It’s been a while since we posted some project news so we thought we would share an update from the recent XBMC DevCon session in Vienna and let you know about several important changes that have been made!
OpenELEC’s founder and lead developer Stephan Raue joined the XBMC team approximately two years ago, and having an insiders view of the XBMC project and working directly with their core developers has helped to bring XBMC and the OpenELEC OS platform much closer together. Stephan recently joined other XBMC team members at the DevCon event in Vienna to discuss the progress and direction of XBMC. OpenELEC was an item on the agenda and Stephan was able to highlight the value OpenELEC provides to many thousands of users by embedding XBMC into a lightweight and fast “appliance” style operating system. The XBMC team gave a full endorsement to OpenELEC and in the long-term we can expect greater direct cooperation and support from XBMC’s developers to advance OpenELEC's capabilities.
An unofficial blog of the Vienna discussions can be read here: http://xbmc.us
Since the XBMC 11.0 (Eden) release in March there have been several significant changes to the XBMC codebase. The PVR sub-project and the ARM port for the Raspberry Pi have been important to many XBMC and OpenELEC users and are consistently two of the hottest trending topics in the OpenELEC forums. We are pleased to announce that the PVR and RPi sub-projects have now been formally accepted into the XBMC master branch.
Although they have been merged to the main XBMC codebase these are still young additions to XBMC and we can expect them to contain a few undocumented “features” (aka bugs!) that will need to be discovered and fixed. Please make sure any PVR and RPi related XBMC issues you encounter are reported to the XBMC “trac” bug database: http://trac.xbmc.org.
The OpenELEC team would like to send special thanks to Lars Op den Kamp and Edgar (Gimli) Huceke (and the many others who helped them) for their respective work on PVR and Raspberry Pi support :-)
The inclusion of PVR into XBMC master means we can also save some build cycles and reduce PVR related confusion over which OpenELEC image to download in the future. Going forward all OpenELEC images will be PVR ready – the PVR functions can simply be enabled (or disabled) in XBMC settings.
To learn more about XBMC’s PVR capabilities please read here: http://xbmc.org/pvr
Two weeks ago the Raspberry Pi Foundation made many people happy when they announced “big improvements” to MPEG-2 and VC-1 decoding on the RPi platform. Support for both codecs was previously impossible, but licenses to use them can now be purchased (MPEG2, VC1) from the foundation. OpenELEC had advance knowledge of this development so the required changes were fully implemented and ready for the public announcement. MPEG-2 and VC-1 are widely used with streaming media so ARM’d [sic] with these license upgrades the RPi platform will be able to support XBMC’s new PVR functions.
To read more on this subject please read here: http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/1839
To learn how to install your licenses with OpenELEC please read the wiki here: http://wiki.openelec.tv/index.php?title=RaspberryPi_adding_Codecs (to be created)
Last but not least: the result of all above news is working PVR support for RaspberryPi on OpenELEC. If you want test these builds you can grab your copy at http://sources.openelec.tv/tmp/image/openelec-rpi/ (all builds after r11904). (Note: This builds includes a reworked RaspberryPi support and are development builds and can still contain bugs and issues, there is no stable XBMC release for RPi this time! To report issues use XBMC's Trac for XBMC issues and OpenELEC's github issue tracker for OS related bugs)
HTS-TVHeadend as a backend PVR server can be installed via XBMC's addon system:
Screenshot made by fritsch
Please stay tuned for our next news item :)