820655)

Because the storage devices are centralized, at least in my case with a media server in the basement.

The TVs and sound systems in each bedroom are NOT thousands of dollars. You can get 40" 1080p systems for around $300 now. Cheaper if you can deal with 720p.

Now, for under $50 (includes case, power supply, etc.) I can pop a box on the back of the TV to access everything I have centrally stored (400+ movies, 200+ TV episodes, 100+ short animations, 1,000+ music/audio) in each room. And if their Hulu and Amazon Prime plug-ins for XMBC work as well, get all that.

Re:Excellent (1)

smi.james.th (1706780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820745)

You didn't necessarily just spend those thousands. Many households already have many of those things.

In my current situation for example, I have a desktop PC and an external hard drive of my own, and a TV in a communal area in the house. It's a big schlep moving my PC to within reach of the TV so I can plug an HDMI cable in. A $25 HTPC would suit me just fine.

Re:Excellent (2)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820413)

I can't find the post now, but I saw a post by an admin on the board that the GPU supports H.264 1080p30 HP encoding as well, but they aren't advertising it due to not exposing the interface or something, but they do have plans to do so in the future.

Re:Excellent (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820483)

IS Apple TV a full blown HTPC? ROKU? WD LIVE? NO these are embedded streamers.ANd for the record with some Ethernet based tuners (HDHomerun PRIME) im sure it could record easily. (pure transport streams only)

Re:Excellent (4, Informative)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820547)

Recording HD or even SD video can put a strain on a chip and the Raspberry was made to be low priced not high powered. But I have a feeling once you added all the stuff required to make it a fully functional HTPC you'd be better off just getting one the the AMD E-350s and calling it a day.

Recording HD or even SD video hardly puts any strain on a chip, since you would be foolish to record anything that didn't come pre-compressed, either from a digital tuner, or analog encoder. All the chip has to do is shuffle bits from the capture subsystem to the storage subsystem. The question then becomes one of whether the performance of a late-90s PC is sufficient for your metadata needs, running the database, processing guide data, performing scheduling decisions, post-recording analysis of the video, etc...

If you're actually looking for a fully functional HTPC, you're better off getting real hardware, and not some intentionally underpowered system. Electricity is cheap, modern chips idle very efficiently, and it's not like you can't just put the thing in standby or power it off if you're that concerned. Having some real meat behind your HTPC just opens up a bunch of new possibilities, and opportunity for expansion.

Re:Excellent (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820571)

lol, price, size, wow factor... keep in mind the cheapest thing on the link you provided is $100 more than the price of the pi... yes the nbox is cheap but no match neither in price nor in power

Re:Excellent (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820223)

HTPC in your pocket

For some strange definition of "pocket" - it's hardly USB-stick sized.

I'm not even sure it's smaller then existing HTPCs.

Re:Excellent (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820389)

Its credit card sized.

Re:Excellent (0)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820563)

Its credit card sized.

It certainly doesn't look like it in that video.

But... I found some dimensions here: http://www.pyrosoft.co.uk/blog/2012/01/15/raspberry-pi-measurements-dimensions/ [pyrosoft.co.uk]

More like "playing card size" than "credit card size" but yeah, you could probably make a box not much bigger than a smartphone. My bad.

Re:Excellent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820227)

HTPC in your pocket

What the hell is a 'Hot Top PC'?

Impressive hardware (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819425)

The big news is that the GPU on the Raspberry Pi doubles the performance the iPhone 4S -- on a board that costs a fraction of the iPhone. Now that's impressive.

Re:Impressive hardware (0)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819467)

Eh? As far as I know the Pi maxes out at 1080p30, which is the same as the 4S.

Re:Impressive hardware (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819511)

What on earth are we talking about here? Is it the ability to display a UI, or the ability to decode H.264 at that resolution? They are very different things.

Re:Impressive hardware (3, Interesting)

ifrag (984323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819645)

Is it the ability to display a UI, or the ability to decode H.264 at that resolution

For that matter, which H.264 profile? Is it just CBP (Constrained Baseline Profile) or BP? If it can decode the same H.264 my Windows box does, then it would be quite impressive, but I just don't see how that would be possible at this price and current generation hardware.

