(via Raspberry Pi)


Very significant update for Raspberry Pi users! As I am sure most of you were aware, until now, Raspberry Pi has not supported M-PEG2 or VC-1 standard video, and although the hardware has always been capable of H.264 encoding and decoding, this feature had not been enabled. But the day has come and now all of these features will be available at little or no cost to the developer.



To keep RPi costs down, the foundation had to sacrifice obtaining an M-PEG2 or VC-1 license, which saved about 10% off the cost of each board. Since then, it has become obvious that many users wanted these so the foundation has found a way to make individual licenses available for those who will actually use them.



Now, one can purchase a MPEG-2 license for $3.16 and a VC-1 license for $1.58, thanks to no U.S. sales tax, from the RPi online store.



The MPEG-2 decode license, is tied to your RPi’s unique serial number and will allow you to play MPEG-2 video from XMBC and omxplayer.



They key for each license will be delivered via email with 72 hours of purchase.



Another piece of exciting news for video watchers is the enabling of the H.264 encode/decode capabilities on OpenMAX components. This will happen as default with the latest firmware update. It was misunderstood by the RPi foundation that H.264 encoding costs were separate from building costs, but they were not, thus H.264 encode and decode enabling is free of charge.



It is expected that someone will eventually develop an H.264 encoder application that will make RPi a standalone transcoder.



To enjoy your newly acquired video capabilities, RPi also announced that new versions of Raspmbc, XBian and OpenELEC operating systems now include CEC support. This means that you can control TVs and sound systems connected to RPi with a single IR remote. Enjoy!