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Software Television Ubuntu Upgrades Entertainment

XBMC V11 Eden Has Been Released 195

Posted by timothy
from the such-nice-apples-you've-got-there dept.
New submitter themib writes "After only two release candidates XBMC v11.0 Eden has been released. The latest version contains many updates and new features, including: Addon Rollbacks, Confluence improvements, Dirty region rendering, a new JPEG decoder, movie scraping, better network support, a new upgraded Weather service. This announcement also heralds the new XBMCbuntu Final."
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XBMC V11 Eden Has Been Released

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  • by ArhcAngel (247594) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @09:15PM (#39463799)
    I just installed it on a Windows 7 system and it is smooth as glass. It looks more polished than most commercial offerings I've seen. Kudos to the team and their efforts.
    • by hairyfeet (841228)
      Question: What advantages do you see over Windows media center in Windows 7? Not having run XBMC since leaving XP in 09 I am curious as to what advantages you find over what is built into Win 7, is it better on resources? does it give you more Internet TV options? How is its hardware acceleration? Because while i can see the advantages clearly for something like the pi, where you are talking about a device that takes less power than your average cable box I just don't see offhand what advantages one could g
      • Re:Just installed (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Psychopath (18031) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @10:33PM (#39464095) Homepage

        Question: What advantages do you see over Windows media center in Windows 7? Not having run XBMC since leaving XP in 09 I am curious as to what advantages you find over what is built into Win 7, is it better on resources? does it give you more Internet TV options? How is its hardware acceleration? Because while i can see the advantages clearly for something like the pi, where you are talking about a device that takes less power than your average cable box I just don't see offhand what advantages one could get from XBMC running on top of win 7.

        Primarily it's format agnosticism and skin capabilities. 99% of my library is in MKV format, which WMC does not care for, and the Alaska Revisited skin is gorgeous.

        It does take advantage of hardware acceleration.

        • Re:Just installed (Score:5, Informative)

          by BLKMGK (34057) <morejunk4me@noSpAM.hotmail.com> on Sunday March 25, 2012 @12:14AM (#39464363) Homepage Journal

          I see under 25% CPU utilization with an ATOM\ION box that draws less than 20watts decoding 1080P and surround sound audio. It easy to control with my phone, an IRDA remote, or a WEB browser. It plays nearly any format and can play audio or video from my iPhone as well as display pictures from it. It also didn't cost me anything to install since Linux is free and so is XBMC. Since I run multiple HTPC this is nice in that it saves me money. It's nice that it's constantly improving too!

          • Re:Just installed (Score:5, Informative)

            by Lussarn (105276) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @03:13AM (#39464719)

            I just this weekend dropped my homebuilt system I have been using for over 10 years, have not seen anything which has ALL the features I want before. I'm very impressed by this piece of software. Scales really well to big collections, nice fast "GF proof" UI and pretty stable. HD Audio (DTS-HDMA, TrueHD) is still missing in the Linux version which is a bummer but I can live without that and start from the CLI when I need the full experience, don't happen that often. The scraper (matching movies to get actors, descriptions and so on) works really well and altough some cleaning up was needed it didn't take too long. There are cheap iPhone and android apps to browse and start movies, also without using the phone as a remote, and more as a browser. Using as remote pretty much sucks on a touchscreen since you can't feel the buttons. I'm very glad I tried this and hope it will be a keeper for years to come. Now of to install the new version since I installed the RC yesterday.

            • Re:Just installed (Score:5, Interesting)

              by BLKMGK (34057) <morejunk4me@noSpAM.hotmail.com> on Sunday March 25, 2012 @03:49AM (#39464789) Homepage Journal

              For the Metadata on movies and TV shows I've found a 3rd party tool works best. Ember is what I use and I really like it. there are others, you can find them in the 3rd party tools section of the XBMC forums. While you're at it check out Sickbeard, SABnzb, and maybe Couchpotato. There's another tool for music too but it's apparently not well supported and I've had no interest in it. The bitstreaming works on windows with the right build but honestly DTS is fine for me right now and I believe it will downsample THD etc. as needed.

              Anyway, lots of good stuff out there for XBMC!

        • Re:Just installed (Score:4, Interesting)

          by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @03:26AM (#39464745) Journal

          99% of my library is in MKV format, which WMC does not care for

          Apparently, WMC as-shipped lacks MKV support (how dumb can MS get?), but it can be added [groovypost.com] later. Use this Google-obtained advice at your own risk, etc. Our media server is a Synology box [synology.com] which runs Linux and handles many formats [synology.com].