Re:Impressive hardware (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820161)

High profile good enough for ya?

I am absolutely drooling over this thing.

Re:Impressive hardware (3, Informative)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820171)

Argh, I must have messed up some HTML:

Specs [wikipedia.org]

Re:Impressive hardware (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820245)

Considering that XBMC doesn't run on the iPhone, I assumed he was talking about video decoding. Given other posts in the thread, I'm not so sure anymore.

Re:Impressive hardware (1)

sglewis100 (916818) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820403)

Considering that XBMC doesn't run on the iPhone, I assumed he was talking about video decoding. Given other posts in the thread, I'm not so sure anymore.

You need to be jailbroken, but yes it does [xbmc.org] .

Re:Impressive hardware (4, Informative)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819571)

There is more to GPU performance than the ability to decode 1080p H264. I believe the OP is referring to this story: $25 Raspberry Pi packs 2x iPhone 4S GPU performance, roasts Tegra 2 [slashgear.com]

Forget teaching kids how to program; the $25 Raspberry Pi computer might just be the home entertainment STB and compact gaming console we’ve been waiting for. The low-cost computer – and its $35 sibling – should deliver double the graphical performance of the iPhone 4S, according to executive director (and Broadcom SoC architect) Eben Upton, telling Digital Foundry that not only does the BCM2835 GPU at the heart of the Raspberry Pi roast Apple’s latest smartphone, but it thoroughly whups NVIDIA’s Tegra 2.

Re:Impressive hardware (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819529)

Where is Steve Jobs and all the appel fanboidom to bash the raspberry. Its not like they could create some kind of apple and raspberry something, they only accept what is given to them (they don't tinker or hack, they haven't the skills, and don't want to get their precious hands dirty).

Re:Impressive hardware (0)

rograndom (112079) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819647)

Um... The Raspberry Pi is also missing a touch screen, 16gb of flash, more memory, wifi, bluetooth, 3g radio, camera, battery, decent battery life and a nice shell to wrap it all up in. But all of those things are free, right? I could find a dozen GPUs that put the iPhone 4S to shame and are cheaper, but we're not really comparing the same thing, are we?

Re:Impressive hardware (1)

Rebelgecko (893016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819673)

Don't forget the "phone" part of the iPhone :p

Re:Impressive hardware (3, Funny)

SuperSlacker64 (1918650) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820353)

It has a phone app now? Man, it really can do everything!

Re:Impressive hardware (2)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819747)

I could find a dozen GPUs that put the iPhone 4S to shame and are cheaper

You are missing the point. Can you find a dozen that are part of a fully functional computer that costs $25?

Re:Impressive hardware (0)

rograndom (112079) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819945)

I could find a dozen GPUs that put the iPhone 4S to shame and are cheaper

You are missing the point. Can you find a dozen that are part of a fully functional computer that costs $25?

Are you saying that the Raspberry Pi is as fully functional as an iPhone 4S? If not, then you're completely missing my point.

Let's put this another way:

There's a new kit car announced. It has a 100cc engine and a small frame attached to four wheels. This "car" gets 100mpg and costs $500. It has no seats, no steering wheel, no roof, no doors, no airbags, no windshield, etc.

Is it fair to compare this "car" in terms of fuel economy and price to a brand new Corolla or F150?

If someone starts going on about "It's a fraction of the cost and gets 4x the economy! That's the real story here!" Wouldn't you think they were a little nuts?

Re:Impressive hardware (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820169)

Let's put this another way:

There's a new kit car announced. It has a 100cc engine and a small frame attached to four wheels. This "car" gets 100mpg and costs $500. It has no seats, no steering wheel, no roof, no doors, no airbags, no windshield, etc.

Is it fair to compare this "car" in terms of fuel economy and price to a brand new Corolla or F150?

If someone starts going on about "It's a fraction of the cost and gets 4x the economy! That's the real story here!" Wouldn't you think they were a little nuts?

