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#1 2012-03-02 13:30:27

nightmarebadger
Member
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 4

[Answered: yes] Arch + E350 + XBMC + HDMI out - will it work?

Hello there!

Wasn't really sure if I should post this under Multimedia of Hardware, so excuse me if it's in the wrong place please smile.

I've been using Arch on my laptop for about a year, now I've started playing with the idea of building me a HTPC/server device. I've spend quite a few hours reading up on this, but I don't know what to think really, some people say it works awesomely, some say it's totally crappy, there are countless threads about it but I haven't seen a real "yes it works fine/it sucks" anywhere - every time one of those things are said, people show up that claim the complete opposite ...

So I'm wondering if you guys could help me big_smile.

Basically, I'm trying to make a rig that would stay on 24/7, which would act as a web server and a HTPC. The rig I'm looking at would most probably be a MSI E350IA-E45 mini ITX motherboard, 2x2 GB RAM (DDR3 1333MHz), for the disk I might go with SSD because it's quieter and faster, on which I'd only keep the system and the most important files. Then I'd hook up some SATA or USB3 disks on which I'd store my movies/music/pictures.

I'd like it to be able to handle a webserver (probably just a simple webpage, might hook it up with WordPress though) and running movies/music/pictures with XBMC via HDMI to my TV, with movies up to 1080p. I'm using KDE on my laptop, which I really like, so if I could run it here too it would be nice, but it's not necessary, I'd be happy with any lightweight client as this would primarily be used only with XBMC (if I managed to hook up another monitor via DVI to it and use it for simple browsing/work it wouldn't hurt though wink ).

Now I've read about a lot of problems with the open source drivers for AMD Fusion (no working audio, problems with HD playback) - but the official Catalyst drivers didn't seem to fare that much better (audio works, but picture wasn't so clear and HD playback was still jerky). Supposedly you can fix this by using xvba-video, but I've read about mixed results. There were other options (special distros for specific devices to use with XBMC for instance) there were too many to list.

Now, since most of the stuff I could find on the net is dated to october-november 2011, is it possible all those things are already fixed and working awesomely by now? And if not, what would be the steps needed to make it work, and would this setup handle playing/streaming 1080p (for instance streaming from YouTube) while acting as a webserver? If possible, I'll hook up my Xbox 360 controller and control it with that, maybe even have some simple games or a MAME/GB emulator on it, just for the nostalgia of those old games big_smile.


Thanks in front!

Last edited by nightmarebadger (2012-03-02 22:30:45)

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#2 2012-03-02 13:57:51

.:B:.
Forum Fellow
Registered: 2006-11-26
Posts: 5,819

Re: [Answered: yes] Arch + E350 + XBMC + HDMI out - will it work?

Works here. LTS kernel, Catalayst 12.1, Xbmc Eden RC1.


Got Leenucks? :: Arch: Power in simplicity :: Get Counted! Registered Linux User #392717 :: Blog thingy

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#3 2012-03-02 18:55:18

nightmarebadger
Member
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 4

Re: [Answered: yes] Arch + E350 + XBMC + HDMI out - will it work?

.:B:. wrote:

Works here. LTS kernel, Catalayst 12.1, Xbmc Eden RC1.

Thanks for the quick answer! Can I also ask which desktop environment you're using? Does it play 1080p well or does it stutter?

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#4 2012-03-02 20:24:25

.:B:.
Forum Fellow
Registered: 2006-11-26
Posts: 5,819

Re: [Answered: yes] Arch + E350 + XBMC + HDMI out - will it work?

There is no desktop environment; I have a Zotac Nano AD10 which is my dedicated Xbmc box. Boots directly into Xbmc.

You can see some screenshots of h.264/VC-1 samples here. Screenshots were taken in Xbmc, all the details are there.

Had to fiddle a bit to get HDMI audio going, but HDMI video worked out of the box.

You have two choices for hardware-accelerated playback - either xbmc-xvba (which is the official Xbmc source with the OpenELEC XvBA patch) or the xbmc-xvba-git (which is based on the upstream Xbmc XvBA fork). It's even more incestuous than it looks - OpenELEC's patch is just the Xbmc XvBA code really, only cleaned up a bit to apply to the official tree cleanly.

Links to both packages:

https://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=55452
https://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=55296

Building Eden RC2 as we speak smile.

Last edited by .:B:. (2012-03-02 20:27:15)


Got Leenucks? :: Arch: Power in simplicity :: Get Counted! Registered Linux User #392717 :: Blog thingy

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#5 2012-03-02 22:29:51

nightmarebadger
Member
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 4

Re: [Answered: yes] Arch + E350 + XBMC + HDMI out - will it work?

Ah, it seems I still have a lot to learn, I always thought you needed to have a desktop environment set up before you could use any graphic stuff like watching videos or playing games tongue. But looking at those pictures you provided, the CPU doesn't seem to struggle even with high end 1080p media, so I probably should be able to load up a desktop environment too if I so choose and possibly set up an extra monitor to use it for simple net surfing and some work even while there is movie being played on the TV.

Thanks for your help again!

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#6 2012-03-02 23:06:13

.:B:.
Forum Fellow
Registered: 2006-11-26
Posts: 5,819

Re: [Answered: yes] Arch + E350 + XBMC + HDMI out - will it work?

If you really want to pimp your setup, you share the database (use a separate MySQL database) and optionally fanart and have each client access them over the LAN. It's pretty cool stuff. I have my desktop (HD6950 GPU, so also XvBA) and AD10 set up like that. It's pure luxury (and it will make a lot of people's jaws drop wink). I stop a movie or an ep on my TV, i go to my bedroom and pick up where I left on my desktop.


Got Leenucks? :: Arch: Power in simplicity :: Get Counted! Registered Linux User #392717 :: Blog thingy

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#7 2012-03-02 23:31:51

nightmarebadger
Member
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 4

Re: [Answered: yes] Arch + E350 + XBMC + HDMI out - will it work?

.:B:. wrote:

If you really want to pimp your setup, you share the database (use a separate MySQL database) and optionally fanart and have each client access them over the LAN. It's pretty cool stuff. I have my desktop (HD6950 GPU, so also XvBA) and AD10 set up like that. It's pure luxury (and it will make a lot of people's jaws drop wink). I stop a movie or an ep on my TV, i go to my bedroom and pick up where I left on my desktop.

Yeah, I've read about this smile. But I'm (actually, will be when I move tongue) living in a small apartment (30m^2) so it's really not needed - I plan on watching movies on my TV, not the computer that will be a few meters away tongue.

I do, however, have all my fanart/cover art/etc. saved locally on the disk with the media, makes scraping so much faster and easier smile

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#8 2012-11-06 17:36:53

Wikimig
Developer
From: France
Registered: 2004-12-10
Posts: 77
Website

Re: [Answered: yes] Arch + E350 + XBMC + HDMI out - will it work?

Hi,

Could anyone please let me know what ethernet card is shipped in this Zotac Nano AD10 please? I cannot find it on the official doc nor resellers'.

I'm having severe issues with my barebone's ethernet (RTL8111/8168B) and would like to avoid it in the future.

Thanks !

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