Pi2 will be a game changer for HTPC - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 63 Old 02-03-2015, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Pi2 will be a game changer for HTPC

http://www.raspberrypi.org/raspberry-pi-2-on-sale/

The Pi was always the humble little $35 device that ran XBMC but had limitations like slow speed so it couldn't handle complex skins.

The Pi2 with quad core cpu for the same price changes things. From initial reports on the Kodi forum, it now has nothing holding it back. The only issue I can think of is that Pi still doesn't bitstream HD audio.

It is totally silent, can be left on 24/7, decodes pretty much everything, and has a huge dev community.
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post #2 of 63 Old 02-03-2015, 04:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
http://www.raspberrypi.org/raspberry-pi-2-on-sale/

The Pi was always the humble little $35 device that ran XBMC but had limitations like slow speed so it couldn't handle complex skins.

The Pi2 with quad core cpu for the same price changes things. From initial reports on the Kodi forum, it now has nothing holding it back. The only issue I can think of is that Pi still doesn't bitstream HD audio.

It is totally silent, can be left on 24/7, decodes pretty much everything, and has a huge dev community.
If SiliconDust ever gets their CableCard tuners working with AndroidTV, this thing could make a pretty amazing STB.
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post #3 of 63 Old 02-03-2015, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post
If SiliconDust ever gets their CableCard tuners working with AndroidTV, this thing could make a pretty amazing STB.
It doesn't run android, but it can already be a STB with a PVR backend in XBMC
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post #4 of 63 Old 02-03-2015, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post
It doesn't run android, but it can already be a STB with a PVR backend in XBMC

How do you do the PVR ?
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post #5 of 63 Old 02-03-2015, 04:44 PM
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How do you do the PVR ?
Dedicate either your existing server or some other box in the LAN as a server and run backend PVR software on it (NextPVR, Myth, ServerWMC, Mediaportal, etc)
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post #6 of 63 Old 02-03-2015, 04:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post
It doesn't run android, but it can already be a STB with a PVR backend in XBMC
Quote:
Compatibility

As far as software is concerned, just about everything that ran on the original Raspberry Pi will run on the Raspberry Pi 2. The capabilities of the Raspberry Pi 2 are a superset of the original. This is an entirely new processor architecture; the Pi 1 used a chip with the ARMv6 architecture, and the Cortex A7 uses the ARMv7 architecture. This is huge. The Raspberry Pi 2 can now run a modern Android system. There’s a ton of stuff that’s possible with the Pi 2 that was unimaginable with the Pi 1.
http://hackaday.com/2015/02/02/intro...aspberry-pi-2/

XBMC doesn't support the correct DRM for copy-protected CableCard channels. AndroidTV does. No tuner support yet, but supposedly SD is working with Google on that. I could almost forego PVR functionality if they could get live TV working right.
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post #7 of 63 Old 02-03-2015, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post
http://hackaday.com/2015/02/02/intro...aspberry-pi-2/

XBMC doesn't support the correct DRM for copy-protected CableCard channels. AndroidTV does.
I new the bit about AndroidTV supporting DRM, didn't know RP2 could support android. Thanks

As an aside, (you already know) could /= does but it'll be interesting to see how the community approaches this. At the moment, devices without any blessing from Google can run AOSP but that isn't a whole lot of stuff, hopefully they have already set out to try and nail down a way to get the google play services framework on there if they ever want any of the fun android stuff
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post #8 of 63 Old 02-03-2015, 10:06 PM
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RP2 is on my list of toys to get. I don't actually need another htpc but it could be useful to watch a movie somewhere else or maybe provide streaming audio support to my older avr.

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post #9 of 63 Old 02-04-2015, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
http://www.raspberrypi.org/raspberry-pi-2-on-sale/

The Pi was always the humble little $35 device that ran XBMC but had limitations like slow speed so it couldn't handle complex skins.

The Pi2 with quad core cpu for the same price changes things. From initial reports on the Kodi forum, it now has nothing holding it back. The only issue I can think of is that Pi still doesn't bitstream HD audio.

It is totally silent, can be left on 24/7, decodes pretty much everything, and has a huge dev community.
It plays Blu Rays!!


