VDR 1.6.0 is gonna be used in LinuxMCE

Yesterday I heard a good news. LinuxMCE development team decided to use the latest stable release of VDR instead of 1.4.7. Right decision indeed. VDR 1.6.0 includes a lot of improvements like support of UTF-8, better integration with CAM, better implementation of functionality to decode HD signal. With support of UTF-8 it shouldn’t be any problems with displaying of Russian EPG on the on-screen menu and showing correctly Russian names in the recorded file names. Which is not possible with version 1.4.7 without UTF-8 patch. Improvement of HDTV support is also important because many people want to watch HD on their wide screen TVs.

The first version of LinuxMCE 0710 Beta 4 (maybe it’ll be Beta 5) with VDR 1.6.0 will be available in the beginning of April. Hope it’ll include some improvement for VDR on media director as well.

BabelTV is a new word in the home entertainment

BabelTV

UK TV integrator DaweVision Ltd has announced its new product – BabelTV. Basically, BabelTV is full featured PC but pre-configured to be used in the home entertainment area. It’s based on Xubuntu Linux and provides:

  • full set of PVR functionality – Freeview TV,
  • share and store photos,
  • play and manage iPod or other MP3 player music,
  • make free or cheap Internet phone calls.

As you may see from the BabelTV specification below it can replace not only DVD player and satellite receiver but your home PC also. Because it includes everything you need (except games probably).

The demo video of BabelTV is available here.

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Set aspect ratio under Plutohome

plutohome-logo
Recently I faced with problem of scaling video picture to the 50″ plasma screen when I tried to play some DVD. I noticed that this issue was fixed in the latest version of LinuxMCE. So, I create a patch between Plutohome 2.0.0.44 and LinuxMCE 0704 for Xine_Player and built it. The difficulty was in changes of logger. It’s completely different in the LinuxMCE 0704. I removed manually all changes related with logger and left only modifications in the Xine_Player functionality.

The patched Xine_Player works fine. It should automatically change the aspect ratio to 16:9 when you stat to play DVD. But sometimes it doesn’t do it. In that case you can send the command directly:
/usr/pluto/bin/MessageSend localhost 0 22 1 916 260 "16:9"
where
– 22 – ID of Xine_Player in the your installation;
– 916 – ID of command “Change aspect ratio”;
– 16:9 – desired aspect ratio.
The patches can be found here – Xine_Player patches (1082) and the working binary here – Xine_Player with scaling option (1046). Note, before replacing Xine_Player in your system backup the original version somewhere.

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New version of GeeXbox is out!

GeeXboX 1.1

After one year hard development GeeXbox team announced a new official release of its HTPC software. Highlighted changes are:

  • upgrade to kernel 2.6.21.3;
  • upgrade to MPlayer SVN v23418;
  • improved HDTV decoding;
  • support for VC1 in MPEG-TS and MPEG-PS files (like HD-DVD and BlueRay ones);
  • added support of many new codecs;
  • improved displaying of subtitles and movie info;
  • a bunch of new hardware such DVB cards and remote controls;
  • added basic WebGUI implementation.

The GeeXbox version 1.1 can be downloaded here.

I didn’t use GeeXbox but it seems good and reliable. Moreover, it can be a competitor of MythTV or VDR 🙂

MythTV + Knoppix = KnoppMyth

KnoppMyth
Once I already wrote about MythDora – Fedora Core 5 distribution included MythTV. Here is another way to get MythTV on your media PC – KnoppMyth. It’s Debian based distribution designed intended for a dedicated MythTV system.

View a screencast of the KnoppMyth Install process or download iso from FTP (513574k).

[via MythPVR]

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