$80 PC-on-a-stick runs Linux-based XBMC media center

Posted by Trent Nouveau

We've covered Android-powered PCs-on-a-stick extensively here on TG Daily. But what about a PC-on-a-stick specifically designed to run the Linux version of XBMC?

Well, a crowd-funding project at Indiegogo wants to make it so and is building on the idea of various Linux-based operating systems designed to run XBMC on the wildly popular Raspberry Pi.

As Liliputing's Brad Linder explains, the basic concept is to create a TV dongle with the same system-on-a-chip as the Raspberry Pi.

"The idea makes sense, since it can piggyback on the work of the Raspberry Pi community," says Linder. "Any software designed to run on a Raspberry Pi computer should also be able to run on one of these TV sticks — and that includes XBMC."

Nevertheless, Linder cautions that at $80 or higher (think about shipping costs, for example) the Linux XBMC dongle will end up costing users nearly twice as much as a Pi, while offering fewer dev-friendly options such as GPIO pins.

Plus, users will have to insert a microSD card for storage, although we're assuming this rather obvious flaw will likely be corrected in future iterations of the device if it ever makes it to market.

Current key hardware specs include a 700 MHz Broadcom BCM2835 processor with Broadcom graphics, MPEG-2 and VC-1 licenses, 512MB of RAM, one USB 2.0 port, one HDMI port, a microSD card slot and WiFi.

On the software side, the dongle is capable of running a number of operating systems, including the Raspbian,Raspbmc and OpenElec. It ships with a 4GB microSD card with a pre-installed operating system featuring XBMC software.

Although a remote control isn't included, the XBMC app can be loaded on a smartphone or tablet for easy remote navigation. Interested? Additional information is available on the Indiegogo page.