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STEAMOS Xbmc repository

NOTE: AMD GFX cards are not supported for hardware video decoding. Select "Decoding Method: Software" under Settings -> System -> Video -> Acceleration and enable "Allow multi threaded software decoding"

Switch to the desktop and open a terminal.

create /etc/apt/sources.list.d/xbmc.list
deb http://mirrors.xbmc.org/apt/steamos alchemist main

download key:
wget -O - http://mirrors.xbmc.org/apt/steamos/[email protected] | sudo apt-key add -

optional: APT pinning
create /etc/apt/preferences
Package: *
Pin: origin mirrors.xbmc.org
Pin-Priority: 500

Package: libtag1c2a libtag1-vanilla
Pin: origin mirrors.xbmc.org
Pin-Priority: 901

Package: *
Pin: release l=SteamOS
Pin-Priority: 900

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xbmc

NOTE: When Pulseaudio is configured to be multi-channel output, e.g. 5.1 profile from within pavucontrol, 2.0 streams are automatically upmixed, no matter what setting you have chosen in xbmc. This is default pulseaudio server behaviour. You can workaround that by disabling enable-remixing in /etc/pulse/daemon.conf
enable-remixing = no
Packages installed fine here!
Up to now I've been using XBMC 12.3 from wheezy-backports on my Intel NUC (D54250WYB). Thanks for providing an easy upgrade to the latest and greatest. Smile

Upgrading went without any problems. I just had to use xbmc-pvr-tvheadend-hts from jessie, because the old version from wheezy-backports apparently was not compatible anymore. Maybe you could add those addons to your repository too, to avoid problems in the future when there might be no Debian package compatible with your version of XBMC.

All the functionality I tried so far (IR remote control, TV, video files, streams) continues to work as before. System load when idle might even be better than before (which is important, as this machine runs 24/7).

The one thing that does not work (but did not work before either, so it's probably not your problem) is 5.1 audio output via HDMI. When I configure Steam's audio output to be 5.1, I get both Steam's and XBMC's navigation sounds that normally should only come from the front also on the rear speakers. Trying to play a file with 5.1 channels sounds horrible. Setting Steam's audio output to stereo also restricts XBMC to stereo output, no matter what options I choose in the XBMC settings.
Check the pulse audio config. You'll have to install pavucontrol.
I can confirm everything works here too - also having the issue with 5.1 audio, I'll investigate after work.

One minor issue, the icon isn't the right aspect ratio so it looks weird in the steam library, perhaps someone can make a nice steam tile for it.

EDIT: Forgot to say thanks for the packages, it's working pretty awesome overall.
(2014-06-09, 20:21)wsnipex Wrote: [ -> ]Check the pulse audio config.

Anything specific to look for? I've just started Gnome instead of XBMC again and the configuration looks similar to what I have on my laptop where 5.1 audio works fine.

But using Gnome's "Test Speakers" functionality, I discovered some more weirdness. With the output profile set to 5.1 I get:
- Front Left output on Front Left
- Front Right output on Front Right
- Rear Left output on Front Left and Rear Left
- Rear Right output on Front Right and Rear Right
- Front Center output on all five speakers

At the same time the audio quality is way worse than with stereo output. I can still understand what the voice says, but there are small gaps and other noise.
can you install pavucontrol and check if there is some mixing going on?
more info on pulseaudio and xbmc on PulseAudio (wiki)

edit: you can also try to suspend pulseaudio when launching xbmc and using Alsa directly. This also enables HD audio passthrough support in xbmc, but will disable sound from steam and desktop apps while xbmc is running.

launch xbmc like this:
AE_SINK=Alsa pasuspender -- xbmc
pulseaudio does mix by default, when you set 5.1 speakers it will play everything as 5.1 - the wiki wsnipex posted has the mixing change you need to do to the pa server.

You can workaround that by disabling enable-remixing in /etc/pulse/daemon.conf

enable-remixing = no

and afterwards just reboot.
added pvr addons as well
(2014-06-10, 07:31)wsnipex Wrote: [ -> ]launch xbmc like this:
AE_SINK=Alsa pasuspender -- xbmc

Using this command I get no audio at all from XBMC. The audio device selection in XBMC is greyed out.

