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Raspberry Pi - The $35 extender? - Page 2

post #31 of 49
I purchased the MPEG-2 and VC-1 codec licenses and have been playing with the latest version of Rasbmc PVR branch (Sept 2 nightly build), with the DVD of files that Bob linked. I haven't overclocked. Playback isn't smooth yet, even on the lowest bitrate stream (20 mbps?).

I have heard that some people have the Pi playing HD video smoothly, but cannot report the same. I don't have it hooked up to a receiver, so that might be causing some glitches.

We'll still have to see if this little thing has the oomph to do everything that I want. My objective is to use XBMC PVR with TVHeadend as the TV server all in one box, with an HDHomeRun as the tuner.

If the Pi doesn't work out as an integrated solution, there are machines coming out in the $60 to $120 range that run XBMC on Android with hardware acceleration (Pivos, Oval Elephant). These boxes appear to have plenty of oomph, have 1GB to 2GB of memory and use about the same amount of power as the Pi. So I am very optimistic that we will have a good solution in the three to six month timeframe.
Edited by dschmelzer - 9/5/12 at 10:12am
post #32 of 49
An up to 50%+ increase in peak speeds due to a turbo mode has been announced. We'll see how much good that does once the change flows down through all of the distribution builds.

post #33 of 49
Following up on this, I have been using the files that Bob linked to see the capabilities of this thing.

I get a little judder in some of the lower bitrate and the higher bitrate birds files -- oddly, most of the mid-range files don't have judder. Also, it misses quite a few frames on the Casino Royale clip.

The only deinterlace method available is bob.

Compare to XBMC for Windows on my low-end laptop, using DXVA, which doesn't have these kinds of glitches and runs at a very low resource utilization rate.

Still holding out hope for the Raspberry Pi. They've made a lot of progress.
post #34 of 49
I just ordered a Pi. to pay around with. Are you using the current openelec build? There's so much inconsistency of hardware that works sd cards, wifi dongles took me a while to cross reference what should work. I tested openelec xmbc on a old amd 4800 that I threw a ati 5450 into. Just getting the set up files on the ubs stick took a while. My bio's didnt support boot from external media. After a few hrs. of research figured out when creating the ubs install I needed to create my own autostart.sh because 3 different builds didn't put it on my stick. The I needed to load a cd that would access the stick on startup. I've been playing with xmbc and so far like what I see as an extender.

The pi is interesting because it has an analog video output and I still have a few analog tv's that's just collecting dust right now.

Did you have any issues getting the pi up and running? I know from reading though there wiki getting it onto my sd card will be interesting.

Are you using a keyboard/mouse or a remote? I was thinking of just using a remote again referencing what works with xmbc and then also with openelec and with the pi has also taken some time.
post #35 of 49
Do these things bitstream the HD audio codecs?
post #36 of 49
Favelle: I haven't been able to test it on HD audio codecs.

egold54: I am using the Raspbmc build. It has a nice SD card installer for Windows, so I don't have to mess around much with Linux internals. The installer also supports install to a USB stick, so very convenient. No issues getting up and running.

Re the remote, I just use the remote from my TV through CEC. For more text-heavy stuff, I just SSH into the Pi from my Windows laptop.
post #37 of 49
I haven't gotten my pi yet. I ordered it last week and I hope it comes today. Learning a new os is always a new challenge. Took me a some time in a few forums to get past the user/password thing trying to access my external hd in openelec/xbmc. The internal no issues at all. One thing about forums people will say hey yeah I got to work and not even tell you how. It's like come on man I've been searching for hrs. tell me tell me lol... Anyway for anyone else that reads this using an external hd on openelec/xbmc create a new basic user account in windows. That's it, all that time for such a simple solution. I could of read a novel for the amount of time it took me to find that lol. I also found my rosewill rrc-127 I bought for 10.00 works fine. I have not been able to get my d link wireless working yet though.

I also read not all sd cards work. Seems people are having more issues with the class 10 cards. I had a class 4-4gig card laying around.

