OpenELEC: Why did I ever use XBMC on Windows? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 235 Old 10-22-2012, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post

I don't think XBMC on Windows supports that either.

Sure it does...you just have to use the Arcsoft external player to load Blu-ray iso's. This to me (not having full blu-ray support), along with no protected Cable-Card support, are the 2 biggest weaknesses of OpenElec.
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post #92 of 235 Old 10-22-2012, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jcruse View Post

Sure it does...you just have to use the Arcsoft external player to load Blu-ray iso's. This to me (not having full blu-ray support), along with no protected Cable-Card support, are the 2 biggest weaknesses of OpenElec.

Oh, OK, external players is what you meant. Those features are only weaknesses if they are features you need. If all you need are the basic XBMC features, then OpenELEC is compelling.
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post #93 of 235 Old 10-24-2012, 06:50 AM
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My Foxconn A3700 arrived yesterday, so i proceeded to set it up with OpeneELEC. It took me about 30 minutes to open the boxes, install RAM, hook up to a spare monitor, and install OpenELEC Fusion build 2.0 (this new version was just released). I decided to install it on a usb flash drive rather than SSD, to see if performance was acceptable.

XBMC was up and running immediately. I added my video library, which took a few minutes to scan. 1080p MKV video played without a hitch. After setup I connected to a TV via HDMI. Video results are great. smooth 1080p, pause/restart working nicely.

DTS audio would not play. I didn't have time to troubleshoot yet, but I was just passing through HDMI to the TV and then to a non-DTS capable receiver via optical, so it could just be my AV setup rather than an issue with down-mixing. There are audio settings I have not played with fully yet. Dolby Digital MKVs played fine. The final destination for this box has a 2-channel analog stereo, we'll see how that works later.

So for I am impressed. Installed on a USB 2.0 flash drive, boot up time is maybe 20 to 30 seconds. Menu performance is snappy. A slight delay loading video for play, but once it is going all commands get a quick response. Loading libraries takes a long time with the flash installation. This box has USB 3.0 ports. I bet if I re-install on a USB 3.0 flash drive, performance will be very close to SSD.

This is looking like a great solution for my needs, which is mostly for my kids, playing movies and music off of a NAS.
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post #94 of 235 Old 10-24-2012, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post

DTS audio would not play. I didn't have time to troubleshoot yet, but I was just passing through HDMI to the TV and then to a non-DTS capable receiver via optical, so it could just be my AV setup rather than an issue with down-mixing.

Many/most TVs don't pass DTS through from HDMI to optical.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do,
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post #95 of 235 Old 10-24-2012, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Many/most TVs don't pass DTS through from HDMI to optical.

Yeah, I was thinking that is the problem. I briefly tried unchecking the 'DTS CAPABLE AVR' setting in XBMC assuming it would downmix first, but that did not work. I'll mess around with it more this evening (if the wife doesn't already have a plan for me)
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post #96 of 235 Old 10-25-2012, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

I don't know about the 3D viewing. Out of pure curiosity, do you actually use that very often? I'm not trying to defend linux or XBMC, I really just haven't met too many people who enjoy wathcing movies with glasses. I actually had surgery to prevent myself from having to wear glasses, so I was pretty opposed to TV manufacturers proposing that I buy them again. A lot of our TV viewing areas are off-center as well. I'm skeptic on 3D, but it might be because I'm also a cheapo

I'm actually not that big on 3D, but I do enjoy some of the IMAX documentary releases. And my daughter enjoys it. So yeah, it's frustrating that it seems I need to have a Windows machine for 3D viewing that I might do once every couple of months.

I did find this, but I don't know if I'm proficient enough in Linux to try to tackle it: http://openelec.tv/forum/128-addons/35016-add-bino-as-addon-to-support-3d-content?limit=20&start=20
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post #97 of 235 Old 10-25-2012, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

Many/most TVs don't pass DTS through from HDMI to optical.

