XBMC Gotham Launcher on OUYA


In case you have not heard, I got an OUYA to power my main-room’s media center. So far it has been nothing but a good experience, thought not without its hitches. One issue that crept in during the last “XBMC on OUYA” update, version 12.3.3, was the exclusion of DTS and AC3 decoding on the device. AC3 and DTS are both audio codecs that are very popular and occupy a large number of videos on the internet and “over the air”. Unfortunately by removing the ability to decode these streams it rendered my system able to play video but not audio. Another thing that has room for improvement is the need for a unified interface from which one can launch media and games/apps. To help with these issues I have a customized version of the XBMC Gotham nightlies, the XBMC Gotham Launcher., that solves both the AC3 and DTS codec issues, shows up in the PLAY menu and can be set as the default launcher.

Unfortunately the DTS and AC3 require a license, so had to be removed from XBMC. That said, we are working to ensure that pass-through of such codecs performs flawlessly and the decoding can happen on the users receiver etc. No plans right now to sell any codecs / decoders in the store, though it’s something we’re aware we could do. –Piers

Since OUYA is not going to be issuing licensing for the codecs, through the store or otherwise, the only thing one can do is run a different version of the application. The 12.3.2 build of the “XBMC on OUYA” application is the last known working version, when it comes to DTS and AC3, but using an old build is hardly ideal as any future updates to the application will not be received since DTS and AC3 are not coming to the OUYA device any time soon.

As I mentioned, a more well rounded solution is coming in the form of XBMC version 13’s latest builds, known as Gotham. Not only is XBMC Gotham made for android, it also has a number of android specific features.

MediaCodec – This allows for better for hardware decoding on a broader base of android devices than libstagefright, which is used in the 12.3 series. Android App Favourites – The ability to set android applications as favourites in XBMC is great and lends it self nicely to making XBMC a main interface for android devices. Till the project comes out of alpha I have decided to keep a copy of both the original 12.3.2 application and a recent nightly compiled with the options to show in the PLAY menu and the ability to be used as a replacement launcher, called the XBMC Gotham Launcher.

The XBMC Gotham Launcher. will be updated whenever a new daily comes out, assuming I have time to modify it and link to it.

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