XBMC Coming To Sigma Players?

by Damian on January 5, 2011 · 5 comments

in News

As someone who follows a lot of different media players almost one of the first things I always here asked is “Can I run Xbox Media Center (XBMC) on this?”. There was even a “project” on the Networked Media Tank forums regarding porting XBMC over to the Popcorn Hour Media Players (I say project because there were a lot of questions about the legitimacy of this). To date though XBMC has been relegated to HTPCs and AppleTV (via a hack). Well, the folks over at XBMC have announced that Sigma Designs, whose SOCs (system on a chip) are in popular players  such as Popcorn Hour and Dune, are working on an XBMC port for their chips. What this means is that in the near future we may see players such as the Dune come pre loaded with XBMC, no more boring stock UIs and no more managing 3rd party jukeboxes. This is definitely a very interesting development and only time will tell how well Sigma and the manufacturers will be able to integrate into their products.

You can see the full press release here.

If you are unfamiliar with XBMC take a look here for several articles we have put together.

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Hi, my name is Damian, and I'm tech gadget addict! Although I always had some interest in technology, it wasn't until I got my EX470 and more importantly found Mediasmartserver.net, that my interest became an addiction. My goal, aside from world domination and to see the Mets/Broncos win another championship, is to set up the perfect digital home where all my media is available at the click of a button. When I am not writing for Mediasmartserver.net you can find me over at my blog at http://www.adigitalhomeblog.com or follow me on twitter


Brajesh January 5, 2011 at 8:00 am

This is very interesting, but I want this, like, yesterday! :) I’m guessing late 2011 before we see media players with XBMC.

Damian January 5, 2011 at 8:03 am

Should be interesting. I don’t know if any players will try to have this working when they launch their 2011 players with the new Sigma chip.

Carl January 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm

What I wonder is how each manufaturer will be able to offer something different than the other. Seems like it should be the same player to player, so why would we choose one over another?
Can’t wait though!

JesterEE January 10, 2011 at 11:32 am

The Sigma chips do very well with HD playback in a small footprint (power, cost, size, etc.). But this has only been proven with a small amount of program UI overhead to date. I wonder how loading a premium UI like XBMC and full HD playback will do with these units. I’m thinking not so good, but would be more than happy to be proven wrong. My NMT Popcorn Hour A200 struggles to load their new flash-based NMJ app fluidly so my hopes are high, but my expectations are low; at least with currently released hardware.

I have been following the small form factor HTPC market fairly regularly, and at the end of 2010 it just started getting good enough to buy in IMO. The first ASROCK offerings had choppy playback (with better hardware than many of these sigma class players), but the new line by them and other’s look very promising. The first company that makes a viable, feature rich player that’s not breaking anyone’s bank will surely have a large advantage. Maybe SOC based software design is the key.

Damian January 10, 2011 at 11:53 am

I agree with your concerns. My worries are that these players are trying to become HTPCs with underpowered hardware (which makes for a poor experience). You can see that with the PCH (NMJ and the Apps), Boxee Box, etc…

My Mini-ITX HTPC (core i5) has handled playback flawless (and I sure is probably overpowered for what is needed), but I expect the SFF HTPCs to only get better with time. I guess the benefit of getting XBMC integrated with the Sigma chip is for the folks who want XBMC HTPC experience without the HTPC. Maybe it is only a Lite version of XBMC that gets integrated, as I could see some of the “heavier” skins such as Aeon dragging down the SOC players. Even a Lite version would be leaps ahead of the stock UIs on many of these players.

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