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10 Tweaks to improve XBMC performance on Raspberry Pi

5. Disable RSS

XBMC comes with a nice RSS news scroller on the homescreen.

XBMC RSS Feed
XBMC RSS Feed

This is nice but it does affect the performance quite a bit. So I strongly suggest disabling RSS feeds on Raspberry Pi. I would rather devote that resources to improve my XBMC media center performance.

XBMC Disable RSS Feeds
XBMC Disable RSS Feeds

6. Disable Weather Info

Displaying weather info on homescreen uses resources as XBMC tries to connect to servers and update weather information. Therefore, I recommend not displaying weather info on homescreen.

Disable Weather and Recent Videos
Disable Weather and Recent Videos

7. Disable Fanart

Well fanarts are nice and many may prefer to show them, especially if you are showing off your media center to a friend who has no clue about XBMC or any relevant topic. But after the initial love you just want pure performance. So I suggest you consider disabling fanart.

Disable Artwork
Disable Artwork

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8. Disable Recent Videos and Albums

Displaying recent videos and albums on the homescreen is another feature that might adversely affect XBMC performance on Raspberry Pi. Moving through homescreen items can stutter. So I suggest, you disable displaying thumbnails of recent videos and albums on the homescreen.

Disable Weather and Recent Videos
Disable Weather and Recent Videos

9. Choose a Simple Skin

The Skin you use has probably the greatest impact on the performance of Raspberry Pi media center. In my other post, I presented a few alternatives to the default Confluence skin on Raspberry Pi. Check them out. If you are quite content with the default skin, my recommendation is to just stick with it (I did) as seems to perform well on Raspberry Pi’s low-end hardware. If you do not like the Confluence skin, then I suggest Quartz or even Amber skins.

Quartz Skin for XBMC on Raspberry Pi
Quartz Skin for XBMC on Raspberry Pi

5 Best XBMC skins for Raspberry Pi

10. Decrease Resolution

This, I am not entirely sure if it has a noticeable impact on performance. But displaying high resolution graphics does drain the resources. So if your display screen is small enough, I suggest reducing the display resolution from 1080p to 720p.

Decrease Resolution
Decrease Resolution

Conclusions

Of course, in the end the choice is yours. You have to decide which features you cannot let go of and which features you can afford to lose. Practically, though if you disable all the above features all you would have is a plain vanilla media center and most people won’t like that. In my experience, overclocking has the most impact on XBMC performance of Raspberry Pi and you may even get by with not disabling any thing. If these or other tips worked for you please do share with everybody in the comments section.

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About the author

Anand

Anand is a self-learned computer enthusiast, a part-time blogger, and a Food Scientist by career. He has been blogging since 2010 on Linux, Ubuntu, Home/Media/File Servers, Smart Home Automation, and related HOW-TOs on htpcbeginner.com and smarthomebeginner.com.

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