Archives for posts with tag: Home Theater

Honestly, it’s been a little bit since researching and trying new HTPC software has pulled me in, and recently I’ve been shown

just how wrong it was….

In previous posts, I talked about how the dream setup was to have a lightweight Plex client installed on the RasPi, so that it would just be a matter of the well-established Plex server serving content to any number of RasPis automatically.

Recent work, however, has blown this entirely out of the water!

In what seems like the blink of an eye, RasPlex has sprung up, bringing a complete port of the new codebase of Plex/HT to the RasPI version of OpenELEC.

Seriously; the entire (Next generation) Plex desktop  client is now on the Raspberry.

Even the site is flash, yet looks like it works with it’s hands – very nice.

Initial impressions: Fantastic.

One caveat: The FAQ warning at the bottom of this page mentions having to ‘warm up’ the cache in order to have a responsive UI, but it’s not a well-known fact, and the first boot of RasPlex had me thinking that my Raspberry was slacking – 3-4 second response times to the plex remote, taking over 7 seconds to start a video, grinding to a halt when AirPlay was tested…

With with size of our Plex library, it was still caching 30 minutes later, and was still fairly sluggish before getting up to this speed a while later (left it on all night).

TADA! Raspberry Pi and Plex; together in the future at last!

So, we didn’t meet the goal, and as I said before, this means I’m going to focus on something else for the time being.

.. and that’s ok.

We still believe that a cloud-based media server is a great idea, especially with the benefits to security, and if the solution can be about $20 a month.

And for the time being that’s going on the back burner.

I may personally try a few things over the coming months, posting as I go, and maybe we’ll pick this up again during hibernation season.

On the Raspberry Pi front, there are some very promising projects to focus on.

It looks like Android on the RasPi is dead in the water due to Broadcom’s pretend-open-source drivers for the GPU (they only let it accelerate video, not any other sort of GPU task), and this has shuffled some development talent on to more rewarding (and interesting) projects.

We’ve got pyplex, continued work with XBMC, crazy storage options, and even some work on creating a version of OpenELEC that runs a RasPi-optimized version of Plex/HT (Plex Home Theater).

Expect the next phase of Raspberry Pi HTPC to be evolutionary, not so much revolutionary; I’ll keep up to date guides for anything I’m actively working on, and keep you posted as more interesting things develop.

One interesting thing to note, since we’ve now had a Roku for a while; there have been a few times where HD content could not be transcoded fast enough, and we flipped over to the Raspberry in order to watch it in smooth full quality; the Roku seems to be artificially limited by what level of h.264 it supports, whereas the Raspberry comes in like a lightweight fighter, ready to dodge each punch and deliver more power than it looks like it’s capable of.