Scrub questions re: Pyra


S

Szencay

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Hi! I'm a complete Linux/ARM scrub, but as I really like what I've seen so far from the Pyra, I hope someone might have the time to answer me some of my questions:

[1]

Will playback of BD images and/or lossless Matroska files work? Any rough educated guesswork on expected resolution and bitrate limits with H.264 and HEVC? The idea is to use the device as a mobile media player by hooking it up to a monitor or beamer. What about heat issues?

[2]

Is an aluminium case completely off the table?

[3]

Any chance of getting flat keycaps with the Pyra, or are we in for the second coming of the Fisher-Price chic? ;)

[4]

x86 emulation! Is a sixth generation model possible, say a Pentium II on a 300 MHz clock?

Cheers,

szy
 

levi

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I can't really help with 1 or 4, but as for 2, I'm afraid so.  So far, nobody's been able to produce an aluminium case for the Pandora despite best efforts (although afaik people are still trying), so it's fairly safe to assume the initial builds of the Pyra at least will have plastic cases (but better ones than the Pandora had, hopefully).  And as for 3, I understand the keyboard key caps will be flatish at least according to recent news, while the gaming buttons will be convex.
 

rygD

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I don't think 2 is out of the question, just looks unlikely atm.  The Pandora ones were only seriously proposed last year, so somewhat late in the lifetime of the product.  Maybe things will go better the second time around and it will actually happen for the Pyra.

For the keyboard/keymat design check out EvilDragon's twitter.  There are posts and threads about it here, but it might be tough to find due to the keyboard layout discussions.

Like Levi, I will leave 1 and 4 to people with more knowledge on these subjects.
 

TrashyMG

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WizardStan

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Lossless matroska audio files are a given (works on pandora)
I'm assuming that "audio" is a stray thought, from context it's pretty clear Szencay is talking about video.Anywho, it depends on the resolution and codec. mkv is just a container format, it can contain a divx stream which will have no problems at all with HD, or it might be an h264 which the Pandora can only handle up to 480p. The Pyra should be able to handle at least 720p h264 videos with CPU power alone. I'm pretty sure someone with a dev board demoed some video playback but I can't remember the outcome of that.
 

TrashyMG

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I'm pretty sure someone with a dev board demoed some video playback but I can't remember the outcome of that.
It was me, I haven't tried a raw BD image.  But I know pretty much all 720p H264 videos I've tried seem to play fullspeed and most 1080p H264 videos can as well run on CPU power alone and that was entirely done without the Hardware decoding features of the SoC. 
 

Grench

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That just gave me an idea for a little Pyra program... Getting the thought written down so someone else can do it if I never get 'around to it'. It may already exist. Call it, "Mount and Play"?

Pyra is going to have access to pretty massive data volumes. 256GB SD cards are already sub-$100.

CDs and DVDs can be recorded as ISO files. Can BluRay?

The idea is to have a folder of DVD ISO folders much like people will have a /Music/Artist/Album/songname.mp3 folder. This application would read that /VideoISO/Genre/discname.iso to generate a list of titles. Then if a title is selected to play, it would mount the ISO file as a virtual DVD/CD/BluRay then call to VLC to play it back (including menus). It would then automatically unmount the ISO file when closed out.

Now 6 of you are going to tell me it's already been done - so what's the name of it?
 
S

Szencay

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Thanks for all the replies, folkes.

@Grench; @FaeMinx:

Yeah, that's the gist of it. Moving .iso-files of Blu-ray discs to high-capacity mobile storage and playing them without the necessity of converting it into something lesser first. That, of course, entails something like ImDisk, a useable media player such as VLC, and the power to play BDs in the first place. An interim test would be to hook up a BD player to the Pyra, and see how well it performs.
 

RubisDrake

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I can also try to help answer as best as I can.

Will playback of BD images and/or lossless Matroska files work? Any rough educated guesswork on expected resolution and bitrate limits with H.264 and HEVC? The idea is to use the device as a mobile media player by hooking it up to a monitor or beamer. What about heat issues?
Blu-Ray discs are possible to play on GNU/Linux systems. But you would need a compatible USB Blu-Ray player, and you would plug it in to the USB port of the Pyra. Support for DRM Blu-Ray on Linux seems limited, but I'm not sure. Maybe the Arch Wiki article link below will help. Lots of these instructions could be done on Debian, which is what the Pyra is using (except for AUR/pacman, you would try to apt-get install from Debian's repositories, or in the future, maybe check Pyra's DBP repo.)

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Blu-ray

As for MKV (Matrosta) video formats, depends on the codecs it's using. Many of the codecs that are compatible with the Matroska video container format will work just fine without needing any extra software, most of the time. You can just use mpv-player, mplayer or VLC to view them normally.

I also don't know about hooking up the device, but I think the Pyra will have HDMI-out support, not sure about bitrate limitations.

Is an aluminium case completely off the table?
I couldn't answer this. It's up to EvilDragon. Maybe someone will make one someday.

Any chance of getting flat keycaps with the Pyra, or are we in for the second coming of the Fisher-Price chic? ;)
Wait, what? What keys do you want exactly? It's a mobile keyboard. Do you just want different key switches instead?
I honestly wouldn't mind chiclet keys over flat, personally. I hate flat keys.

x86 emulation! Is a sixth generation model possible, say a Pentium II on a 300 MHz clock?
x86 emulation is possible! You can use programs like QEMU and DosBox. You can even run a linux32 chroot using qemu-static-i386 libraries, and run 32-bit Wine. Although, I can't say that Wine is the emulator part (or they'll get me!)
 

levi

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Um, I think the Pyra keymat does have flat keys. The game buttons are meant to be slightly curved I think, but the keyboard keys flat with a surround. I think chiclet also means flat with a surround, so you could consider them to be chiclet keys it you wanted. Or are chiclet keys actually slightly concave or something?
 

RubisDrake

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@levi:

Yea, I guess it's hard to say what they really are.. They could be both chiclet and flat, or one or the either. I don't personally use the term flat keys or flat key-caps to define a Chiclet keyboard.

But yes, Chiclet is mutually exclusive from keycap style. It could be either flatter or more concave.

Found an interesting page again that I read awhile ago when I was browsing a forum for mechanical keyboards.
It shows some standard keyboard keycap layouts: http://keycapsdirect.com/key-caps.php
 
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