          • by rikkards (98006)

            Even easier is download the K-lite codecs. It gives you all of the linked above and no registry-fu needed. On a side note, I too have a Synology NAS (411J) and what do you think of the new gui? I love it but was still surprised that they didn't include DNS as a supported package, I know that someone repackaged DNSMasq but I would prefer to have it from the company.

            • On a side note, I too have a Synology NAS (411J) and what do you think of the new gui? I love it but was still surprised that they didn't include DNS as a supported package, I know that someone repackaged DNSMasq but I would prefer to have it from the company.

              We have a DS207 which is outward-facing (1 TB, web server, mail server, etc.) and a DS211 which is inward-facing (6 TB, file server, media server, etc.). I'll probably upgrade the DS211 from DSM 3.2 to DSM 4.0 soon enough. The DS207 can't be upgraded past DSM 3.1, due to its age. However, I'm very happy with both of them; they give excellent bang for the buck, despite not being the cheapest of NAS boxes. Since we're in a rural area, they share a small UPS with the router and with their external USB backup

        • by Flammon (4726)

          That's just the tip of the iceberg for me. The scrapping quality, the PVR intergration, the plugins, the hardware support, the multi-os support, ease of use, foss, the community, etc etc etc...

            The product is head and shoulders above the competition. There's really nothing out there that you can reasonably compare it to. It's that good.

          • by Flammon (4726)

            s/scrapping/scraping - Slashdot really should let you edit a comment for a few minutes after a post. I know that's what the preview is for but for some reason, I only notice mistakes after posting!

        • by Mr_Silver (213637)

          Primarily it's format agnosticism and skin capabilities. 99% of my library is in MKV format, which WMC does not care for

          Not quite. If you install Media Browser [mediabrowser.tv] and the Shark007 codec pack [shark007.net] then MKVs - as well as a number of other formats and containers - will play just fine in Windows 7 Media Center.

          Both are free and Media Browser is released under the GPL.

      • by bazorg (911295) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @03:36AM (#39464763) Homepage

        One advantage you might want to consider is that one day Microsoft may "be forced" into an agreement with a digital rights enforcement organisation and have to prevent windows media centre from playing stuff that was not rented or licensed via Zune Market or one of the legal app stores. With XBMC running on some variant of Linux, the music and videos you can play today are likely to be playable 10 years from now.

        • by tepples (727027)

          Microsoft may "be forced" into an agreement with a digital rights enforcement organisation and have to prevent windows media centre from playing stuff that was not rented or licensed via Zune Market

          Which would mean everyone with a camcorder would have to buy a Mac or install Linux just to edit and play videos shot with a phone's camcorder in a public place (that is, not in a movie theater). I don't see Microsoft allowing any MPAA-affiliated organization forcing a requirement for digitally signed videos onto Windows.

      • Re:Just installed (Score:5, Interesting)

        by MMC Monster (602931) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @07:22AM (#39465279)

        I think the power of XBMC isn't in the default installation. It's in the streaming add-ons that are available.

        I've got one installed called freecable. It lets me stream from any TV episode that's available on basically any TV show's website. ie: The official CBS website will stream episodes of CSI. On XBMC, I just go to Free Cable -> CBS -> CSI -> Full Episodes. My wife and I are seriously thinking of getting rid of our cable subscription completely. Haven't watched anything that wasn't streamed through XBMC in several months.

        With XBMC v10, add-ons are easy to install and update, via repositories. v10 add-ons (and repositories) seem to be compatible with v11, so there's a lot out there already.

    • by ChatHuant (801522)

      I just installed it on a Windows 7 system

      I have a Win7 HTPC connected to my TV, running the built in Windows Media Center. I use it for storing music, movies and photos, recording a few TV shows, serving media to extenders in other rooms, Netflix/Hulu and just a bit of Youtube. Could you please tell me what advantages you find in using XBMC over WMC? Thank you!

      • Re:XBMC vs. WMC (Score:3, Informative)

        by TemplePilot (2035400)
        WMC is 'nice' for OTA HDTV if you have a CM4221 antenna + ATSC tuner combo ( or QAM if you have a cable connection), which I do enjoy. XBMC on the other hand with plugin's and aggreators... gives me online access to so much more than WMC can and greatly enhances usablilty between my pc & HDTV, its the epitome of convergence in technology at this stage of the game.

        Now, if I could only get XBMC shoehorned stand alone into a high end "smart" HDTV with wifi to my LAN. It just might make for the ultimate
        • Now, if I could only get XBMC shoehorned stand alone into a high end "smart" HDTV with wifi to my LAN. It just might make for the ultimate home theatre pc experience I so crave.