Sweet.
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post #10 of 63 Old 02-04-2015, 03:20 PM
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I'm looking forward to seeing how Windows 10 runs on it.

https://dev.windows.com/en-us/featur...errypi2support
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post #11 of 63 Old 02-04-2015, 03:55 PM
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Looking forward to hearing how well Plex Home Theater runs on this. I've been waiting for a reliable, low cost media player that I could gift to family members as Plex clients. Right now Roku 3 is the best cheap option but Pi2 is a lot more affordable and if it can run PHT smoothly that's also a better UI than RARFlix (IMO). Fingers crossed.
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post #12 of 63 Old 02-04-2015, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Lark3po View Post
I'm looking forward to seeing how Windows 10 runs on it.

https://dev.windows.com/en-us/featur...errypi2support
It's not the desktop version.
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post #13 of 63 Old 02-05-2015, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
http://www.raspberrypi.org/raspberry-pi-2-on-sale/

The only issue I can think of is that Pi still doesn't bitstream HD audio.
That makes it a no go for me... also not sure if it can do 1080p24...
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post #14 of 63 Old 02-05-2015, 02:08 AM
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don't see any problem with not bitstreaming hd audio, as long as it can decode hd audio.
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post #15 of 63 Old 02-05-2015, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by kiwijunglist View Post
don't see any problem with not bitstreaming hd audio, as long as it can decode hd audio.
If it can decode HD audio, it most likely should be able to bitstream it as well... otherwise all you're getting is the lossy 5.1 core...
Considering licensing costs, I'm not sure this HD audio decode thing is going to happen on a $35 device...
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post #16 of 63 Old 02-05-2015, 04:50 AM
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It's not the desktop version.
I wasn't trying to imply that it was...
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post #17 of 63 Old 02-05-2015, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by ikkuranus View Post
RP2 is on my list of toys to get.
I was looking at buying one of these yesterday, I want to get a streaming device to keep in the bedroom. I had been looking at the Roku 2 but this appears to be a cheaper and more flexible option.
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post #18 of 63 Old 02-05-2015, 07:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
The only issue I can think of is that Pi still doesn't bitstream HD audio.
I don't really see this as a big downside.

I don't think serious A/V enthusiasts with 100"+ screens and 7.1 DTS full blown theaters are the target for a $35 device. I think the target for these things would be STBs for screens outside of the actual theater.

I gotta be honest, I have no need or want for 7.1 audio in my kitchen or bedroom. When I'm watching in those venues I'm looking to be entertained, not immersed.
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post #19 of 63 Old 02-05-2015, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by balky View Post
If it can decode HD audio, it most likely should be able to bitstream it as well... otherwise all you're getting is the lossy 5.1 core...
Considering licensing costs, I'm not sure this HD audio decode thing is going to happen on a $35 device...
I believe XBMC can decode TrueHD but not DTS-MA. I'm not sure of any solution outside of a few Windows programs (licensed blu-ray players and a few others that use the dtsdecoderdll.dll file) that can decode DTS-MA. I guess it would be possible in theory for the Pi2 to decode DTS-MA if it can run Windows 10.

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post #20 of 63 Old 02-05-2015, 10:25 AM
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I was looking at buying one of these yesterday, I want to get a streaming device to keep in the bedroom. I had been looking at the Roku 2 but this appears to be a cheaper and more flexible option.
We have the original Pi "B" in the master bedroom for our media player on the 25" TV with built-in stereo speakers- mainly used for playing DL'd mkv's from my NAS and streaming foreign TV shows for my wife.
In that limited role it works great, I couldn't imagine not being delighted with the Pi2 for bedroom use.

PS- Newark has the Pi 2 in stock for $35...
https://www.newark.com/raspberry-pi-...=GB-US-RASP-PI

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post #21 of 63 Old 02-05-2015, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
The Pi2 with quad core cpu for the same price changes things. From initial reports on the Kodi forum, it now has nothing holding it back. The only issue I can think of is that Pi still doesn't bitstream HD audio.
It's a "game changer" only insofar as Rasperry Pi devices are concerned. It's not changing any games for me if it's not executing x86. I don't care if it's got 12 cores, there's plenty "holding it back" in that sense. But as far as Pi is concerned yeah it's a nice step forward.
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post #22 of 63 Old 02-05-2015, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by replayrob View Post
PS- Newark has the Pi 2 in stock for $35...
https://www.newark.com/raspberry-pi-...=GB-US-RASP-PI
It says they are awaiting delivery, none in stock.
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post #23 of 63 Old 02-05-2015, 12:17 PM
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It says they are awaiting delivery, none in stock.
Wow- they sold out fast!
They had 150 units in stock when I ordered less than 2hrs ago.

