Category: openelec

News & Updates – Openelec 3.0 & HDHomerun Firmware Updates

Openelec 3.0 came out this week.  This is great news for people who love the slightly more streamlined branch of XBMC.  Openelec 3.0 is on the same feature set as XBMC 12.1.  Here’s a snippet of the official release:

OpenELEC 3.0 is built to support XBMC Frodo 12.1 and almost every part of the core OS has been updated and improved since the 2.0 release. The project now supports a broader range of mediacentre hardware than ever before, including dedicated OS images for the budget friendly Arctic MC001 and ultra-low-cost Raspberry Pi systems.

To read the whole release notes, please head over to Openelec.tv

I am also very happy about the fact that Silicondust, the makers of the HDhomerun Prime have moved their beta firmware from the HDhomerun Prime that supported DLNA/Upnp streaming into general release.  This means you can not use XBMC’s “UPNP” file type to tune your HDhomerun prime.  Very cool.

There is however one small problem; When XBMC 12.1 came out, apparently something got added/changes/patched that broke the UPNP streaming for the HDhomerun.  See the bugreport posted here.  I was able to verify that the UPNP streaming does in fact work on XBMC 12, but is broken on 12.1.  We’ll have to wait and see if that gets fixed soon.

If you have an HDHomerun and haven’t upgraded your firmware to support UPNP streaming, do it now by downloading the latest software version at the Silicondust website: http://www.silicondust.com/support/hdhomerun/downloads/

Stay tuned for my impressions video on the HDHomerun.  My camera has been giving me problems so I have not been able to get it completed yet.

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.

Installing OpenElec 3 for Raspberry Pi on an SD Card

So for my latest video I posted on YouTube I installed the latest Beta of OpenElec on the SD card for my Raspberry Pi.  I found instructions for Linux on their Wiki, and also instructions for OSX, but there were no Windows instructions.  Oh terrible shame, I do not have a Linux desktop anywhere.  I had it all figured out and loaded up a VM with Ubuntu and made the SD card on my laptop like so:

  1. download ubuntu 12.10.iso
  2. download open elec for Rpi
  3. unetbootin
  4. make bootable USB stick
  5. boot ubuntu live!
  6. insert SD card
  7. open a terminal
  8. find sd card location (/dev/xxxx)
  9. extract open elec
  10. run create_sdcard

Then I realized there was a windows installer at the bottom of the wiki page…

Install openelec from Windows on your Raspberry Pi

Here’s a link to the OpenElec wiki for posterity sakes:
http://wiki.openelec.tv/index.php?title=Installing_OpenELEC_on_Raspberry_Pi

Raspberry Pi – Media Center Solution for $25?!?

It sounds too good to be true.  A true media center capable computer for the low base price of $25?

That is what some people were hoping when they pre-ordered a Raspberry Pi, a small ARM based computing board that has an HDMI output, ethernet, and 256mb of ram.

The device originally was conceptualized as a little board students could play on in class, and was meant to be low cost so that the devices breaking would not be a big deal.  (Students breaking stuff?? Never!!).

With the announcement that the pi would also have GPU acceleration for video decoding a lot of people thought that this may be the end all be all solution to their needs for small media playback devices for their home theater systems.

I ordered one as well, and am gonna post a set of videos showing you how the little device stacked up.  As usual, I am going to stick with running XBMC, or a variant of it, since I simply like the software so much that I do not really understand why anyone would want to use something else for simple media management and playback. (I don’t DVR things, so that is probably why it works so well for me)

I will be posting the impressions of how the device fared with OpenElec 2.99.1 (3.0 RC1) Based on XBMC 12 “Frodo” shortly, so stay tuned!

There’s some more info about the device on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry_pi) if you want to read a little bit more about it!