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1709 posts

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  Reply # 745659 16-Jan-2013 12:42 Send private message

I was looking into this again just this morning as im sick of my desktop beast in the lounge. Ultimately im after a small box like the ouya, from my research there isn't anything out there at the moment that meets the brief. Once the ouya is released this may change.
In the meantime this morning I found a micro-pc lying around in the workshop with a amd-e350 in it, so quickly downloaded xbmcubuntu and gave it a go, it was dropping the odd frame on 720p but im not sure how good the hardware decoding is for that particular chip so i will have to install windows 7 and try it again.

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WorldxChange

  Reply # 745677 16-Jan-2013 13:18 Send private message

Talkiet: Looks interesting, but I should really mention my other requirements... OK, here's a complete list

- Runs XBMC and outputs at native 1080P
- MUST BE COMPLETELY FLUID IN PLAYBACK. I don't mind if the menus are a bit clunky
- Silent
- Small
- Doesn't need any local storage
- Prefer IR remote (in addition to the XBMC smartphone remotes)

Essentially an ATV2 is perfect except for the 1080P native, and I am not holding my breath waiting for an ATV3 jailbreak.

I definitely do not want to have storage (multiple spinning discs) in the media centre. I have a lot of consolidated storage elsewhere in the house in a rack on a UPS.

Cheers - N


You and me both, have 2 ATV 2 with XBMC and its great as I have a crap load of media on my NAS but really want to stream 1080p and nothing really compares like XBMC on ATV, roll on the jail break




Yes I am a employee of WxC (My Profile) ... but I do have my own opinions as well Wink

             

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Spark NZ

  Reply # 745680 16-Jan-2013 13:25 Send private message

So it would appear that yes, there is no good 1080P XBMC solution short of getting spendy.

Bother.

Next step is to investigate a really long HDMI cable and run it from a big PC in my spare room with the rack and all the media.

Cheers - N

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  Reply # 745689 16-Jan-2013 13:35 Send private message

i strongly suggest you give your raspberrypi another chance.

try a different distro on it
- openelec
- raspbmc
- xbian

ive been using my pi exclusively for the most part for months now, plays back about everything ive tried with the following exceptions
- 1080p TS files (havent tested this in months though)
- Large 1080P files with DTS (stutters as my tv has no DTS), when i say large, i mean a 15gb 3 hour movie is fine but a 15gb 1,5 hour movie may stutter. depends on how much sound is going on during each scene, only really stutters during action scenes. but for most DTS files this is now fine, its just a few i have
- VC-1 Files, i have the license, i tested its installed/enabled, but they still suck at playback. only have a few vc1 files though

all my pis are the 256gb model, 2 using class 10 cards, one using class 4, all running raspbmc.

playback im very happy with, menus im happy with they have come a long way and are at the stage they are completely usable (not super fast, but perfectly fine now)

268 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 745923 16-Jan-2013 20:27 Send private message

i don't believe its that hard if you select the right hw / sw /and set it up right ie. drivers, codecs etc

example 1:

i have an xtreamer ultra - and it has been running happily now for 18 months or so - was approx $400 nzd landed 18 months ago

plays 1080p - 30G high bit rate files no problem - all files stored on an unraid server in the study - sent over cat5 via a gig switch and they all play fine

on this machine have installed xbmc on win 7 and it runs sweet - incl harmony one remote control

i have got a 2.5" hdd in it and it does have a fan for cooling - so there was a slight noise initially - but i played with fan settings in bios and it is pretty darn quiet now - certainly cannot hear it with any media playing

note: they have since launched an ultra 2 which is gruntier and quieter - comes in 2 flavors at 199 and 299 Euro

alternatives:

there are also similar alternatives acer revos / zotacs that many people have used successfully as a htpc

have seen a couple of these for sale on trademe

and you can get amd builds eg. http://www.trademe.co.nz/computers/desktops/no-monitor/auction-552774191.htm

add in an ssd + ram + sw eg openelec and away you go

example 2:

for my 2nd xbmc client - i scored an older hp desktop (dc7800) for $50 / banged a radeon hd5450 for $50 - and this also plays 1080p files from the server fine - not as quiet (but again cant hear it when media are playing) but still pretty damn handy as a 2nd htpc / xmbc machine - all for under $100 :)

so - long story short - imo - it CAN be done :)



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  Reply # 745928 16-Jan-2013 20:31 Send private message

freitasm: 
Ah, those clients who fail to mention requirements when the project starts.