No I'd think they're freaking geniuses.

You screwed up the standard /. car analogy. Cross out the bit about the 4 wheels and no seat, and you've basically described a moped or motorcycle. Pretty exciting news, if that whole giant and exciting market had never existed until right now. This is like living in day 1 of the Harley Davidson corporation, or day 1 of Vespa. Thaaaats why they're geniuses, not because they invented yet another car model, but they're inventing entire new vehicular industry categories.

Re:Impressive hardware (0)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820435)

Its not fair to call an F150 a car. It's more like a hunk of metal Americans buy to augment their penis

Re:Impressive hardware (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820527)

This American has an F-150 and I spent several hours last week towing smaller cars out of a snow drift. The gas mileage isn't great, but it has 4 wheel drive and can haul a decent amount. For a recent home buyer it's a godsend. I have my small fuel-efficient car for most types of travel. But when the snow piles up or I need to move something (or somebody else needs me to), I'm damned glad that I have that truck. Use the right tool for the job.

Re:Impressive hardware (3, Insightful)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820303)

How is he missing the point? The iPhone 4S is more expensive due to having many more features than the Pi (touchscreen, gps, cell radio, wifi, internal storage, more RAM, Bluetooth, wifi, built-in camera, etc.). Also it's GPU is constrained by power restrictions due to battery life. Comparing the two is dishonestdishonest and not analogous.

Also the only reason this can be sold art $25 is heavy subsidizing by Broadcom. Again making this a dishonest comparison.

Re:Impressive hardware (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820495)

The only mention of it being subsidised is when comparing it to an average development board. dev boards usually make a tidy profit, the $25 raspberry pi makes almost none - still above cost price though, so technically not subsidised.

Re:Impressive hardware (3, Interesting)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819853)

And probably sucks up five times the power that the iphone GPU does. Amazing what you can do when you don't have to deal with trying to get 7 hours of run time out of a 5watt-hour battery.

Re:Impressive hardware (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820577)

I wish my phone last 7 hours!.

On a serious note the raspberry pi would last 3 hours on a 5 watthour battery at full power consumption. It was not optimised for low power, low cost was the bigger issue so it uses cheaper linear voltage regulators to drop the 5v input to the internal 3.3, 2.5 and 1.8v rails.

Re:Impressive hardware (3, Interesting)

c++0xFF (1758032) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820607)

Back of the envelope calculations:

The iPhone 4 battery is 5.25 Whr at 3.7V. The Raspberry Pi draws 300mA peak. Let's be pessimistic and assume that's the constant draw for XBMC video decoding. At 5V, that's 1.5W, which will give about 3.5 hrs of battery life. I'd bet you'd actually see closer to 4 hours in real-life tests. SD or 720p video would probably see even lower power consumption.

So, how does the iPhone do? Real-world examinations of Apple's claim of "up to 10 hours" for playing video are hard to find. Apple's tests were done with a video from iTunes: 640×480 resolution, so this is hardly a fair comparison. PCWorld [pcworld.com] found the life to be about 6 hours for 720p video, but that includes the power from the display (at full brightness) and wifi. (The iPhone has had battery life issues because of an OS problem, just to complicate things a bit).

So, the Raspberry Pi compares pretty well. I would love to see someone make a fair test here: play an HD video over HDMI for both devices and measure the power consumption. The Raspberry Pi will draw more current, probably, but not nearly as much as you might think.

Re:Impressive hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820511)

Hmm, now lets add the touch screen, accelerometer, gps, dual cameras, etc and package it in the same form factor, add in a responsive os/apps. If the price still comes out to a fraction, yes its impressive.

Re:Impressive hardware (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820583)

The big news is that the CPU on the iPhone 4S is a good 6-7x faster than that on this Raspberry Pi, so it comes down to optimizing the device for the tasks you intend for it to perform.

"The usb *mumble*"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819491)

What's in the second USB port again now?

Re:"The usb *mumble*"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819561)

Keyboard.

Re:"The usb *mumble*"? (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819581)

What's in the second USB port again now?

