[Freedombox-discuss] Raspberry Pi Video Support

Chris Troutner chris.troutner at gmail.com
Wed May 7 19:18:43 UTC 2014

Good points Jurgen. I agree that an internet appliance like a FreedomBox
should be lean and fast. There are a few solutions to combining the
overhead of intensive appliances, like OwnCloud or XBMC.

One solution, like you proposed, is to run two boxes connected together. I
really like this idea actually and I think it has a lot of merit,
particularly as a prototype. But most people won't want to pay for double
hardware, so for the sake of argument, let's explore alternative solutions.

Another solution would be to throttle services when running PCU intensive
programs. I'm thinking along the lines of shutting down OwnCloud and TOR
when running XBMC; devoting resources to a primary task over other
'secondary' tasks. The main point here is that someone playing back a DVD
ISO would happen infrequently. Once the movie watching is over, the box can
switch back to running its Freedombox apps full-bore.

Another point to keep in mind is that most of the video processing takes
place via the Pi's FPGA. I haven't tried OwnCloud on the Pi (though I'm
looking forward to it), but it's performance wouldn't be a good comparison
to XBMC. I found several benchmarks online showing how good the Pi is at
DVD ISO playback. Multitasking while performing playback, however, is
unlikely to be impressive.

-Chris Troutner

*Jurgen wrote:*

Please remember we're talking about RasPi here... running OwnCloud for a
single user is already pulling this machine to its knees.
If you'd start adding TOR, mailpile, etc... I'm assuming this would
really start running really slow.
Now add another thingie called XBMC... and you'll probably get a media
centre with a framerate of 1fps at best. I doubt this would give a good
experience - and would be counter productive: people would consider the
RasPi/Freedombox as a piece of crap.

Keeping it lean and spiffy is the way to go. Obviously, you could have
some torrent client running on your Freedombox, and use a separate RasPi
to function as a media centre, and possibly even pull its (legally or
otherwise acquired) movies from your freedombox.

This way, you're actually putting your RasPi in good use twice (but
you'll need 2 of them). :)

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