well, the PI is limited by it's CPU, and actions that require much CPU processing are slower compared to a real HTPC (like aggregating a large list of library or plugin items). But in general it should be fast enough - UI at least is snapping fast in recent builds. It also can play/stream content via UPNP/DNLA (android can stream via UPNP) and does support AirPlay (stream audio/video from iOS, no mirroring though). Mounting and unmounting of USB drives is handled automatically, but the PI requires a USB hub for USB HDDs (it can't power harddiscs).
As for the chineese sites - if there are addons around it should be able to play it.
All RaspberryPI distros should be able to handle this quite fine, but I can only speak for OE because that's the one I use. And if you care about speed on the PI, try using one of MilhouseVH test builds - they include many speed improvements.
Joined: Jun 2009
2014-02-28 12:11 Post: #16
(This post was last modified: 2014-02-28 12:12 by da-anda.)
Joined: Feb 2014
2014-02-28 15:12 Post: #17
This topic has grown beyond my initial question, but I just wanted to share the links if anyone wants to run OpenELEC and have it boot from a 3.0 USB
download this: http://www62.zippyshare.com/v/19323035/file.html
Joined: Feb 2013
2014-02-28 15:35 Post: #18
(2014-02-27 05:19)couchpotatotalk Wrote: Thanks for your answer. I tried RaspBMC a year ago and was disappointed with the menu lag times. It was completely unusable at times if I was trying to sort by year or genre. Just too many files for it to sort. So by fastest, I was referring to menu speeds and general browsing speeds. I know all of them will give similar playback.If you last tried Raspbmc on a Raspberry Pi a year ago you'll be amazed at the progress since then. I helped a friend set one up about 9 months ago and the GUI performance was rather disappointing to say the least. Very slow and stuttery, as well as blurry thanks to the GUI being rendered in 720 and up-scaled.
It's a completely different story now - as long as a library scan is not going on in the background the GUI is smooth and fluid at full 1080p (at least on the Amber Skin) and although my Movie Library takes about 3 seconds from pressing the button until the list appears, (about 300 movies) once the list is up I can scroll through it in real time with art work changing in real time, about a 1 second pause from pressing info until full screen info is displayed etc. Slower than a dedicated HTPC but perfectly acceptable.
About the only thing that is slow is CPU demanding tasks such as a full library scan (that can take a while the first time) or searching/navigating certain video addons, it can take a while to build a list of movies in a search for example. So it takes a little longer to find and start streaming something, but once you do it does a perfect job of playing it back - the hardware accelerated decoding of the GPU is very capable - I've even tested playing a 70Mbit/sec 1080p clip output at 1080p from the SD card and it handles it without glitches. My Mac Mini with Core 2 Duo (software decoder) can't even come close to that bit rate. (It can manage 15Mbit/sec if its lucky)
I've only tried Raspbmc and OpenElec and my favourite at the moment is definitely Raspbmc, for a number of reasons.
1) You can enable true 1080p GUI rendering (instead of up-scaled 720p) with a single toggle switch. Yes, 1080 will be default in Gotham, but until then Raspbmc is the easiest way to run the GUI at 1080, as I believe OpenElec requires manual tweaking of config files. (There's nothing in the GUI settings to enable it)
2) The new f2fs file system implemented in the last release of Raspbmc is considerably faster than ext4 when running on SD card. I don't think any of the other distros are offering f2fs, although that may change soon.
3) Although it takes a wee while I find the install and upgrade process of Raspbmc better.
4) It's easy to break out of xbmc to a local linux console if you need to - just plug a keyboard in, quit xbmc then press ESC instead of letting xbmc re-launch. Comes in handy sometimes.
5) Much easier to enter MPEG2/VC1 codecs - just do it through the GUI.
6) Set up of the underlying Linux OS is much closer to a standard Raspbian install, making it easy to install Raspbian packages with apt-get. For example I recently installed OpenVPN from the Raspbian package sources.
I've been running my Pi on super over-clock on an SD card install since early December and it has been exceptionally stable - it runs 24/7 and is never turned off except when I occasionally steal the Pi from the TV to mess around with Raspbian!
I think the main trick to getting a stable Pi is to have a GOOD power supply, a good quality SD card, and also cross your fingers you get one with Samsung ram (as mine is) which are said to over-clock better than Hynix ram.
I really bought my Pi as a bit of a punt after being slightly disappointed with the one I set up for a friend last year, and it has easily exceeded my expectations. Out of the box support for HDMI-CEC and on the fly refresh rate switching (including 1080p 24fps) is great too - a lot of HTPC boxes can't do either.
What a difference a year makes!
(This post was last modified: 2014-02-28 15:42 by DBMandrake.)