[Survey] Suggestions to optimise Manjaro Arm for TV Boxes.

Suggestions to optimise Manjaro Arm for TV Boxes.

I am been testing some Amlogic (AML) Soc which are very prominent in TV Boxes and we have Manjaro Arm running smoothly on AML Soc, hence I thought why not get Manjaro Arm to run on consumer Tv Boxes and utilise Manjaro's user friendly DE's with either KDE-Plasma or XFCE.

AFAIU, Running a full Desktop Manjaro would not give a pleasant user experience on TV screen. I request all our forum users to provide their honest feedback, and advice to make our existing DE optimised for a big TV screen.

I request everyone to share their input in the below template.

  • Ideal Desktop Environment: Kde-Plasma, XFCE, Gnome(Heavy for most arm SOC), Bigscreen UI (Ideal but Beta-Experimental stage)
  • Dock styles, Launchers, UI designs: Suggestion with Screenshots would be helpful.
  • Applications needed: Suggest Apps which are not part of the existing releases.
  • Others

Kodi and Netflix Playback is a must, Yes of course. :wink:

Thank You.
Manjaro ARM Team.

2 Likes

I will tell you what I do for Netflix and PrimeVideo on desktop. I use the Brave browser and I create a shortcut from the Brave Menu --> More Tools --> Create Shortcut. This creates a launcher that opens the pages with just a title bar (no url bar, no bookmark bar etc.) BUT Brave is not available on Arm.

I tried to use the kiosk mode for Firefox to do the same thing but could not make it work.

As for more applications, well Spotify would be nice :smile:

Screenshot would be helpful :slight_smile: We did have that plan but kiosk mode on chromium is not working out correctly, will try that again.

Thank you for the advice.

Ok. Here is an example for youtube:

Following the Menu:
Screenshot from 2020-05-22 01-55-12

The "Open as window" must be checked:

Screenshot from 2020-05-22 01-55-30

And this is how the window appears:

BraveBar

Which creates a .desktop file with the following:

#!/usr/bin/env xdg-open
[Desktop Entry]
Version=1.0
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Name=YouTube
Exec=/usr/lib/brave/brave --profile-directory=Default --app-id=adnlfjpnmidfimlkaohpidplnoimahfh
Icon=brave-adnlfjpnmidfimlkaohpidplnoimahfh-Default
StartupWMClass=crx_adnlfjpnmidfimlkaohpidplnoimahfh

And the .desktop file has the favicon as an icon.

1 Like

This is really nice.
I will try it myself on brave and see if I can replicate it somehow on chromium.

Really appreciate your effort.

No problem. Keep up the amazing work and thank you.

Tinkering with XFCE for half an hour on a VM. Not great I know. but you get the basic idea. Maybee a conky or 2 can be added to something like this.

BasicIdea-XFCE

2 Likes

My personal opinion would be something like Plasma BigScreen.
Since that's an interface designed to run on a TV.

2 Likes

Yes, That's the first option, but the app's are still not there yet, so we need to wait for it to mature till then I am exploring the options of tweaking existing DE.

I love this idea :smiley:

The problem is gonna be an interface that's controllable with a TV remote. :stuck_out_tongue:

So probably Kodi or Plasma Big Screen. :slight_smile:

As far as I understand from @spikerguy's original post its an effort to take an existing install on an ARM device and make it usable on a TV by, let's say, toggling a switch or running a script. So for instance a secondary "TV" skel could be made and that could apply the appropriate settings.

1 Like

@spikerguy check this post (i feel like such a newb!)

Also I found how to do that in Firefox. All you need to do is go to about:config and set: browser.ssb.enabled = true. Then navigate to a page and click on the 3-dots menu on the url bar and select Install Website as App . Then from the "Hamburger" menu go to Installed Websites and it's there. Only thing left is to find how to make a launcher.

2 Likes

Would love to see any version of plasma on a TV box. Can you maybe get a version for gxm (s912) like vim2 or aml-q200 together?

I think for a tv box either a bigscreen ui is needed, but it's also somewhat limited. So maybe some mouse emulation could help using the full desktop UI. Either moving a mouse cursor with a tv remote's arrow keys, or some remote mouse via some web interface, so i can swipe over my phone to operate the mouse.

Yes We already have for Khadas Vim2 which is S912. This can be used with Dealdig-Boxd6 and Beelink GT1-Ultimate.

Yes Bigscreen from plasma is a TV UI but it is in beta mode. With KDE-Plasma you can scale the UI but with the need to mouse cursor.

Thank for your response.

Oh I should have searched harder...

Will test it and give feedback.

Which is the device you want to run it on ?

its a shenzen tomato X92

basically a q200

not too sure if I will get it to boot, as it has proven a diva, with mainline...

nope running perfectly well, posting in VIM2 thread for more feedback

I only use Kodi as the DE on my rpi4 as it boots directly into Kodi, (gpu_mem=320) and control it with my tv remote through CEC. (libcec-rpi, p8-platform)

On my desktop I use a script so i can play youtube links directly tom rpi4. (you will need to have Youtube addon to be installed in Kodi)

for example in /usr/local/bin/playyt

#!/bin/bash
REGEX="^.*((youtu.be\/)|(v\/)|(\/u\/\w\/)|(embed\/)|(watch\?))\??v?=?([^#\&\?]*).*"

ID=$1

if [ "$ID" == "" ];
then
echo "Syntax $0 <id|url>"
exit
fi

if [[ $ID =~ $REGEX ]]; then
ID=${BASH_REMATCH[7]}
fi

echo "Sending request to play youtube video: $ID"

curl -s --data-binary '{"jsonrpc":"2.0","id":"1","method":"Application.SetVolume","params":{"volume":70}}' -H 'content-type: application/json;' http://USERNAME:PASSWORD@LOCALIP:6931/jsonrpc

curl -s --data-binary '{"jsonrpc":"2.0","id":"1","method":"Player.Open","params":{"item":{"file":"plugin://plugin.video.youtube/?action=play_video&videoid='$ID'"}}}' -H 'content-type: application/json;' http://USERNAME:PASSWORD@LOCALIP:6931/jsonrpc

Enable remote http webservices in Kodi, set USERNAME and PASSWORD, and adapt in the script.

And then in FF with the Open with addon create an entry

playyt %s

With a right mouse click in the context menu, you can play your video on Kodi.

Screenshot_20200531_104839

2 Likes

I played now for a couple of days with my X92 and have to admit plasma is really cool on the TV box and it almost feels like a proper pc now, true slightly slowish but OK.

My main use case would be Kaffeine, once the video decoding acceleration works well enough to watch and record DVB-C. Also some watching of youtube and if I can get it to run as well as on kodi, also Zattoo (read if someone writes a nice app for it, or figures out how to teach the browser to be controlled by remote).
Also I guess it should have enough power to cut out the ads from my recordings (just very simple ala avidemux).

Just thinking could we somehow abuse Kaffeine as a TV launcher until plasma bigscreen is ready?

What so far keeps me from enjoying it 100% is the vendor u-boot killing of HDMI somewhere between regularly and occasionally when TV is switched off or to other source.

Wow post got a bit longer than planned :wink:

1 Like

We could use Kodi, then create our own manjaro skin ontop.

Just an idea.

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