While Intel just has announced its new Core i5/i7 Sandy Bridge CPU architecture, support for these new chips has just been added to OpenBricks. SandyBridge is a new architecture that embedded a GPU directly within the CPU. Thanks to latest Linux kernel 2.6.37 (for x86 at least), Mesa 7.10, libva 1.0.7 and Intel Xorg driver 2.14.0 upgrades, support for GPU Video acceleration now has been added, allowing H.264 codecs and friends to be hardware decoded. Support for hardware video video encoding is however yet to be added by the respective OpenSource projects …
The multimedia components of OpenBricks have been greatly improved to now feature up to 4 kind of MediaCenter software to turn your device into an HTPC. As a user, if you intend to build your own SetTopBox (through GeeXboX distribution flavour for example), you may now choose between Enna (EFL-based), XBMC (SDL-based), MythTV (Qt3 based) and QtMediaHub (Qt4/QML-based).
Along from Enna, which was the only supported MediaCenter so far, we just added the XBMC and MythTV, the 2 major HTPC software ever. While MythTV is still quite a bit work-in-progress so far, XBMC works like a charm, including on OMAP devices. XBMC 10.0 just has been released a few ago and was integrated within OpenBricks, offering a complete hardware video decoding support either through CrystalHD, VDPAU or VA-API frameworks. XBMC for ARM is working so far but unfortunately doesn’t yet provide any acceleration but it’s in the work.
A newcomer also has been added through the experimental QtMediaHub project. This is a proof-of-concept application from Nokia that re-uses XBMC skin engine (and Confluence theme) to create a MediaCenter fully written in the new QML language, that already features many nice things like audio/video playback, pictures browsing but also a nice Web Browser.
We’ll try to provide testing binaries and images ASAP …
The Broadcom BCM70012 and BCM70015 Crystal HD advanced media processor are low cost, low power, highly integrated solution for high definition (HD) video playback applications. They are targeted for PC/x86 applications such as playback of streaming video content, Blu-ray Disc playback, file-based content, and broadcast and other TV sources. These are Mini-PCIe chips that suit really well in any Netbook, MacMini or other kind of SetTopBox and provide a complete CPU offloading through hardware video decoding of several resource-consuming codecs such as:
- H.264/AVC HP at L 4.1 1080p/1080i up to 40 Mbps.
- SMPTE VC-1 AP at L 3 1080p/1080i up to 40 Mbps.
- WMV9 (VC-1 SP and MP)
- MPEG-2 MP @ ML and MP @ HL