Isn't that backwards, shouldn't you go from your HTPC to the receiver then to the TV? Or if your receiver doesn't do HDMI you run the HDMI cable from the HTPC to the TV and the optical cable from the HTPC to the receiver.
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post #98 of 235 Old 10-25-2012, 10:16 AM
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I think the idea is to get DD5.1 from your TVs internal ATSC tuner out to an external AVR, but a lot of people (somewhat reasonably IMO) expect that it will pass DD or DTS from HDMI as well, though I believe some to a lot of TVs won't even pass DD from HDMI, only from the internal tuner.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do,
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post #99 of 235 Old 10-25-2012, 10:46 AM
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You also minimize the chance of lag between audio and video by using the digital output from the TV. Also since some people already have a optical cable between the TV and reciever (fro OTA TV) it is one less cable to run.
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post #100 of 235 Old 10-25-2012, 01:15 PM
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An update on my Foxconn A3700 OpenELEC build. (Cheap, quiet, small)

It looks like I have found a good low cost solution that meets my needs: Give the kids the ability to play movies and music stored on a NAS. Low noise and small footprint. This compliments my main HTPC in my TV room (as in the kids can watch on the smaller TV now!). You can buy these boxes on sale for about $150, add $18 for some RAM and a spare USB drive and you are in business.

Build notes:

4 GB RAM was easy to install. I installed OpenELEC (OE) 2.0 Fusion 64 Bit build onto a bootable USB drive. This is the Eden version of XBMC with all the EDEN features (profiles, etc). Performance is surprisingly good. Not using an SSD is a cost saver, any decent 8G usb drive should work (Class 10 SD card is a good option, I didn't have a spare). I considered ordering a USB 3.0 thumb drive, but have learned that boot support for USB 3.0 drives is still lacking. Boot time was about 45 seconds, I think I can speed that up if I change the BIOS boot settings to fast boot. Very quiet. I have not tested any sleep/wake features. Menu response is satisfactory, video loading is a tab bit slow.

Configuration notes:
I tested on my Sony Bravia 55". HDMI to TV, optical audio from TV to AVR. I also tested analog stereo audio. All video file formats worked, 1080p DTS and Dolby MKVs, DIVS, just like you would expect for any XBMC build. Very nice picture, no stutter at 60hz or Refresh = source. Some audio lag on 1080p DTS, but easily corrected in sound menu. A small delay on restart after pause.

The audio configuration was a bit tricky, or at least was not intuitive to me at first. There are 3 key items to configure: Audio Output, Audio Output Device, and Audio Passthrough Device. Audio Output is the format, I originally selected HDMI, but the right choice for me was Optical/COAX because the TV connection to the AVR was optical. The Audio Output device became HDMI, as well as the passthrough device. With this setup, DTS down-mixed properly. Every video file had proper audio playback.

I then tried 2 channel analog output, as that is how the final setup will be for the kids. Audio Output = Analog, Audio Output Device = CUSTOM "plughw:1,0" (no passthrough option here). Normally, all of your available audio devices should show, a neat feature of OE, but there is a Foxconn issue that requires entering the device name as a custom setting. This is the only "bug" I encountered that required troubleshooting.

Other audio configuration choices include DTS and Dolby Digital Receiver capability. (Turn off DTS if you have optical, even if your receiver is compatible)

The Foxconn also has an optical audio output, you need a mini-TOSlink connector to use it. I did not test it.

Misc Notes:

When you install OE, it asks if you want the SSH server. I opted not to install it. If you want to add/change config files you can still do it through a Samba share feature. Just enable Samba in your settings menu, define username and password, then on another PC just open an explorer window and enter '\\IPAddress' (it does not show up on your Network Devices list as you might expect). You will have access to config files, userdata, etc. I used this feature to copy my Music database and music thumbnails from another Eden build.... a huge timesaver over a new metadata update and scan. (you have to import the library as well)

I connected an MCE IR receiver and tested with my Harmony remote...it worked perfectly. Need to order one.

I plugged in a USB thumb drive and it was recognized instantly.

All the normal XBMC Add-ons are available, plus some OE specific ones. I tried the DIY Network, streaming worked as expected.

