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.

Release of XBMC Eden is coming very soon

XBMC Eden

XBMC team started prepare to release Eden. No any new features will be added except very important for the new version. There is a lot of changes. One of them are following:

  • Files Mode will be moved under Library Mode as Files view.
  • Default skin will be with horizontal layout.
  • Improvement of CPU/GPU utilization and support of iOS-based devices.
  • Ability to add Add-ons to the home screen.

The last feature is simple but very useful. Cause it isn’t so handy go to every time to third menu level to access Youtube or KartinaTV.

ASRock Vision 3D 2nd Generation

ASRock Vision 3D 2nd Gen HTPC

According to Engadget the new version of ASRock’s HTPC Vision 3D will include 1GB GeForce GT540M card, 1333MHz RAM and an HMDI 1.4a port. The rest spec will stay the same – processor Intel Core i3, i5 or i7, four USB 3.0 ports, Blu-ray drive, THX TruStudio PRO, NVIDIA’s 3D Vision and remote control.

The ASRock Vision 3D is not cheap solution – about $1000 with Core i5. But taking into account support of HD video and audio as well as 3D and Blu-ray drive presence it can be counted as a good solution for the custom High-End media center.

ZOTAC presented palm-sized ZBOX nano AD10

ZOTAC

ZOTAC recently launched its new product – ZBOX AD10. Its compact and stylish nettop based on AMD E-350 APU and a Radeon HD 6310. Additionally box sports 320GB HDD, 2GB DDR3 RAM, integrated 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0 and a pair of USB 3.0 ports. Good news for audiophiles. The AD10 supports Dolby® TrueHD™ & DTS-HD™ (Master Audio bitstream ready) over HDMI. So, it can be used as High-End HTPC.

New ZOTAC AD10 is available at very attractive price – just $276! Together with XBMC it might bring your home theater experience to the new level!

PLEX is available for Roku

Roku XDS Streaming Player

Once I already wrote about possibility to use a streaming player Roku as a MythTV client. But after that I lost my interest to this device regardless its low price and tiny size. However the situation is changed when FPLEX – a fork of the cross-platform software to build media centers XBMC, announced support of Roku players. So, tiny, noiseless, cheap and energy efficient device turns into full functional 720p/1080p HTPC! Awesome, isn’t it?

Probably I’ll buy Roku XD or XD|S (USB port is useful sometimes) for testing, although initially I thought about ATV2 with ARM version of XBMC. Limited resolution by 720p in ATV2 and support PLEX on Roku are key moments for the new decision.

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