Home > arm, linaro, ubuntu, xbmc > Pre-built images for XBMC (Ubuntu 12.04 based) with hw acceleration finally available at Linaro

Pre-built images for XBMC (Ubuntu 12.04 based) with hw acceleration finally available at Linaro

Back to the Linaro 12.01 release, we were able to publish a XBMC based image with proper hardware acceleration support for Pandaboard. That release was based on the Ubuntu Oneiric (11.10) release, with a 3.1 based kernel, still using the old multimedia architecture provided by TI (e.g old SGX DDK, Syslink, etc).

Took a while (6 months) for TI to be finally able to rebase the hardware decode/rendering solution to the new architecture, providing quite a few improvements and making the architecture a lot simpler as well. A new SGX DDK was deployed with the functional xf86-video-omap open source X11 driver, kernel and userspace with support for RPMsg, dri2video and a few other fancy technologies that now makes the life of developers a lot easier. We’re still stuck with a few proprietary parts, like the SGX driver itself, but luckly that will also improve over the time, as we’re starting to see more and more reverse-engineer based solutions around (even Rob Clark started one called freedreno).

After TI making all the needed components available for Ubuntu Precise (12.04) during the beginning of this month, I was finally able to get them all integrated and working with the Linaro components and LEB. If you grab the latest LEB provided for Pandaboard, you’ll already be able to enjoy most of the updates available, with a better SGX driver, and a working hardware decode with gstreamer without much effort.

Unfortunatelly our TI Landing Team kernel is still missing a few important multimedia-related bits, so until they are properly integrated from TI’s own kernel tree, you’d need to make sure you’re using the kernel available directly from TI (called linux-image-ti-omap4, also available at our Overlay PPA).

To be able to have a fully functional XBMC as well, we also integrated all the new changes to support a native Gstreamer player (improved a lot by Rob Clark as well, adding EGLImage support), which solves most of the a/v sync issues we had with the Oneiric based release. There are probably a few things missing as well, but at least the patch is not that intrusive anymore, and could probably be accepted by upstream later on.

Want to see how things are looking by yourself? Please check at http://snapshots.linaro.org/precise/pre-built/ti-panda-x11-base/ and download the latest pre-built image available. At the time I’m writing this post I used the one available at http://snapshots.linaro.org/precise/pre-built/ti-panda-x11-base/5/ti-panda-x11-base-precise_linarotv-xbmc_20120729-5.html, and all I needed to do was to extract the img.gz file, and copy it with dd (sudo dd bs=4M if=ti-panda-x11-base-precise_linarotv-xbmc_20120729-5.img of=/dev/sdX).

Boot it up, and you should go directly to XBMC. Give it a try, check how well it’s playing the wide range of different video formats. Bugs are also expected and welcome, so please also make sure to open any bug you might find at https://bugs.launchpad.net/linaro-ubuntu and https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-omap4-extras-multimedia. We’ll keep improving the support over the next cycles, so also make sure to post which image you’re using when doing your tests.


Categories: arm, linaro, ubuntu, xbmc Tags: , , ,
  1. rsalveti
    July 29, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    A few observations done by brax already at #linaro http://pastebin.com/KeEYyMND

  2. clovis
    July 31, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice !!!!!!
    Can’t wait to test on my pandaboard !!!


  3. Dili
    August 3, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Thank you very much for this, Ricardo! I’ve also tested ti-panda-x11-base-precise_linarotv-xbmc_20120729-5.html and confirmed brax’s observations. I’m trying now http://snapshots.linaro.org/precise/pre-built/ti-panda-x11-base/11/ti-panda-x11-base-precise_linarotv-xbmc_20120801-11.img.gz. Were any of the issues in 5 fixed in 11?

  4. Dili
    August 3, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Ok so, first of all, this a HUGE improvement over older linarotv-xbmc builds! my 3000kpbs 1080p videos can actually play normally when before i was getting like 3-5fps max lol However, there are still issues. I’ve tested with the latest http://snapshots.linaro.org/precise/pre-built/ti-panda-x11-base/11/ti-panda-x11-base-precise_linarotv-xbmc_20120801-11.img.gz and it seems the same issues from http://snapshots.linaro.org/precise/pre-built/ti-panda-x11-base/5/ti-panda-x11-base-precise_linarotv-xbmc_20120729-5.html are still present (see http://pastebin.com/KeEYyMND, credits go to brax!)

    1. Cannot stream videos over LAN. I would put this issue at a higher priority since 99% of users will be streaming videos over a network.
    2. Jitterring can begin to occur randomly. Not sure what the cause is exactly. I remembered in older builds user were disabling DRM polling. I tried this but it didn’t work : (

    Other notes:
    My mp4/xvid videos played fine despite what brax said about experiencing “excessive artifacting and low framerates”. Although, after the random jitterring started all videos were affected and my pandaboard needed to be restarted to stop it.

