OpenELEC, an embedded operating system built specifically to run XBMC, the open source entertainment media hub, is now at version 3.0 Beta 1.
OpenELEC 3.0 Beta 1 has some very interesting updates. First of all, it's based on XBMC 12.0 Frodo, a free and open source (GPL) software media player and entertainment hub for digital media available for multiple platforms.
XBMC 12.0 Frodo brings HD audio support, including DTS-MA and Dolby True-HD, Live TV and PVR support, h.264 10bit (aka Hi10P) video software decoding for anime, improved Airplay support across all platforms, advanced Filtering in the library, advanced UPnP sharing, and much more.
OpenELEC 3.0 Beta 1 also comes with official support for Raspberry Pi (with the help of XBMC 12.0 Frodo).
The distribution is now based on Linux kernel 3.6, which is set to receive a lot more updates in the future, unlike 3.5 that will be discontinued.
The new improved PVR support will allow users to watch live TV, listen to radio, view a TV guide (EPG), schedule recordings and enable many other TV-related features.
According to the developers, this new version of OpenELEC also boasts many driver updates, including new support for many DVB and wireless devices.
The new boot to ram option allows PXE systems and slow devices to boot even faster than before.
Other improvements include AMD XVBA support. Xvba now uses a better heuristics to detect wrongly encoded H264 files. The AMD decoder relies that the correct level is set. With these changes, it is now possible to playback those files without artifacts.
A complete list of changes can be found in the official announcement.
Download OpenELEC 3.0 Beta 1 right now from Softpedia. Remember that this is a beta version and it should NOT be installed on production machines. It is intended for testing purposes only.