headkase
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Re: Media Extender

Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:17 am

I remember reading on the site somewhere that once production and sales are in full-swing that the Raspberry Pi will need to sell in the neighborhood of 20k units a year to sustain operations. Education will be a big chunk of that and so will hobbyists but perhaps some other more specialized uses could be purposed to make a few percent of extra sales a year.

How about a media extender? Say on the order-page when you're purchasing a Raspberry Pi one of the SD Card options could come pre-loaded with something like XBMC and would boot straight into that. Then over the network to the customers full-featured desktop something like TVersity providing the network feed on a Windows machine. I don't know off-hand if those two programs are fully compatible with each other, they are just example placeholders.

The Raspberry Pi is already known to be capable of 1080p30 which is absolutely fine for the majority of media playback: most films are p30 or less anyway!

If this is possible then simply offering a different pre-loaded SD Card could make a difference in yearly sales of the Raspberry Pi to help it keep afloat when serving it's core education role?

AndiG
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Re: Media Extender

Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:37 am

Hi,
the best idea would probably be to have some kind of SD card image library available - or at least some kind of library catalogue. Everybody who has put together an SD card can share it with others via this plattform.
Since Raspberry Pi is based on openness, this should be the best and most cost-efficient way to provide different startup possibilities.
best regards
Andreas

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Montekuri
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Re: Media Extender

Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:04 am

The idea of a OS repository was discussed in this thread.

headkase - I think the best (free) distribution to your idea is the Geexbox Media Center. It is a distro with Movies, TV Shows and subtitles support.

headkase
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Re: Media Extender

Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:37 am

Montekuri, Yes: Geexbox sounds like it should fit the bill! They already have ARM support so hopefully the major lifting is already done to allow a device like the Raspberry Pi to fit in! It also has DLNA and UPnP support: TVersity as I gave above is UPnP so in theory they should play nicely together!

Asmodeus
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Re: Media Extender

Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:50 am

I would prefer a how-to.

Exempli gratia:

HOW-TO:Install XBMC for InsertNameLinux,
HOW-TO: Automatically start a program after booting up InsertNameLinux, ...

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for life.

obarthelemy
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Re: Media Extender

Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:16 am

don't forget minidlna (http://sourceforge.net/project...../minidlna/) it's a minimalist, non-transcoding DLNA/UPnP server, that compiled, and is running, beautifully in very little RAM on my ARM-based eCafe. Must be using 10-20MB RAM, config is understandable by mere humans. It doesn't play back nor transcode, but does its job of making your media files avalaible to playback devices, very well.
The project is active and maintained.

headkase
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Re: Media Extender

Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:26 pm

obarthelem-y, how have you found compatibility with minidlna? I know the media files (video) I have on my machine run the gamut of codecs. It would seem you'd be playing russian roulette in getting an end-device that supported them all?

obarthelemy
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Re: Media Extender

Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:40 pm

Yes.

miniDLNA spits back whatever goes in as-is, so the actual decoding work has to be handled by the end, "player" device. Actually, it's not so much about the device itself, as the software running on said device. I've never had a problem with that, on my WinMob6.5 HD2, then Android 2.x... HD2, Android 2.X Nook Color, Android Ainol Novo8, HP Touchpad, nor of course various PCs. There aren't *that* many file formats.

I don't know what you plan to use as a player device though, it needs to be able to run a codec-rich video/audio player app. miniDLNA is very much sponsored by NETGEAR, for one of their media servers, and they're doing their best to make sure it works well with intelligent TV sets, too.

The Pi almost certainly has the oomph to transcode via its GPU, but probably not via its CPU. I don't know if any of the other dlna server projects have managed to tap the GPU for transcoding, or can prove me wrong on the CPU part.
You could also transcode not-in-real-time via a batch job, but I've found that the quality degradation, delay, and glitches associated with that are a pain in the neck.

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abishur
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Re: Media Extender

Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:31 pm

I like the sound of that too! Especially if they make a special case with IR receiver to go on my shelf! That said, one thing I don't know (because I'm not a lawyer or a charity) is how they have to handle selling items beyond the not-for-profit r-pi. Just thinking out loud, I wonder if there might be a price point where selling the peripherals or even a media-extender setup becomes too expensive.

Does anyone know more about how charities in the UK work who might be able to answer how feasible cool things like this would be?
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Montekuri
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Re: Media Extender

Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:55 pm

I don't know if I understood your question, abishur.
Are you asking how R-Pi foundation are going to sell the R-Pi device as a Media Center?
They will not, I think.
The foundantion will sell the R-Pi device to another company (in batchs, someday in 2012 or later).
The company will put the SD card with the media center OS, a remote control receiver, a wifi dongle, a case, include a remote and a manual. And sell the final device with a sticker written "R-Pi inside" :)

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abishur
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Re: Media Extender

Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:10 pm

Ah, no the OP was talking about the r-pi selling it as a media extender (or such was my take from it at any rate ;) ) in order to help move 20K units per year, and I was wondering if they ever did sell something like that (or any such beyond the pi item) how that would play out. Would it count as part of the non-profit sells, or would it be separate? I wonder this because I feel like they mentioned previously that the peripherals weren't going to fit under the charity umbrella and I was wondering if there was a price point at which they could make too much from the peripherals such that any device beyond the basic pi board would end up being counter productive (in a financial sense) to the foundation.
Dear forum: Play nice ;-)

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Montekuri
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Re: Media Extender

Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:18 pm

Ah, is that it?
Some kind of "official supported peripherals" (let's say, peripherals that were tested and worked with the R-Pi device).
Mini Wifi dongles would be great. And USB remote receivers.