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post #24 of 63 Old 02-05-2015, 12:19 PM
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Odd I looked this morning and it said on back order. The only place I seen it in stock but almost double the price was here - http://www.canakit.com/raspberry-pi-2.html

Really want one to try out a xbmc and volumio see how much faster it is compared to the model b.

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post #25 of 63 Old 02-05-2015, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by replayrob View Post
Wow- they sold out fast!
They had 150 units in stock when I ordered less than 2hrs ago.
I didn't notice you said they had them until I read this thread the second time. Darnit!
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post #26 of 63 Old 02-05-2015, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
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It can decode TrueHD in software but not DTS-MA, and it does not do bitstreaming. I still don't think its a big deal. I have a pretty nice home theater setup, and if you were to ask me if I'd miss HD audio, my honest answer is no, at least for this price point.

Another device I have my eye on is the Odroid C1.

http://www.hardkernel.com/main/products/prdt_info.php

It is a mini computer which also costs $35, with some significant advantages for HTPC use -

- built in IR receiver
- gigabit ethernet
- does H.265/HEVC decode in hardware

Also from what I've seen on their forums, it can likely do HD audio bitstreaming. The problem is not a lot of people have these, and the dev community is much smaller than the Pi, but there are people working on OpenElec images.

These little single board pc's are really powerful.

Last edited by Defcon; 02-05-2015 at 07:59 PM.
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post #27 of 63 Old 02-06-2015, 01:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
It can decode TrueHD in software but not DTS-MA, and it does not do bitstreaming. I still don't think its a big deal. I have a pretty nice home theater setup, and if you were to ask me if I'd miss HD audio, my honest answer is no, at least for this price point.

Another device I have my eye on is the Odroid C1.

http://www.hardkernel.com/main/products/prdt_info.php

It is a mini computer which also costs $35, with some significant advantages for HTPC use -

- built in IR receiver
- gigabit ethernet
- does H.265/HEVC decode in hardware

Also from what I've seen on their forums, it can likely do HD audio bitstreaming. The problem is not a lot of people have these, and the dev community is much smaller than the Pi, but there are people working on OpenElec images.

These little single board pc's are really powerful.
Interesting...

The XU3 lite version looks a lot more interesting... supports HDMI 1.4a... HD audio bitstreaming, 3D et al... but costs more of course...

http://www.hardkernel.com/main/produ...=G141351880955

Insert a USB infrared remote control and the huge HTPC will find itself facing a stiff competition...

I'm having a hard time not ordering one to play with...
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post #28 of 63 Old 02-06-2015, 01:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I wasn't aware of the XU3, good find. But IMO at that price point, we're getting close to a Chromebox territory (depending on sale prices) which is a retail boxed solution and does all of those things with proven OpenElec support.

And yes, if you don't need specialized things like a tv tuner or optical drive, there is little reason to build a traditional HTPC anymore.
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post #29 of 63 Old 02-06-2015, 02:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry for another post, but the more I explore the options the more excited I'm getting.

Found this - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NTWFJ9I/

It is a full box with remote, hw decode of everything incl HEVC, and there's an OpenElec image available, which the limitations of Android. How can you beat that price??
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post #30 of 63 Old 02-06-2015, 04:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
I wasn't aware of the XU3, good find. But IMO at that price point, we're getting close to a Chromebox territory (depending on sale prices) which is a retail boxed solution and does all of those things with proven OpenElec support.

And yes, if you don't need specialized things like a tv tuner or optical drive, there is little reason to build a traditional HTPC anymore.
Now I'm starting to get more curious about Chromebox...

Does it really support HDMI 1.4a and possible to install Linux + additional hardware via USB without having to do all of the rooting (hack) stuff?
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