OpenElec experimental build

imgresMany HiFiBerry DAC users asked us about XBMC support. Today (February 2014), the ALSA sound card support in XBMC is still in an early stage in XBMCv13. For video playback there is a new “dvdplayer” that will replace the current video player in the future.

Dom Cobley from Broadcom has created an experimental OpenElec build that supports the HiFiBerry DAC. This is not an official OpenElec version yet! If it doesn’t work, there is no support. It will have bugs! This build includes a hack that forces output to 16-bit audio, as the 24-bit audio does not work at the moment with OpenElec. This seems to be a bug in the underlying I2S sound subsystem. It is not clear yet, how to fix this. We well work with the developers to find a solution. However, we can’t guarantee this.

  1. Install OpenElec
  2. Get the experimental build from here:OpenELEC-RPi.arm-devel-20140226212939-r17638-g6fc6264.tar
  3. Upload this build to the running OpenElec system via SMB. See
  4. Reboot
  5. ssh to the system (as root, default password is openlec) and create the file /storage/.config/modules-load.d/hifiberry.conf
    You can just copy/paste the following code to your command line. If you want to create the file with an editor of your choice, do not include the first line starting with “cat” and the last “EOF” line!
  6. cat >/storage/.config/modules-load.d/hifiberry.conf  <<EOF
  7. You will also want to create /storage/.xbmc/userdata/advancedsettings.xml:
    cat >/storage/.xbmc/userdata/advancedsettings.xml <<EOF
  8. Reboot and you should get a third option in settings/system/audio output/audio output device (snd_rpi_hihiberry_dac).

8 thoughts on “OpenElec experimental build

  1. Pingback: Experimental XBMC build with digital out of AC3 and DTS over SPDIF | Crazy Audio

  2. PhM


    The link for that build is failing, do you know if last beat of openelec works with Digi ?
    (I need 16 bits stream)


  3. msxbas

    do we have to follow this same procedure for the freshly released OpenElec 4.0(XBMC13)? or are some things different?

  4. msxbas

    let me answer that myself…
    update, reboot
    step 6
    step 7, reboot
    step 8

    works like a charm… Thank you all!

  5. msxbas

    I love my hifiberry/openelec/xbmc. Better sound than I could split out of the HDMI.

    Any news about getting the 24 bit audio working?
    do all I2S devices have this problem?
    Where can I find more information?

  6. Voytek

    My hifiberry DAC not working with some AVI files with sound coded by A52 codec (AC3).
    Why??? Any solution?

  7. Daniel Post author

    The HiFiBerry sound card do not do any decoding. If you have problems with a specific sound format, the software has to decode it. You have to check with the developers of the software.


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