However, as a fantastic Raspberry Pi solution for your various HTPC requirements, there are a few things it can’t do too well. Some additional hardware may be useful in some situations, but in others—for example, where DRM or proprietary software is required—there is currently no way around the restrictions.
Streaming Subscription Services: What Works and What Doesn’t?
Due to the popularity of the Raspberry Pi, it has been chosen by thousands as the compact Raspberry PI home theater device. However, while it works great with XBMC for streaming content stored on your SD card or connected device (local or network), the Raspberry Pi is limited when it comes to some popular online TV streaming and movie subscription services. .
Lovefilm & Netflix
Popular like Lovefilm and Netflix over the past couple of years, none of the services offer a plugin, add-on or app that will allow you to view its content on a Raspberry Pi with or without XBMC.
Although there are XBMC plugins for both services, they will only work on Windows machines. Because the Raspberry Pi runs Linux and runs on an ARM processor, plugins are not suitable for compatibility reasons and because they use Microsoft’s Silverlight software to stream content. This is a proprietary system, so there is no stream access.
However, not all is lost. There’s a good chance that an Android build for the Raspberry Pi will be able to run Lovefilm and Netflix — and if those two companies see how many Raspberry Pi computers have been sold (there’s over one million now!), then there’s also a good chance they might see the meaning soon…
Services that will work
This does not mean that there are no streaming services on a Raspberry Pi running XBMC. For example, Hulu will work in the same way as UK TV broadcasts provided by BBC iPlayer, Channel 4 4OD and ITV Player.
Downloading a Raspberry Pi home theater from XBMC and checking out the various add-ons available will give you access to YouTube, Vimeo, and a host of streaming services such as German TV and various niche channels streaming video games, tech shows, and movie trailers.