[vdr] vdr on AllWinner A10, possible or madness?

VDR User user.vdr at gmail.com
Wed Dec 5 18:43:16 CET 2012

> - energy efficiency - true, but computer with Celeron i'm talking about
> takes <50W. SoC takes probably 10W or less but difference is unimportant in
> term of cost even in long run

Maybe saving 80% power doesn't matter to you but it does matter to a
lot of people. I'll happily take 10W over 50W. You should realize that
that 40W difference does add up when it's running 24/7. For example, I
have at least 4 boxes on 24/7. 40W * 4 is 160W of waste running 24/7.

> - low cost - I can buy mainboard, CPU and RAM under 100€. SoC needs PSU and
> case too so costs are similair

In my experience, cost is about half when using SoC. For people who
don't have much money or use several boxes, saving (or expense) adds
up fast.

> - footprint - if I understand correctly you means size. I agree SoC will be
> smaller, but ITX is also small - you need just a correct case.

Yes, mini-itx can be small. Some of my boxes are about the size of a
Nintendo Wii. As long as it's at least that small, I don't care. But,
it's still no comparison to my Raspberry Pi.

> Taking Raspberry Pi as an example isn't quite good - under XBMC it's laggy,
> his weak CPU doesn't allow to decode less known file formats in software.
> You can't connect SATA, LAN is 100Mb only and so on. It runs XBMC but for me
> it's rather proof of concept, not for daily usage.

The osd is a little slow but that's it. All the media playback I did
was no problem. I couldn't care less if Raspberry Pi can/can't handle
obscure file formats. As long as it plays what I need, that's all that
matters. No SATA, no biggie. Half my boxes are installed on SDHC cards
so I'm no stranger to that. All my media is stored on my lan
fileserver. 100Mbit LAN, no biggie. That's plenty for streaming 1080p.
Maybe Raspberry Pi + XBMC isn't your first choice but there are tons
of people who _are_ using it as their daily media box and are happy
doing so.

> So while it's possible to play x264 format via hardware decoding even on
> very cheap devices (<50$ tablets, Rasberry etc), I don't think they are
> capable to be full featured HTPCs. As your needs and your HTPC grows, you
> will be crippled by your hardware.

What do you mean by "full featured" exactly? The ability to decode
streams that are in some obscure or mostly unused format? Even the
cheap and non-impressive (by hardware specs) Raspberry Pi is capable
of doing live tv, pvr/dvr, movies, music, pictures, remote control,
file share, etc. I don't know what more you expect an htpc to do..?

> Hovewer if you want to make only media player you can do this on ARM, or
> better you can buy ready-made cheaply (having SMART on TV you even doesn't
> need to buy one - you just have it builtin).

Some people like that option. I don't personally but I also like to
install everything myself and have full control over the box. Some
guys like plug-and-play, other guys like to wrestle linux. :)

> But I see HTPC as something more. My HTPC have five different tuners (DVB-T,
> DVB-S2, analog). It acts as video recorder using VDR and connects to TV via
> XBMC. But it also makes many other things like file sharing, file
> conversion, file downloading from net. It acts as network server, so for
> example I can use network interfaces of VDR or XBMC remotely from my phone.

The Raspberry Pi does have a hardware encoder but I don't know if any
software is using it (yet), or anything else. I don't care/bother with
transcoding anything so if my htpc's can do that or not is completely
irrelevant. But, we all have different needs/wants. In your case,
maybe SoC's aren't a good choice but for many of us maybe they are.
The only "best" option there is, is the one that suits your needs at a
price you like. In my opinion there is absolutely zero downside having
VDR work with SoC's. The more systems that can run VDR, the better (as
far as I'm concerned).

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