Mike Panic

G33k Alert! Anyone running Raspberry Pi / XMBC?

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Stumbled upon this by accident (because I can't deal with the Lifehacker / Gawker blogs have been setup for the last 2 years they've lost me as a reader) Build a XBMC Media Center with a $35 Raspberry Pi and I've been watching countless YouTube vids / reading blog articles on it. Developer's site Raspberry Pi | An ARM GNU/Linux box for $25. Take a byte!

While the LH article is kind of misleading, it's actually closer to about $50 when you factor in an SD card, micro USB charger and a case for it... and seems to fit exactly what I'd want it to do, stream media from a computer or NAS device to my TV. Sure, Apple TV will do this, but the file formats are much more limited and the Gen2 versions (which can be jailbroken) are only going UP in price... also, there's now a free XMBC remote app for the iPhone / iPad..

The only sucky thing is the 3-8 week lead time to get the board.

So, who knows anything about these, who's running one?

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Stumbled upon this by accident (because I can't deal with the Lifehacker / Gawker blogs have been setup for the last 2 years they've lost me as a reader) Build a XBMC Media Center with a $35 Raspberry Pi and I've been watching countless YouTube vids / reading blog articles on it. Developer's site Raspberry Pi | An ARM GNU/Linux box for $25. Take a byte!

While the LH article is kind of misleading, it's actually closer to about $50 when you factor in an SD card, micro USB charger and a case for it... and seems to fit exactly what I'd want it to do, stream media from a computer or NAS device to my TV. Sure, Apple TV will do this, but the file formats are much more limited and the Gen2 versions (which can be jailbroken) are only going UP in price... also, there's now a free XMBC remote app for the iPhone / iPad..

The only sucky thing is the 3-8 week lead time to get the board.

So, who knows anything about these, who's running one?

I am a massive XMBC/XMBC-integration fan! I actually do some dev work for some of the plugins and drivers.

R-Pi and XMBC do "work". Work well? Think again. You will be extremely limited in running any "cool" stuff like HD skins, 720p+ video, some plugins, etc. Also if you do use it, the Pi heats up like no other. The R-Pi is a cool testbed, screw-around toy and SSH terminal but it's not really a "computer".

If you want to get into the world of XBMC I suggest going the route of a Tegra line or even better a i3/AMD Quad chip in a micro case. Then you can start building up your XBMC/server box like I did and get to do some wicked cool stuff.

My current XBMC main server runs:

XBMC (Aeon HD skin)

Drupal (Torrent interface)

SabNZBd (Usenet interface)

Sickbeard (Usenet show interface)

Maraschino (A slick overall interface for all XBMC and other server dashboards)

Ajaxplorer (cloud-like file management. think personal dropbox)

A huge array of plugins (PsuedoTV, Youtube, Vimeo, etc)

Plex Media Server (so i can stream to other devices)

Plus home automation!!!

I also got a few XBMC thin-clients that share a mySQL database on the main box so I can pause in one room and resume in the other. Seriously it's like an addiction for me. I also developed a ton of automation scripts to basically automate my house

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Thanks for the super detailed feedback.

This is where I am. I want a CHEAP, solid way to stream local media files from my Macbook Pro and / or NAS drive to my TV. Anything more than that and I'd just buy a Mac Mini and attach it to the TV.

While the idea of have an HTPC is attractive to me, and alternative o/s is nice, like XMBC, that's all I want it for. I don't want / need it for BitTorrent or web browsing or anything else. If I did, I'd be looking at a Jailbroken Apple TV 2, Roku, Boxee, etc.

I want sub $75 way to stream 720-1080 from my computer / NAS drive to TV, that's simple, no? Is that asking too much of the Raspberry Pi running XMBC?

Do you have any micro HTPC / XBMC forum suggestions? I have 10+ years of IT / net admin experience, I can build / maintain anything, I just want simple and easy. and cheap! haha

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Thanks for the super detailed feedback.

This is where I am. I want a CHEAP, solid way to stream local media files from my Macbook Pro and / or NAS drive to my TV. Anything more than that and I'd just buy a Mac Mini and attach it to the TV.

While the idea of have an HTPC is attractive to me, and alternative o/s is nice, like XMBC, that's all I want it for. I don't want / need it for BitTorrent or web browsing or anything else. If I did, I'd be looking at a Jailbroken Apple TV 2, Roku, Boxee, etc.

I want sub $75 way to stream 720-1080 from my computer / NAS drive to TV, that's simple, no? Is that asking too much of the Raspberry Pi running XMBC?

Do you have any micro HTPC / XBMC forum suggestions? I have 10+ years of IT / net admin experience, I can build / maintain anything, I just want simple and easy. and cheap! haha

Sub 75 is impossible. Even the ATV2 only does 720 (barley) and that is 99. If you spend about 150-200ish you can build a rock solid media-center/server. The rPi really just doesnt have the muscle to do much at all so I would suggest looking elsewhere. My buddy uses his for low-def youtube streaming.

I would check out Micro Center for amazingly cheap deals. I built a few quad-core AMD builds that were at the 150 mark (a nice case is the only component that will cost any significant money). Integrated graphics on the newer chips will be perfect for 1080p. It may seem odd by overkill is actually the cheaper option as the really mini stuff gets pricey and the cheap mini stuff doesnt have the horsepower. I've built maybe 20-30 XBMC dedicated boxes so I've been through this struggle for everyone that wanted one. They want micro-tiny size for the cost of a low-end motherboard. Building is usually way cheaper than buying pre-built for the super-budget builds.

Also the Mac-Mini is super pricey for what it provides, I would stick with Linux(XBMC) on a PC. For mac-mini prices you could be rocking a solid i5, 8gig ram, and some snappy drives.

Another cheap-o solution my friend is running is finding used laptop with a dead screen and using that as the XBMC unit. Most people get rid of these super-cheap because screens are big money. Good thing about laptops are built in battery backup and low-voltage.

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2 nights ago a friend gave me his old Apple TV First Generation - within 10 minutes I had built a boot thumb drive and had XBMC up and running on t - spent the next 2 hours trying to mess around with SMBup to get it all ironed out because XBMC doesn't care so much for Mountain Lion, or the other way around - whatever, that all works now, so does the XBMC remote app for iPhone.

Got a bunch of repo's installed, Icefilms and Navi-X seem to be the two most valuable right now to me - curious as to what else you could suggest or recommend.

I also plan on spending some time this weekend reading up on how to actually use the internal 160gb hard drive to my advantage / i.e. put stuff there from my MBP, if you have a link for that I'll gladly take a read too.

Otherwise, I'm fully endorcing XBMC, I'm totally amped on it. Wish I had an Apple TV 2, they consume a little less power and have a better wifi card in them, but for my price of entry I'm thrilled.

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Shoulda figured Slayer was up on XBMC - I actually did the original old XBox conversion a couple years ago and had fun with that for a while but haven't used it for a long time, just roku now. I think I paid around $45 for the used xbox off craigslist.

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Shoulda figured Slayer was up on XBMC - I actually did the original old XBox conversion a couple years ago and had fun with that for a while but haven't used it for a long time, just roku now. I think I paid around $45 for the used xbox off craigslist.

I suggest taking another look at it. Seriously has morphed into the best media software out there

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