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Media Entertainment

XBMC Running On an Atom-Based MID 97

Posted by timothy
from the to-watch-programs-made-by-other-acronyms dept.
reborn writes "Someone's got XBMC running on one of those MIDs. This one is a Compal Jax10. It runs Linux and is powered by an Intel Atom processor clocked at 800Mhz along with Intel's GMA500, which is basically a licensed PowerVR SGX GPU. Except for the better GPU (and its screen and keyboard, of course), it is similarly specced as some of the lower-end netbooks. XBMC would make a great portable media player, given its ability to play media off the network and virtually all file formats, but in the end it depends on the price-point of these MIDs. Here's the video."
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XBMC Running On an Atom-Based MID

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  • by NinthAgendaDotCom (1401899) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @02:14AM (#26247175) Homepage

    Jeez, could we get a few more acronyms and buzzwords in this summary please?

  • by timmarhy (659436) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @02:17AM (#26247187)
    if it can't do proper HD then it's not interesting. there are plenty of tiny low res video players on the market now.
    • My current laptop cant even do "HD"..

      Considering that BluRay gunk stores 2048x1536 (?) sized videos, which my monitor is only 1280x800. Even if I could play it 100% no drops, it's still 4x my resolution in terms of area.

      Now... Playing _the kitchen sink_ amounts of formats as seen on MPlayer and VLC could gain quite a bit of traction as then it wont matter if it's an Xvid avi, MP4, or OGM. That would kick ass.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by timmarhy (659436)
        bluray is at best 1920x1080 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc#Technical_specifications [wikipedia.org], and i'm not talking about crappy small screen players, of which there are tons of already and i can't understand why we need another one (it runs linux.. so what?).

        really we are all waiting for is for a small, silent, UPGRADABLE media player that can do full hd video/audio at a reasonable cost. so far you are either locked out of codec upgrades by vendors, or it's a fully fledged pc which is both expensive and b

        • by Cadallin (863437) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @02:42AM (#26247327)
          If Nvidia's Ion platform takes off, an updated Eee Box 202, or the MSI Wind desktop, would fit the bill. Its not ready out of the box, but a $200 PC in the size range of a Mac Mini with full GPU video acceleration running XBMC or an equivalent is probably the closest we'll ever get.
          • Rumor has it the new Mac mini will have the same Nvidia graphics as the new MacBooks so, apart from price (it's a Mac after all), a mini with a third-party BD drive would be a great HD box.

            • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Just don't run XBMC on it.
              Use Plex, a fork with an even nicer featureset, good support and a puppy for a mascot.

              I'm running Plex on my old mini (1.66, 1GB), and it handles pretty much every 720p x264 I throw at it, and most 1080p ones.

              Still want the January replacement or refresh though ;)

          • Western Digital WDTV [wdc.com] is the closest thing to a perfect player for 100 bucks... and with the latest firmware update, is nearing perfection... if only had ethernet... :(

        • by MPAB (1074440)

          I agree. I've seen many standalone Media Players with huge hard drives that go straight to the tv and have just a remote control. They look cute and are cheap, but the main flaws is the lack of upgradeability (most are made by chinese one-product-per-brand-and-disappear companies) with no way of accepting new codecs such as FLAC, APE, Matroska, etc.
          Also most of them can't accept discs.
          The other strange flaw is that most have only a stereo output and digital sound. We can buy decent 5.1 speakers from logitec

          • Media Hard Drives? The only one's I've seen have been by relatively well-known companies. The lack of upgradability is a downside, but if you keep to one format you should be alright and is like any other media device other than a HTPC.

            And a digital sound decoder isn't that expensive. And it will certainly give a much better result than mainboard sound or a cheap sound card. Interference from within the computer case is a nightmare.

      • by rm999 (775449)

        My 2 year laptop can do HD. Anyway, that's irrelevant - in this day and age, a media center computer *has* to play HD, while many laptops are actually regressing to slower speeds for increased battery life and portability. Comparing a media center with a laptop is an apple/oranges comparison.

      • by Firehed (942385)

        You have a 720p screen (a little more than that, actually), so being able to play HD video - even if not full HD - could be a legitimate concern of yours. I believe the limited selection of iTunes HD content is in 720p, as are a very good proportion of movies and TV shows that you can grab from the seedy parts of the internet.

        I'm not so sure that the codecs will be that much of a problem - everything is moving towards h.264/x264, and most content that's not in that is either DivX/XviD or one of the MPEG fo

        • Thanks to the nature of apples subsidiaries ... structure, they like to 'overcharge' their local 'markups' for their own profit motives "cough marketing" , so that ATV is 30-40% more outside usa, especially since for some unknown reason the US dollar is rising for now.

