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I want to make a DIY home-theater system with the Raspberry Zero. My question is will the processor and RAM be enough to play a movie with no problems.

(I am planning to use an HDMI cable and an additional USB stick with the movie)

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    yes, as long as the movie is encoded with a codec the pi can handle – Jaromanda X Jul 9 '16 at 11:27
  • I would actually recommend a Pi 2 or 3, as my b+ struggled to handle files like MKVs. In terms of an OS I would go with Kodi, its got lots of great features, like controlling the Pi with an app on your phone, which I find super useful. – Darth Vader Jul 9 '16 at 12:05
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    @DarthVader Kodi is not an operating system, it is a cross-platform application. – goldilocks Jul 9 '16 at 12:40
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All Raspberry Pis can play 1080p@30fps provided

  • the video is encoded with a codec the Pi can accelerate (i.e. h.264) - note that filename extension doesn't always indicate the used codec correctly !
  • the video player you use can use hardware acceleration (only Kodi/omxplayer till date)

You might need to buy a MPEG-2 license since the Zero is too weak to software decode such videos. Interestingly software decoding with unlicensed software is legal in France , for example.

  • What is it about MPEG-2 license? Where can I buy one? (Not that I need it, I'm just surprised Pi-zero needs a license to play a format I'd expect to be widely supported) – Dmitry Grigoryev Sep 28 '16 at 15:32
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    All Raspberries are extemely price sensitive products. If you buy a 400$ PC somebody will have paid the license indirectly or directly. The MPEG-LA has never sued consumers AFAIK. If you are a business like Raspberry Pi Trading you should expect to pay for HARDWARE decoders at least. raspberrypi.com/mpeg-2-license-key – flakeshake Sep 30 '16 at 7:27
  • Cool, thanks for the link. Now I'm tempted to buy one just to see what I'll get exactly :) – Dmitry Grigoryev Sep 30 '16 at 7:40
  • Software MPEG-2 decoders are fast enough on the Pi2 and the Pi3. How much more can you overclock a Pi Zero ? I assume no responsibility for broken Pis ;) – flakeshake Sep 30 '16 at 7:59
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    An activation code which has to be put into config.txt and is non-transferable. If you have multiple Pis and multiple licenses you can seperate the codes with commas and use the same config.txt on all machines. – flakeshake Sep 30 '16 at 8:17

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