Archive for January, 2008

Serious limitaions of FiireStation 1″ and 2.2″

I already blogged about Fiire products: FiireEngine, FiireStation and FiireChief. They should be 100% compatible with LinuxMCE. So, when I came to the point to buy VESA mount media director I started to think about 1″ FiireStation. According to its specification the device supports alpha blended UI2. But practically that’s not 100% true. It supports UI2 with Overlay. But it isn’t the biggest problem. Because it uses VIA Chrome graphical chip the 1″ FiireStation comes with custom image based on Kubuntu 6.10 without KDE and possibility to run MythTV locally. So, if you’re gonna spend about $900 you can do it just buying 1″ FiireStation.

Joyless news is that. The VIA based PC is the only one variant to have a VESA mounted media director. But basically it’ll support only UI1 which is too pure and old looking for the modern on-screen menu.

After discussion with one of LinuxMCE developers I decided to try MM200. It’s based on aOpen motherboard, has Intel graphical chip, supported UI2 with Overlay and supports HDTV (at least 720p). Also it’s slim enough to be mounted behind TV (just need to make custom fasteners) and its price is reasonable.

Next generation of luxury remote


A new model of luxury remote with touchscreen NevoS70 was announced on the CES 2008. Its features include:

  • Non-line of sight control using Z-Wave(TM) bidirectional wireless communications to ensure reliable command execution and to show the power status of entertainment equipment in the home
  • Extended battery life and broad home coverage
  • Connection to the home network for multimedia control with industry standard wireless technology (802.11g)
  • Ability to view and control any device that has a compatible embedded web server, such as many web-based cameras and media servers
  • Control for many home automation devices
  • Access to web-based services to deliver real-time information such as news, sports and stock quotes

Together with a NevoConnect NC-50 base station, NevoS70 provides non-line of site IR control, serial device control and power sensing for efficient macro programming and control. NevoS70 communication is based on industry standards—WiFi, UPnP and Z-Wave—to ensure compatibility with a wide range of devices in home entertainment, control, and networking.

Sounds amazing! Looks also. To get NevoS7 in your hand you should just wait a bit and pay $1,199. This is a tiny cost for such perfect device.

[via CePro]

LampPC for the future homes


YankoDesign presented a new conception of home PC – LampPC. At the first view it looks like futuristic lamp. I don’t like that conception but I like the OLED display there. It looks much better then VFD displays built-in in the most of cases for HTPC.

Upgrade LinuxMCE 0710 Beta 2 to Beta 3 AMD64

Yesterday I upgraded my LinuxMCE 0710 Beta 2 installation (32bit) up to the latest Beta 3 (AMD64) successfully. I was ready to lose all media content and my customizations because the developers were not sure about correct working of upgrade procedure (it’s a beta anyway). So, I made a full backup of databases, DVB card firmware etc. But everything passed without any problems. All my preferences were transferred to the new version, media files were also saved. So, I just need to recompile the module for iMON VFD display for the new kernel because the original Kubuntu package doesn’t include possibility to manage “Good Bye” message displayed after box is shutdown.

I’m gonna play with the new version during weekend. So, I expect some feedback on Monday. Also, I have to finalize the way to install the Orbiter on Nokia770/N800/N810 to make it more convenient for the consumers.

Belkin announced its HDMI Wireless Transmitter

Belkin Flywire HDMI Wireless Transmitter

Belkin announced its new product (perfect as usual) – HDMI Wireless Transmitter FlyWire. It allows to transmit full HD signal (1080p, 24-frame) up to 30 meters away. The transmitter has 6 inputs: 2 HDMI, 2 component, a composite/S-Video AV set, and a SCART (SCART is gonna be replaced by third HDMI for the North American version). Different sources have different opinions about transmitting non HD signal from non-HDMI sources: same of them say that FlyWire can upconvert SD signal to 1080p, the rest – it leaves it at its native resolution. In any case, it should be available detailed specification till the HDMI transmitter will start to sell in summer 2008. Expected price of the FlyWire is $500 – $600 which seems reasonable for possibility to get rid of wires.

[sources: eHomeUpgrade and CNet]

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