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Buildroot XBMC on the Mele A1000 and A0000 (Allwinner A10)

"Gimli recently decided to push his XBMC port to the public, so we now have a Buildroot XBMC on the mele A1000. Some of you are already knew about the port empatzero decided to release. This port is around for a while now and it does look like the same decoding gitches appear to happen. For some reason sometimes the decoding times show peaks in decoding time, up to the point it results in glitches.

As both ports show similar bugs, Gimli decided to push it out in the open. Communication with Allwinner was still going on but progress was at a very slow rate. Having two different ports / approaches showing similar bugs kind of proof it is most likely something in the cedarX libraries. Hence the reason Gimli decided to release it.

Up till this point I have been following the progress from the sideline. I saw the port of empatzero popping up, but never actually decided to give it a go. I did not really liked the full blown linux OS for only one program (XBMC).

I compiled the minimalistic buildroot envirnment (same as Gimli used for the RPi), compiled XBMC and merged them together with the necessary tweaks to get it running.

  • 3.0.42 kernel (just before the update to 3.0.52).
  • Buildroot environment.
  • No window manager (X11). XBMC runs straight onto the framebuffer.
  • Couple of tweaks here and there as this is not even an alpha release.
  • All armhf compild with Linaro toolchain.

Created a bootable SD card with a ext2 partition containing the rootfs and xbmc binaries and started it up. There appears to be a memory leak in samba armhf compiled, so disabled that for now (server, not the client). Further more there is nothing really included. No LIRC remote support or other side hardware for that matter.

Inserted the SD card and turned on the Mele A1000. After a good couple of seconds the XBMC start splash appeared and the GUI showed up. GUI speed is fast enough and rendered at around ~40 FPS, similar as Empatzero his port.

Exactly the same performance and issues as Empatzero his port. The only difference is the AVI playback, but it should be noted that the test results on linux-sunxi (at this moment) are done without empatzero his last commit and support for AVI and other missing codecs.

There are still small issues here and there, but all with all not bad for a initial pre-alpha release. I will to some more testing, tweaking and adjustments. People that want to do it themselfs can already do so. Everything can be found on Gimli his github account[1]."