Smarthome Blog returns back!

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Long time I didn’t post anything. But now Smarthome Blog returns back! And the first post after the break will be about new release candidate 3 of Kodi 14.0 Helix – new name of XBMC project. Main changes of that version are:

  • fix crash during video playback on Android 5 devices such Nexus Player and ADT-1;
  • a few fixes of PVR system included into XBMC since version 12 (Frodo);
  • some fixes for specified OS and GPU

It can be downloaded from here. Just choose desire platform or OS.

In the mean time OpenELEC – IMHO the best Kodi/XBMC based distribution to build HTPC, announced its own release candidate 2 based on Kodi Helix. Personally I prefer OpenELEC for my home PC based media centre and especially for my Raspberry PI HTPC.

OpenELEC released version 2.0: XBMC Eden + PVR

A few years ago I used LinuxMCE and VDR to watch and record Live TV on my Linux-based media center. But later I found the service which streams all Russian channels over Internet in good quality and switched to XBMC + special plugin to watch it. So far it’s ok. But USB DVB-S2 card near the box time to time remind me about Live TV and especially HD channels. So, I started thinking to try XBMC with PVR support. But I was too lazy to replace stable working XBMC Dharma installed from LiveCD by experimental PVR version. It looks like now I don’t have any excuse anymore. Because OpenELEC released a new stable version combining the latest XBMC Eden and PVR. Moreover, that version should support the CEC Adapter which I bought half year ago to control my TV from the XBMC box over HDMI. OpenELEC offers almost any well known PVR systems – TVHeadend, VDR, Njoy N7, MythTV, Mediaportal, HDHomerun and VU+. I think I’ll choose my favorite one – VDR. I’ll try first to install OpenELEC 2.0 on the flash drive to do not break current system because it’ll be many interesting football games this weekend 🙂 Will post my experience with new system next week. So, stay tune!

Release of embedded Linux media distribution OpenELEC

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OpenELEC – just another embedded Linux distribution to build HTPC, recently was lunched in version 1.0. It uses XBMC as a front-end and customized back-end. OpenELEC is designed for Intel-based, Nvidia ION-based and AMD Fusion-based systems and run from USB stick or memory card. Special build will be available for Xtreamer Ultra platform (Xtreamer is a partner of OpenELEC). The size of ISO is just about 100MB (depends of the platform type) and it requires less than 130MB on the HDD.

Except a small size and nettop application OpenELEC offers a very simple way for configuration, extending by add-ons (such PVR for LiveTV, Torrent clients, rsync, LCD/VFD display support), an open add-on framework, GPU acceleration (Intel VAAPI, nVidia VDPAU, AMD XVBA (via VAAPI), Broadcom CrystalHD).

So, get OpenELEC 1.0 ISO, make bootable USB and try new HTPC software.