(2014-06-10, 08:14)fritsch Wrote: [ -> ]You can workaround that by disabling enable-remixing in /etc/pulse/daemon.conf

That solves the issue with the navigation sounds on the rear speakers, at least for XBMC. But all the other problems persist: Gnome's "Test Speakers" is still audible on multiple speakers at once and XBMC playback of 5.1 files shows the same stuttering and noise as before. The tsched=0 workaround that is also listed in the wiki does not help, neither do the other workarounds from https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/PulseAudio that I tried so far (intel_iommu=igfx_off, changing default-fragments, default-fragment-size-msec or default-sample-rate). Is there anything else I can try?

(2014-06-10, 12:52)wsnipex Wrote: [ -> ]added pvr addons as well

At least the tvheadend addon works fine, thanks.
@webmeister: Post a Debug Log for xbmc. Not interested in the gnome bugs at all, they are not ours.
Great work guys, this is going to save me a heap of time. Previously I was compiling my own and using the wheezy apt mirror for xbmc build deps.

Unfortunately like the version I have been compiling and using for the last few months there are a few things still to work out:

1.) "Adjust display refresh rate to match video" does not work when you run XBMC under the steam user (Big Picture Mode). Presumably the steamos compositor is blocking this. This results in a stutter on long panning shots on most TV's. To get around this I have replaced the gnome.desktop xsession with the XBMC.session.

2.) When a wireless XBOX360 controller goes to sleep. XBMC will not register it's presence when you wake it back up so you have to revert to using the keyboard. It would also be nice if we could make under input "use joystiks" a default option for this version of XBMC.

3.) To get passthrough (AC3,DTS) audio to work I must add the line 'pactl set-sink-formats 0 "pcm; ac3-iec61937; dts-iec61937; eac3-iec61937"' to the paulseadio section of xbmc-standalone. This is probably just me as BPM refuses to apply these settings after reboot probably because both my Nvidia card's use the second sink for HDMI output instead of the first.

Also a note to those who use an HDMI amp and wish to passthrough Dolby/DTS streams to it. Make sure that in the SteamOS audio settings you have it set to "HDMI Stereo" and in XBMC set your audio settings to "HDMI 2.0" Only then can you enable passthrough. Seems counter-intuitive I know.


(2014-06-11, 07:58)teeedubb Wrote: [ -> ]Nice work, installing it now. Anything in particular you guys want tested? SteamOS isnt my main htpc OS.

@jazz1138t from what Ive seen with the steamos-xpad driver is that, unlike the xpad driver, it is not automatically recognized by xbmc if it connected after xbmc has started. Havent looked into it too much because the driver isnt mainlined yet. Here is a hackish workaround using a udev rule to toggle xbmcs joystick support via json rpc. Works ok, but doesnt seem to work when media is playing

Thanks, this should alleviate the problem in most cases until a permanent fix is possible.
(2014-06-10, 22:17)fritsch Wrote: [ -> ]@webmeister: Post a Debug Log for xbmc.

With Steam (=PulseAudio) set to 5.1 output I've created two debug logs. The first is from playing a file with 5.1 channels that does not sound right (see below). The second is from trying the same thing with the AE_SINK=Alsa pasuspender -- xbmc command line. In this case, not only are there no navigation sounds from XBMC, but also the GUI freezes and does not react anymore as soon as I select the file and try to play it.

(2014-06-10, 22:17)fritsch Wrote: [ -> ]Not interested in the gnome bugs at all, they are not ours.

This does not seem like a Gnome bug. It's rather a symptom of the same underlying problem (in this case maybe trying to use rather outdated Debian packages (e.g. PulseAudio) with very recent (Haswell) hardware). I've found some audio files that access each channel sequentially and playing it with XBMC shows the exact same effects as I described for Gnome (i.e. audio that should only appear on the center channel appearing on all channels etc.).
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