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Skin comparison
28th Dec, 2012, 11:09 PM
Post: #1
Skin comparison
I've tested some skins today and want to share the information with you.
Some words about the current situation:
1. XBMC Frodo
The XBMC crew is heavily working on the new XBMC version. As far as I can see it will bring a new skin engine, so that most of the skins has to be adapted to work properly. Some skin developer already began to work on it, some not yet.
So it will still need some time until more skins will be officially be available for the new XBMC version.
Until then we have to live for example with Confluence or just try another skin and see if it's working.
2. Raspberry hardware
The hardware of the Raspberry is limited. So some skins will be very slow and not really usable.

Installation methods
1. Official
Just browse to the official/standard Addon directory and select one of the available skins, which are already Frodo compatible.
2. 3rd party Repo
Download the zip-file with the repo information, install via Addon manager -> Install zip and then select the skin through the new 3rd party repository.
3. Github
Open the github repository with your web browser and click on the button ZIP button on the upper part. Download the zip file and transfer it to...
/home/xbian/.xbmc/addons
Open this path in the command line and unzip the transfered file...
unzip <filename.zip>
Restart XBMC
Activate the new skin via System -> Appearance.

Test method
I didn't do a full functionality test. Just intalled it, browsed through the menus and watched the CPU consumption. The CPU number below will be from the Home menu and just waiting for about 1 minute. So it's far away from being accurate, but perhaps a first impression if the skin will be usable on raspberry hardware.

Skins
http://forum.xbmc.org/forumdisplay.php?fid=67

Aeon Nox 4.0
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=141458
Method: 3
https://github.com/BigNoid/Aeon-Nox
CPU: 55%

Aeon MQ 4
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=135045
Method: 3, but just download the provided zip-file from here:
http://www.marcosqui.com.br/downloads_english.html
CPU: 98%
- Feature presentation after first start => very, very slow

Alaska Revisited
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=115013
Method: 3, but open the link above and use the provided mediafire link "The new version : 2.73 (~40 Mo)"
CPU: 15%

Amber (WIP)
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=163360
Method: 2 or 3, see the 1st post of the xbmc thread
CPU: 20%

Cirrus Extended v2
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=102066
Method: 3, use the zip file provided here
http://xbmc-repository-butchabay.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/skin.cirrusextended.2
CPU: 25%

Cirrus Extended light
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=126584
Method: 3, use the zip file provided here
http://xbmc-repository-butchabay.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/skin.cirrus.extended.light/
CPU: 20%

Cirrus Vintage
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=131702
Method: 3, use the zip file provided here
http://xbmc-repository-butchabay.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/skin.cirrus.vintage
CPU: 25%

Confluence
Method: 1 (Standard theme)
CPU: 15%

Fusion Migma v2
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=120867
Method: 3, use the zip file provided here
http://xbmc-repository-butchabay.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/skin.fusionmigma.2/
CPU: 93%

XBMC Immersive (WIP)
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=139712
Method: 3, but use the zip file provided in the 1st post of the xbmc thread below the slideshow
CPU: 55%

Metropolis 2.0
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=144534
Method: 3
https://github.com/jingai/Metropolis
CPU: 35%

metroTV (WIP)
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=138997
Method: 3, see download link in the xbmc thread above the slideshow
CPU: 45% (all sub-categories ~95% as nearly every page has any scrolling element (like plots, casts,...) due the scrolling bug on the Rpi)

Modded Confluence Vol. 2
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=147628
Method: 3
https://github.com/mad-max/skin.moddedconfluence-Vol.2
CPU: 45%

Night 2.0
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=103055
Method: 3
https://github.com/bartowski/skin.night
CPU: 75%

Quartz Reloaded
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=135465
Method: 3
https://github.com/pecinko/quartz.reloaded
CPU: 40%

Rapier 4.00
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=100882
Method: 3
https://github.com/scarfa/skin.rapier
CPU: 45%

ReAlaska: ReFocus meets Alaska
Dark: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=134006
Light: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=134075
Method: 3, but just use the zip download provided in the links above
CPU: 25%

reFocus BIG
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=132897
Method: 3
https://github.com/paulsalem/skin-refocusbig
CPU: 35%

Simple Confluence mod
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=145080
Method: 3, but use the Download link from the link above
CPU: 17%

The Serenity
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=51260
I wasn't able to install it.

Vinci
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=129097
After install just a black screen.