I read a bunch of posts about raspbmc vs openelec/xbmc and decided on the openelec/xbmc.

Took a little extra time to get openelec installed on my sd card but I'm all set just waiting to see what this baby can do. I plan on using it as an extender on the kitchen tv.

For 8.00 I'll pick up another sd card and play with raspbmc.

I ask myself do I build and play with these things to watch tv, stream movies and music or to play and build it's not the first the first one. I already have my sights on some of these new boards that are coming out.
post #38 of 49
Originally Posted by Favelle View Post

Do these things bitstream the HD audio codecs?

I got mine about a week and a half ago, haven't put it through a ton of tests, but when I hooked it up directly to a TV (no AVR) it played everything I threw at it and I didn't notice any hickups. I didn't watch a movie fully yet, but so far I've been impressed.
post #39 of 49
^^ The question was if it bitstreamed HD Audio Codecs. You didn't answer that question.
post #40 of 49
Mntneer: Could you please describe "everything that I threw at it"? Also, can you describe what software you used?
post #41 of 49
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

^^ The question was if it bitstreamed HD Audio Codecs. You didn't answer that question.

If he just plugged it into a tv without a receiver how could be answer that?
post #42 of 49
Sammy, I'll test more with MKV's and HD audio, like pitt mentioned though I've only tested straight through a TV, but plan on hooking up through a AVR.

I was using the lastest Raspbmc version for playback.

What I've been moving to are H.264 MKV's of my DVD's and Blu-Ray's.
post #43 of 49
From what I understand, if your setup requires XBMC to decode DTS audio, you will likely have some performance issues on 1080p MKVs. If you pass through audio to be decoded outside the Pi, then it works pretty well. I would be interested to see if this is the limitation.
post #44 of 49
I just got mine today. Installed openelec/xbmc with no issues at all. Boots a bit slow and is not as responsive as the install on my amd 2x core but that's understandable. I also used a class 4 4gig sd card. I'm thinking a class 10 would be faster. I found my mouse. It also found my rosewill remote no issues. It did found my iogear wifi dongle which wasn't my first choice however seemed people did not have any issues with it and neither did I. Got an ip address and was able to connect to my media on my htpc. I ended up buying the codec's but they have not gotten here yet.

Ok so did some testing and found:

1. 8.5gig handbrake compressed mkv plays with some stuttering
2. 20gig mkv forget about it.
3 3.6gig hand brake compressed mkv stutters at times but very watchable

This is wireless with my dlink 655 1 floor down right under me. In my kitchen much worse.

picture looks great though. This is also non bit streaming just the hdmi hooked to my tv.

Ran the same movies this time connected to my lan

1. 20 gig mkv stuttered some no watchable
2. 8.5 gig hand brake compressed mkv played fine no stuttering but even though the scrren said 4 xFF the movie did not FF
3. 3.6 gig handbrake compressed played fine no stutters FF did not work

Not sure if there is a setting I missed for the remote with the FF

Movie really looks nice though.

Changed my HDMI cable to one I got at circuit city monster cable, yeah back then I was newbie about HDMI however these are the results

Using my wifi

1. 8.5 gig hand brake compressed played no stuttering where with the other cable it stuttered some
2. 20 gig mkv frequent stuttering for 2-3 sec. but could be watched
3. 3.6 gig handbrake compressed no stuttering at all.

Using Lan with the monster HDMI

Some stuttering for maybe 1/4-1/2 a sec. certainly watchable.

HDMI cable does make a difference the cheap one I got off new egg. I use cables from bluejeans cables now with no issues on my bluray and htpc

I'm not sure about wifi optimization yet.

I've only had it running for a few hrs.

I have read about overclocking it here


Not sure if I can do that running openelec though

Really if it works for streaming recorded tv shows off wmc I'll be very happy and the wife will be smiling and that's always a good thing.
post #45 of 49
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

Interesting project. Build the $25 Fedora open source computer.

Here's more about the project and the product.

