Raspberry Pi – Category Killer (2) – Media Players

29Jan12

In my previous post about Raspberry Pi I noted that it will probably wipe out the existing market for thin client devices. It won’t stop there though. Next up – media players…

Hardware wise the Raspi is very close to existing media players like Apple TV (2nd gen) or something like a WD TV Live – ARM CPU, HDMI, Network and USB connections. All it’s really missing is a box (which is optional anyway if it’s going to be hidden behind a TV) and remote control (or smartphone app). The software side of things has already been sorted out with XBMC, recently demoed on the Raspi (I had originally thought along the lines of VLC media player, but XBMC looks like a more comlete solution). For those that have Apple stuff it looks like AirPlay has also been figured out.

What’s kind of funny here is that most of the popular media players have developed hacking communities around them. How much easier life is going to be once we have hardware (and a software stack) that’s open to tinkering from the get go.

My own aged Kiss DP-600 is sorely in need of replacement, so hopefully the Raspi starts coming off the production line soon. Of course that means I’ll be needing at least two – one for general hacking and another for the living room. Then there’s the upstairs TV, and the kids play room. I can see myself buying LOTS of Raspberry Pis – I think they’re going to need a bigger factory, maybe even a number of bigger factories.



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