Originally Posted by halfelite
The basic issue with the ARM market is its so fragmented, No to boxes are alike, Some are coming with rf some are coming with bluetooth and no one knows what they can really do, Sure they have an h264 decoder for video but what happens when you start decoding audio and running subtitle engines on them with say a usenet download running in the background. None of them will have full bluray support like players now. So while yes they can be a contender for some of the cheaper player solutions it still leaves a lot to be desired for most.
Yes there are a few different competing chipsets out there but their is really only one who dominates the market and that is Amlogic and soon to be All Winner. Both chipsets are pretty similar to each other and can easily handle Blu-ray video streams, Amlogics newest chip can handle 3D Blu-rays and WebM video. They sell their all in one Arm SoC's to tablets/phones/stb/tv's etc so their is no shortage of clients. It's not like Marvell's Armada 1500 which is a dedicated chipset for just certain tasks.
Many of those in media player context are running Android OS which is really not suitable for media centers though people make do with it, and you'd be surprised more people buy the cheap and nasty stuff then the good stuff. Android doesn't really allow the hardware to shine with the limitations it has.
XBMC has been ported to Amlogic 8726 chipsets and can be seen here
(7:28), demoed by Pivos no less who have hinted
at a XBMC coming to their XIOS DS player. So that shows what these chips are really capable of.
VLC has made progress with open source Blu-ray menu support which will be integrated into XBMC eventually, while it wont give you the total full Blu-ray menu experience (no BD Live features) it's better than a player forced to use Cinavia DRM or no BD menus at all.
None of this will happen over night it's still a ways off but it is in the works at least.