Linked by David Adams on Fri 20th Apr 2012 01:31 UTC, submitted by fsmag
Multimedia, AV "When I started working on a no-DRM, open-standards-based solution for distributing high-definition video on fixed media ('Lib-Ray'), I naturally thought of Theora, because it was developed as a free software project. Several people have suggested, though, that the VP8 codec would be a better fit for my application. This month, I've finally gotten the necessary vpxtools and mkvtoolnix packages installed on my Debian system, and so I'm having a first-look at VP8. The results are very promising, though the tools are somewhat finicky."
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I have also been in the market for a suitable HTPC based on ARM-architechture, but more-or-less all the currently-shipping ones are either aimed for tinkerers or try to pack too many things in the package, making it too expensive. RPi would almost work for me as it is supported these days by XBMC media center, but the lack of optical audio output is the thing that breaks the thing.

That said, I do not know of any currently-shipping ARM HTPC below the $100 price point other than the RPi. I am merely saying that it is entirely possible to create one, no one just seems all that interested in doing that.

As such I have only three recommendations if you want a HTPC on the cheap: Apple TV 2 (can only do 720p, not 1080p), RPi (will take a few more months to get), or wait for someone to realize there is demand for such and to start manufacturing something. Apple TV 3 can do 1080p, but I do not know if it has been jailbroken yet or if XBMC even has support for it.

I have actually tried to e-mail various manufacturers and hint that there is interest in sub-$100 HTPC-devices, but none of them have so much as bothered to respond at all. I can't start manufacturing such myself either because I do not have the required legal expertise or financial resources -- yet another reason why Kickstarter available here in Europe would be great.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Alfman Member since:


Oh I see. It sounded to me like Digitante was talking about hardware that consumers could put together today by themselves, which is rather different.

Yea, I would like more manufacturers to sell unlocked ARM hardware too. I have purchased numerous proprietary systems with the intent of reflashing them with open firmware, but that's a really tedious game to play, especially since we end up financially supporting a proprietary system vendor who sells closed products. There simply aren't enough sources of genuinely unlocked hardware at reasonable costs. I really hope Raspberry Pi can start to change that.

Edited 2012-04-23 00:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Digitante Member since:

Oh I see. It sounded to me like Digitante was talking about hardware that consumers could put together today by themselves, which is rather different.

In fact, I was.

And my $500 estimate was based on hardware needed to do VP8 decoding at 1920x1080x30fps all in software -- because my information said that nothing had yet hit the market that had hardware decoding for VP8 and also could output that video rate (some of the portable devices have hardware decoding support for VP8, but they target smaller portable displays -- the chip can do it, but the mainboard can't).

But if it's possible to do better, even if it's only cost-effective for, say, 100 units, I'd be interested (I might be able to interest that many people if I did this through a Kickstart). But I'd have to be CERTAIN -- you can't promise 100 people a $100 player and then find out it costs $200 to make them!

(If it takes 1000s of units to be feasible, then it's probably out of my reach).

It sounds like I should do some asking on the Raspberry Pi forums to see if I can find out more.

Reply Parent Score: 1