Category: impressions

Coming Next – HDHomerun Prime Impressions

Last “Cyber Monday” I picked up a SiliconDust HD Homerun Prime and have been playing with it off and on.  I’ll post some impressions of it soon!

XBMC on Android – Nexus 7 Impressions So I got off my lazy butt…

XBMC on Android – Nexus 7 Impressions

So I got off my lazy butt and put together the latest video showing off how XBMC runs on Google’s $199 flagship tablet, the Nexus 7.  If you aren’t familiar with it, the Nexus 7 is a 7″ tablet running Android 4.2.2.  It uses an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad core processor, has 1 gig of ram, and 16gb+ of storage space (depending on which version you purchase).

Overall Thoughts

I really liked the Nexus 7, it ran XBMC really well, struggling only a little bit with the YouTube plugin and 1080p video playback.  I am sure the guys over at XBMC will fix that in the next couple of releases though.  The big killer is that the Nexus 7 does not have an HDMI output, so you cannot hook it up to your big screen unfortunately.

You also need to be aware of the fact that at this point in time the XBMC developers are not guaranteeing any specific hardware to run XBMC in the long term.  This means if your device works today, it may not work tomorrow.  A little bit disappointing, but such is the breakneck development of that technology.

If you do have a Nexus 7, head over to XBMC.org and download the APK file and install it.  You’ll have a lot of fun!

XBMC Remote Shootout – Yatse VS The Official XBMC Remote I…

XBMC Remote Shootout – Yatse VS The Official XBMC Remote

I forgot to post it here, but I have put together the video for the comparison between Yatse and the official XBMC remote app for Android.  I really like both remotes and it is hard for me to pick a clear winner.

YATSE

This remote app is really easy to configure thanks to its built in wizard that automatically detects XBMC installations on your network.  It lets you sort your media in a couple of different ways, as well as access programs & add ons you may have directly from a sub menu.  On the downside, it is a little harder to use due to its swipe left and right menus.

THE OFFICIAL XBMC REMOTE

The official app is a little harder to configure with your XBMC installation, but is very easy to use, even for people who have never used a touch based remote before.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you are a little more of a power user, check out Yatse, I do not think you will be disappointed.  If you want something that simply works, check out the official remote, you cannot go wrong.

RASPBERRY PI WITH RASPBMC IMPRESSIONS The video looks at how…

RASPBERRY PI WITH RASPBMC IMPRESSIONS

The video looks at how long the Raspberry Pi takes to load XBMC using the Raspbmc distribution, how it handles video playback, how it performs with Confluence and Aeon Nox, and how well it works with flashvideo (YouTube plugin).

OPENELEC OR RASPBMC?
I was not sure exactly how this was going to play out, but I was impressed with both distributions.  OpenElec seemed to run a little bit better in the menus because it seemed to use lower resolution fanart, but Raspbmc worked better with the flash video plugin, and also did not have the white screen/artifacting problem when you fast forwarded.
I would say at this point in time, try both distributions, and see which one seems more complete to you.  If I was to chose, I would probably pick Openelec because it works a little better in the menus, and I do not use flash video very often.

RASPBERRY PI WITH OPENELEC IMPRESSIONS I finally got around to…

RASPBERRY PI WITH OPENELEC IMPRESSIONS

I finally got around to finishing my review of OpenElec on the Raspberry Pi.  The video is up on YouTube and I was actually quite impressed with the little device.  It actually handled XBMC pretty well.

If you read down a little more you can find a more detailed writeup of what the Raspberry Pi is, but it is basically a $25 to $35 credit card sized computer that has an HDMI output and is capable of displaying up to 1080p video.

The video looks at how long the Raspberry Pi takes to load XBMC, how it handles video playback, how it performs with Confluence and Aeon Nox, and how well it works with flashvideo (YouTube plugin).

SHOULD YOU BUY ONE?

I think if you need something simple that runs XBMC and you do not care about the eyecandy of the menus within XBMC I think the Raspberry Pi is a good investment.  While the version of OpenElec I ran had some video playback issues (see the video) it is definitely an impressive device for only $35.