        • Or maybe just a Nano/Atom with a GeForce 9-series chipset, running linux with mythtv (or something based on ffmpeg). It seems with the lowliest of the new Semprons (2600+ Sparta?) and an 8400GS you can use VDPAU to play h.264 videos barely hitting the CPU. (just at start and end)

          Tegra would be better, though, being ARM and all. Too bad nVidia is full of shit and won't help linux developpers on it.

          • by afidel (530433)
            Well, I started a rant about ffmpeg not supporting purevideo, but then I did a Google search and found this [phoronix.com] article which says that as of a month ago that has finally been resolved. Unfortunately it requires the closed drivers so it won't work on Atom but you should be good to go with Nano.
            • Why would it not work on Atom?

              Sadly Atom has no PCIE slots (unless you find a rarer DTX board) and the only 8400GS I found for PCI was really expensive (100$? yeah right). But it's x86 so it should support the nVidia drivers just fine... Was that what you meant? it's not ARM, just trying to push x86 into ARM's market (and not doing too well at it...)

              Unless there's something else I'm not aware of?

              Of course, Nano is my platform of choice, especially in a mythbox. That way I can actually play games and stuff.

    • by Shikaku (1129753) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @02:27AM (#26247249)

      http://focus.ti.com/docs/prod/folders/print/omap3530.html [ti.com]

      The omap3530 can do HD, and it's not even an Intel processor, it's an ARM, so the power savings are enormous.

      http://openpandora.org/ [openpandora.org]

      This device will be able to play HD in about the size of a DS lite. It's not out yet however.

      http://beagleboard.org/hardware [beagleboard.org] Right now, you can buy a beagle board which will do mostly the same thing, except not in a real handheld.

      • by timmarhy (659436)
        call me picky but none of those links actually state that those products are capable of a full 1920x1080 video signal.
        • by Shikaku (1129753)

          http://embedded-system.net/omap3503-omap3515-omap3525-omap3530-processors-omap35x-dvsdk.html [embedded-system.net]

          If you try to search for 1080p hd omap3530 on google you will get that it can do 720p no problem, but 1080p is a stretch at best. This is probably only decoding and displaying together however.

          http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/11/28/0033204 [slashdot.org]

          Also remember this? Can YOU tell the difference between even 720p and 1080p?

          • by amram9999 (829761)
            The OMAP 3530 can only do 720p if you have a format that's not CPU intensive to decode, such as MPEG2. It takes quite a bit more horsepower to decode H264/AVC and I'm fairly certain that the OMAP 3530 can't handle that.

            Oh, you want to play sound with that too? That adds more load to the CPU or DSP. The OMAP3's are beautiful little processors, but using them for a media center is pushing their limits.
            • by eloren (317389)

              Actually, they can handle 720P H.264. I've seen 720P *H.264* video on OMAP3 from Ingenient. Here's a bit underwhelming video of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRI0NUaWko8. You can take a look what Archos does with the devices in their "Internet media tablets". Not much time has been spent optimizing the open source code, yet, but the DSP specifications are public. Libraries are being created to support the additional accelerator hardware.

              720P MPEG4 decode can be done without even using the DSP usin

      • while it's nice to see people promote the pandora (i'm in the first batch), lets not go overboard by making huge claims.
        it'll probably do 720p, but not 1080, which is impressive indeed, maybe someone will one day port xbmc or so, dunno.

    • by zealot (14660) <xzealot54x AT yahoo DOT com> on Sunday December 28, 2008 @02:54AM (#26247383)

      From what I've read elsewhere, the chipset involved does have video decode acceleration support. After googling, anandtech.com has an article that says that the chipset can support 1080i and 720p decode. A tomshardware.com article says that it can do hardware decode of H.264, MPEG2, MPEG4, VC1, and WMV9 formats.

      • by sznupi (719324)

        The way I see it, it's great mostly thanks to low power usage.

        But...Intel just had to showel old, craptastic, power-hungry chipset with Atoms used in netbooks...

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by zealot (14660)

          But this ISN'T that old, craptastic, power-hungry chipset used by most Atom netbooks. It's a new chipset code-named Poulsbo designed specifically to go with Atom. Quoting a tomshardware.com article:

          "The Atom Z500 has a TDP that varies between 0.85 W (for the 800 MHz version without HyperThreading) and 2.64 W (for the 1.86 GHz model with HyperThreading enabled). The SCH consumes approximately 2.3 W in its most evolved version, which brings the SCH + CPU together to under 5 W. By comparison with existing so

          • by sznupi (719324)

            Uhm, that was my point. They DO have great chipset for the Atom - and it's great "mostly thanks to low power usage" (because surely it's capable enough, even with 1gb ram limit, imho)

            However Intel keeps it for high-margin MIDs, leaving netbooks with the fate of "old, craptastic, power-hungry chipset"

      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        The real problem is not lack of chips supporting hardware decode, it's the lack of a common API to use it.

