On my standard Raspberry Debian image (Linux raspberry 3.6.11+ #538 PREEMPT Fri Aug 30 20:42:08 BST 2013 armv6l GNU/Linux) following the description at http://michael.gorven.za.net/raspberrypi/xbmc I installed XBMC using apt resource

deb http://archive.mene.za.net/raspbian wheezy contrib

Since I want to use my VDR backend running on another Debian server (Linux casimir.chaos 3.2.0-3-686-pae #1 SMP Mon Jul 23 03:50:34 UTC 2012 i686 GNU/Linux ) in my home network I also compiled and installed the XVDR addon (https://github.com/pipelka/xbmc-addon-xvdr) for the client (Raspian) side and the VDR plugin counterpart for the server side (https://github.com/pipelka/vdr-plugin-xvdr). Since the XMBC is version 12.2 (Frodo) I made sure that I used the corresponding branch of the client addon (the server side seems to be independent of XBMC versions 12./13.).

Everything works fine:

  • browsing channels,
  • browsing recordings,
  • browsing the TV schedule (which is provided by the XVDR interface),
  • the sound.

However, instead of the video picture I only see the default spectrum analysis. Also, the active recording being played is marked with a loudspeaker as though it were audio only. Somehow, the setup doesn't recognize the video content coming from the VDR server.

Since there are some posts concerning the video acceleration I also would like to point out that the following functions also work:

  • omxplayer can show videos using the the builtin video acceleration at a very good quality.
  • Other video add-ons (providing direct access to video streaming such as ARTE-TV) work, too. Both audio and video.
  • XINE on another Debian client can show the video content from the same VDR server, although this client is not using the general XVDR interface but specialized client and server plugins for XINE.

Last but not least:

  • To exclude the possibility of a permissions issue I tested everything with XMBC running as pi and as root. There does not seem to be a difference.
  • My issue is not related to HD video quality as in Raspbian wheezy with XBMC plays only audio for 1080p videos. The videos on the server side are all non-HD.

What configuration do I have to fiddle with to make the XMBC work on Raspberry?

1 Answer 1


You just have to install the (paid) mpeg2 codec on the Raspberry.


  • It was as easy as that! I thought that the hardware acceleration included the codecs. So, it actually worked for some codecs but not for MP2. With a 3 Euro investment I can now watch TV. Thanks a lot! Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 11:32

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