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abishur
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Re: Media Extender

Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:57 pm

Exactly! How would that work? Is there anyone whose fairly familiar with UK charities who might know the answer to this hypothetical situation? Could the r-pi foundation do what the OP is talking about or would that end up costing them more in the long run?
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crashingdutchman
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Re: Media Extender

Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:59 pm

I see that miniDLNA has been mentioned, it is not quite clear to me what this is/does.

Am I correct in assuming that miniDLNA on a RaspberryPi COULD (could as in: if it works) make my non DLNA capable tv into a DLNA capable tv?

obarthelemy
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Re: Media Extender

Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:17 pm

no, minidna is a DLNA.UPnP server, not client. It presents its files to dlna clients.

to get your TV to play films via DLNA, you'll need 2 things
1- a dlna server. those* allways* make the files available to the dlna clients, and *sometimes* offer transcoding services, ie transparently re-encode files into formats the clients support, on-the-fly, as required. Minidlna does NOT do transcoding though, and my guess is that getting the Pi to do that sufficiently quickly (remember, on-the-fly) involves the GPU, so it will be tricky at best, impossible at worst. If your files are on a PC, or accessible from a PC, you could run un dlna server on it. For Windows, TVersity is the most common, and does transcoding. The newest PC version of XBMC also include a dlna server, I think, and it runs on Linux too. Windows Media Player also is a (sucky) dlna server and client.
2- a dlna client, that gets lists of files from the sever and plays them. Pretty much all media players are dlna clients these days.

The Pi can be a non-transcoding dlna server, and/or a dlna client. I'm not sure yet which files formats/bitrates the Pi can play competently though. H.264 will be done on the GPU so that will work, other codecs, I don' know.

bradburts
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Re: Media Extender

Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:17 pm

miniDLNA is a server so you could use RPI & a hard disk to store the vids etc.
Don't think its a player but would be easy to turn your TV into a DLNA player with an RPI and another player, should be loads of clients which handle the protocol.
EDIT: Posts crossed, answer above is better and more complete!

crashingdutchman
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Re: Media Extender

Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:01 pm

@obarthelemy, bradburts:
I am using the DVBLogic software as a TV server. The server has a FireDTV card and the software streams video to Windows Media Centers. That is, to the server in my pc room that has the card installed and over my Gigabit network to Clients (ASRock ION 330) in the living room.

In my bedroom I am still waching analogue tv. The price of another ASRock won't justify the time we watch TV in our bedroom, so I am looking for a cheap solution here. That is were the RaspberryPi comes in (I hope).

The DVBLogic software supports connections from other Windows Media Centers, Boxee, Android devices and tv's equiped with DLNA.

As my bedroom tv doesn't have DLNA it would be nice if RaspberryPi could work as a DLNA client. it could get the tv stream and probably videos from the tv server and display it through HDMI on the bedroom TV.

So, I need the RaspberryPi to be a DLNA client, correct?

bradburts
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Re: Media Extender

Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:35 pm

The blurb says that you can use the Boxee DVBLink client to view programmes on a linux PC.
The RPI is linux.
You could also use a DLNA client on the RPI.
Guess you are spoilt for choice!

EDIT:
If someone could lend me an RPI I could recommend a client.......
Wouldn't worry too much, a DLNA client will be one of the first things running.
The Broadcom chips are used for media players so it won't be an issue.
Hopefully XBMC will run reliably......

headkase
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Re: Media Extender

Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:26 am

To clear up my original post a bit: I had in mind selling a "media extender" SD card as one of the pre-loaded SD cards you could buy directly from Raspberry Pi's site. I did not really think about the charity aspects - as in how what is obviously a commercial interest would affect them. If that particular SD card image - if it is ever realized - does conflict with the charity aspects then I'm certain some enterprising member would end up hosting that image as a separate entity.. ;)

bradburts
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Re: Media Extender

Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:17 am

Selling pre-built EDIT{custom media player} images EDIT{on SD card} should be fine. You could claim copyright for your custom bits on that card if you like. You will need to check the GPL licences on the free software you use but you should be fine so long as you provide the source as well.
As a minimum charity is supported by more RPIs being bought, UPC reducing, possibly some donations and a wider community. Add a donate link to the RPI foundation on your website or donate 10% if you like.
Unless you are nobility there is nothing wrong in having a trade ;)
So long as we are encouraged to get our hands dirty (to whatever degree), gain confidence and end up learning.
Guess that you would support the SD card sale with a boxing the RPI wiki, debugging networks wiki etc which would all add to the sum of knowledge.

asb
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Re: Media Extender

Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:14 pm

The one thing that would limit you selling SD cards with pre-prepared images is the license for redistributing the GPU firmware required to boot the system. Is someone able to confirm the licensing there? Hopefully distributing the blob unmodified will be fine.

bradburts
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Re: Media Extender

Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:02 pm

GRUB is GNU so that should be OK.
Not sure which loader will be used, not got my RPI yet ;( GRUB should be easy to get going though.
Remember that derived works would not belong to you and may be freely copied.

SamuelDebruyn
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Re: Media Extender

Mon May 28, 2012 11:53 pm

obarthelemy wrote:Minidlna does NOT do transcoding though
It IS possible to let miniDLNA do transcoding. :D Take a look at this page.

And the Raspberry Pi should be capable of doing audio transcoding (not sure). I agree that video transcoding is impossible.

Can someone explain how to implement and use this patch?

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