During the Christmas holiday I got a brain wave that it would be nice if I could record television in Japan and watch it at home. In the past I had a recording system based on freevo and that worked quite nice. I should be able to have something similar when it was possible to install a small ARM based linux system back in Japan.
The figure below gives an idea about what I want to make:
Picture will follow!!
I am already the owner of a Beagleboard XM, a Pandaboard and a Raspberry Pi. All three were nice to play with, but not so suited for this new project. So I started to look for a board that would be more suited for this project.
Board comparisonI am looking for the following:
- A separate network, usb and preferably Sata interface to prevent bottlenecks during recording and streaming/copying the contents.
The Beagleboard, Pandaboard and Raspberry Pi do not score well on this point; the network and USB are connected over the same bus interface to the soc. And this proved (with old kernels) to be a clear bottleneck. Also no sata interface available.
- A bit horsepower to encode the recordings in a smaller format.
This disqualifies the Beagleboard and the Raspberry Pi. Both have some support from their DSP or graphical coprocessor, but that is not enough to re-encode movies from 1080p to something smaller.
- A convenient form factor so that I can build it in a need box.
This means that the board should be small and the connectors should be placed in a smart way. The Pandaboard has for instance the disadvantage of a large combined connector for ethernet and USB, which makes this board very high
Someone has already spend some time on a nice overview of different development/hobby boards. This overview you can find; here. The table below summarises the comparison on the for my project important points:
|Board name:||Pandaboard||Cubieboard2||Odroid-U3||Wandboard Quad|
|Processor:||TI OMAP4430||Allwinner A20||Samsung Exynos4412||Freescale i.MX6 quad|
|USB Host:||2 + 2||2||3||1|
|110 Euro||118,94 Euro|
|Advantage:||Already available (no additional cost)||Relative cheap and with Sata. Sold by Conrad||Very fast||Fast and Sata|
|Disadvantage:||Ethernet and USB over the same channel proved already to be a bottleneck in the past.
Memory subsystem not that good.
SD card and USB are slow.
Relative expensive compared with the others.
|Except for the interfacing not really an improvement: Cortex-A7 is less powerful than Cortex-A9 and the Pandaboard was already slowish||Must come from Korea which adds time and costs (shipping + tax)||(Passive) USB hub needed
A bit unknown... how will the support be?
The table above shows clearly that of the four boards the ODROID-U3 is the most powerful one. Therefore it would be the most suited to decode /encode the video data in a smaller format. However getting this board in time from Korea can be a problem. The Wandboard is a good runner up in terms of price and performance. I have ordered both and will see if I get the Odriod board in time or not.