Low-Cost Raspberry Pi Board Runs XBMC And AirPlay, Doubles As A $35 1080p HTPC



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Looks nifty, but just wouldn't do all that I would want. Also, XBMC is fine for nerds, but I cant see any wives or kids or 'regular' guys getting into it.



If the Openelec team creates a build specifically for this board it will be revolutionary, being a long time XBMC user and a more recent Openelec user this is just the kind of low cost hardware Ive needed. I'd be building and giving them out as stocking stuffers to friends and family!



I don't think it's the hardware at this point that is of issue to mainstream acceptance of small streamers, the processor & board form factors will be tightening up for all the players, but rather the software support. Whether it be popcorn, WD, roku, boxee- none of them bring the whole experience together very well under software. It's all about who sucks less with the least amount (of way too many) serious bugs, rather than who can stream iso's, mkv, divx, etc with hd audio flawlessly.

We/they've been at this game for too long for the level of mediocrity that prevails within the streamer industry to still be the status quo.

Throw this in a wall mountable case (too small to bother with vesa holes) and most importantly bring a solid software experience. I can see this unit anywhere from $50-$75- and I'm sure they'll do extremely well.



I've got a similar device (BeagleBoard-xM) I'm trying to turn into a HTPC. Mine's not capable of 1080p (it can handle 720p, though, which matches my TV, so no complaints there). Mine is a little more expensive (last I looked it was retailing around $150, although I won mine in a raffle, so I paid for two $5 tickets). Mine has a 1 Ghz ARM processor and 512 MB RAM, and it is a tad bigger (3.25" by 3.25", which is still remarkably tiny), but I'm having some trouble getting the OS and drivers to run right. I either get 640x480 video resolution, or I'm not getting any sound. Admittedly, I haven't spent as much time working on it as I probably should.

I probably won't be in the market for another HTPC anytime soon (unless I just absolutely can't get the BeagleBoard to work), but that doesn't mean I won't consider picking one of these up and find another purpose for it. I mean, a $35 computer is hard to pass up.


Keith E. Whisman

It looks great if it had a modern GUI it would be something nobody could live without. Command line interfaces are so 1990's and earlier.



XBMC has a bootable Linux distribution. I'm sure it is or will soon be possible to boot it from the USB port or possibly have it load the kernel over the network. XBMC has the most gorgeous 10-foot interface I've ever seen, so I doubt you'd be dropping to the command-line often. I can't wait to see how well it performs first-hand, though. Modern XBMC distributions take a pretty fair amount of horsepower to run with all the eye-candy turned on.

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