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XBMC on ARM News: Updated XBMC Image for i.MX6 Boards, Geniatech Releases XBMC for Android Source Code

November 14th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Stephan Rafin has recently released a new XBMC image for Freescale i.MX6 based Wandboard development boards (dual and quad only) and Utilite computers. The images have been built with Yocto 1.5 (Dora) released last month, and are based on XBMC Gotham Alpha 9, the latest alpha before feature freezes. That means this is not a stable image just yet, but features won’t change, and this version of XBMC is now going though bug fixes.

Stephan’s XBMC image includes the following:

  • iMX6 hw accelerated decoding (VPU) for most standard formats
  • iMX CEC support (for utilite only as wandboards are not properly wired)
  • WIFI configuration thanks to network manager addon
  • Support for HDMI/SPDIF/Analog sound outputs (including pass-through for HDMI and SPDIF)
  • SMB/NFS/uPNP network shares and other standard XBMC features
  • Bug fixes against previous version – No more transient black screens, trick modes (ffwd, frwd, ..) are now working, and smoother video playback.

This version also provides better support for developers with improvement for native compilation (gcc and standard dev libraries already installed), and cross compilation (Full SDK provided for x68_64 Linux host), as well as an easier way to completely rebuild the Yocto distro (See original blog post for details).

If you want to give it a try, you can download the images corresponding to your board or device:

To install the image simply uncompress the image, and use dd (Linux) or Win32DiskImager (Windows) to copy the binary to a microSD card. Insert the microSD card into your device, and power it up to start XBMC automatically.

If you’ve got another i.MX6 Quad device such as GK802, you may want to try to use the rootfs with your own bootloader and kernel, or easier use mkxbmc.sh script written by HSTE that will generate an XBMC image automatically for GK802.

Another news for XBMC on ARM platform, for this time for XBMC for Android, is that Geniatech has released the source code for the XBMC app used on its AMLogic AML8726-M? based Android media players.

The zip file contains the modified source for XBMC Frodo 12.2, and it has been checked by dual_HD who reported the following changes against PIVOS release on XBMC forums:

  • Save settings after exit, as the earlier version can not save setting after exit sometimes.
  • Easier to exit than earlier version
  • RMVB format support
  • Long time playing 1080p smoothly

That’s not too many changes, but this is still a step in the right direction, as AFAIK, it is the first time Geniatech releases modified source code for XBMC.

  1. adem
    November 15th, 2013 at 08:13 | #1

    wonder-board quad has
    Vivante GC 2000
    + Vivante GC 355
    + Vivante GC 320

    why is there 3 descriptions. does it mean there is 3 gpu’s does any one know what it is and also when ever i play xbmc from android tv sticks i always have problem with hw acceleration some of them play local content very well but when playing from addons there are audio video sync issues (due to lack of hw acceleration) unlike my raspberry pi wich plays everything i throw at it if this plays everything i will buy it

  2. November 15th, 2013 at 09:10 | #2

    GC2000 is used for 3D graphics
    GC355 and GC320 are used for 2D graphics, respectively for Vector Graphics, and Composition.

    You can see this on http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/site/prod_summary.jsp?code=i.MX6Q by clicking on “Multimedia” in the features list.

  3. adem
    November 15th, 2013 at 09:36 | #3

    i herd that mali-t628 is not very linux friendly i dont know which gpu’s are but which one would you guys say is the most open sourced and linux friendly gpu would it be Vivante

  4. November 15th, 2013 at 10:05 | #4

    You can check http://www.cnx-software.com/2013/02/14/open-arm-gpu-drivers-fosdem-2013-video-and-call-to-arm-management/ to find out about GPUs and open source.

    Newer GPUs are unlikely to have open source support, because it takes time to reverse-engineer. None of the GPU used in ARM SoC are open sourced by their respective companies. I’d guess Mali-400 is the one with most open source support thanks to Lima projects. Vivante does not open source their GPU code, but at least there’s proper support for Linux. There’s also etnaviv open source project for Vivante GPUs.

  5. adem
    November 15th, 2013 at 10:59 | #5

    so is there a board out there that i can install linux (ubuntu,debian )and xbmc and have full graphics acceleration

  6. November 15th, 2013 at 11:07 | #6

    Wandboard development boards and Utilite can run XBMC with full hardware acceleration, however you may have noticed this is an alpha image, so a few things may be broken. I’m guessing you want to have something that just works out of the box. In that case you’d better buy a product that comes pre-installed with XBMC such as the Little Black Box – http://www.cnx-software.com/2013/04/25/100-euros-little-black-box-runs-xbmc-linux/ .

    Having said that I have not reviewed the device myself, nor read online reviews, so you may want to check those first. But since the product is only running XBMC, all their efforts are going into XBMC development, so IMHO, it’s likely to work pretty well.

  7. adem
    November 15th, 2013 at 11:08 | #7


    by the way
    thanks for your answer

  8. Joe Bucks
    November 15th, 2013 at 12:43 | #8


    Another option besides the Little Black Box mentioned by cnxsoft is the
    Jynxbox M1.
    It is an out of the box Linux based XBMC mediaplayer,and it is also
    cheaper then the Little Black Box.
    It can be bought on Aliexpress for about $90 delivered(It used to cost
    $80 delivered a month ago).

  9. adem
    November 15th, 2013 at 17:10 | #9

    @Joe Bucks

    it does not say what chipset it is it just says cortex a9. i have a old box called nioniq smart tv box with very similar specs 2gig nand cortex a9 512mb ram i think it is also called gtv220 actualy i think my one is a amlogic chipset 8726-m or something

  10. adem
    November 15th, 2013 at 17:35 | #10

    thanks will look into it @cnxsoft

  11. adem
    November 15th, 2013 at 17:52 | #11
  12. Joe Bucks
    November 15th, 2013 at 18:38 | #12

    Yep,their specs are very vague.I e-mailed them directly asking more
    info on the chipset,and the amount of DDR3 Ram on board,but never
    got a response from them.
    I have a feeling that it is an Amlogic chipset also.
    Where you able to install Linux,and XBMC on your Nioniq box?

  13. adem
    November 15th, 2013 at 18:59 | #13

    within android i installed a app that tell u the chipseet of your device and bloody genatech they confuse me the box is a m3 i think. and they also have a box thats m1 and even though it says m3 they call it m1 media box ??? very confusing also description stvm3

  14. Harley
    November 17th, 2013 at 21:06 | #14

    When we will see all this code make it upstream into mainline XBMC?

    Maybe ask them if and when they plan to submit pull request patches?

    Would be better if all this was worked on as part of XBMC mainline?

  15. December 5th, 2013 at 17:27 | #15

    UDOO board (i.MX6) now supports XBMC too – http://www.udoo.org/xbmc-for-udoo/

  16. January 5th, 2014 at 15:25 | #16

    Amlogic hardware video decode has now been enabled in XBMC nightlies – http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=181739

  17. February 23rd, 2014 at 13:32 | #17

    Development for XBMC i.MX6 is now done @ https://github.com/xbmc-imx6/xbmc

  1. November 15th, 2013 at 05:17 | #1
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