That's the power input socket... taking advantage of the ready availability of walwarts and other adaptors that provide a ready supply over the USB socket input...

Re:"The usb *mumble*"? (1)

IAmGarethAdams (990037) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819609)

Hint: In parts of the video you hear a tappy-tappy sound as he navigates around the media centre.

Decoding (2)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819525)

That is pretty cool.
I have a HTPC that does that for 10x the price. But even my box needs to use gpu hardware (an Ion2) to play back 720p h264 files fluently (those come in .mkv containers usually).
This demo shows .mov files and I don't know how much decoding is required for playing back those files. All I know is, .mov files tend to be really big.
So will the Raspberry be able to play common file formats, or will you have to encode everything in .mov beforehand?

Re:Decoding (1)

slim (1652) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819607)

The Raspberry Pi's GPU has h264 decoding in it.

Re:Decoding (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820019)

Can the hardware really only manage 8-10 frames/sec. or is that their software?

Re:Decoding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820735)

Could be both. If the software is poorly written it won't run well even on good hardware; alternatively, if the hardware isn't powerful enough, even the most efficiently coded software won't produce acceptable results.

Re:Decoding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820167)

MOV is a container format, like MKV. The GPU firmware supports hardware decoding of H264 video (and probably other formats too, but that depends on licensing costs). The ARM core takes the H264 video data from the container stream and hands it over to the GPU for decoding. How the video was packaged doesn't concern the GPU. The H264 decoder delivers 30fps at 1080p.

The GPU can also encode H264 up to 1080p at 30fps, but the required software will not be available at launch. The Raspberry Pi team plans to offer camera add-ons which will make use of that capability later.

Re:Decoding (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820707)

I have a HTPC that does that for the same ~$250 as yours, although I bought mine a full year before your ION2 even hit the market, and even though I have the same hardware video decoding capability as you, I have enough CPU power to decode your crappy, low bitrate, pirated mkvs, all the way up to most Bluray content (the real stuff, not the crappy, low bitrate stuff you pirate).

x264 specs ain't everything (4, Interesting)

afex (693734) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819527)

while the specs for decoding video are AWESOME (especially for the price point), what I continually point out to people is that the low CPU can still kill you on some things. I have an NVIDIA ION / Atom D330 HTPC that can destroy the 40Mbps x264 killasample absolutely no problem, yet has trouble on some of the even medium-flashy skins for XBMC.

like i said, performance/dollar this thing is still awesome, but you do still have to think of the whole package.

Re:x264 specs ain't everything (5, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819617)

while the specs for decoding video are AWESOME (especially for the price point), what I continually point out to people is that the low CPU can still kill you on some things. I have an NVIDIA ION / Atom D330 HTPC that can destroy the 40Mbps x264 killasample absolutely no problem, yet has trouble on some of the even medium-flashy skins for XBMC.

like i said, performance/dollar this thing is still awesome, but you do still have to think of the whole package.

It's mouthwatering .. waiting is the hard part.. I want one in my car, at my desk, at work, everywhere. Do you think they'll sell these as a six pack? :)

Re:x264 specs ain't everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819985)

Not for the first batch bet after thant......

Re:x264 specs ain't everything (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820155)

I'm not sure I fully understand this yet:

You're willing to spend a few thousand on a big TV and sound system but the media player can only cost $25?

Somebody please explain it to me...

Re:x264 specs ain't everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820311)

After my $3k TV, $2k receiver, $6k (each) speakers, and $400/mo cable bill, all I have left is $25.

Re:x264 specs ain't everything (1)

PIBM (588930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820315)

It's not the price, it's what you can do with it ... ;)

Re:x264 specs ain't everything (4, Funny)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820575)

Let me guess... you buy Monster cables?

LTSP (1)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819551)

So what? Come back when someone has LTSP thin clients running on the Raspberry Pi.

Re:LTSP (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819627)

Planning on working on it as soon as I get my hands on a few.

Re:LTSP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819659)

" Planning on working on it as soon as I get my hands on a few."

You rock!

Re:LTSP (1)

zero0ne (1309517) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819925)

Blog / forum / area you'll be frequenting regarding this? Very VERY interested in helping test this out.

