XBMC 13 “Gotham” Released

After month of development, alpha releases, beta releases, RC releases, XBMC 13 “Gotham” is finally out. This is the first official release that supports hardware video decoding for ARM and x86 based Android 4.0+ devices. Support is not available for 100% of devices, as for instance, AllWinner A1X/A20 and Amlogic SoCs do not support the standard Android StrageFright or MediaCodec APIs, but most others should. There’s one XBMC Android version for ARM, one for x86.

XBMC_13Android hardware video decoding is obviously not the only feature or improvement brought about by XBMC 13. Here are the key ones:

  • Raspberry Pi and Android speed improvements – Overall system performance improvements, but optimizations are said to be particularly noticeable when opening and browsing libraries, loading images and starting videos.
  • Stereoscopic 3D Rendering – SBS, TAB, anaglyph, and interlaced are supported. XBMC cannot yet support 3D blurays and cannot provide hardware acceleration for FullSBS/TAB movies.
  • Improved Touchscreen Support – You can now use gesture controls during video playback and navigation.
  • Improved UPnP capabilities – Instances of XBMC throughout the house can now “speak” with each other and with other UPnP devices.
  • Audio Engine Improvements – The Audio Engine has been reworked to be simpler, faster, and with better quality. Please note that some users nay have to reconfigure their audio settings due to the changes. XBMC now supports pulseaudio server in Linux
  • Settings Improvements
    1. Settings level: Beginner, Standard, and Expert.
    2. Each setting now includes a description
    3. Each setting page now includes a Reset to Default option. Reset to Default is independent between sections. For instance, resetting your audio settings won’t affect your video settings.
  • Better Subtitle Search – The user will need to select and download their preferred subtitle add-on before starting a movie and searching for subtitles. There are currently 19 to choose from.
  • An Extended Python and JSON-RPC API for developers

There are also various other changes that you can check in the Changelog. Windows XP support has been dropped due to changes in XBMC build, but your can still use OpenElec, or XBMCUbuntu.

If you want to upgrade or give it a try, you can find the binaries for Android-ARM, Android-x86, Raspberry Pi, Linux, Windows, OSX, Apple TV, iOS, and XBMCbuntu on XBMC Download page. I would also assume XBMC for Android will soon find it way on Google Play Store now that an official version is available (TBC). After upgrade from Frodo or Alpha/Beta versions, the developers recommend to force refresh XBMC.org repository.

For developers who want to check out the source code and/or contribute to XBMC 14 “Helix” can get all they need on XBMC’s github repository.

Thanks to Harley for the tip, who also mentioned a link to a guide to sideload XBMC and other apks to Amazon Fire TV.

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VidOn.me Updates XBMC Source Code for their AllWinner A20 and A31 based Android Media Playersj0539hJoe BuckscnxsoftEmbarcados – Sua fonte de informações sobre Sistemas Embarcados Links da semana 0x05 » Embarcados - Sua fonte de informações sobre Sistemas Embarcados Recent comment authors
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ben
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ben

Darn, outgrowing WinXP might suggest that the latest XBMC may be too much too handle for the lowly original xbox as well..

Time to use an Android RK3288 device instead!

Harley
Guest
Harley

@ben WinXP support was dropped because Microsoft have stopped supporting WinXP now and won’t be releasing any more security fixes for it any longer.

The official XBMC project at xbmc.org already dropped support for the original Xbox many years ago now, so now you hace to use the XBMC4Xbox fork instead if you want updates for it.

natsu
Guest
natsu

it’s a shame that amlogic don’t support the hardware decoding, I just brought an amlogic 8726 mx dvb s2 box, it’s in his way, hopping to use it with xbmc, but now, I don’t know, I think I’m gonna use mxplayer for a while now

Marko
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Marko

I really love how responsive Gotham is compared to Frodo. For me it’s a joy to have the pointer keep up with what I am doing. There is still a little more onscreen jittering going on than care for, but the interface improvement ALONE is enough to make me keep the upgrade. On the down side and not really the fault of xbmc, many of the “Add ons” I used no longer work. I can only assume the “add-on” providers are working on it. I have tried it on several devices, the least impacted was my Android RK3188 device. I saw the biggest improvement under Windows 7 64bit. In the past when I ran xbmc on my laptop I booted into Linux, yes it ran THAT bad on Windows 7. It SEEMED perfect on my Asus MeMo HD7, but I haven’t tested it, just saw that it ran and worked. Some of the jittering I see may be caused by my wireless connection.. I will know more when I get an Ethernet cable hooked up.

