Wednesday 17 October 2012

XBMC on Raspberry Pi

Following the instructions provided here, I was able to get XBMC running on my device (which runs on the "Raspbian" OS). XBMC is an open source media center solution. You can watch movies, view pictures and listen to music using the player. You can also choose to install "add ons" within the app (e.g., CBS News, MTV, TED Talks,  Youtube, etc) and use these to download short video podcasts directly from the servers. What I like about the player is that even when you navigate away from the video you're watching, the video still plays in the background, which is a nice touch.

The installation process itself took a really long time. I had to leave my Raspberry Pi on overnight while the code compiled. Without any overclocking, the menu navigation is somewhat laggy, but not prohibitively so (the interface looks great though). One really cool feature is to enable the XBMC web server (Go to Settings -> System -> Web Server), and use your Android or iOS device as a remote to navigate the interface (you will need to download the free XBMC app on your mobile phone).

The video playback is really smooth though, so if you're watching HD movies on your Raspberry Pi, there shouldn't be any problem. All in all, it's definitely worth installing XBMC if you can afford the storage.

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