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Banana Pi (raspi clone)
#1
Noticed this come across my feeds this morning:
http://liliputing.com/2014/04/banana-pi-...emory.html

Looks like a $60 raspi clone with a faster dual-core CPU, more memory, integrated IR receiver, SATA port, gigabit ethernet, and apparently another power port option. This along with most of the other standard raspi stuff (HDMI, GPIO, etc). It has a similar form factor as a raspi, but I would be skeptical as to whether it fits in most raspi cases.

The website gives the appearance that it's poorly supported and I would imagine MPEG2 licenses are non-existent. I don't plan to buy one, but it looks interesting for the raspi enthusiasts among us.
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#2
Will XBMC work with hardware acceleration on the Allwinner A20 dual-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor?

This seems to be an amazing board for the price if it does. Also depending on the answer to my question maybe its a good idea to email Openelec team to have a look at the board

"Are there any other up and coming devices you think we should be looking at, if so then please drop me an email on [email protected]"
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#3
Interesting, but there is No Hdmi-cec.
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#4
I personally don't know enough about the constraints that determine whether various hardware-codec combinations are supported for hardware decoding.

Anyway, like I said, it does not seem like a well-supported piece of hardware and it seems difficult to even purchase at the moment. I'd be surprised if the Openelec team wanted to take on something like this. However if someone were feeling adventurous then they could go out and grab on and see how XBMC performs.

Desperado, you'r probably right about CEC. However, many people would prefer the IR receiver anyway (provided it's easily accessible by Lirc or whatever).
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#5
For me the biggest advantage of the Raspberry PI is the great community behind it. Ok, the hardware isn't that up to date anymore, but thanks to efforts from the comunity, it runs it's tasks absolutly great. This may have better hardware, but without people developing for it it wil be useless.
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#6
(2014-04-21, 17:28)Nu7s Wrote: For me the biggest advantage of the Raspberry PI is the great community behind it. Ok, the hardware isn't that up to date anymore, but thanks to efforts from the comunity, it runs it's tasks absolutly great. This may have better hardware, but without people developing for it it wil be useless.

Totally agree, which is why I'm not personally planning to buy one (and I do have a few raspi's). If this were "raspberry pi version 2" and produced by the raspberry pi foundation then I would buy two of them in a heartbeat.

As you can probably tell, I'm not really promoting this thing. I'd certainly be interested to know how well XBMC performs on it, but not enough to buy one. I thought it might be interesting to some of the more adventurous people on this forum.
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#7
Turns out there is an even more powerfull in development:

SolidRun HummingBoard
http://www.cnx-software.com/2014/04/21/s...ale-i-mx6/

SoC = Freescale i.MX6 Quad @ 1 GHz with Vivante GC2000 3D GPU. The microSoM also comes in solo and dual flavors, and although it’s likely the HummingBoard will be sold with these variants too, it’s not 100% confirmed
System Memory – 2 GB RAM
Storage – micro SD card slot, mSATA connector, and optional eSATA (shared with USB?)
Video output – HDMI, and LVDS
Audio I/O – HDMI, 3.5mm stereo jack, and Coax S/PDIF output
Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet + Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module (BCM4329)
USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x micro USB for power
Expansions
Raspberry Pi compatible headers (26-pin P1 header only), Camera connector (CSI), LCD connector (DSI)
8-pin header for FlexCAN
mini PCIe connector
Misc – RTC, IR receiver, LEDs
Dimensions – Not explicitly specific, but they should be the same as the Raspberry Pi.


Read more: http://www.cnx-software.com/2014/04/21/s...z2zXJmxDOL
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#8
"mechanically and electrically compatible with the Raspberry Pi" means nothing. The GPU is different and all optimizations done for the Raspberry Pi won't have any effect on those boards.
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#9
Heres the thread on the SOC concerning XBMC
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=165232&page=5

Allwinner A10 HW-acceleration
officially theres meant to progress on this but there isn't. But from reading that thread it seems that there is a possibililty

@Nu7s I was trying to find the board from Cubox but I coudnt lol.
concering that board I doubt it would be close to $60. Seeing that stuff from NUC and FTV have approached close to $100, personally I woudnt bother with these boards unless they were are $60.

Reason the banana board is cheap for the specs is because its produced and sold from China. Its always a gamble but you wont find similar boards anywhere else at similar price points. Reason being this board "seems" attractive.

