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XBMC for Android Nightlies Available for Your Mobile-Viewing Pleasure

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XBMC for Android Nightlies Available for Your Mobile-Viewing Pleasure

For those unfamiliar with XBMC, it has become the defacto standard for Home Theater PC’s (HTPC). Given Android’s Linux roots, the desire has always been there to utilize an Android device as a HTPC, so the recent news from the XBMC developer team took the Android world by storm. Much rejoicing and excitement met the announcement, and XDA Senior Member kemonine96 was no exception. Once the XBMC team opened up their source for all, he jumped in and began working on building XBMC for Android nightlies as the XBMC team pushes their changes. He has this to say about his nightly builds:

What Is Special About These Builds?
I have re-built the CrystaX NDK that is required for XBMC from sources and made some compiler flag changes in order to improve NEON device support and to support the Tegra2 or other non-NEON devices. These are unsupported changes, particularly the Tegra2 and any other device without NEON. The official XBMC stance is NO device lacking NEON will receive support.

As can be seen, he has done some amazing work to get many non-NEON devices supported when XBMC has said they will not. Of course these nightlies do not come without their own set of known issues, among them:

Common Problems

  1. My screen starts flickering / freaking out: Kill the app, clear the app cache, restart devices, try again. Continue until the problem goes away.
  2. I cannot play SD / 720p / 1080p content without stutters / dropped frames / audio sync issues / etc: Tough luck. Right now hardware decode support isn’t complete, if your CPU can’t process the video in software, you’re stuck for the time being. The XBMC devs are working on hardware decode support and it will be done in due time. Do not ask for a deadline, there isn’t one right now.
  3. Battery life: Expect a pretty bad battery drain. This has been confirmed by a few others as well as the devices I tested. Given the project is targeting set-top boxes and similar equipment I would not expect this to be addressed until other, larger items are taken care of. Please do not complain to the official team about this item, complain here.
  4. Resource utilization is high: This is known. Not going to change for awhile, do not complain to the official team, complain here.
  5. Audio does not work: The XBMC audio levels and Android audio levels are not the same, you will need to adjust the volume in Android up to a higher level before launching XBMC most likely.
  6. DVD Navigation may or may not work properly: This is known and being worked on by the main XBMC team.
  7. Time Zone Changes: Time zone change isn’t working yet
  8. Distorted Audio: There are reports of audio distortion on a number of devices. From the reports it sounds like the 2012-08-02 build was working. It looks like some Audio Engine changes were rebased out of the primary branch into a separate branch. I will be looking into this further.
  9. /data is inaccessible: This partition is not accessible from XBMC.
  10. Tegra3 / Odroid-X / Other Quad Cores Under Utilized: Devices with more than 2 cores will only see CPU usage on 2 cores and the rest will show NaN or 0%. This is known.

For more information on the builds, and to try your hand at seeing what all of the excitement is about, visit the thread here.

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