          Indeed, this is the exact reason I've signed up for two of the Raspberry Pi boards. One for fun, one for my TV.

          On another note, one of the things I was hoping to do with my new computer (kubuntu/nVidia but I could change the OS) was connect HDMI to my TV and have that as a separate display device for movies only. I can make it an extended desktop, but that isn't what I want at all. I thought this would be a fairly common thing, but I haven't been able to find anything with Google. Sound over HDMI is st

          • Sound over HDMI is why I bought a boxee box, after running it alongside mythtv in my own system for years. Got tired of trying to fight it, and losing.

        • Re:XBMC vs. WMC (Score:5, Interesting)

          by A Nun Must Cow Herd (963630) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @02:25AM (#39464641)
          It's not quite your stated ideal, but I'm happy with XBMC running on a rooted Apple TV. Cheap, easy and the videos look fantastic (without having to run iTunes or transcode anything!).
  • iOS but no Android (Score:4, Interesting)

    by manekineko2 (1052430) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @09:18PM (#39463823)

    I find it bizarre that iOS has a version of XBMC when it can only be run on jailbroken devices.

    Meanwhile, Android devices, which actually compromise the majority of the market these days, could run XBMC out of the box with no modifications, and there seems to be zero interest in creating a version for Android. It would even be allowed on the official Android market.

    Still, considering the heritage of the project, maybe this all makes sense....

    • s/compromise/comprise/

    • by stms (1132653)

      XMBC is developed for ios because of appletv. I've tried for my iPhone and it sucks (mainly becuase the interface isn't made for a phone). There are ports of mplayer for android use one of those its practically the same thing.

      • There are ports of mplayer for android use one of those its practically the same thing.

        Mplayer is just a simple player, XBMC is a lot more than that. The two are definitely not "the same thing."

        • by stms (1132653)

          I know what they are. My point was that the main decoder for XMBC is mplayer. So a good mplayer front-end should be just as good as XBMC for playback and superior because it has an interface for a phone.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by crash123 (2523388)
            mplayer is not the 'main decoder' for XBMC. XBMC uses its own media player called dvdplayer and ffmpeg.
            • by stms (1132653)

              Really? I swear I remeber reading that XMBC used Mplayer for playback. Still there are probably players that use ffmpeg on android (when VLC is finished there will be one for sure).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by crash123 (2523388)
      Work is being done on a port for Android but it is slow. See http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=119705 [xbmc.org]
  • Can't wait til the OpenElec final is released

  • Formerly a program/OS for the original Xbox and called XBox Media Center. They have since stopped supporting the xbox but have ported it to many OSes. I imagine it is used for computer media center for a TV setup as the interface is far to clunky for regular computer use.

    It was/is (see xbmc4xbox) great on the Xbox, but I really don't see the appeal of installing it on a computer.

    • by okle69 (258936)

      The appeal is having a dedicated low power, small box to just push media to your home theatre that can be controlled via remote, instead of moving around windows between displays and having to worry about your other activities interfering with your movie watching, etc.

    • It was/is (see xbmc4xbox) great on the Xbox, but I really don't see the appeal of installing it on a computer.

      I do not really know what you mean with "a computer" here; I suppose you're trying to say "a device with a smaller screen."

      If that is what you meant then yes, XBMC's UI is quite clunky. But it still does serve a purpose because it's not just a media player, it is a media collection manager; the larger the collection of various movies, TV and anime series and whatnot you have the more you'll start to appreciate how easy it makes it to browse it all. It even handles downloading of subtitles for the current ti

      • "It even handles downloading of subtitles for the current title from the Internet, something I haven't seen any media player do."

        Of course I am aware of the relationship between boxee and xbmc, but from the average consumer's perspective, boxee does this as well.

      • I do not really know what you mean with "a computer" here; I suppose you're trying to say "a device with a smaller screen."

        Exactly, The general public, that is, non-geeks, see a "computer" as something that sits on a desk in another room, not something in the living room. Please see previous comments by FunkSoulBrother [slashdot.org] and CronoCloud [slashdot.org].

        words "HTPC" and "multi-screen setup" should provide more than enough counter-argument.

        "HTPC? Isn't that a company that makes smartphones [wikipedia.org]?" The general public tends not to appreciate the advantages [pineight.com] of an HTPC over dedicated "consumer electronics devices".

        • And your point is? XBMC is not aiming itself at the average citizen, so everything you said is irrelevant.

      • It even handles downloading of subtitles for the current title from the Internet, something I haven't seen any media player do.