FernetMenta I was thinking the exact same thing. Funny how they are showing this board running Raspian here...also they are saying it runs some andorid version but look at the date lol (and they are showing it runs ubuntu and debian, doeasnt sound realistic to me..)

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Banana-PI...06877.html
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#10
The Hummingbird looks interesting - as the i.MX6 is probably the best supported ARM SoC for XBMC (particularly in VPU hardware acceleration) other than the Pi's Broadcom chip. Having said that for XBMC the Cubox-i is probably a better bet - unless it is a lot cheaper or you need the additional I/O.

The Allwinner A10 didn't ever get decent hardware acceleration support did it? Think the Banana Pi is flawed for XBMC because of that - though may still be interesting for other applications where CPU is more important than GPU/VPU?
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#11
Sorry it was the A20 not the A10 but from the thread I linked to it did say if you can get support for A10 then it will have it for A20.

Agreed seems like the natural successor of the raspberry pi does seem to be the cubox i boards. I don't know why the Raspberry Pi foundation dont just give the masses what they want. They did ride of the need for a media consumtion device IMO.
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#12
(2014-04-21, 23:51)MediaPi Wrote: Agreed seems like the natural successor of the raspberry pi does seem to be the cubox i boards. I don't know why the Raspberry Pi foundation dont just give the masses what they want. They did ride of the need for a media consumtion device IMO.

To be fair - that's not what the Raspberry Pi is about. It was founded very much with the aim of providing a low-cost educational computing platform to replace the home computers of the 80s and early 90s (which so many of us grew up with, and learned to program on). Eben noticed a drop in programming proficiency as time went on (when was interviewing potential Cambridge Uni CompSci undergrads) , as PCs became more like household appliances, too complex and too valuable to the home to be experimented with and on.

The media capabilities were a nice bonus, and the foundation, to give them their due, have helped where they can with this (MPEG2 and VC-1 licences for instance) However they aren't a commercial company aiming to sell units at any cost. Their aim is still to improve computer literacy, not produce an XBMC platform...

I grew up with a ZX81, a BBC Micro and then an Archimedes. The Pi does fit into this (particularly when running Risc OS!)
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#13
(2014-04-22, 00:37)noggin Wrote:
(2014-04-21, 23:51)MediaPi Wrote: Agreed seems like the natural successor of the raspberry pi does seem to be the cubox i boards. I don't know why the Raspberry Pi foundation dont just give the masses what they want. They did ride of the need for a media consumtion device IMO.

To be fair - that's not what the Raspberry Pi is about. It was founded very much with the aim of providing a low-cost educational computing platform to replace the home computers of the 80s and early 90s (which so many of us grew up with, and learned to program on). Eben noticed a drop in programming proficiency as time went on (when was interviewing potential Cambridge Uni CompSci undergrads) , as PCs became more like household appliances, too complex and too valuable to the home to be experimented with and on.

The media capabilities were a nice bonus, and the foundation, to give them their due, have helped where they can with this (MPEG2 and VC-1 licences for instance) However they aren't a commercial company aiming to sell units at any cost. Their aim is still to improve computer literacy, not produce an XBMC platform...

I grew up with a ZX81, a BBC Micro and then an Archimedes. The Pi does fit into this (particularly when running Risc OS!)

This.
And also, they have explained very well their decision of **not** lanching a new product so soon. They say that they could have a Cortex A9, A7, whatever using any supplier willing to cut margins but it would also cut their non profit efforts. As it stands now there are huge performance improvements to be gained for the RasPi that can be harvested by paying developpers. Those improvements benefit ALL the community, whereas a new hardware would only benefit new buyers. And the objective is not to sell a new hardware. It's not like your smartphone where all the Apples and Samsungs of the world purposefully avoid putting new software optimisation into old hardware.
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#14
Its already come down in price
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-ship...48169.html

$52.74 (£31.13) shipped and the seller has good feedback and 48 orders. Thats insane. In Uk Raspberry Pi model B is £28.07 thats £3.06 difference.

dual core Cortex A7 processor @ 1 GHz
1GB DDR3 SDRAM
1x SATA port
Gigabit Ethernet
Onboard IR receiver
Micphone-in

for £3 more LOL. omg just need hardware decoding. This has got an amazing platform to launch itself. Price will come down ever more as competition rises and the boards start to sell like crazy. Imagine openelec on this.
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#15
It's not even worth $20, and I'm not exaggerating. I have an Allwinner A10 device, and it's total junk.
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