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Raspberry Pi Bandwagon

SwampDog35

Member
Nov 30, 2010
43
1
66
Just jumping on board with this small HTPC. I'm not needing much out of it. Will be setting it up in my living room to use. Hopefully I can do a crash course with the OS.

Any suggestions what to run on it as far as OS goes?

Thanks.
 
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ss284

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
3,534
0
0
Wait a bit for the official beta 13.0 gotham release of Openelec, clock to 1ghz, and disable RSS feeds.
 

ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
22,679
1,024
126
I thought that consensus was that the Pi is underpowered to playback HD content reliably, no?
 

Rio Rebel

Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,195
0
0
The Raspberry Pi is an awesome little device. It cannot (from my experience) decode and play 1080p video in all cases. But slap on OpenElec, install the Plex add-on, and it's beautiful.

I've overclocked it and am running it on a wired gigabit network, and I can't make it play Les Miserables blu-ray rip without stuttering no matter how much I play with it. Some rips play fine - it's all in the bitrate of the movie.
 

Maximilian

Lifer
Feb 8, 2004
12,607
5
76
Ive tried xbian, openelec and raspbmc, all within the past 3 months.

I found raspbmc to be the best one, they all had issues but raspbmc's were the least irritating. xbian stuttered on a few movies, I think it was to do with DTS sound but I cant be sure. Openelec was stuttering on a certain movie as well, possibly due to lack of an overclock on the CPU, xbian and raspbmc overclock by default and are much easier to tinker with.

Only problems with raspbmc are two annoying folders "recovery" and "settings" that show up in the xbmc files bit. Also it would not stop bugging me about weatherbug being broken and asking if I wanted to disable it. Yes/No didn't matter it would still ask again at some point. I ended up deleting some file and that sorted it. Minor niggles but it has played everything ive thrown at it so far.

YMMV though, they seem to be the 3 most popular oses to put on it. Use NOOBS, it comes with openelec and raspbmc, you can try both pretty easily. Unfortunately not xbian though that has to be flashed on separately.
 
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smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
OpenELEC fan here, too. If you have the licenses for MPEG-2 and VC-1, it's pretty sharp. I have yet to see any stuttering with 1080p Blu-Ray rips. No overclock here but I am considering it because it is a little laggy when scrolling through the media folders and has to wait for the art to populate. It's no worse than my WDTV Live, though.

My problem is that by the time I invest in a RaspPi, Flirc, case, charger and maybe an SD card, then I could be into about the same price a Roku or WDTV Live Play and they come with a remote. Luckily, OpenELEC is small enough that just about any SD card from 5-7 years ago will be big enough.
 

SwampDog35

Member
Nov 30, 2010
43
1
66
Thank you guys for all the replies. I was out of pocket for a few days.

I have ordered the following package from Amazon for ($62.00)


Raspberry Pi - Model B (512 MB / Revision 2)
Raspberry Pi Enclousure Case (Clear)
4GB SD Card pre-loaded with "NOOB" (Includes Raspbian -- OpenELEC -- Arch -- RaspBMC-- RISC OS -- Pidora)
USB Power Supply with Micro USB Cable
HDMI Cable
Wireless Wifi Adapter

guess I can try the suggestions above. Thanks again.
 

Rio Rebel

Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,195
0
0
If it's not too late to change, I have a couple of suggestions:

1. I don't use a case. If you are going to use this as an htpc, hid it behind the screen and leave it in the open - better ventilation anyway.
2. If you get a really fast sd card, your performance will be better. Don't waste your money on the "noob" card, you can get everything easily and free from the internet.
3. If you use a slower sd card, you will find a significant performance increase by using a fast usb drive. At one time, I had a slower sd card but a usb 3.0 8gb thumb drive with the OS installed on it, and it was about as fast as this thing can get. You need one or the other - a fast sd card or a fast thumb drive to hold the OS
4. Do you really need to buy a power supply? I had about 5 different usb power cables that worked for me, from phones/tablets/other devices needing chargers.
5. I get much better performance using the wired ethernet. If you have to make it wireless, go ahead, but this little guy is already at about 99% cpu usage streaming movies, so if you can give it highly consistent throughput, it's better.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
Just learned to overclock mine this weekend. It is noticeably quicker at 800MHz when browsing the library. Better than my WDTV Live Hub upstairs. I clocked mine up to 900MHz with a little overvoltage. Ordered some heat sinks from Amazon that should be here Tuesday. May go for 1000.

Video playback is off loaded so it shouldn't make a difference there. I haven't had a problem with BR, yet, though.

It was worth the effort to overclock and I recommend it.
 

Rio Rebel

Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,195
0
0
I overclock mildly, either 800 or 850. Can't remember which. You should try putting in a small/cheap but fast USB drive for the OS, and see the difference.

To me, the beauty of this little board is it is so cheap. I ended up putting in a reasonably fast sd card, used an extra usb charger from my Touchpad, and away we go. You can't find anything this nice under 50 bucks. Once you add cases, wireless, etc., I'm not sure if it's better than a Roku.
 

SwampDog35

Member
Nov 30, 2010
43
1
66
Yeah it's a little too late on the purchase..... However if I can get this one setup and running like I want. I'll purchase another one for our other Media/Gym and install it there with your recommendations. And or heck I'll take your recommendations now and set the other one up wireless... I do have intentions on being a wired system.

Thanks again to all that have offered suggestions.
 