        I use the Mediabrowser plugin for WMC7. Mediabrowser has some excellent plugins available, one downloads subtitles for you.

        http://www.mediabrowser.tv/ [mediabrowser.tv]
    • by Zorque (894011)

      Personally I use it on my desktop as well as on my media center, I keep my desktop in my room and it's nice to be able to watch stuff from bed using a USB remote. It's also got several Android apps (the best being the one made by the XMBC team themselves) so you can access your library and control playback over wifi.

  • I've tried a few versions of XBMC (and have 11 downloading in the background, just to take a look), and I never really understood the big deal about it.

    With the original XBox, okay, cool, you had a fairly high-functionality networked media player running on a $99 console gaming system. Neat.

    But on a modern PC? Running a variety of programs to handle each individual media type in a manner I prefer for them doesn't present any sort of burden to me or to the system. I have no real reason to stay within
    • by Deltaspectre (796409) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @09:31PM (#39463897)
      This is for the people who want a 10 foot interface on their little nettop hooked up to the TV.
      • by traycerb (728174)

        Is XBMC any good for streaming, e.g. from Hulu, Netflix, etc and live TV/DVR? I looked into XBMC once, and it seemed to be primarily for stored media, and not TV or internet streaming. For example, there wasn't an official browser plugin to go to the various sites I use. Has this changed, or are there other options for this?

        • It doesn't do TV yet though it is planned and being worked on (forever). For TV you're probably better off with mythtv.

          I haven't tried 11.0 yet, but I've been using 10 since it came out. Streaming for various sites is supported through 3rd party addons, so quality varies by addon. I don't watch Hulu or Netflix, but I have one for watching Canadian TV shows and another for Ted Talks that work quite nicely. Otoh, I haven't had good luck with the Youtube or Yahoo Music addons.

          • by amorsen (7485)

            It doesn't do TV yet though it is planned and being worked on (forever).

            You can turn a TV capture card into a streaming source with HTS Tvheadend, which is very easy to set up. XBMC speaks the Tvheadend protocol, so it works fine for live TV.

            What you can't do is control recording etc. from XBMC, unless you use the PVR branch which is indeed being worked on forever. For that you need to use the Tvheadend web interface.

        • by BLKMGK (34057)

          In order to do Netflix and the rest you can stream via PlayOn running on a desktop computer - this will give you an amazing array of choices. Likewise XBMC supports live TV from an HDHomerun but frankly Myth or an STB might be better for that IMO.

          XBMC's strongpoint is being able to beautifully a stored library of movies, TV shows, Music, and pictures. I have a bazillion movies and TV shows stored on servers and any of my TVs can display them via small network attached XBMC front-ends. I've yet to see anythi

    • XBMC on an Apple TV. Still a $99 system.

    • by Laebshade (643478) <laebshade@gmail.com> on Saturday March 24, 2012 @09:31PM (#39463905)

      XBMC is meant for media centers. If you're not using it on a PC you're using as a media center, then XBMC is likely not for you. It is called "XBMC Media Center" for a reason.

      • That should be on the xbmc front page. I discovered as much after installing all the build dependencies and compiling/installing from source. What I really want is something focused on streaming over my wireless network. No gui front-end necessary. Something that can give me a quick selection of _legal_ shows I can download and watch.
    • by HogGeek (456673)

      Now you can get it running on a $99 dollar media player (Apple TV 2, and 3 (when it gets jailbroken))

    • by niftydude (1745144) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @09:59PM (#39463997)

      But on a modern PC? Running a variety of programs to handle each individual media type in a manner I prefer for them doesn't present any sort of burden to me or to the system. I have no real reason to stay within the context of a single program that can do-it-all - I just make a new desktop shortcut to my preferred handler of format-X, and bam, I have it always instantly available to me.

      XBMC is about the interface. XBMC is all-in-one, and it is nice and remote control friendly. Your solution with desktop shortcuts requires you to have a mouse and a keyboard, and so that solution is a burden to you, even if it isn't a burden to the system.

      Not only does XBMC handler MCE remotes correctly out of the box, with the libCEC library it can also handle signals from the remote controls of most television remotes from the libCEC signal which is sent over one of the wires on the HDMI interface. It makes for a much nicer browsing and viewing experience when your pc is connected to a large screen on the other side of your room.

    • by Anonymous Psychopath (18031) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @10:45PM (#39464133) Homepage

      I've tried a few versions of XBMC (and have 11 downloading in the background, just to take a look), and I never really understood the big deal about it.

      With the original XBox, okay, cool, you had a fairly high-functionality networked media player running on a $99 console gaming system. Neat.

