Archive for June, 2010

VDR developer version 1.7.15

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Last Sanday Klaus Schmidinger has announced the release of VDR developer version 1.7.15. AS usual there is a lot of bugfixes and improvements such support of a non-standard mode used by North American providers, fixing of a problem with external Dolby Digital processing and adding of full handling of the stream types of Dolby Digital pids, adding new and updating existing OSD texts.

yaVDR which mixes XBMC and VDR in its media distribution will stay with version 1.7.14 for a while. But the package for the 1.7.15 should appear in its PPA soon.

GeeXboX is concentrating on ARM devices

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Leader of the project GeeXboX which offers a Linux-based media distribution, Benjamin Zores wrote in the his blog about new strategy of the GeeXboX. It’ll focus most of its efforts to support ARM devices. Especially OMAP3-based ones. That choice is conditioned by its rich media features – OpenGL compatible GPU and a 720p H.264 hardware capable decoding DSP, mature of SoC and big community.

Current development tree of GeeXboX is running fine on OMAP3 hardware. But there is a lot of improvements should be done to offer a full-features software for that platform. Moreover, it’s planning to design GeeXboX oriented board (based on ARM SoC, of course) and have a support of OMAP4 with architecture with 1080p-capable DSP.

Priority of GeeXboX to support of ARM architecture is a smart decision in my opinion. It’ll allow to build compact, quiet and inexpensive HTPC with 1080p compatibility using open platform and open source software.

More details about ASRock Vision 3D HTPC

ASRock Vision 3D HTPC

More details about the new ASRock Vision 3D HTPC are available. It will be equipped with either an Intel Core i7 / i5 / i3 mobile processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 2.5″ HDD, USB 3.0, memory card slot, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi, 7.1 channel THX certifiied audio, HDMI, and an optional Blu-ray drive.

Another interesting feature is possibility to use iPhone or iPad Touch as a motion controller similar to the Nintendo Wiimote thank to the company’s new AIWI utility. Also the HTPC will come with Windows 7 Home Premium pre-installed. There is no any information about availability and price of ASRock Vision 3D HTPC.

Demo video of ASRock Vision 3D HTPC and AIWI utility after break.

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How to use iPhone as remote control

iPhone as Remote Control

CEPro shows ten ways to turn iPhone into remote control. Another two-three are added in the comments. Personally I like two of them – solution with Global Cache iTach and XMBC Remote App.

Global Cache offers devices to control devices via IR, COM or relay by sending command via TPC/IP network. The GC100 is one of the popular Global Cache product. Now company offers a new line low-cost specialized devices iTach. For example, iTach on the picture can receive data via WiFi and transmit it via IR which allows to control IR equipment from iPhone.

XMBC Remote App will be useful for all XBMC users. It offers not only playback control of HTPC but additionally shows all information about movie, TV show or audio track. Also using that application it’s easy to navigate, play and pause music without turning on TV.

New version of AlertMe Energy

New AlertMe Energy Colour Display

AlertMe announced new version of its home energy management products and services. Now Energy Starter Kit will include Colour Display unit but the price will be still the same – £49.99. The same kit but without display will costs just £29.99. To see the measurement data a new iPhone application can be used. It allows to you to save money and have possibility to see energy consumption directly on your smartphone.

Also note then AlertMe is an official partner of Google’s service PowerMeter. So, you can monitor energy consumption online from any Internet-enabled PC.

Another interesting information is about possibility to measure gas and water consumption. As I understand it’s just a matter of connection specific sensor to the system (I suppose it should be ZigBee device). If so, you’ll full information about energy, gas and water consumption in one place.

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