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Android vs Linux on ARM device

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I currently have a HTPC with a e-350 hooked into my TV, it plays streaming flash content very well and I always get friends and family that want a similar setup. I want the cheapest Flash streaming device I can attach to a TV. I see all these nice android sticks and I also see things like ODroid.

I've looked all over and I can't seem to get a definitive answer from anywhere on my issue below.

I've used Android back as far as 2.1 and up to 4.2 and I have never been able to get a seamless experience when streaming Flash Videos from Movie/show sites online. Sometimes the video plays, sometimes it doesn't. I might have to reset the video or sometimes it takes 10 seconds from black till the video shows. Sometimes when I pause the video and try to play it again after taking out of full screen it will have issues. All in all...it's a pain.

Now to the questions and why I am here:
Is it Android causing the problem?
Is it Flash for Android causing the problem?
Is it the Arm processor causing the problem? I doubt this because I have used everything from a single core A-8 to a quad core Tegra 3 with similar results.
ODroid has a Linux distro. Does Linux have the same problems under an ARM processor?

Just to clarify, my e-350 has Win7 and has zero issues with playing these same Video flash streaming sites.
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post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowclock View Post

I currently have a HTPC with a e-350 hooked into my TV, it plays streaming flash content very well and I always get friends and family that want a similar setup. I want the cheapest Flash streaming device I can attach to a TV. I see all these nice android sticks and I also see things like ODroid.

I've looked all over and I can't seem to get a definitive answer from anywhere on my issue below.

I've used Android back as far as 2.1 and up to 4.2 and I have never been able to get a seamless experience when streaming Flash Videos from Movie/show sites online. Sometimes the video plays, sometimes it doesn't. I might have to reset the video or sometimes it takes 10 seconds from black till the video shows. Sometimes when I pause the video and try to play it again after taking out of full screen it will have issues. All in all...it's a pain.

Now to the questions and why I am here:
Is it Android causing the problem?
Is it Flash for Android causing the problem?
Is it the Arm processor causing the problem? I doubt this because I have used everything from a single core A-8 to a quad core Tegra 3 with similar results.
ODroid has a Linux distro. Does Linux have the same problems under an ARM processor?

Just to clarify, my e-350 has Win7 and has zero issues with playing these same Video flash streaming sites.

A few things:
Android is just a Java stack running on top of a pure Linux environment. That said, depending on the Kernel version and other factors you'll see better performance on a native Linux distro.
Another key difference:
Adobe Flash was only available for Android (it is no longer) and the only ARM binaries of flash for Linux were specially built with Android in mind. I believe it had dynamic NEON/GLES support. If you move to a real Linux install you will lose all Adobe flash and be left with only GNASH as your option for viewing flash based content. Furthermore quantity of ram and what sort of graphical acceleration is available.
    
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post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaero252 View Post

A few things:
Android is just a Java stack running on top of a pure Linux environment. That said, depending on the Kernel version and other factors you'll see better performance on a native Linux distro.
Another key difference:
Adobe Flash was only available for Android (it is no longer) and the only ARM binaries of flash for Linux were specially built with Android in mind. I believe it had dynamic NEON/GLES support. If you move to a real Linux install you will lose all Adobe flash and be left with only GNASH as your option for viewing flash based content. Furthermore quantity of ram and what sort of graphical acceleration is available.

Lies, well most of it. Flash for linux was still developed as long as you stuck with the pepper api or whatever it is. Chrome uses it, not sure about Opera (FF doesn't), however Chrome will always get the latest versions of flash. At least, until something else gets said. If you want a dirt cheap device. either go with an APU or a PI device (or "knockoff", some of them are beefy). APU might get you quite a bet more performance just a little extra spending.
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post #4 of 10
Isn't the pepper Ali x86 only? I was lead to believe that flash for arm is completely discontinued.

@OP, for what it's worth, x86 linux + xbmc trounces win7 media center.
post #5 of 10
adobe discontinued both android and Linux support and there were never any arm flash builds outside of android. hence my suggestion of gnash which can be built for arm targets... the pepper api is operating system and architecture agnostic, and pepper flash is provided solely for chrome.
    
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post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaero252 View Post

adobe discontinued both android and Linux support and there were never any arm flash builds outside of android. hence my suggestion of gnash which can be built for arm targets... the pepper api is operating system and architecture agnostic, and pepper flash is provided solely for chrome.

Again, they dropped classical support from Linux. If Mozilla/Opera decided to support pepper you would see it in those browsers once again (assumed). I don't know why they won't, don't really care. We have flash and continual updates through the Chrome browser. Yes, it's limited support but it's still support and not discontinued. Gnash can't really play the latest videos, never has from what I remember. I think it's still stuck to SWF 7 (flash 7). I can probably easily assume it won't work on Youtube, Hulu, and some other sites.

Personally gnash is awful, most of the opensource flash players tend to be due to many sites being up to date on security features. It's kind of pointless to play old flash.

