I’ve been doing a lot of testing with the new Pivos Xios, which is a little box that runs Android that can hook up to your TV. One of the great features of this device is that you can install a full-blown version of XBMC for Linux on it.
I’ve run into several caveats with the Xios and eventually fixed them. While researching, I found a lot of mixed reviews about this device, but I’ve pretty much resolved all of the issues that these people were complaining about (system being slow, video stuttering, connecting to NAS). So I’ll be putting up a “how to install XBMC on Xios the right way” article shortly. Some of the issues also dealt with getting Linux boxes to connect with Synology NASes, which I’ll also put up an article on.
Since I was knee-deep in the XBMC-Linux world, I decided to do something with the Zotac Ion motherboard that I have. The latest version of XBMC for Linux supports Ion and nVidia chipsets natively, and an ION board runs way smoother than any other appliance. Again, there were more caveats that I’ll be writing articles about. Part of the issues is getting the IR sensor and VFD on my HTPC’s case working properly, and dealing with other settings to make the box as appliance-like as possible. I’ve been testing with different plugins and have finally figured out which ones are worth keeping and which ones make the system unstable. Also, I really love the “Aeon Nox” skin, which has more features and in my opinion looks a lot better than the default “Confluence” skin.
On my Ion board, I used a Glacialtech HTPC case with 40GB SSD, and the thing boots up in about 20 seconds and you really wouldn’t know it wasn’t an appliance… no “Windows” boot screen, no “hourglasses”, no unnecessary drivers or layers. In the rare case it does crash (due to an unruly plugin) it reloads rather than crashing to a desktop. It just works.
Stay tuned, true-believers!