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Raspberry Pi compatible HDMI stick, STB seeks funding

Oct 6, 2014 — by Eric Brown — 3,594 views

A Kickstarter project from a startup called I2P Designs has spun a Raspberry Pi compatible HDMI stick computer plus a media player with an optional HDD.

The combined Raspberry HDMI Stick (Pi-Stick) and Raspberry STB (Pi-STB) project is looking for £50,000 (about $80,000) in Kickstarter funding, with 11 days left to go. The project is listed under the name Richard Swatton, who appears to be CEO of Shenzhen-based startup I2P Designs. The Pi-Stick and Pi-STB are ready to go for £50 ($80) apiece, and like the almost complete Pi-STB-HDD version of the Pi-STB, are set to ship in November.

Pi-Stick atop Pi-STB with basic IR remote
(click image to enlarge)

According to an email from Swatton, the Pi-compatible devices do not use standard Raspberry Pi SBC or Compute Module boards, but instead are homegrown designs that “faithfully implement the reference design of the model B.” (The PCBs are demonstrated in a number of guided tour videos, including the one for the PC-STB posted farther below.) I2P Designs is now updating the design to offer compatibility with the Raspberry Pi Model B+.

The Raspberry STB and Raspberry HDMI Stick designs also add features such as IR support and a real time clock (RTC). Some GPIOs have been adjusted, as well. “For example with IR we use GPIO #18, as this is what XBMC and other software expects,” wrote Swatton. “We want people to be able to boot such software without having to do any alterations.”

Pi-Stick with enclosure (left) and without
(click images to enlarge)

Both the Pi-Stick and Pi-STB models use a common, Pi-like foundation of Broadcom’s 700MHz, ARM11-based BCM2835 system-on-chip along with 512MB of RAM. Like the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, they add 4GB of flash, but it’s available on via an SD (Pi-STB) or microSD (Pi-Stick) cards, rather than being soldered onto the circuit board.

All the systems offer built-in WiFi, as well as an HDMI port. The Pi-Stick provides a micro-USB port for power and a 2.5mm IR Receiver socket. The Pi-STB models instead offer a USB host port, a 2.5mm IR Blaster Repeater socket, and three IR Blasters. The Pi-STB models also add a 10/100 Ethernet port, a 3.5mm audio jack, a 6V 0.5A power socket, and LEDs.

Pi-STB outside (left) and with PCB exposed
(click images to enlarge)

The Pi-STB ships with a 145 x 130 x 30mm enclosure. It appears that the HDD model, which integrates a 2.5-inch SATA bay, has similar dimensions. The two STB models are otherwise identical.

Standard and optional remotes

While all systems offer a basic IR remote, early backers will receive one of the two premium remotes, pictured at the right. The first 750 backers will receive the SP Remote with five learning keys, and the first 250 backers will receive both the SP Remote and a RRS 2-in-1 Remote with a built in TV database.

SP Remote (left) and RRS 2-in-1 Remote
(click image to enlarge)

Summary of Pi-Stick and Pi-STB specs

Specifications listed for the Pi-Stick include:

  • Processor — Broadcom BCM2835 (1x ARM1176JZFS core @ 700MHz) with FPU and VideoCore IV dual-core GPU
  • Memory — 512MB SDRAM; 4GB card in microSD slot
  • Wireless — WiFi (BCM 43236) via internal USB with ext. antenna
  • Other I/O — HDMI port; 2.5mm IR Receiver socket
  • Other features — IR remote; RTC
  • Power — Micro-USB port
  • Dimensions — 80 x 25 x 10mm
  • Operating system — ships with custom Linux qtWebKit OS with browser and HTML5 Media Player plugin; also supports RaspBMC (XBMC), OpenElec, and Raspbian

Specifications listed for the Pi-STB and Pi-STB-HDD include:

  • Processor — Broadcom BCM2835 (1x ARM1176JZFS core @ 700MHz) with FPU and VideoCore IV dual-core GPU
  • Memory/storage:
    • 512MB SDRAM
    • 4GB card in SD slot
    • 2.5-inch SATA HDD bay (Pi-STB-HDD only)
  • Wireless — WiFi (BCM 43236) via internal USB
  • Networking — 10/100Mbps Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • HDMI port
    • USB port
    • 3.5mm audio jack (CVBS and Left+Right)
    • 2.5mm socket for IR Blast Receiver Repeater
    • 3 x IR Blasters
  • Other features — IR remote; RGB LEDs; RTC; reset button
  • Power — 6V 0.5A input; external PSU
  • Dimensions — 145 x 130 x 30mm
  • Operating system — ships with custom qtWebKit Linux OS with browser and HTML5 Media Player plugin; also supports RaspBMC (XBMC), OpenElec, and Raspbian

Further information

The Pi-Stick and Pi-STB are each available in Kickstarter funding packages through Oct. 17 at £50 ($80) apiece, and are due to ship in late November. You can get a combo package with the Pi-STB and Pi-Stick for £90, and a triple combo that also includes the Pi-STB-HDD model for £155 ($248). Prices include HDMI cables and a remote. No separate pricing was available for the HDD model. The units will be shipping from Austin, TX and the UK in late November to early December in quantities of about 5,000.

More information may be found on the Pi-Stick and Pi-STB Kickstarter page, where you can find a number of guided tour videos, and at the I2P Designs website, where the STB products are instead called the Pi-Box and the Pi-Disc (HDD model).

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0 responses to “Raspberry Pi compatible HDMI stick, STB seeks funding”

  1. jezra says:

    Based on the issues Hardkernel had with getting broadcom processors, I would be (and I certainly am) extremely hesitant about backing anything that is based on broadcom processors.

  2. riklaunim says:

    Still more expensive than RK3188 and S802 HDMI dongles. RK3288 maybe too 😉

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