Joe Bucks
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Joe Bucks

cnxsoft :
@natsu
You will most certainly be able to use XBMC with hardware video decoding on your Amlogic AML8726-MX TV Box. I’ve test XBMC in several Amlogic TV boxes and it just works. However you can’t just go to http://xbmc.org/download to download and install the latest version, you’ll need to get unofficial XBMC apks for Amlogic.

Where can we get the unofficial XBMC apks for Amlogic that will enable hardware video decoding?

Harley
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Harley

@cnxsoft You have your facts wrong there regarding Amlogic and XBMC. XBMC for Android does too support hardware video decoding on Amlogic ARM SoCs, see:

http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Android_hardware#Chipsets

Fact if that Amlogic is the best supported ARM SoC in XBMC, due to Pivos Technologiy sponsoed Team-XBMC developers to port XBMC to Amlogic.

It should just be noted that Amlogic is not supported via Anroid’s StrageFright or MediaCodec API likie most other platforms on Android, as instead for Amlogic XBMC uses Amlogic’s own open source libraries and open API for hardware video decoding.

natsu
Guest
natsu

@Harley
thx harley, I’m just relieved

otherwise, there is another bad problem in android with XBMC, is the total absence of DVB BACKENDS, wich mean no integration of LIVE TV on XBMC with android, I found some source of TVheadend on linux and I will try to compiled for android but, but I know is a long shot and not sure if it will work

Harley
Guest
Harley

@cnxsoft
XBMC for Android actually supported hardware acceleration on Amlogic before it supported StageFright and MediaCodec API, so no you no not need to get an third-party APK for Amlogic as there is official support for their SoCs in the builds from xbmc.org

Support for Amlogic in XBMC was first added to to Pivos Group fork at https://github.com/Pivosgroup but it have since been backported upstream into xbmc.org official master repository at https://github.com/xbmc/

They have enabled this via a codec interface named AMLCodec in XBMC’s “DVDplayer” video player core (similar to how it is done for Linux with VDPAU and VAAPI on x86 platforms and DXVA for Windows):
https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/tree/master/xbmc/cores/dvdplayer/DVDCodecs/Video

For the AllWinner A1x and A2x you do need to get third-party APKs from the device manufacturer, and the same goes for Freescale i.MX6 SoCs which are not either supported as of yet in upstream XBMC master.

Harley
Guest
Harley

@natsu
Yes natsu you are correct about the lack of a open source TV tuner PVR backend server that runs natively for Android, and though someone have ported TVheadend to Android that porting effort have not made it to their upstream mainline code, as discussed here https://tvheadend.org/boards/5/topics/10286 and here https://tvheadend.org/issues/1921

I actually think that would make a very interesting article here on cnx-software.com

Why is there no open source DVB TV tuner PVR backend server that runs native for Android?

j0539h
Guest

Soon XBMC will be almost as good as Plex. Remote streaming and sharing libraries, Watched and resume location synced across devices.

BubbleUPnP features like saying devices local devices to a remote XBMC would also be nice.

Speed improvements, Touchscreen Support, Audio Engine Improvements, Settings Improvements, Better Subtitle Search, An Extended Python and JSON-RPC API for developers, are all plumbing that should be working on all versions of xbmc, they could have fixed this on Frodo.

Stereoscopic 3D Rendering is the only new major feature listed.

Except for bug fixes, there doesn’t seem to be a big reason to update from Dharma.

natsu
Guest
natsu

@Harley

effectively harley, it will be a very interesting article here on cnx, I think that we wouldn’t expect much for android until he support DVB V4L library, I found one build of Tvheadend for android (not official) and I will test it as soon I receive my box, but really android still a lot behind in this departement

trackback

[…] Things have changed since then, as they’ve committed several changes, some of them related to AllWinner SoCs to their XBMC repository. I haven’t look into details, but it could be VidOn.me is now in compliance with the GPLv2 license which XBMC is licensed under. If the code is complete, another “side effect” could be there’s finally support for AllWinner A20 (and A10) for XBMC Android. Previsouly, some people tried the AV100 APK on other AllWinner A10/A20 devices, but it did not work, most probably because they locked the binary to their devices, something that would be more difficult to do if the code is complete. If VidOn.me XBMC’s version used a proprietary player however it may still not work. Nevertheless it may be worth a try. AllWinner A31 is already supported by default in XBMC 13. […]