The Web control interfaces and Android control interfaces are all available and work.
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post #101 of 235 Old 10-25-2012, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post

I then tried 2 channel analog output, as that is how the final setup will be for the kids. Audio Output = Analog, Audio Output Device = CUSTOM "plughw:1,0" (no passthrough option here). Normally, all of your available audio devices should show, a neat feature of OE, but there is a Foxconn issue that requires entering the device name as a custom setting. This is the only "bug" I encountered that required troubleshooting.
Where did you find info on fixing the audio bug? In the wiki or forum? I don't get ANY audio on my MSI fusion build, I can't find much in the wiki or the forum.
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post #102 of 235 Old 10-25-2012, 03:17 PM
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I did general Google searches, most help was in the forum. If you are using an earlier build i suggest re-installing with 2.0 which was just published in the last week or so.

A lot of people seemed to fix their audio issues by adding a sound config file, you might find some examples that may correspond to your hardware.

Some folks solved hdmi issues by adding custom device "plughw:0,3", or trying other numbers until it just works, usually in the range (0 or 1),(0-9)

What is your audio configuration...Analog? HDMI or optical to AVR, or to TV?
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post #103 of 235 Old 10-25-2012, 03:39 PM
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I forgot to mention that the latest build has addons for PVR and TV tuners (hdhomerun and others).
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post #104 of 235 Old 10-25-2012, 09:55 PM
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I couldn't get any audio to work. I tried HDMI first, and mashed every button in the configuration for that, and then hooked up the analog and did the same. I didn't try digital out (MB has both optical and coaxial), ran out of time to check that.
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post #105 of 235 Old 10-26-2012, 04:30 AM
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Sounds like you have an older version, It seems they fixed a lot of audio problems in 2.0.

Your setup matters. If you have HDMI to TV only, then you probably need to set it to 2-channel output. If the TV is connected to an AVR with Optical, then you need to choose Optical audio output, hdmi output device & hdmi passthough (this may show up as "HDMI(ALSA)" in the selection menu. If the TV is connected to an AVR with analog, then you may need to set the output to analog, output device hdmi, w/2 channel output.

For analog, there is good chance you need to enter a custom output device.
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post #106 of 235 Old 10-26-2012, 08:34 AM
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Thanks for the info DanPackMan!
How noisy does the fan get? I'm worried with these little boxes that the small fans can produce quite a whine when under load.

In general, what are you sacrificing in using a box like this versus, say a $300 build your own box. Of course the CPU and integrated GPU are less powerful but what does that mean in real world terms?
Slower boot? Less snappy? Stuttering?


Thanks
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post #107 of 235 Old 10-26-2012, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post

Sounds like you have an older version, It seems they fixed a lot of audio problems in 2.0.
I downloaded and installed the 1.99 beta release, it updated to 2.0 a couple of days after installing it. I do think I am going to wipe it and start over with a fresh download of 2.0. We'll see what happens!
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post #108 of 235 Old 10-27-2012, 07:53 PM
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Thanks for the info DanPackMan!
How noisy does the fan get? I'm worried with these little boxes that the small fans can produce quite a whine when under load.
In general, what are you sacrificing in using a box like this versus, say a $300 build your own box. Of course the CPU and integrated GPU are less powerful but what does that mean in real world terms?
Slower boot? Less snappy? Stuttering?
Thanks

This box is very quiet. I can't hear it from 5 feet away. I played a 1080p movie for several minutes to "heat it up" and there was no increase in fan noise. The CPU cores rarely got above 20%, so I can't tell you what would happen if they were fully loaded (well, it just occurred to me as I type this I could have tried with hardware acceleration disabled). If it had a hard drive, that would be the loudest part. The PSU is a power brick so it is silent.

What is sacrificed compared to a $300 budget build? I am not sure, it does depend on your needs or intended usage. The BIOS is limited, expandability is limited and there is essentially no upgrade-ability. Only one RAM slot. I am running the OS off of a medium quality usb flash drive, I can't tell you how it would be with an SSD but it certainly would improve. The menus sometimes have a slight but not annoying lag, but not always. FanArt switching when scrolling movies is surprisingly snappy. I guess if you ran Windows instead of OpenELEC, you might see some performance issues if multiple background tasks or services are running. I saw no video stutter issues, except for a second right after resuming from pause (I am sure some videophiles would find flaws, I am a bit picky but not extreme). Videos load a bit slow and some need an audio delay correction (those same files do not on my main HTPC). I would say the biggest single issue with using the thumb drive is very slow library loading time when first adding. Of course I can't tell you how this thing will hold up over time. I don't use wireless, can't compare that.