Xperience1080 2.0
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=146690
Method: 2
http://xperience1080.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/frodo/repository.blacks-2.0.zip
CPU: 93%

Xperience More
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=103818
Method: 3
https://github.com/Nessus85100/Xperience.More
CPU: 65%
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28th Dec, 2012, 11:12 PM
Post: #2
RE: Skin comparison
And now your subjective user experience and taste Wink

pilight - modular domotica solution
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28th Dec, 2012, 11:17 PM
Post: #3
Re: Skin comparison
so as I can see the default skin is still the best if you looking for performance Wink and also the clean and simple looking
so for me Confluence is still the winner Smile

~~~~>>>Please always follow rules and read before you post<<<~~~~
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28th Dec, 2012, 11:40 PM
Post: #4
RE: Skin comparison
For me a CPU consumption of about 30% would be ok. So especially "reFocus BIG" provides many options to customize and is well maintained ny the developer. So really worth a look.
But for now my personal choice is "ReAlaska: Dark".
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29th Dec, 2012, 06:26 AM
Post: #5
RE: Skin comparison
Great list! Quick question: when trying to install skins it gets stuck on xbmc.gui 3.00

"21:06:20 T:3042271232 DEBUG: Addon skin.ReAlaska (Dark) requires xbmc.gui version 3.00 which is not available"

I must be missing something, but I can't find out what so any help would be appreciated Smile
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29th Dec, 2012, 08:35 AM
Post: #6
RE: Skin comparison
Did the CPU usage directly influence how fast the themes felt?
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29th Dec, 2012, 06:58 PM
Post: #7
RE: Skin comparison
@Enigmach
Did you try to install the skin via the option "Install from zip file..."?
If yes, it will probably not work for most skins as the skins aren't adopted to the new Frodo version.
Please try the installation method 3 I've described above, where you have to manually unzip the zip-file.

@flangefrog
Yeah, sure it does. When just the skin is using 50 or 90% of the CPU, there isn't much power left for updating the library, artworks or other addons. Especially "Aeon MQ 4" was very, very slow and it took some minutes until I was able to revert back to another skin as the screens loaded very slowly.
But except " Vinci" neither of the skins broke my XBMC setup. As I said, you will just eventually need some time to revert back to another skin as the CPU is fully loaded and the menus are very slow to navigate back to the options menu.

But a proper BACKUP before start testing is also a good idea ;-)
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29th Dec, 2012, 07:11 PM
Post: #8
RE: Skin comparison
I tried to install refocus big, hybrid and aeon nox from github but only aeon nox worked, the others just crashed xbmc. What version of XBMC are you using? Was refocus big an acceptable speed for you? I would like to use that theme because confluence is a bit limited and doesn't look as nice as some of the others. I use aeon nox on my main pc but it's a bit slow on the pi.
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29th Dec, 2012, 07:17 PM
Post: #9
RE: Skin comparison
Yep, reFocus BIG was working fine here.
According to the XBMC information screen I'm on "12.0-RC1 | Date: DEC 13 2012".
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29th Dec, 2012, 07:50 PM
Post: #10
RE: Skin comparison
(29th Dec, 2012 06:58 PM)namtih Wrote:  @Enigmach
Did you try to install the skin via the option "Install from zip file..."?
If yes, it will probably not work for most skins as the skins aren't adopted to the new Frodo version.
Please try the installation method 3 I've described above, where you have to manually unzip the zip-file.

I tried method 3 first, but apparently a reboot was required before it was found by XBMC, thanks Smile
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29th Dec, 2012, 07:51 PM
Post: #11
RE: Skin comparison
(29th Dec, 2012 07:50 PM)Enigmach Wrote:  I tried method 3 first, but apparently a reboot was required before it was found by XBMC, thanks Smile

Thanks, will add it above to the steps.
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29th Dec, 2012, 10:39 PM
Post: #12
RE: Skin comparison
Did some more tests today:
Cirrus Extended
Cirrus Extended light
Cirrus Vintage
Fusion Migma v2
Modded Confluence Vol. 2
Simple Confluence mod
Night 2.0

I think I'm done for now with my tests.
If someone did some tests with other skins too and want to share the information with us, please leave a comment here and I will add it to the first post, thanks.
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29th Dec, 2012, 10:54 PM
Post: #13
RE: Skin comparison
to keep it clean and more helpful in your OP post, I would suggest to sett the skins from best >poor experience, so every1 can see which is the best for RPi, so no need to look for CPU load info, etc...

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30th Dec, 2012, 08:57 PM
Post: #14
RE: Skin comparison
(29th Dec, 2012 07:17 PM)namtih Wrote:  Yep, reFocus BIG was working fine here.
According to the XBMC information screen I'm on "12.0-RC1 | Date: DEC 13 2012".

It seems like all the skins I tried except for aeon nox are not compatible with RC2.
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21st Jan, 2013, 05:49 PM
Post: #15
RE: Skin comparison
Anyone has tried glass skin?
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