You can build your own media center PC by installing XBMC software on a $35 Raspberry Pi mini-computer. But while the process is pretty simple for advanced users, it can be a bit daunting for folks who are new to Linux. Plus you end up with a media center that looks a bit like a circuit board.

Enter Slice. This media center uses a Raspberry Pi Compute Module and comes with XBMC pre-installed as well as a custom Slice user interface which is designed to make the software even more user-friendly.

The developers of the Slice project are running a Kickstarter campaign to fund production of the device and plan to begin shipping units to backers in November and December.

Slice

The Slice features 4GB of eMMC flash storage for the operating system and a 1TB 2.5 inch SATA hard drive for storing your photos, music, and videos. It has an aluminum case with 25 programmable RGB LED lights.

There are 2 USB 2.0 ports, HDMI output with 5.1 channel audio support, a 3.5mm audio jack, 10/100 Ethernet, a micro USB port, and IR sensor. The whole thing is powered by a Raspberry Pi module with a BCM2835 ARM11 processor and 512MB of RAM.

An early bird pledge of £109 (about $183) gets you a preview device with a case and a wireless remote control. But there’s no hard drive: you’ll have to install your own.

An early pledge of £159 ($267) or more gets you an early bird system with a 1TB hard drive. After the first 100 units are ordered the price goes up to £179 ($300).

While you could certainly build your own Raspberry Pi-based media center for a lot less money, there’s something to be said for having someone else do the work of designing a case, optimizing the software, and adding a wireless remote control for you.

Two of the members of the development team are also engineers from the Raspberry Pi team, so this project is about as close as we’re likely to see to an official Raspberry Pi media center solution any time soon.

Or you could just buy a Roku for $50… but it won’t offer the versatility you get with a Raspberry Pi-based system with XBMC software. If you really wanted to you could probably scrap XBMC altogether and just turn the Slice into a low-power desktop computer or repurpose it for other applications.

via Raspberry Pi 

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9 replies on “Slice is a simple media center based on XBMC, Raspberry Pi (crowdfunding)”

  1. Owwch! That price hurts. Now if the software is pretty open, runs on the RPi B/B+ and they sell the remote separately for a fair price, I would give it a go. But there would be no SATA, just USB2.0 (and even that is a bit hobbled on the RPi). Oh and no LEDs (pffft).

  2. if it wasnt so expnsive i’d have one, its pretty, and the usefulness of a remote control cannot be overstated, i love my chromecast, but if it had an actual control i’d be a lot happier

  3. 180 USD for a dogslow XBMC machine? They must be kidding…

    1. Agreed better off with a NUC class or some other Mini PC config and I say that as a XBMC Pi User but I’d not spend over £100 on one.

    2. agreed..i have an AMD A4-5000 PC that I bought for $150 that I use as an XBMC machine. Granted, it’s a much bigger box, and there’s no remote that came with it, but it’s way faster than this Pi, runs windows 8.1, so I could do more stuff with it, and has 4GB RAM with 500GB hard drive, and an integrated video card that actually can be used to play some games..

      $180 is definitely too much…$75 would be a much more reasonable price for it

  4. awesome! this device support to installed lihattv plugins? i realy want to watch live online tv over lihattv.com

  5. it really seems a trend these days that many crowdfunding campaigns are for stuff the chinese have been making for a while, now that just some startup picks it up, design a nifty case, some software, and apply a healthy 50%-100% price markup… perhaps the same could be said for even the OUYA

    1. Good observation.
      Ouya isn’t really all that different from any other stick other than a custom android build and Tegra III.
      Heck I’m getting ready to flash my Ouyas with cyanogen mod versions of stock android just so they will be somewhat useful.
      THIS screams weak right out of the box.
      WEAK!

    2. Agree that this one is a tough sell. You could make the same argument about most premium electronics, though (e.g. Samsung, Apple products) – you are paying for polish and refinement.

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