On the other hand, most low cost builds would have a bigger footprint and probably a PSU fan. I can mount this totally out of sight if I want. I like the "low brightness" LEDs on the front.... "Easy on the eyes" green when power is on, a faint but blinking red moon when sleeping. Many low cost cases have those annoying super-blue LEDs.

Boot time to the XBMC menu is about 25 seconds. Wake time is practically instantaneous.

I would not use this as my main HTPC because I like to tweek and occasionally use Windows features outside of XBMC , but it makes a very nice bedroom box.

UPDATE: I moved this to the destination TV, placed inside a shelf unit where the sound reflects outward. In that environment, it sounded a bit louder, I can hear a slight "whir" from 6 feet away if there is no other noise in the room.
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post #109 of 235 Old 11-01-2012, 03:01 PM
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I tried to install OpenELEC from a USB drive without success I have a Zino and tried both the AMD and Generic builds. I get the splash screen and then a blank screen and then nothing.

Unfortunately, like many free things support is lacking. Searching the forum shows many people having similar problems and many of the threads end without resolution. I tried to register on the forum but nothing happens when I enter my info and click register. No messages, no emails, nothing. So I cant even post. Further, there seems to be no way to even contact them about my problem registering.

Oh, and their wiki page serves up a 500 error and half the time when I try to navigate the site I get a MySQL error. What a mess frown.gif
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post #110 of 235 Old 11-01-2012, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by David James View Post

I tried to install OpenELEC from a USB drive without success I have a Zino and tried both the AMD and Generic builds. I get the splash screen and then a blank screen and then nothing.
Unfortunately, like many free things support is lacking. Searching the forum shows many people having similar problems and many of the threads end without resolution. I tried to register on the forum but nothing happens when I enter my info and click register. No messages, no emails, nothing. So I cant even post. Further, there seems to be no way to even contact them about my problem registering.
Oh, and their wiki page serves up a 500 error and half the time when I try to navigate the site I get a MySQL error. What a mess frown.gif


Not familiar with the ZINO hardware, but I'd guess the Fusion build would be the right one if it has AMD hardware in it. It is a crap shoot if you try hardware they don't reference, but I am surprised it doesn't work at all. Will it not install, or just not run after the install? Sounds like its not going to work for you, a shame because its working for me quite well.

You might be relegated to XBMCBuntu if you don't want to use windows.

I use google for my forum searches. Even the searches on this forum are unbearable.
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post #111 of 235 Old 11-01-2012, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post

Not familiar with the ZINO hardware, but I'd guess the Fusion build would be the right one if it has AMD hardware in it. It is a crap shoot if you try hardware they don't reference, but I am surprised it doesn't work at all. Will it not install, or just not run after the install? Sounds like its not going to work for you, a shame because its working for me quite well.
You might be relegated to XBMCBuntu if you don't want to use windows.
I use google for my forum searches. Even the searches on this forum are unbearable.

Thanks for the reply. Since my post I found I could SSH into the device so it's running, just nothing shows on the screen. I know just enough linux to be dangerous. I looked in the /var/logs directory and looked through both the messages and Xorg logs and didn't see anything that look horrible, although I'm not sure it would be obvious to me anyway smile.gif. A ps command shows what seems to be X running, but I'm not sure if it's missing something. XBMC also appears to be running?

It seem to be a display issue. I originally had my TV hooked up via HDMI. I then tried a VGA monitor but both had the exact same symptoms. I know the TV is 720P but have no real idea what resolution the monitor is but since I hooked it up via VGA, I guess it wouldn't be 720P smile.gif.

In the very old days I actually configured X to work on a couple of desktops I had and I know it's very fussy. My last experience with X was when it was really stupid and had to be told what resolution you had. OpenELEC is supposed to be smart so I would expect it would recognize whether HDMI or VGA was attached know what resolutions were available and "just work" (HA).

