Some of you may remember that back in 2010, Tobias (topfs2) began working on a GSOC project to improve XBMC performance on the BeagleBoard. Many optimizations came out of this project, but the most ambitious feature was dirty region rendering.
The short of it is that a major chunk of dirty-region rendering has finally been merged into XBMC’s bleeding-edge code, though it is disabled by default while we continue polishing the rough edges. The change produces impressive performance gains on low-powered hardware, and is the groundwork for many changes to come that will further reduce CPU and GPU consumption for all XBMC users.
For those interested in a more detailed explanation, read on. Read more…
For those of you using unstable or nightly builds, you will soon notice a change in available add-ons at the xbmc.org repository. Dharma users shouldn’t fret as nothing changes for stable add-ons.
With each new version of XBMC, there are sure to be changes that require add-on authors to make changes in order to remain compatible. We have made improvements to python, JSON, the skinning engine, etc. So much like Firefox, we will be asking all add-on authors to test their creations against each version of XBMC and mark them as compatible in each before they’re available in that version. For more detailed information on API changes for Eden, check out the wiki.
Browsing the repository list with the new Xeebo skin
So what does this mean for you?
If you are a stable user happily using Dharma, it means nothing. Only that bleeding-edge add-ons are getting good testing before you’ll see them in the next stable version
If you are an unstable/nightly user, it means that from now on you will only see add-ons that have been accepted into the Eden repository. Much like Firefox, they will likely be few in the beginning and really begin to pile in when we enter the beta stage for Eden.
So remember: if you open your add-ons list and your favorite one is not listed, poke the author in the forum and ask him/her to make the necessary changes and submit to the Eden repository, or better yet, help with it!
And before anyone asks, the new Feature Friday has been a big hit. Nate is out of town this week, but he’ll be back next Friday with another installment.
Today we are proud to announce an exciting new partnership.
In early May 2010, a representative at Sony Japan’s Home Theater and Console division expressed interest in using XBMC as a delivery platform for its newest content. After nearly a year of development, we have delivered a product that is suitable for deployment into millions of living-rooms, backed by Sony’s reputation for delivering high-quality standards-compliant hardware and software. We believe that within 3 months, we will have a new appliance on store shelves that will revolutionize the industry. The XBMC team is also excited to be a part of Sony’s Home Theater and Consoles division, where free-thinking developers are regarded highly.
What does this mean for XBMC? The sky is the limit. Combined with Sony’s impeccable reputation in tech crowds, we anticipate that the platform will be a quick success in the retail market. Sadly, the XBMC source will be closed in the future (all developers unanimously agreed to assigning a proprietary license), but we believe this is the right move going forward. As Jonathan Marshall, XBMC Foundation President put it, “While the free and open-source model worked well when we were all still in our parents’ basements, now that we’ve been showered with gifts from our new friends at Sony, we understand that it is not sustainable in the long-term; DRM is the way of the future.”
- Top 10
We realize that some may see this as abandoning our principles, so we have used our new partner’s influence to secure a special treat for XBMC’s existing users. For the next year, we are able to bring you the latest box-office top-10 movies in 1080p quality, some before the Blu-Rays even hit the store shelves. The best part is, they are free of charge! Just check out the ‘Blu-Ray Movie Streamer’ plugin, available now in the XBMC add-on browser.
We understand that not everyone will agree with our decision here, but we assure you, it’s for the best. Stay tuned for more as the details unfold!
As you may remember, XBMC 10.1 was recently released in order to address a bug that would cause a crash for Windows users when receiving an automatic update for the current skin.
Now that a few weeks have gone by we are comfortable sending out skin updates. For those of you who still have not updated to 10.1 (especially Windows users who don’t use the default skin!), please be sure to update now.
Enjoy the newly updated skins. In addition, be sure to check out some of the new ones that have gone in recently like Simplicity and Neon, plus two more from our very own Jezz_X that are slated for inclusion in the next few days.
While we are moving quickly to get new features into 11.0, the time has come for a maintenance release for Dharma. We recommend that all users update to 10.1 as soon as possible to increase stability.
The main focus of this release is to address a bug that could cause XBMC to freeze when updating a skin. We have held back skin updates from the main repository because of this, but now that it is fixed, they will begin rolling out in a few weeks.
This is intended as a bug-fix release only, no new features have been introduced. Notable fixes include:
- If an in-use skin was updated in Windows, XBMC would freeze
- Some RTMP streams in Windows did not play
- Included add-ons have been updated
- The correct referrer is now used for downloading add-ons, improving dependency statistics
- Crashes during playback on ATI hardware in some circumstances have been fixed
- Hardware decoding improvements for OSX
- Various small fixes
In addition, XBMC Live has been updated with the most recent packages, one of which includes a fix for the annoying SMB+Windows Live Essentials bug.
Those interested may check out the full changelog.
Windows and OSX users should download and install as usual, all user data will be kept intact.
Ubuntu and XBMC Live users can use ‘apt-get update && apt-get install xbmc’ to update.
Thanks to everyone who commented on the last post. Apparently there’s enough interest to justify some technical ramblings every now and then. As promised, here is a follow-up to address the popular questions and comments. Next up after SCALE will be a few words about add-on stats. Read more…
I promised an update a few weeks ago and here it is. Better late than never! There’s lots to discuss about what’s going on with XBMC development work. So how about this.. I’ll provide an overview as to what’s in the works, then respond to any questions/comments in a follow-up post. This information is aimed at our more technical users interested in the bleeding edge, so if you’re not interested in development, you may want to sit this one out. This is also a test-run for future posts. In the past, I have avoided writing technically as much as possible because it may not interest many of our readers. If there is a demand for more, we’ll make it a regular thing.