AfterDawn: Tech news

$35 Raspberry Pi turned into media center

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Feb 2012 2:42 User comments (9)

$35 Raspberry Pi turned into media center A custom version of the XMBC media center has made its way to the $35 version of the Raspberry Pi computer.
The Raspberry Pi, a mini-computer created by UK programmers, is expected to be available very soon, after a year of tweaking and development. What makes the computer so impressive (besides its price tag) is the fact that it can play 1080p HD video with no issues. The devices are intended to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools or at home. The company is looking to promote the Python programming language, alongside Basic and C among others.

For $35 you get a 3.3-inch wide board with a 700 MHz ARM11, 256MB RAM, HDMI-out, SD card slot, a USB port, ethernet, audio jack and Broadcom VideoCore IV GPU.



Raspbmc is available here, along with active discussion with its developers: Raspbmc.com

Using the custom software, the system will play music, videos, pictures, stream files, connect to AirPlay and much more including the eventual ability to turn the device into a DVR.

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9 user comments

12.2.2012 16:23

It would be nice if Raspberry Pi had the board listed for purchase on their site....I don't see any links provided nor is there a date on when they will be available....

22.2.2012 16:30

I knew this was going to happen in one way shape or form. Now how long is it going to be before someone buys up a ton of these. Then installs this or another custom software to sell for a profit on Ebay/Amazon.

33.2.2012 00:16

i am looking forward to buying a couple of these my self should make for some interesting projects :)

43.2.2012 00:45

Originally posted by ivymike:
It would be nice if Raspberry Pi had the board listed for purchase on their site....I don't see any links provided nor is there a date on when they will be available....
They posted a message how the boards are just now being manufactured, so it shouldn't be much longer for the first batch to arrive and go on sale

55.2.2012 00:39

As a side note & slightly on topic, you'll only be able to by one at a time until they apparently build 10,000 of these. At least that's how I read their faq page.

Either way I would like to get my hands on about 4 of these & make a few projects. At least 1 or 2 HTPCs at the very least.

65.2.2012 10:30

I'd like to buy a couple as well but doubt they'll be able to keep up with demand for some time. Then will be the inevitable price increase due to the supply and demand thing. As for the RASPMC software, I couldn't find a way to download anything, just leave comments.

75.2.2012 11:11

Originally posted by LordRuss:
As a side note & slightly on topic, you'll only be able to by one at a time until they apparently build 10,000 of these. At least that's how I read their faq page.

Either way I would like to get my hands on about 4 of these & make a few projects. At least 1 or 2 HTPCs at the very least.
Yep, same. To have an HTPC with keyboard for under $100 would be fantastic.

85.2.2012 16:55

"What makes the computer so impressive (besides its price tag) is the fact that it can play 1080p HD video with no issues."

This sentence BY ITSELF is meaningless. I have seen mkv files @ 800 kbps boasting resolution of 1080p as well as 6 mbps files boasting resolution of only 720p. True capability can only be measured if bit rate is also specified along with the resolution, the former being more important by far.

I have a dual core atom system with nVidia ION graphics chip on board. It plays 2 mbps mkv files flawlessly but practically almost dies on 2.5 mbps mkv files.

For the sake of experimenting I have ripped some files at the same bit rate but different resolution yielding almost identical file sizes giving almost the same quality of picture when shown full screen on a 1080p capable TV.

Perhaps the author needs to verify this fact himself.

96.2.2012 11:25

Originally posted by pmshah:
"What makes the computer so impressive (besides its price tag) is the fact that it can play 1080p HD video with no issues."

This sentence BY ITSELF is meaningless. I have seen mkv files @ 800 kbps boasting resolution of 1080p as well as 6 mbps files boasting resolution of only 720p. True capability can only be measured if bit rate is also specified along with the resolution, the former being more important by far.

I have a dual core atom system with nVidia ION graphics chip on board. It plays 2 mbps mkv files flawlessly but practically almost dies on 2.5 mbps mkv files.

Perhaps the author needs to verify this fact himself.
Yes, yes we all know the 'math game' like every one else. Back when I was designing PA systems for rock bands & theme parks (or explaining it to guys putting sound in their cars) 1 million watts sounds great until you understand how that wattage is being used. And no, neither I (or to my knowledge) or anyone else has built a million watt sound system, Unless you take an 'entire' park (say the size of Disney World) so audiophiles needn't start throwing tantrums.

We're obviously not talking about the latest quad core Intel power house backed w/ 32 gigs of the 94,000khz (sarcasm, so cork it) of memory & equal working SSD here. It's a price, size breakthrough computer meant (probably) for developing countries & scientific applications. At least that's my take on it.

If you happen to be able to play movies on it to sell a few for income to further your R&D (Apple may want to take a note here) then all the better. Just sayin...
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Feb 2012 @ 11:27

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