They apparently have ordered parts for the first 10,000 units but I don't think it's for sale quite yet.


Where has Zon2020 been?
post #46 of 49
I haven't had much use for my 256k Model B, but today I tried the test clips on XBMC 12.2 (raspbmc) and must say that the development is progressing.

The Casino Royale clips played without any judder or dropped frames, as far as I could see. The birds clips mostly played well. The pi choked on the birds55.mkv for some reason, and started to have problems on the other high-rate files after the buffered video (128MB or whatever) ran through and it had to fetch more from the SD card. The birds90.mkv file finally brought it to its knees from the beginning of playback.

I did notice that M2TS files caused more judder than the MKV files.

This was all without overclocking.
post #47 of 49
I have one running in my son's bedroom. Recently bought him a 32" led display for his birthday which replaced an old dreadful 19" RCA tube.

Currently I'm running a Dual Band Wireless network. As of now the RP is On the 2.4 GHz frequency along side the majority of my wireless devices. I have my ipad and laptop running on the 5ghz frequency. My goal is to move the RP to 5 with the use of an newer airport express with 5ghz capability.

The Airport Express is the key, for I discovered that playback performance for 1080p MKVs and m2ts files is much more stable, as opposed to the USB wifi adapter I had initially installed.

I've also noticed that movies encoded with Dolby TrueHD are more taxing on the network compared to those with DTSMA. I don't know the reason behind it, not sure which audio encode uses more or less compression. Audio is downsampled to 2.0 and with the latest version of DVDFab, it's much easier to rip my movies along with the audio alternatives which makes it easier to choose a basic ac3 audio source. I'm just running some Harmon Kardon Stereo speakers with a Subwoofer. The tv has a Digital Coax output option which may enable me to resurrect my old Sony Pre-hdmi receiver for 5.1 lossy surround sound.

Standard Def and 720p videos work great without any issues.

Right now the only downside, for me at least, is live tv. It's just not stable enough to use and I have tried NextPVR and MediaPortal backends on my Dell Zino HD which is also running XBMC over Windows 7 64-bit. I'm running OTA with 4 tuners, 2 of which are an HD Homerun Network Tuner. Even with the RP attached directly to my network switch, the audio would go out of sync on both SD and HD channels.

I think once I get that airport express with a 5ghz channel in the mix, this will facilitate issues with 1080p playback.
post #48 of 49
I'm on a mission to drastically reduce my FIOS bill, so I bought a few of these Rpi boards and an HD Homerun prime. First, i'm not intending to run it in the theater, so I don't need anything better than cablebox quality. After installing Raspbmc, I pointed it to the synology box and streamed a movie. The quality of the movie file was not great, and it played without issue. Excited at the possibilities of this little board being exactly what I've been looking for, I went through the steps of getting live TV via the prime going. I was initially very impressed. The video was clearly better than that of my cable box. About 20 minutes later, the other shoe dropped. The audio was way out of synch from the video. It had also started to develop intermittent artifacts in the picture, as well as occasional freezing. I tried overclocking the board, but there was no noticeable difference in the performance. On a whim, I decided to install openelec. Surprisingly openelec performed much more reliably (with live TV) than Raspbmc. It did, however, eventually run into instability, but it was more like two hours of viewing before the anomalies showed up.

Still looking for ways to get rid of the cable box, but I'm not sure the PI is the way to go. It's a shame though, because it has great potential.
post #49 of 49
I would suggest using NFS over SMB for streaming video if you have not done so. This switch improved video streaming reliability over my wireless network for 1080p MKVs and M2TS files. I don't think overclocking will do much to improve this issue.

Live TV to be honest is a struggle. It's not as stable as Windows Media Center no matter what back-end you're using and the video quality is lacking, specifically in the refresh rate area. Make sure you're network is solid as this will help with audio sync issues.

If you are using a RP via Wifi, I'd suggest getting some type if wireless bridge or a dual channel Airport Express. Take advantage of the 5ghz frequency if you have a dual channel Wireless Router.
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