    Hopefully these issues can be resolved with the next release! : )

  5. Dili
    August 5, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    I noticed ti-panda-x11-base-precise_linarotv-xbmc_20120804-17.img.gz and ti-panda-x11-base-precise_linarotv-xbmc_20120805-19.img.gz have been released on http://snapshots.linaro.org/precise/pre-built/ti-panda-x11-base/. Can someone please provide a list of fixes/changes for these releases?

    I tested out 17 and the 2 major problems noted above in 5 and 11 are still present. Downloading 19 now…

  6. Dili
    August 5, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    NOTE: a post I made on the 3rd still needs to be reviewed by a moderator lol

    • rsalveti
      August 5, 2012 at 11:20 pm

      Sorry, just saw that the comment was waiting to be reviewed.

      The first issue I’ll be trying to fix during this week is the stream over LAN, which is also my default setup at home. There’s also a new kernel in the pipe, so hopefully it’ll be a bit better. Will update the post as soon we get some of those critical issues fixes.

      Thanks all for the great feedback.

  7. Dili
    August 6, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    It’s us that should be thanking you! Looking forward to the next release!

    Thanks again for all your hard work : )

  8. jimi82
    August 24, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Hi Ricardo

    I was testing based gstreamer XBMC in linarotv image. When i playback a stored video all is ok but when i trying playback video (transport stream using HTTP) from UPNP device, it fails. The piece of debug log is:

    09:30:35 T:2984760384 DEBUG: Thread CGstPlayer start, auto delete: 0
    09:30:35 T:2984760384 NOTICE: Player thread start 0x2f74a00
    09:30:35 T:2984760384 NOTICE: Play uri
    09:30:44 T:2984760384 NOTICE: Player stop begin
    09:30:44 T:3034386432 DEBUG: CAnnouncementManager – Announcement: OnStop from xbmc
    09:30:44 T:3034386432 DEBUG: GOT ANNOUNCEMENT, type: 1, from xbmc, message OnStop
    09:30:44 T:3034386432 ERROR: Playlist Player: skipping unplayable item: 0, path [upnp://46f2-a000-7cd4-e000/0%3aIPTV%3a0001]
    09:30:44 T:3034386432 DEBUG: Playlist Player: no more playable items… aborting playback
    09:30:44 T:3034386432 DEBUG: SDLKeyboard: scancode: 74, sym: 0112, unicode: 0000, modifier: 0
    09:30:44 T:3034386432 DEBUG: OnKey: down (f081) pressed, action is Down
    09:30:44 T:2829345856 DEBUG: Thread Background Loader start, auto delete: 0
    09:30:44 T:2984760384 NOTICE: Player thread end
    09:30:44 T:2984760384 DEBUG: Thread CGstPlayer 2984760384 terminating

    Any idea???

    Good job Ricardo.

  9. Dili
    August 26, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Hi jimi82! Thanks for posting your feedback! Interesting to know that this also happens UPnP. The same thing happens when trying to play any video over a network using samba:

    15:24:11 T:2875786304 NOTICE: CDVDVideoCodecFFmpeg::Open() Using codec: H.264 / AVC / MPEG-4 AVC / MPEG-4 part 10
    15:24:15 T:2977092672 NOTICE: CDVDVideoCodecFFmpeg::Open() Using codec: MPEG-4 part 2
    15:24:18 T:2985481280 NOTICE: Player thread start 0x2c8c400
    15:24:18 T:2985481280 NOTICE: Play uri smb://HUBPC-PC/ANIME/ONE PIECE/Original Series/One Piece – 001.avi
    15:24:19 T:2833839168 NOTICE: CDVDVideoCodecFFmpeg::Open() Using codec: MPEG-4 part 2
    15:24:19 T:2985481280 NOTICE: Player stop begin
    15:24:19 T:3035000832 ERROR: Playlist Player: skipping unplayable item: 0, path [smb://HUBPC-PC/ANIME/ONE PIECE/Original Series/One Piece – 001.avi]
    15:24:19 T:2985481280 NOTICE: Player thread end
    15:24:19 T:3035000832 NOTICE: —[CloseFile]—
    15:24:19 T:3035000832 NOTICE: CloseFile – Stopping Thread

    Note, there have been many new linarotv-xbmc releases at http://snapshots.linaro.org/precise/pre-built/ti-panda-x11-base since this original article was posted. I’ve tried all of them and while stability and performance has improved with each release the “skipping unplayable item” error still persists : (

    Hopefully Richardo will inform us of a release that will fix this issue! : )

  10. C
    September 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Nice! Good job. Works a lot better than previous builds. But is there any fix out yet for video playback via network?

  11. Dili
    October 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    hi everyone,

    like the previous post, i’m wondering when playback over a network will be fixed. i tried the latest release (177) but still the problem persists. the snapshots repository is as busy as ever but i’m beginning to wonder if that’s just an automated build process with no human intervention.

    Ricardo mentioned it would looked within a week; that was over 2 months ago. my pandaboard is a brick without streaming over LAN : (

    here’s hoping for a release that will fix the problem! : D

  12. Subu
    November 15, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    is XBMC 12.0 made available as part of this build?

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