Switched to XBMC

I have written before that I have a large movie collection ripped to a 16TB raid.  In the past I have used SageTV to stream, but Sage was bought out by Google almost a year ago and has gone totally dark since then.  So I switched to XBMC, which given I am not messing around with PC-based DVR, actually turns out to be a better solution from a software standpoint.  I will post on my progress next week. The problem is getting a low cost streaming box to run it, like Sage had with the HD200 and HD300.

Here is the hottest product in the geeky build-your-own end of home theater, the Raspberry Pi.   A tiny computer board that apparently will run XBMC (I presume the Linux version) and stream at a full 1080P and costs about $35.  Right now, XBMC users are using either dedicated PC's or hacked AppleTV boxes.  I have one of each on the work bench -- the dedicated PC is expensive and the AppleTV box based on the old ATV2 won't run 1080p.  The new ATV3 will run 1080p but no one has apparently rooted that yet, and besides it is still a lot more than $35.  So I am on the waiting list for my Pi.


  1. Chris:

    I've been running XBMC for some time - I have it running on an Acer Revo at 1080p. You can get them used off eBay for less than $200.

    Are you planning on using just one? you can have them share a database, but it is a bit tricky and is not well documented. If you need any help or questions let me know.

  2. John Anderson:

    Here's another waitlist you might want to get on: http://www.solid-run.com/products/cubox


    This is a great blog post – I enjoyed reading it & gained a lot – on a side note, I am turning big 40 – yes ! I know getting old but that’s a part of life. I am actually quite blessed with a good family & very obedient kids; anyways – as the 40 is hitting I am realizing that I have not done a great job with my retirement planning. One of my wife’s cousin is a an agent with Bankers Life so I reached out to him over the last weekend – it seems that they have great products from life insurance to annuities & they work with individuals to provide great service & plan for the retirement. Does anyone here had any experience &/or know any other companies whom I should checkout before signing up with Bankers Life and Casualty Company. Any feedbacks will a great help – just FYI – I am planning to retire at/around 68 yrs of the age.

  4. Ryan:

    Checkout tvmobili. It's a DLNA/UPnP server, and I was able to install it directly on my NAS, no extra computer required. Your TV would need to have its own DLNA client for this to work for you. Its working well for me so far for watching DVDs ripped to MKV.

  5. MTB:

    Why didn't you try the Media Center + Mediabrowser plugin?


    Given a 16tb raid, it shouldn't be cost.

  6. Slocum:

    I just use a Buffalo NAS box that has a DLNA support. Cheap, simple, small, low power, and it's expandable.

  7. iceberg:

    You should try Boxee Box http://www.dlink.com/boxee/

    You don't have to buy their hardware solution, you can take a Mac Mini or any HTPC and install Boxee software, though I understand they are no longer supporting the software-only solution.

    Short of that, a jailbroken ATV2 with Firecore's aTV Flash with Media Player is awesome, but as you pointed out, not capable of playing 1080p. Even with some 720p content of high-bitrate or complexity it often stutters, but typically still very watchable. http://firecore.com/atvflash-black

    And no, don't try XMBC on ATV2, its slow, buggy and just not worthwhile IMHO. You're better off using the desktop version with a Mac Mini or HTPC.

  8. epobirs:

    I have a router that turns any USB drive into a DLNA volume. The only limitation is that the Xbox and PS3 don't support MKV. Plenty of little boxes do but I've had very bad experience with every one I've tried and transcoding is getting so fast it doesn't matter much any more. I'm the only one in the house who cares about English subtitles on Japanese content, so nobody else realizes their missing anything if they go through the game consoles instead of a PC.