First commercial HTPC "Slice" based on XBMC-Raspberry-Pi is launched


rahuljawale

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A group of 5 British Engineers have put together a Raspberry Pi Compute Module based HTPC called Slice. It runs on highly optimized version of XBMC (Kodi from v14.0).

The base OS is a derivative of OpenELEC. The hardware/software combo is capable of decoding 1080p streams in real-time.

Shipping hardware comes with a specially designed RF Remote (with RF dongle) that does not need line of sight. You can buy additional remotes by adding GBP 10 to your pledge. And also , all pledges above GBP 129 include free worldwide shipping. Hardware is backed by 1 year warranty while if pledged for the model with HDD, the HDD will carry respective manufacturer's warranty.

The project has garnered quite a bit of support. It has already smashed 3 stretch goals and is racing towards its 4th.

Watch this intro before you headover to this KICKSTARTER page to order one.


Technical Specs
  • BCM2835 SoC (700MHz ARM11 CPU + Powerful GPU for media decoding & graphics)
  • 512MByte RAM
  • 4GByte eMMC Flash for the OS
  • 2.5 inch SATA hard disk for media files (1 Terabyte included) - (For pledges higher than GBP 159)
  • Full size HDMI port with 5.1 audio pass through
  • 2 USB2 ports
  • 10/100 Ethernet port
  • 3.5mm jack for either stereo analogue (up to 192KHz 24 bit) or optical output for 5.1 surround pass-through.
  • Micro USB port for using Slice in disk mode (to load media) or can be used to re-program the Flash (eMMC)
  • IR Sensor
  • Real time clock with backup battery
  • 25 programmable RGB LEDs
  • Power input jack (barrel type, 5V 3A)
 
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rahuljawale

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@booo , agreed. Price is higher than the regular Raspi module. but you get a complete HTPC package. It comes with LED lighting, Anodized case, RF remote, WiFi dongle, XBMC optimised for Pi, custom board with High quality DAC, TOSlink output.[DOUBLEPOST=1409113324][/DOUBLEPOST]This is only Kickstarter price. You can see from the history of rewards. At first it was GBP 109.
 

booo

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still too costly. I would rather buy an rpi and convert it to xbmc server. with a wireless keyboard mouse kit from aliexpress. I mean except the fancy case and led lighting I dont see anything groundbreaking in this kit that I cant do with standard rpi.

The standard rpi has few gpio pins on board if you understand pwm etc.. you can create your own lighting effects.

PS: I did not see any toslink(optical) output or any details of DAC they are using. but if anyone really wants high quality audio, they would connect a usb DAC to rpi.
 
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rahuljawale

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Point well taken! :) . But don't forget the software optimizations!

This system is for those who are not so technically inclined or don't have time to invest in building something ground up. Look at me, for an instance. I spent most of last 15 years building/breaking systems. I maintain 3 Linux Servers at home. But I feel that few things like my HTPC or NAS should just work (which would also make my other half happy) without any maintenance worries or down-times. Yes, DIY approach saves money. But I would rather trade little bit of money if that saves some hassle in the end. :p . But that's me and does not necessarily apply to everyone out there.

BTW, it's not TOSLink but Co-axial digital o/p. The stereo jack serves as dual analogue/digital o/p.
 
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vaibhavyagnik

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then the question remains can it bitstream DD and DTS?

Edit
It does
 
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booo

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The point here is that there is nothing revolutionary with this thing. and all I see is a fancy box with some led lights.
 
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booo

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@booo not sure if you mean to troll here.
and how did you conclude that? and if you think that this thing is a great product for 129pounds you should should try to justify instead of attacking me.

btw, the LEDs look lame... anyone who tried to watch movies in dark would agree with me how much nuisense led lights are.

did you even try looking up on internet? world has moved on from rpi long time back.
check the hardware specs of vidon.me http://vidon.me/vidon_box_hardware.htm
They are pledging it only for $72.88 and looks many times sexier.
 
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rahuljawale

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Well Sir, I must have mistaken your replies as so. I am glad that you were not. But your personal attack was uncalled for.

I understand that like you there are many here , on TechEnclave, who are tech-savvy and must be thinking that this product is not good value for money. But Sir, no one is forcing you to buy either. It's only a news reported on other websites (e.g. TechRadar) which I am reproducing here. My only motive in doing so was to create awareness for those who might be in market looking for such products.
 

booo

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My only motive in doing so was to create awareness for those who might be in market looking for such products
And my only motive posting on this thread was to create awareness that the product you posted about was not good for the money. get it? Just watch out before calling someone a troll.
 

rahuljawale

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hey, no need to take it personally. I have already said that I might have mistaken. Don't have to be so cross. Had you posted the same information earlier then I would have not thought so. FYI, posting opinions without proper information to back is considered trolling. And if that comment hurt you so bad then I apologize. Let's agree to disagree and drop this fight. :)
 
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Crazy_Eddy

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Small correction : it's not based on the R Pi B+ but on the R Pi compute module (highlighted in red in the pic below). Although technically the latter is just the chipset out of the R Pi B+. Still the 'motherboard' that the module plugs in to, is their own custom PCB. I'm guessing the SATA controller and the 1TB hard drive add to cost.
 

smnrock

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Might be OT, currently running b+ model with xbmc... Mostly navix plug-in. So far not faced any performance issue. In fact I stopped using my smart tv features :)
 
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Carn82

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the LEDs look lame... anyone who tried to watch movies in dark would agree with me how much nuisense led lights are.

did you even try looking up on internet? world has moved on from rpi long time back.
check the hardware specs of vidon.me http://vidon.me/vidon_box_hardware.htm
They are pledging it only for $72.88 and looks many times sexier.
- Slice-LEDS are user-controllable & programmable and will be off/dimmed during playback.
- That Vidon box looks cool, but it seems they are also trying to sell you a subscription so you can use certain services.. hmm..
- Vidon doesnt seem to be open-source / hackable. Personally I prefer to be able to consult the OpenElec/XBMC/RaspPi community instead of relying on 'another Android by an Asian company' :)

I think the Slice is fairly priced. Sure, the LEDs and the casing and the remote and the extra USB-ports and the DAC might 'not be needed', but to me it's a nice piece of gear. But it's a good thing that there is (a lot of) competition; in the end the user will profit the most :)