Re:LTSP (2)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820031)

You do know that they're shipping the things with Debian? You have an X Server, and SSH out of the box, and if you'd rather set it up as a thin client using XDMCP to log in to another system, set up your login screen to do it.

Audio and video format support? (5, Insightful)

JDG1980 (2438906) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819585)

I know that the Raspberry Pi is specifically advertised as supporting hardware decoding of H.264 up to 1080p30 at up to 40 Mbps. What I want to know is if it also supports VC-1 and MPEG-2 decoding at the same resolutions and data rates. I know that the underlying SoC has this capability, but will it be blocked or omitted from the SDK for licensing/patent reasons? Any of these three codecs can be found on Blu-Rays, and transcoding the rips to H.264 would reduce the quality.

Also, what about bitstreaming the HD audio codecs (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA) over HDMI 1.3? I know Raspberry Pi didn't want to pay for audio decoding licenses, but simply sending the raw bitstream to a receiver over the HDMI link shouldn't present any licensing issues (and is the best quality method to use anyway).

For the Raspberry Pi to be a good media streamer, it needs to be able to do these things.

Re:Audio and video format support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819793)

Yeah right, go tell that to Roku.

Besides, it wasn't made to compete with HTPC's. It's an educational tool that also works shockingly well as a media device.

Re:Audio and video format support? (1)

euxneks (516538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819875)

The best way to find an answer to this is to ask in the raspi forums here: http://www.raspberrypi.org/forum [raspberrypi.org]

Re:Audio and video format support? (2)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819941)

My understanding is that the GPU supports hardware decoding of xvid/mpeg2/h264 etc. The issue is licensing the patents from MPEG-LA. The cost of licensing a codec is too high to license them all for every Pi sold: the cost of licensing AAC alone is 4% of the total price of the board. So, either there will be a hardware version that comes with all the codecs (and costs a lot more), or there will a software codec pack that you can pay to download. Either way, the codecs are going to be leaked eventually, so I guess the solution for most people will be the familar Linux "user run codec install script" that fetches the codecs from some random server so the distro isn't responsible. Commercial media players based on Pi hardware will have to pay for the licenses.

Re:Audio and video format support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820645)

...Also, what about bitstreaming the HD audio codecs (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA) over HDMI 1.3?...

You'd have to consult the datasheet to determine if the device supports those features. Oh wait, there is NO public information, other than an advertising blurb, about this device. Good luck getting any info from Broadcom.

What _exactly_ does "1080p support" mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819587)

Really - does this mean is has a level 4 H.264 decoder, up to 720p60 or 1080p30? Does it mean it can play _something_ at that resolution? Does it mean it can simply display it, like as a desktop or similar?

Forgive me for being overly technical here, but I work with a lot of different video codecs and standards, and saying "hardware 1080p support" is pretty damn meaningless.

I know that the video answers my question, but I just wish the summary was more clear.

Re:What _exactly_ does "1080p support" mean? (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820473)

1080p30 H.264 AVC High Profile Level 4.1

Video stutter (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819705)

It stutters a bit when he plays the muppets. My linux box has trouble with 1080p video and IIRC it's quite a bit more powerful than a R-Pi. I'll be waiting to see some serious reviews before I look to use this as an HTPC.

Re:Video stutter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38820003)

I think it's because the frame rate isn't matched. This is always going to be a problem if you don't match the framerate you send via HDMI to the framerate of the video file you're playing. And it's hard to get right, since there's multiple standards:

23.97 fps
24 fps
25 fps
29.97 fps
30 fps

And not everything can just "sync" to what you want, even if it accepts the input stream. Especially if you're not dealing with a projector.

Can someone explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819753)

how something like this is running full HD with nary a studder, while something like an Atom netbook with crunchbang linux studders?

Re:Can someone explain... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819795)

gpu acceleration. its the same reason the old xbox version of XBMC worked so well. it uses gpu hardware.

