So a few months back I was really excited to see some Desktop PC’s come out using the BayTrail. In paticular I saw the Zotac Pico and the Minix z64 as pretty good starts to using ultra low power x86 SOC’s desktop computers. When the Pico became available I jumped on the chance to get one. What I learned is this thing is full of flaws.
Runs extremely hot. Especially on the silver side band
Supposed to have a SDP of 2.2w but under no circumstance does it get below 3.8w
Running XBMC it uses 8watts of power??? That’s 3 watts more than the LIVA.
Even after turning off the Zotac case lighting, you still are in the high 6 watts.
Ethernet adapter is really a USB to ethernet adapter (HUH????)
Ethernet adapter does not work with linux, at least i couldnt find any drivers for the ethernet adapter
No USB 3.0, not a biggie but when your loading the OS, it makes things a lot quicker.
To my dismay, I sent this back for a refund. The Minix z64 is still in limbo and while the LIVA is only a dual-core cpu, it still handles all my MythTV requirements with little problem. I can play a H.264 DTS-MA video at 10mbit rate without any hiccups. Hopefully when the Braswell platform comes out they will be able to address all the flaws and add in simple things like an ethernet port and stop trying to gimmick the public with “Scenario Design Power”.
My last problem is related to the way DHCP is handled with ubuntu. Now I could have disabled DHCP and just set everything static but I reload my frontends on a regular basis so I didn’t want to do that every time I setup a frontend. Instead I have created a script to start mythtv after a 10 second delay.
Create script on the root of the filesystem named mythdelayed.sh
Use the following Content
#start mythtv in a delayed state because of slow ubuntu dhcp networking
Change the default mythtv startup entry
Modify the entry to run the mythdelayed.sh script.
Restart and it should auto launch after 10 seconds and you should be up and running. This concludes my LIVA setup postings. The next step is to configure Mythtv settings which I will leave up to you……
So when i first got the LIVA i was not impressed with it at all. It did not work as I expected it to and felt I got ripped off. Needless to say after figuring out a few tweaks those problems are now gone. Today i will show you the first one that is the most painful.
To give you some background, I have loaded the Intel Graphics driver fine according to Intel’s support page. the problem I ran into is that every time I turned my TV off the HDMI connection would drop and when I turned the TV back on it would show in the logs as reconnected but the TV would still show no input. After trying several different TV’s and Computer monitors I gave up for a few months. One nite i decided to look again and here is what i came up with for a solution.
cd to the top of the filesystem ( / )
Create a new monitor-hdmi.sh script
sudo vi monitor-hdmi.sh
Paste in the follow text. (don’t add the numbers 1-9)
#cont loop to see connected hdmi and reset display
if (xrandr | grep “HDMI1 connected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)” > /dev/null)
xrandr –output HDMI1 –mode 1920×1080 -r 60.0
Save the file and then “chmod +X monitor-hdmi.sh”
additionally you need to set permissions with “chmod 777 monitor-hdmi.sh”
If the monitor is not a 1080p monitor the resolution will change in step 2.2. for samsung 720p monitors its 1360×768
Add the script to Session startup/App Autostart so that it starts at auto login.
Now reboot and when you turn off your tv and turn it back on it should reconnect and show the HDMI output.
#cont loop to see connected hdmi and reset display
if (xrandr | grep "HDMI1 connected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)" > /dev/null)
xrandr --output HDMI1 --mode 1920x1080 -r 60.0
Run the DEB file and wait for it to finish installing.
After it has been installed, now you can actually download the drivers and have them configured. Find the Intel Graphics Installer in the menu like the screenshot below.
Run the installer and wait, this process takes some time and will likely prompt you for a reboot at the end and it won’t reboot so you will have to manually reboot.
I don’t use the wireless card that comes with the PC but if you want to us it, you have to do some funky stuff to make it work as it doesn’t work out of the box with mytbuntu (or any ubuntu version from what i hear). You can find more info about that here (steps 1-6).
This concludes Part 2, you should now have a fully functional ubuntu pc. Next part i will give you some stuff to tweak a few quirks with Intel and DHCP networking.
I have had this PC since it came out in July and thought i should do a writeup to share my thoughts and how to set it up. ECS has managed to create a nice x86 PC where others have failed with a nice CPU, Video, and Price features. I run Mythbuntu on all 3 of my LIVA’s. I have tried Windows 8.1 on one of them and it does pretty well even though the LIVA only features 32GB hard drive and 2GB ram for the version I have.
All versions of the LIVA are the same except for the hard drive storage which comes in 32GB and 64GB configurations. Feature wise you will find all the latest and greatest connectors on this mini pc. The USB 3.0 connector is a welcome upgrade that you wont find on any of the BayTrail Tablet Chip offerings such as the Zotac Pico. While I do like the fact it has a Gbit ethernet adapter on it, for the purpose of a MythTV frontend its not really needed. In the Next few posts I will show you how to install Mythbuntu and get it ready to watch movies and television.