        The XBMC guys are going to have to develop hardware decoding routines for Windows, then again for Linux, and again for MacOS.

    • if it can't do proper HD then it's not interesting. there are plenty of tiny low res video players on the market now.

      Even at it's native resolution heavily compressed h264 might be too much to decode in real time. Then again, it seems the chipset supports hardware acceleration according to another post. If that works it would work out.

      But it's hard to tell if 720p or 1080i would work even so. Those resolutions can be hard to get working properly even with dedicated hardware decoders. (I work with IPTV technologies.)

    • by MrZaius (321037)

      http://www.engadget.com/2008/12/03/asus-eee-box-b204-b206-grows-an-hdmi-port-handles-high-def-ma/ [engadget.com]

      Like that?

      Considering that we're talking about a tiny little handheld device without a video-out port, it's a bit ridiculous to expect proper HDMI screen resolutions. It'll definitely be interesting, however, to see how well this works on the B204/B206 series of HDMI-enabled, Radeon-powered Eees.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lumpy (12016)

      It's also non news.

      I had XBMC running under ubuntu on my Acer aspire one already.

      it's just not impressive to see someone get a Intel based program port running on a intel processor.

  • by zoid.com (311775) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @02:38AM (#26247307) Homepage Journal

    I got a RJ-96 running on a x-Jmad without even putting a modded CRANK i the EIEIO.

  • I don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

    by Turmio (29215) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @03:10AM (#26247445) Homepage
    I don't get it what's the big deal here. An Atom-Based MID is a PC, which can run Linux, which can run XBMC. Just install Ubuntu Intrepid, add a couple of lines to /etc/apt/sources.list and a dozen pressed keys later you have XBMC installed. Yay.
    • by iammani (1392285)
      Unless XBMC can run without linux/windows underneath.

      I am not clear either, but XBMC wikipedia entry seems to hint at this.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The big deal is that the MID has enough juice to run XBMC at a usable framerate, which requires OpenGL acceleration, something not very common in devices of this form factor. Of course, that'll change once the Ion and GMA 500 get more popular (if at all).
  • mplayer>xbmc
    • XBMC uses mplayer

      • by BLKMGK (34057)

        XBMC on an XBOX uses it, XBMC on anything else does not.

        • XBMC outside of an Xbox?? Isn't that kind of blasphemous

          I suppose I had better get with the times though

          • by BLKMGK (34057)

            Sure if you want HD content the 733mhz P3 in the XBOX ain't going to cut it.

            $400 http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=9999386 [newegg.com] an MCE remote, and a little work with Ubuntu will have you with the times. HDMI audio\video capable of 1080 display. You'll want to overclock to about 3ghz though.

            More here -> http://xbmc.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=33 [xbmc.org] Can you say MAC, Linux, AND Winders ports?! :-O it will even run on an aTV just don't expect it to play too much more than your o

            • Oh yes, I've known about existing ports, but never really thought them as finished as the Xbox one. With a bit of polish (Aeon skin) and an ignorant eye towards the bit of lag from running in 720p (or the skip and stutter during DVDs in 1080i), I've been happy with it.

              Although now that I've seen that wishlist I've got it in my head to follow up on a project I've had to make a decent media center... now if only it would play Xbox games! :)

              • by BLKMGK (34057)

                At least a few folks have managed to get MAME working anyway, sadly I am not one of them - yet!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 28, 2008 @03:43AM (#26247591)

    "XBMC would make a great portable media player, given its ability to play media off the network"

    If I'm in my car, on an airplane, or anywhere else I'd take a portable media player, there is no network from which to play media. This is why portable media players emphasize disk space. Unless you're looking for a portable player for trips to another room of your house, network playback is useless.

    • by hairyfeet (841228)
      While this is true, flash drives are getting REAL cheap and the price just seems to drop more every week. I picked up an 8Gb for $10 a few weeks back and since my laptop doesn't do HD it is perfect for my SD rips. But if you really want to carry HD with you the 16-32Gb sticks have been falling too. Hell Amazon [amazon.com] has a 32Gb for less than $50 after rebate. So if this machine really can do HD on the go it really wouldn't be hard to load up the flash and carry it with you.
  • ...but bWF5IEkgc3VnZ2VzdCBhbiBhcmd1YWJseSBiZXR0ZXIgbWV0aG9kIG9mIGFjaGlldmluZyB0aGF0?

  • Does it have a mini adapter to an external video output?

    A tiny device like this would be great to use as an HD Media Player, and also be usable as a portable device if needed.

    If it supported Intel's VAAPI, it could probably decode HD content.. certainly MPEG2 HD content. Other similar devices with NVidia GPUs could also be excellent options. Their new video decoding API seems great - MythTV has support for it in the dev builds.

  • I for one welcome our acronym overlords! What's that? Overload? Never mind.
  • What did he just say??

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