Scope creep :)

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  Reply # 745940 16-Jan-2013 21:07 Send private message

only player that consantly gives me judder free performance is the one in my tv. tried 3 android boxes. all crap. phones... crap. not tried the pi yet.... laptop hdmi out. also crap.




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 745943 16-Jan-2013 21:15 Send private message

MK808B running XBMC Android Beta?  Although they are a bit notorious for the HDMI output not working with some devices, working fine with others.. Pretty damn cheap though, $55USD shipped.

506 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 745968 16-Jan-2013 21:49 Send private message

Have you considered a Popcorn Hour? It dosn't run XBMC but you can manage a movie collection in the same ways as you can with XBMC with your skinning capabilities and movie scraping features.




PC: 3.3ghz Core i5-2500, 8gb DDR3, ATI Radeon 5850, 27" QHD IPS Monitor

Mobile Phone: iPhone 5 32gb Graphite.



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Spark NZ

  Reply # 745973 16-Jan-2013 21:54 Send private message

I really like XBMC with all the plugins etc... So no, I'm pretty set on XBMC as the software...

I have had another go at the Raspberry Pi tonight and have made a few changes which appear to have improved things. As soon as it's finished indexing my movies (CPU killer!) I will watch a couple of shows and see if the judder is still there... Fortunately I noticed the judder in a TV series and I have identical encodes of the next episodes so will be a good test.

The changes I made...

- Installed RaspBMC to a USB stick instead of SD card
- Turned on the Super Overclock
- Enabled switching the HDMI output mode to match the media frame rate (So the TV switches to 1080p24 when it gets fed 24 FPS material)

I'll report back in an hour or 2

Cheers - N

506 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 745976 16-Jan-2013 21:58 Send private message

I noticed the judder on Raspberry Pi's seems to be DTS audio alot of the time, i slightly overclocked mine and converted my movies with DTS to AC3 and it works perfect now.




PC: 3.3ghz Core i5-2500, 8gb DDR3, ATI Radeon 5850, 27" QHD IPS Monitor

Mobile Phone: iPhone 5 32gb Graphite.



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Spark NZ

  Reply # 745977 16-Jan-2013 21:59 Send private message

System: I noticed the judder on Raspberry Pi's seems to be DTS audio alot of the time, i slightly overclocked mine and converted my movies with DTS to AC3 and it works perfect now.


Shouldn't have any impact - I am not decoding using the rPi, just passing through

Cheers - N


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  Reply # 745978 16-Jan-2013 21:59 Send private message

if you have a NAS or a computer always on I really recommend you installing mysql and point xbmc to use that as the database.

this will allow
- you wont need to rescan everything when you reflash your pi, which sadly you do still have to do from time to time
- scan your collection on a faster machine (i often do it on my desktop server)
- it *may* be faster, since its querying a database on a different machine and not using your pi to do the db queries (dont know how xbmc queries are written though, but it theory this should be true).


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  Reply # 746037 16-Jan-2013 23:30 Send private message

Talkiet:
- Enabled switching the HDMI output mode to match the media frame rate (So the TV switches to 1080p24 when it gets fed 24 FPS material)



Nothing will be smooth without that. Its a big failing of the android appliances. No 50Hz at all on one of them, and a mission to change it on the other 2 I have tried.

Plus I am sure they are not outputting a true 1080 image. Text looks soft like they were just taking 720 and scaling it. But even with 50Hz output and a 50/25 source, I was getting 2-3 skips per min. May have been more since you only see them on panning etc. Same files on the tvs inbuilt mkv player or playing via plex on the tv were skip free.

Playing 24FPS on the android boxes was massive judder. Makes some of the conversion that choice tv do look good in comparision.




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 746109 17-Jan-2013 08:47 Send private message

Got the mini pc (itx board, amd e-350, 4gb ram) up and running last night with win 7 and xbmc frodo rc3, ran a barrage of media through it and couldn't fault it, sits at about 30% cpu usage for 1080p. This will do for now, and considering it was free i can't complain :D. Will keep an eye on the android development, ideally id like a android stick thats capable of flawless playback, i imagine in the next year this will become a reality.

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