[edit] So I guess youtube works, but it eats resources much worse than the adobe verison. if you go arm it's either that or use android for it's flash packages. You could check to see if google chrome has been ported to arm, dunno. If you want flash, might be better to use other options than arm. From what I gather, gnash works if you have a decent system or on low quality animations.

http://blog.christosoft.de/2012/08/flash-on-the-raspberry-pi/

i dunno, i guess if the sites stick to flash version 8/9 it should work well but I doubt you get much more than that.
Edited by mushroomboy - 2/3/13 at 12:21am
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post #7 of 10
Mushroomboy: Why are you even arguing? You're just repeated Xaero's points and presented them as if it were a counterargument.


Anyway, Youtube supports HTML4 video tags, so there's no reason to use Flash there. The bigger issue is with on-demand services like iPlayer - or to be more precise, with such services in media centres like XBMC (which currently uses Firefox for embedded web content)
Edited by Plan9 - 2/3/13 at 3:08am
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mushroomboy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaero252 View Post

adobe discontinued both android and Linux support and there were never any arm flash builds outside of android. hence my suggestion of gnash which can be built for arm targets... the pepper api is operating system and architecture agnostic, and pepper flash is provided solely for chrome.

Again, they dropped classical support from Linux. If Mozilla/Opera decided to support pepper you would see it in those browsers once again (assumed). I don't know why they won't, don't really care. We have flash and continual updates through the Chrome browser. Yes, it's limited support but it's still support and not discontinued. Gnash can't really play the latest videos, never has from what I remember. I think it's still stuck to SWF 7 (flash 7). I can probably easily assume it won't work on Youtube, Hulu, and some other sites.

Personally gnash is awful, most of the opensource flash players tend to be due to many sites being up to date on security features. It's kind of pointless to play old flash.

[edit] So I guess youtube works, but it eats resources much worse than the adobe verison. if you go arm it's either that or use android for it's flash packages. You could check to see if google chrome has been ported to arm, dunno. If you want flash, might be better to use other options than arm. From what I gather, gnash works if you have a decent system or on low quality animations.

http://blog.christosoft.de/2012/08/flash-on-the-raspberry-pi/

i dunno, i guess if the sites stick to flash version 8/9 it should work well but I doubt you get much more than that.


gnash, it's probably your best bet, although in my expeariance it can't play the majority of flash and is dead slow when it can. However, youtube plays and beyond that most other video worth watching is downloadable. What exactly are you trying to play though flash?

Android flash works pretty well. I would first try a fresh restore of android.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowclock View Post

I currently have a HTPC with a e-350 hooked into my TV, it plays streaming flash content very well and I always get friends and family that want a similar setup. I want the cheapest Flash streaming device I can attach to a TV. I see all these nice android sticks and I also see things like ODroid.

I've looked all over and I can't seem to get a definitive answer from anywhere on my issue below.

I've used Android back as far as 2.1 and up to 4.2 and I have never been able to get a seamless experience when streaming Flash Videos from Movie/show sites online. Sometimes the video plays, sometimes it doesn't. I might have to reset the video or sometimes it takes 10 seconds from black till the video shows. Sometimes when I pause the video and try to play it again after taking out of full screen it will have issues. All in all...it's a pain.

Now to the questions and why I am here:
Is it Android causing the problem?
Is it Flash for Android causing the problem?
Is it the Arm processor causing the problem? I doubt this because I have used everything from a single core A-8 to a quad core Tegra 3 with similar results.
ODroid has a Linux distro. Does Linux have the same problems under an ARM processor?

Just to clarify, my e-350 has Win7 and has zero issues with playing these same Video flash streaming sites.


Most of your Android specific issues sound connection related. I.E. with a hard wired connection or rock solid WiFi or 3g service you wouldn't be having problems streaming. You also mentioned wanting a cheap flash capable htpc device, if you need nothing more than YouTube then h.264 is where it's at now, and that works well on all platforms, the raspberry pi even has hardware decoding support for h.264 playback, and it makes a great candidate for an htpc. they've been working on an android build for it too if that's your fancy, and XBMC is available for it and there are YouTube plugins for that.


On a different note I'd like to apologize for de-railing this thread with the tangents on flash support as of late. That wasn't your question and it was only helpful as supporting information for an operating system decision.
    
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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your insight and help.

Just to clarify, I am not interested in Youtube or downloaded content as that isn't really an issue. Websites that display streaming flash for TV shows and movies are the type of content I am interested in for the budget HTPC I want. (ex: cokeandpopcorn/1channel)

Whatever device/system can play that content without issue is the device I want to get. That being said, there are a gazillion different devices out there and I was trying to narrow them down by trying to see if it was an android issue or ARM issue. If it was an android issue then I'd have a choice of Linux device with either an ARM (cheaper) chip or x86. If it was an ARM issue then I could go with something similar to a Chromebook with x86 without issue.

My download speeds during all of my testings have never been a problem (3MB min). That should quell the concern that internet speeds might have been the issue.

If you have any devices that you currently use for this type of content and have no issue I would love to hear about them. thumb.gif
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