XBMC

sodanovels in AppleTV

XBMC for AppleTV.

Captured on 03 Jun 2010 from xbmc.org

Farewell XBOX

May 27th, 2010 theuni 104 comments

XBMC (XBMP really) started as a program for modified XBOX consoles. In the following years, XBMC has grown into a multi-platform, multi-architecture media center that runs on most standard hardware. The hardware and legal limitations of the XBOX were always a concern and the Team has instead focused on running on the hardware that most people already have.

The last official release for the XBOX by the XBMC team was Atlantis, over 18 months ago. Since then, one brave soul (Arnova) has been merging code from the main codebase into the XBOX branch in our repository. Because there were many users out there that took advantage of these updates, we had no problem with this.

But times have changed. The XBOX has hard limits for what it can handle. Some users are satisfied with these limits, and we encourage them to use XBMC there if they are happy. But it is a popular misconception that official XBOX development is still taking place by the team, so we have decided to set it free. We have enough on our plates already, and worrying about a deprecated platform just increases our workload. A few days ago the XBOX branch was finally removed from our subversion repository.

But loyal XBMC for XBOX users fear not! In addition to his role as an XBMC developer, Arnova plans to continue development on the XBOX — just not here. You can find the new project’s home at sourceforge. We’re leaving it in his hands to decide how to handle the project’s administration. How he manages the forum, bug tracker, scm, developers, etc. is up to him. In other words, don’t complain to us ;-)

In order to help users to find relevant help and discussion, we will be making the XBOX section of our forum read-only on Monday, June 07. It may be moved in the future, but for now it will stay for reference. This also means the end of XBOX support in the wiki and IRC.  Arnova has requested a snapshot of the wiki that he may host if he wishes as we begin to prune XBOX-specfic information from ours.

We wish Arnova and the project the best of luck as we bid a fond farewell to a big part of our past.

Beagleboard project for GSOC 2010

May 24th, 2010 topfs2 35 comments

I have been selected by the Beagleboard community and Google to work on Google Summer of Code 2010. My project will consist of optimizing the rendering of XBMC for the embedded market.

The Beagleboard is an arm based embedded device. Similar hardware can be found in the smart phone segment, for instance the first generation of Android based phones. The current version of the hardware will not be able to deliver 1080p but upcoming generations might. This opens up a wonderful possibility for XBMC.

The problem with XBMC is that it is just too heavy to render as is. Most of the time the interface sits close to static and while a user would perceive this as an idle state, XBMC is far from idle. Every frame the application renders the interface from the ground up and no matter if the interface is completely static this is done at 30-60 times a second! Because of this, the project will focus on moving to an event based rendering system. This will introduce a true idle state and will lower resource usage when the application is idle, however this in itself is not enough. Even if a window is static initially, a skinner can easily add non-static elements such as scrolling text or animated images, which means we again have to render at full frame rate. Thus lowering the actual rendering overhead is also necessary.

During the summer I will keep the community updated on this blog on a weekly basis. Since some of the content will be very technical it has been decided that only a part of the posts will be pushed to the front page of xbmc.org. If you are interested in getting all the updates regarding this project navigate to the full URL for my blog as it will contain the unfiltered posts as well. For those interesting in helping out I will be idling in both the standard XBMC and the beagle board IRC channels. I will be working in a branch in the normal XBMC svn (not created yet) but will be named gsoc-2010-beagleboard and anyone is free to check out the progress there.

I hope you have enjoyed this introduction and I will end by saying that this will be a great summer for the users of slower hardware and a grand summer for the possibility of a small, silent, affordable and low powered device capable of delivering the full XBMC experience!

Come see us at LinuxTag and OSCON

May 7th, 2010 theuni 7 comments

For the second year, XBMC will be hosting a booth at LinuxTag in Berlin, June 9-12. The list of exhibitors is quite impressive, and there will be several influential speakers.

For the Americans, we will also be attending OSCON on July 19-23 in Portland, Oregon. This is one of the bigger open-source conferences in the US and the exhibitors list is very nice there as well.

We hope to see some loyal users there, these events are great fun! If you live nearby and would like to help out, it would make our lives much easier if we had some local hardware rather than lugging our stuff around the world. If you could supply monitors/speakers/computers/etc for the duration of an event, please let us know.

Interview with Linux Journal

May 5th, 2010 theuni 13 comments

After meeting the fine folks from Linux Journal at SCALE this year, we discussed doing an interview to give their readers more insight into the world of XBMC. A few months later Steven Evatt tracked me down for a quick Q/A. See here for the result, and don’t forget to leave any questions you may have for the team in the comments there. They have agreed to a follow-up article if there is sufficient interest.

Zotac shows off with XBMC

May 4th, 2010 theuni 44 comments

This promotional video has been linked several times in the XBMC IRC channels in the last few days so it seemed appropriate to post here (it gets good at about 3:00). It’s flattering to see that the manufacturers have taken notice of our project, and even seem to have it in mind when designing their hardware. Zotac has also furnished us with some equipment for testing and input from our developers, so it seems that they have a genuine interest in improving the XBMC experience. It would be great if more companies made an effort to work with open-source projects in this manner.

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