      But on a modern PC? Running a variety of programs to handle each individual media type in a manner I prefer for them doesn't present any sort of burden to me or to the system. I have no real reason to stay within the context of a single program that can do-it-all - I just make a new desktop shortcut to my preferred handler of format-X, and bam, I have it always instantly available to me.

      So tell me, Slashdot - What have I missed here that makes XBMC so impressive?

      You're missing a wife. Because mine (despite having a masters in engineering and a CCIE) is completely unwilling to use a PC connected to our home theater. She wants to access media the same way she uses a DVR, and with the same remote. XBMC provides that experience. Plus it works with Airplay.

      • by wanzeo (1800058) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @12:48AM (#39464461)

        Yup. XBMC can be more for the people you live with than it for yourself. For instance, there are iphone and android apps that work as a remote through the wifi. Not only is this practical because you skip the tedious IR remotes, but people absolutely LOVE the idea of using their phone as a remote. I even bought a $50 Samsung Repp (low end android phone, no contract) that just sits on the coffee table as an XBMC remote.

        A nice added bonus is that it provides a way to retire old desktops without throwing them away or having to buy specialized AV gear. And it has even been demonstrated to run on the Raspberry Pi! In fact, now that I mention it, I REALLY LOVE XBMC!

      • This

        it's a "Media PC" skin for standard Humans to use. Mine is a low end single core Atom (which XBMC manages to squeeze 1080P out of!) wedged into an old DVD-recorder case. It runs windows 7 but starts XBMC on boot so everyone else who is in my house who isn't a hacker can press the power button and pick up the remote and select things to watch/listen to. The keyboard and mouse is also usually stashed away and only comes out when I'm playing steam. Portal 2 on a 42" screen is loads of fun for your inner ea

    • by nahpets77 (866127)
      UPnP; I use it mainly to connect to my mediatomb server. It works really well.
    • by sehryan (412731)

      I know this will sound snide, but you obviously do not have a wife, or if you do, she is a geek like you.

      While your setup doesn't present any problem for you or probably me, for any non-technical folks in the household that want to use the system, remembering to use this at these points but not for this other thing, then you have to do X+Y+Z...it is impossible for them to remember all the details.

      XBMC - and all the other 10ft interfaces - theoretically solve this problem. One interface to bind them all, if

    • Salvage parts from old PCs, from the AthlonXP / Athlon64 era, including an ancient ATi RADEON 9800, 2 GB of RAM, and a component video cable. Stick it into a smaller-ish desktop case. Connect it to your TV. Configure it to auto-login to Windows (or Linux), map a couple of network shares to your main computer, start XBMC, and give you a nice 10' display to your video library (sitting on the other computer).

      Voila! You have the equivalent of an AppleTV, for hardly any dollars (since you have all the spare

    • by potat0man (724766)
      What have I missed here that makes XBMC so impressive?

      Being reclined on the couch at 10pm and being able to use the remote with one hand rather than get up and find the wireless mouse beneath the pile of supermarket flyers, takeout menus, and unread magazines on the coffee table.
  • Does "dirty region rendering" de-pixellate Japanese porn or something?

    • by Spodi (2259976) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @11:48PM (#39464323)
      Dirty region rendering is where you only redraw areas that need to be updated instead of drawing the whole screen every frame. It was a lot more common in the older days, and can still be useful for low-power, low-performance devices to keep a larger screen up-to-date. This is precisely why XBMC is implementing it - to reduce overhead of a mostly-idle screen (lower power usage when not viewing media). And I am very happy to see that - too much software doesn't care how much demand it puts on the system as long as it looks good. There is so much being put into trying to make hardware more energy efficient, but an even easier low-hanging fruit is the software.
  • If you use Trakt to keep track of your shows, make sure to get the development version here [github.com] until it gets released to the production channel. If you don't use Trakt... you don't know what your missing! - HEX
  • The Debian packages are really strange for XBMC. First off the Linux instructions [xbmc.org] are aimed primarily at Ubuntu. Then the other problem is that there is some kind of a fork between the "official packages" for Ubuntu and the Debian packages provided on debian-multimedia.org, the latter not being up to date (only rc2 is available).

    I also note that the Ubuntu packages have an Epoch while the Debian packages do not, which makes it hard to switch between the two.

    Short of adding a Ubuntu PPA to my sources.list, I

  • Does this keep all your old settings and movie library intact if you install it? I have custom configuration to use MPC-HC to play the movies and I don't want to rescan my library.

  • I'm thinking on building a media box for my mom. Just to play videos and stuff from stuff I ripped from all her dvds.

    If so, can anyone recommend a barebones no fuss box to install this on? She has no 1080 content but I guess it would be nice if it could handle it for the future.

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