Archive for September, 2007

Another working configuration for LinuxMCE

Here is a working configuration for LinuxMCE core/hybrid:

  • A8N32-SLI Deluxe M/B (SLI, Dual network ports)
  • AMD 4200 64 X2 processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 2X GEFORCE 7600 NVDIA cards in SLI configuration (Work perfectly for UI2)
  • 200GB SATA HDD
  • Liteon 20X DVD Writer
  • Hauppague WinTV PVR 500 (twin tv tuner)
  • Microsoft MCE remote
  • Bluetooth USB dongle
  • Microsoft Bluetooth mouse

It’s selling now at €650.00 in the Midi Desktop Case with installed LinuxMCE 0704 hybrid.

Nokia770/N800 as smart remote control


Using Nokia770 or its next generation N800 is limited just your imagination and a little bit of hardware issue. The new Maemo application Ir Remote Control can be a good confirmation of that. The application gives a easy way to use Internet Tablet as remote control for your A/V equipment and home appliance.

The first versions of the Ir Remote Control used a dedicated PC with running LIRC server there. The latest one has its own LIRC back-end and supports IR Trance Ethernet to send IR command via LAN.

Basically, the Ir Remote Control uses LIRC client library to send desired command:

netirsend --server 'localhost' --port '8765' 'SEND_ONCE' 'Yamaha_RAV16' 'Vol+'

– server – IP address or service name where LIRC is running;
– post – LIRC server port;
– SEND_ONCE – LIRC directive, can be also SEND_START and SEND_END;
– Yamaha_RAV16 – the name of remote supported by LIRC (the command LIST can be used to get the list of all remotes);
– Vol+ – desired command, in that case – increasing of volume.

So, using Nokia770 or N800 together with IT Trance Ethernet and Ir Remote Control gives you an elegant and efficient way to control your IR stuff.

Transcode your DVDs with HandBrake


HandBrake is a very power and useful utility which allows to your covert DVD to MPEG4. As result the physical size of your video collection can be decrease twice or three times without loss its quality. The HandBrake supports any DVD-like source: VIDEO_TS folder, DVD image or real DVD (encrypted or unencrypted, but protection methods other than CSS are not supported and must be handled externally with third-party software) and some .VOB and .TS files. As result MPEG-4 or H.264 video files can be gotten. It is available for Linux, Windows and MacOS as a command line utility.

According to post in the LinuxMCE forum it’s planning to add the HandBrake to the system and use it as background script. Because the process of converting DVD takes a time. So, it’s impossible to trascode DVD on the fly. Anyway, it’ll be nice to have such possibility in the system where can be a huge media collection.

EPG service for VDR users


Here is a free service offered Electronic Program Guide (EPG) for media centers which based on Video Disk Recorder (VDR). Its interface is available in three languages: English, German and Russian. Just register a new account and follow by instruction to setup it in your VDR.

As I already mentioned the service is free but it has a small limitations. There is a possibility to take VIP account but it isn’t clear how to do it (it isn’t sold for money). But I suspect that free options should be quite enough.

Make your own YouTube with VDR


If you’re owner of HTPC with Video Disk Recorder (VDR) and have enough interesting recorded media content you might use vdrtube to share it similar way as it’s done with YouTube. That VDR plug-in adopt video to display in Flash-player and build HTML structure to access it via web browser.

Plug-in allows to create themes. So, you can customize YourTube according to your desire. Also, there is a possibility to control access to your media content using Apache authorization functionality. Plug-in vdrtube is developed on Perl. It’ll be pretty easy to modify it if you don’t satisfy its work.

Actually, it’s a good possibility to share your video between relatives or friends. But personally I prefer to have plug-in which allows to watch YouTube video on TV using VDR or MythTV. But currently as I know only Windows MCE offers such feature.

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