Debian working on OUYA, first step for OpenElec?

Hey there! There has been some development for the OUYA i want to tell you about.
For all of you, who want to use your OUYA as a media center there has been some significant development. Tuomas Kulve published his efforts to get native Linux – in his case the popular Debian distribution – running on his OUYA. Meanwhile all of the relevant subsystems are done, so video, audio and wifi are working well by now. You can read more about Tuomas Kulves efforts here.

Running XBMC in Linux would increase the performance, since it would bypass the Android-layer. Even more: the issues with not working DTS-HD-audio with the Android-version of XBMC could be solved with a native XBMC build with the OUYA.

Although you can hypothetically run XBMC on Debian, or other popular Linux distributions, you would again have to maintain a whole operating system just for watching movies.  The OpenELEC-project aims at providing a streamlined distribution for booting into XBMC. It’s booting even from USB-devices, is small, light and fast.

There is even a first official build for the ARM-powered Raspberry Pi. Even though the Raspberry Pi has much weaker processor and less main memory the playback-functionality works very well. So imagine the performance of OpenELEC on a device such as the OUYA!


The obstacle here is clearly the lack of support for such an effort from the OUYA Inc.-team. Unlike the makers of the Raspberry Pi, whose  target was to build a inexpensive piece of hardware, OUYA Inc. lives from the revenues made in the OUYA app store. It is in the interest of OUYA Inc. to provide the Android versions of XBMC or PLEX, but they won’t contribute to lock them self out from their hardware.

Nevertheless it is not impossible to get a running build of OpenELEC for the OUYA. Considering the efforts already made and the fact, that NVIDIA is publishing more and more informations and code for the T33-SOC it is more then likely, that such an effort can be made. Now we just need some passionate developers ready to take up this job 🙂

Maybe the team of OpenELEC will discover the OUYA as an appropriate platform for their fantastic media-center solution and develop another ARM-build for our device. We will keep you informed on any developments on this issue, so stay tuned!


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