Re:Can someone explain... (1)

John Jamieson (890438) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819797)

Yes, Intel has traditionally been weak at producing good graphics processors, and even weaker at good drivers. This chip does a good job of the math in the GPU section.

Re:Can someone explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819815)

Which GPGPU and which hardware-assisted codec?

E.g. - I find that vdpau codecs and nvidia hardware on netbooks and similar systems works, but almost anything else does not.

It's not about powerful graphics hardware as much as software support for the graphics hardware for a particular use case, e.g. h.264 decode.

Not a good promo (-1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819885)

Way to go, highlighting the fact you have an illegal copy of the Muppets which isn't even out on DVD until the end of March. This doesn't help the promotion of the Pi.

Re:Not a good promo (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819955)

My bad, it was just a preview. I await my thorough lashing.

Re:Not a good promo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819961)

It's a free, legal trailer [apple.com] .

Re:Not a good promo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819965)

Mod this up! Way Way up!!!

Nothing like showing that a device can (will) be used for copyright infringement before it's even on the market.

Re:Not a good promo (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820329)

By playing a trailer available on Apple's site?

Mhmm.

Re:Not a good promo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819989)

When they played it, it seemed to just be a trailer, not the film.

Re:Not a good promo (1)

Kurlon (130049) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820015)

Look at the file sizes, those are all trailers which are available legally online.

Re:Not a good promo (1)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820061)

Re-posting something an AC said: That's the trailer.

Re:Not a good promo (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820069)

Did you notice that it's a 173MB preview?

XBMC on Roku? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819891)

While the R-Pi looks great, this news is more exciting to me because the Roku 2 is almost identical, hardware-wise, to the R-Pi (but with the addition of Wifi, and an IR sensor) so i'm hoping that an alternative firmware for the Roku including XBMC will make an appearance soon.

Good News, Everyone (1)

Xupa (1313669) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819943)

Now all those impoverished kids whose lives can be revolutionized by a $25 pc can watch TED Talks and Khan Academy on... their... HDMI... TV's....

Re:Good News, Everyone (1)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820053)

It also supports composite out.

BeagleBone already does this, and it's real (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820101)

There are lots of little single-board computers at low price points. It's not just Arduno and Basic Stamp machines any more. The BeagleBone [beagleboard.org] , at $89, is available now. Runs Linux on an ARM chip.

The Raspberry PI $25 price is vaporware until they ship in quantity. Remember OLPC. They never made their $100 price point.

Re:BeagleBone already does this, and it's real (1)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820289)

BeagleBone doesn't even come with any video-out connector as standard so probably not the best solution in this instance. More likely Beagleboard or Pandaboard for higher $.

Chinese New Year celebrations likely delaying Raspberry Pi ETA by a week or 2 I guess, but not long now....

Re:BeagleBone already does this, and it's real (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820333)

True but it's easy to interface a touch screen LCD to the Beagle Bone.
https://plus.google.com/u/0/104712705716996155416/posts
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ps47MOHF9x8

Very cool (1)

Frag-A-Muffin (5490) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820305)

I love the Raspberry Pi project, and have my CC ready to order. However, this isn't that spectacular of a use for it :)
There are a ton of specialized boxes that already do it in a neat package with a proper remote. (personally I use a WD TV Live both 1st and 2nd gen).

To all those criticizing the performance, or codec support etc etc, remember this is just ONE of the many things this thing can do and it's just to show you the potential of what a $25/$35 general computing device can be made to do. The coolness of the platform is yet to come. I for one am more excited about the projects that people have not thought of yet, because they haven't gotten their hands on one yet! So much potential. So much fun to be had.

no media center for me w/o tuner support (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 2 years ago | (#38820611)

Well, it is impressive and very much an accomplishment, even if you consider other limitations already pointed out. But all I see is an implementation that might provide playback support. One very important thing for me in a media center is tuner support. So until there is support for a tuner for the Raspberry Pi, I'll still need to use a PC as a media center.

XBMC uses many tuners, but depends on their drivers being installed in the OS. I don't see that happening any time soon for the R Pi. I hope I'm wrong about that, but until then this will not really serve as a media center.

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