SwampDog35

Member
Nov 30, 2010
43
1
66
Alright everyone. I have the Raspberry Pi up and running on my system.

Everything is directed through my Onkyo Receiver.

Might I say it was quite simple and I am so far impressed.

I'm using OpenELEC and is seems to run really smooth.

My processor speed is 700mhz. Should I bump it up to say 800 or even 850?

Thanks
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
12,977
2,507
126
Alright everyone. I have the Raspberry Pi up and running on my system.

Everything is directed through my Onkyo Receiver.

Might I say it was quite simple and I am so far impressed.

I'm using OpenELEC and is seems to run really smooth.

My processor speed is 700mhz. Should I bump it up to say 800 or even 850?

Thanks
The cool thing about the Raspberry Pi is that they are cheap and pretty easy to work with. Give it a try. Replace it if you fry it. The Raspberry Pi is meant to be experimented with!
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
Alright everyone. I have the Raspberry Pi up and running on my system.

Everything is directed through my Onkyo Receiver.

Might I say it was quite simple and I am so far impressed.

I'm using OpenELEC and is seems to run really smooth.

My processor speed is 700mhz. Should I bump it up to say 800 or even 850?

Thanks
I think so. I messed with it this weekend. While video playback is unaffected, it did make a difference in things like scrolling through thumbnails and just the general XBMC operation. Mine did get a little hot, 130+ degrees so I ordered some heatsinks that are supposed to be here today. If I can keep the temps down, I will keep it at 800 or 900MHz. I had to overvolt to 4 for 900MHz. Ran the 800MHz overclock without overvolting but I got a lockup so I will probably move it to 2. Just an FYI, YMMV.

Thumbnail size really seemed to make a big difference, too. If you are using custom thumbnails, I discovered that XBMC scrolls a lot better with 300x450 thumbnails than it does with 400x600.

***Update***
Heatsinks are here.
Gonna install an run as fast as I can without getting over 120..... maybe 125 degrees.

***Update #2***
Well, I installed the heatsinks and tried overclocking to 900Mhz with an overvolt of 4. During playback of my Blu-Ray rips, it would get temps upward of 140 degrees.

I backed it off to 800Mhz and got the same thing, albeit at a slower pace.

Took the case off and the temps seemed to hover about 117 degrees for 800Mhz.

Went back up to 900Mhz with an overvolt of 4 again and it's hovering strong at about 131 degrees.

The only reason I have the case is because the LEDs are bright enough to keep the Mrs. awake at night. I'd shut it down at night, but the only way to reboot a RaspPi from shutdown is to unplug/plug so it's really ideal to just leave it on all of the time..... maybe some electrical tape over the lights..... IDK.

Still pleased, though.
 
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SwampDog35

Member
Nov 30, 2010
43
1
66
Nice updates. Trying to OC today I screwed up my boot disk, So I reloaded OpenELEC and am back up and running. Gonna play with the OC tomorrow.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
Well, just for fun, I tried out RaspBMC today and I went back to OpenELEC.

Why? Temperature.

I keep my RaspPi in a black case to block the LED lights from glowing all night long in the bedroom. With RaspBMC, XBMC reports 140 degrees at idle with stock settings. With OpenELEC 124 degrees. Incidentally, the CPU Usage wouldn't display with RaspBMC, either, but OpenELEC stayed ~30% at idle.

I think I'm gonna need a different setup of some kind, just to get it out of the case because it acts like a sauna and keeps the heat in so well.
 

SwampDog35

Member
Nov 30, 2010
43
1
66
I'm in the Same boat Smithbret, Mine is running around 120ish.

I have another question for the guru's I'm trying to figure out.

On the previous boot disk (the one I purchased) the Raspberry Pi logo showed up on the initial boot screen.

My new one just has a color palate until it boots to OpenELEC.

How can I get that back? Thanks
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
I'm in the Same boat Smithbret, Mine is running around 120ish.

I have another question for the guru's I'm trying to figure out.

On the previous boot disk (the one I purchased) the Raspberry Pi logo showed up on the initial boot screen.

My new one just has a color palate until it boots to OpenELEC.

How can I get that back? Thanks
That is a little weird. I'm running the latest build and it starts with the color palette, goes to the Raspberry, then the XBMC Frodo 12.2 Build and then XBMC. Are you booting from a fast USB drive instead of an SD card? If so, it may not need those screens
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
57,136
7,765
126
www.uovalor.com
I recently set one up with RaspBMC and I'm really happy. I had stuttering issues but it turned out to be NFS related. I had to modify the NFS mount string to the following:

Code:
isengard.loc:/volumes/raid1/p2p  /network/p2p   nfs rsize=32768,wsize=32768,intr,noatime    0 0
Full 1080 content plays fine too. At least, so far. I have not run into any content that wont decode properly or require some kind of license.
 

lockdown571

Junior Member
Aug 29, 2012
9
0
0
It's always been odd to me the amount of conflicting information I get over blu-ray rips. Half of people say they play fine, half don't. The real question for me is whether it can play H.264, VC1, and MPEG2 (assuming you've paid for the licenses) at blu-ray bit-rates, i.e., ripped directly from the blu-ray, 100% smoothly over a network. I remember way back people were saying it played them back 100% smoothly as long as you bistreamed the audio. Still some people even now say they doesn't play back smoothly. Very confusing. I've been really tempted to just order one and find out for myself.
 

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