Any other thoughts you might have would be appreciated.


ps - I have a Raspberry PI coming on Monday and was actually hoping to get OpenELEC running on it so I thought until then I'd play with it on my Zino until then. hmmm, not so much smile.gif
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post #112 of 235 Old 11-01-2012, 05:03 PM
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Sorry, I can't think of anything. I used VGA to do initial setup, when I hooked up HDMI is was 1080p default.
My Linux literacy is at the first grade level, so I can't help you there. Chances are its a driver issue, I have no clue how to resolve that, but it would start with determining what your GPU chipset is. I think there is a command that displays the video hardware setup.

It might be one of those deals where its better to just move on. I would think that a ZINO would run XBMCbuntu quite well, and I would guess you'd have no problems with drivers.
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post #113 of 235 Old 11-01-2012, 05:59 PM
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So, has anyone tried Cinema Experience with OpenELEC? It looks like just the sort of thing I've been looking to add to my HT for quite a while. I was trying to get it to work in Confluence using some instructions on the xbmc forum (http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=87883) and was mostly successful, except when I try to start a movie with it, it seems to restart XBMC. Any ideas?

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do,
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post #114 of 235 Old 11-02-2012, 03:13 PM
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I got my PI today. I installed OpenELEC to my SD card and it booted up perfectly.

Music worked from my network w/o a hitch. Now I'm off to figure out live TV.
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post #115 of 235 Old 11-02-2012, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David James View Post

I got my PI today. I installed OpenELEC to my SD card and it booted up perfectly.
Music worked from my network w/o a hitch. Now I'm off to figure out live TV.

I assume you mean the raspberry PI? That's very cool. I think I might have to get one to play with, although I never could get a definite answer on whether it can play back blu-ray rips smoothly with the necessary codec packs installed.
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post #116 of 235 Old 11-02-2012, 08:41 PM
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Yes, the Raspberry PI.

I have a pair of HDHomeRun's which currently feed the late great SageTV. I had read that the latest version OpenELEC supports PVR and the HDHomeRun. There is an add in for the HDHomeRun, but it's only DVB (as near as I can tell). Google has not yet revealed any clues.

Of course I still can't register on the OpenElec site to ask any questions frown.gif
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post #117 of 235 Old 11-03-2012, 05:46 AM
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I thought that the PI might make a good device for a car video player and looked into buying one, I figured for $35 it would at least be something to play with. But every seller wanted at least $10 shipping, which is almost a 30% increase.

Let us know how it handles 1080p mkvs if you can. I have heard it chokes up a bit.

BTW, my Foxconn OE build is running strong. It locked up on me in the middle of a couple of videos, but I deduced it was a network issue and now all is well.
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post #118 of 235 Old 11-05-2012, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

So, has anyone tried Cinema Experience with OpenELEC? It looks like just the sort of thing I've been looking to add to my HT for quite a while. I was trying to get it to work in Confluence using some instructions on the xbmc forum (http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=87883) and was mostly successful, except when I try to start a movie with it, it seems to restart XBMC. Any ideas?
I had read somewhere that this app needed updating to work with the newest (11.0+) release. I also am interested in using that add-on for movie nights when friends come over
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Originally Posted by ScoHo View Post

I'm actually not that big on 3D, but I do enjoy some of the IMAX documentary releases. And my daughter enjoys it. So yeah, it's frustrating that it seems I need to have a Windows machine for 3D viewing that I might do once every couple of months.
I did find this, but I don't know if I'm proficient enough in Linux to try to tackle it: http://openelec.tv/forum/128-addons/35016-add-bino-as-addon-to-support-3d-content?limit=20&start=20
I'm running 3d as well, but one of my tvs is not 3d anyway so I should be able to use openelec there. I don't get why the glasses are such a big deal to some people. None of my friends seem to mind when we have 3d movie nights. Usually they all want me to come over and setup a 3d theater for them
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post #119 of 235 Old 11-05-2012, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by blackoper View Post

I had read somewhere that this app needed updating to work with the newest (11.0+) release. I also am interested in using that add-on for movie nights when friends come over

I did get it to work, it seems to work fine with OpenELEC 2.0 (XBMC 11/Eden), though I had to use the 32 bit version, not the 64 bit one. Frodo was a nogo.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do,
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post #120 of 235 Old 11-06-2012, 11:53 PM
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Making an appliance like this seems very intriguing.
DanPackMan - could you list your hardware build for your Foxconn?

Not as lean
Not as mean
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