[Freedombox-discuss] Raspberry Pi Video Support

Sunil Mohan sunil at medhas.org
Fri May 9 04:33:23 UTC 2014

On Thursday 08 May 2014 12:48 AM, Chris Troutner wrote:
> 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
> 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.

I don't imagine that most services will on by default on FreedomBox.
With a large scope, it will be an ala carte service. Users will be able
to choose what purposes they wish to use their device. If not all
services can run simultaneously, the users will decide what take higher
priority same as a general purpose OS on a low end machine. For example,
some users might very well pick Tor + XBMC over Tor + OwnCloud.

> 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.

Indeed, a lot of hardware now is capable of doing 2160p video decoding
if not 1080p. If work goes on in the direction of giving media center
capabilities to FreedomBox on RaspberryPi, a lot of it will also be
helpful for other devices like the Beagle boards, TV sticks, etc. We
already have builds available for BeagleBone Black. There are a lot of
devices already more powerful than the Pi and the situation is getting
better everyday. And future iterations of RPi might be more powerful.

XBMC latest release has hardware decoding for Android platform. We are
seeing a lot of reverse engineering work to produce free software
drivers for 2D/3D graphics and video processing. Some companies are
opening up too. I believe that it is only a matter time before many of
these devices get good free software accelerated video playback
capabilities. Running XBMC might be too much then, if it is now.

On Thursday 08 May 2014 11:35 PM, Chris Troutner wrote:> All,
> I'm pushing forward with the idea of running the FreedomBox software
> and XBMC as a media server on a Raspberry Pi.

Please do. If it works out, I don't see why an optional application
would not be welcome. I have an RPi with me and I shall try to help out
with any problems if I can, although I am mainly focused on other tasks.


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