Beaglebone black as a media center

Hello everyone.

I was trying to set up a beaglebone as a media center using the hdmi output to plug on my TV. The board itself is running debian wheezy with kernel 3.8.13-bone70. I also need to made the wifi dongle WN723 to work, so I followed the instructions on this video Beaglebone Black - USB WIFI & TP LINK WN725N. Everything works, using a usb hub I was able to play media stored in an external hard drive and access the beaglebone using vnc.

But no matter how I tried to configure mplayer, any video played at full screen has a large amount of frames dropped. The overall result is very unpleasant. Searching on the web, if I understood correctly, there is a video driver (sgx) which has some hardware acceleration and I expect this to gave me better results. Unfortunately, it does not work with this kernel version. I tried to follow the steps here http://elinux.org/BeagleBoardDebian#Install_Latest_Kernel_Image and this is the results:

  1. Upgrade the kernel to version 4.1.13-bone16, ok
  2. installed the SGX driver, apparently with no errors
  3. Tried to play the some videos, same results… apparently the driver is not being used.

Anyway, I tried to get the kernel source and recompile the module for the wifi dongle. being unable to get the sources from the beaglebone repository, I tried to download it from kernel.org. Doing so I was able to compile the driver with no errors, but the module is not recognized and there is no wireless connection.

So I ask:

  1. Is it really possible to improve the video playing experience on beaglebone black by using this SGX drivers, as I had understood?
  2. How can I get the sources for this specific kernel version, so I would be able to compile the module 8188eu.ko?
  3. Does someone knows of any SO image with this options already enabled? Lets say, a beaglebone black image focused on media playing, perhaps with xmbc??
  4. Anyone has some experience or thoughts that would like to share?

Well… that’s all for now… =)

Carlos Novaes

Hello everyone.

I was trying to set up a beaglebone as a media center using the hdmi output
to plug on my TV. The board itself is running debian wheezy with kernel
3.8.13-bone70. I also need to made the wifi dongle WN723 to work, so I
followed the instructions on this video Beaglebone Black - USB WIFI & TP
LINK WN725N. Everything works, using a usb hub I was able to play media
stored in an external hard drive and access the beaglebone using vnc.

But no matter how I tried to configure mplayer, any video played at full
screen has a large amount of frames dropped. The overall result is very
unpleasant. Searching on the web, if I understood correctly, there is a
video driver (sgx) which has some hardware acceleration and I expect this
to gave me better results. Unfortunately, it does not work with this kernel
version. I tried to follow the steps here
http://elinux.org/BeagleBoardDebian#Install_Latest_Kernel_Image and this is
the results:

1) Upgrade the kernel to version 4.1.13-bone16, ok
2) installed the SGX driver, apparently with no errors
3) Tried to play the some videos, same results... apparently the driver is
not being used.

Anyway, I tried to get the kernel source and recompile the module for the
wifi dongle. being unable to get the sources from the beaglebone repository,
I tried to download it from kernel.org. Doing so I was able to compile the
driver with no errors, but the module is not recognized and there is no
wireless connection.

So I ask:
1) Is it really possible to improve the video playing experience on
beaglebone black by using this SGX drivers, as I had understood?
2) How can I get the sources for this specific kernel version, so I would be
able to compile the module 8188eu.ko?

Which kernel? uname -r

3) Does someone knows of any SO image with this options already enabled?
Lets say, a beaglebone black image focused on media playing, perhaps with
xmbc??
4) Anyone has some experience or thoughts that would like to share?

The BeagleBone Black is not designed to be a media player.. It
doesn't have any hardware codec's to do ANY video acceleration.

Regards,

This is one area where an rPI is going to be a better option. The rPI zero at $5 would probably make the most sense.

Understood. So it will not be an option. Anyway, it was just a funny idea that came into my mind. Maybe I would try with an old CPU that is somewhere in house...

The kernel version for which I could not find the sources, at least by adapting the instructions on the link was 4.1.13-bone16.
Anyway, what would be the standard way to download kernel sources into BBB?

All the tags are pushed here:

https://github.com/RobertCNelson/linux-stable-rcn-ee/

so:

https://github.com/RobertCNelson/linux-stable-rcn-ee/tree/4.1.13-bone16

If you would have looked in: /etc/apt/sources.list

You would have seen this note:

#Kernel source (repos.rcn-ee.com) :
https://github.com/RobertCNelson/linux-stable-rcn-ee