Wednesday, 26 December 2012

XBMC on ARM: PandaBoard vs Raspberry Pi an Introduction

At last a new post.

This post will be the first in a series about my long on going struggles to get my HTPC system up and running. 

About 2 years a go I bought a Beagleboard XM and PandaBoard to use as replacement for my freevo based media pc.  This did unfortunately never worked out as I hoped; due to dedicated media players, partly finished software support and difficulties to cross-compile  Freevo; I had to continue to use my Atom+ION system.

But now (end 2012) is a new kid in town the Raspberry Pi. The very popular board as generated quite some effort to get the popular media centre software XBMC working to make the Raspberry Pi a low power but high performance media player. The guy's (m/v) of XBMC where already for longer time working to get the XBMC software working on lower powered platforms by all kinds of optimizations and this very popular Raspberry Pi with a good video (decoding) hardware has accelerated the work on this. My brother mentioned that XBMC worked quite nicely on the Raspberry Pi and that I wanted to see for my self. A Raspberry Pi is on it's way and I would like to use this waiting time to look what  the PandaBoard is able to do now the software is a bit more mature.

The development of Freevo has in the past year not moved much; which makes that Freevo as HTPC platform is loosing it's attractiveness.  XBMC here I come.
  • I have found that for there are a couple possibilities to get xbmc up and running on the Pandaboard; most involve quite a lot of do-it-yourself; I choose to go for now with GeeXboX; this only because it advertises a more or less seamless experience on the PandaBoard.
  • For the Raspberry Pi are three possibilities at the time available. To me it looked that the OpenElec distribution is the one to take because of a more active development.   
 I hope it will be not become too much of a feature comparison between GeeXbox and OpenElec.

Next to this introduction post will a few more posts follow (I hope at least that they will follow):
  • How does PandaBoard vs Raspberry look on paper..
  • Pandaboard and XBMC
  • Raspberry Pi and XBMC
  • How does this compare....
 Probably I will have to add a few posts on my struggles in migrating from Freevo to xbmc. 


Sunday, 3 June 2012

Finally: something on this blog

While this blog was started ages ago, it just sat idle. To start things off, I'll make a list of stuff on my mental to-do list. Hopefully, I'll get to do some of them in the coming months, and write about them if they prove interesting. 

So in random order:
  • Upgrade my mythtv setup to 0.25
  • Add automatic power on/off to a Sony subwoofer
  • Unbrick my Chinese apad and turn it into something useful
  • Finish a USB-connected VFD and IR receiver
  • Continue work on a vintage (internet) radio
  • Add bluetooth remote control to a Sony STR-DE497P surround receiver
  • Fix some faulty UTP cables in my house that do not work with 1000 Mbit
  • Implement some kind of synthetic full backup for duplicity
  • Find a job for the BeagleBoard-xM that I got from my brother
  • Do something with the RP6 robot my wife gave me for my birthday
As said, I'll try to work on these and I'll try to write about it. However, with two children (one a very recent addition), these things tend to stay on the backburner.