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

Brad Chacos

The soon-to-be-released Raspberry Pi stretches the definition of a PC: the ARM/Linux board is credit card-sized, capable of performing basic computing tasks, and only costs $25 (or $35 for a 256MB model, doubling the RAM of the $25 offering). Oh yeah, it plays 1080p HD video over HDMI, too. It's that last bit that brings us today's news: with the Raspberry Pi's launch looming, the team just released a video showing the board running a fully-working version of XBMC. That's right; it's a $35 1080p HTPC. Not tempting enough? It also supports AirPlay, even sans XBMC.

Of course, that price would rise a little since you'd probably want to invest in at least some sort of case, seeing as how leaving open circuit boards lying around is a recipe for disaster. The menu and transitions lag a teeny bit, but we gotta say it looks pretty good overall, especially given the price. Who needs cable when you can connect XBMC around your house for $35 bucks per television set? (We say $35 because the $25 model doesn't include an Ethernet port, only Wi-Fi support via a USB dongle.)

The video above shows off the Raspberry Pi's AirPlay capabilities.

The dev team's been very active in responding to comments in the XBMC and AirPlay blog posts, so drop them a line if you have any detailed questions. More general answers about Raspberry Pi can be found in the project's FAQ page .

Meanwhile, a Broadcom developer who helped work on the ARM chip powering the Pi says that it outperforms both Apple's iPhone processor as well as Nvidia's Tegra 2 . And it plays Quake III to boot.

Do you think you'll pick one of these up when they become available? Does the XBMC and AirPlay support increase the odds of your doing so?

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