Archive for February, 2009

Watch stream from VDR on the Popcorn Hour


Good news for all how like Popcorn Hour and want to watch TV on it. Using the latest version of VDR plugin streamdev-server the dream comes true :). The previous version was needed a patch to bring the stream in the format understandable for the networked media tank.

You can stream to Popcorn Hour not only standard definition signal but HD as well (you should have VDR with HD support). To switch channels and retrieve channel info and EPG can be used a simple web interface – vdr-ui. It doesn’t offer a full set of streamdev-client features but at least makes process of managing of the stream much easily. Hope it’ll be extended soon.

Manage your door lock online


With Schlage LiNK Z-Wave powered door lock kit you will able to

  • assign personalized codes (up to 19) for each member of your household;
  • easily program Schlage LiNK to send automatic text or email updates so you know who enters your home;
  • confirm status of your Keypad Deadbolt from anywhere with your web enabled cell phone or computer;
  • remotely lock or unlock the door;
  • creates a Z-wave network within your home that securely connects the Schlage LiNK lockset or deadbolt to the internet and controls other Z-wave devices;
  • receive battery level status and alerts.

If you like it then additionally to $300 you should pay a small fees every month. The good advantage of Schlage LiNK is possibility to connect other Z-Wave devices in the house or flat and control them online as well. Additionally, all owners of iPhone can try to control the lock directly from their smartphones.

[via AutomatedHome]

NAS and CD ripper in one


Recently the mCubed, well-known producer stylish small factor PC, presented its new device – RIPNAS. It combines Audio CD ripping, Network Attached Storage and Media Streaming in one easy to use small, quiet and fanless box. The CD ripping is fully automated and it doesn’t need user interaction. The metadata is retrieved 4 providers – AMG, GD3, MusicBrainz, freedb, with quality album art, spelling mistakes are automatically corrected using PerfectMeta technology. Ripped to a lossless format CDs are automatically shared for streaming for various network media players such Sonos, Logitech Squeezebox, uPNP/DLNA compatible players and iTunes DAAP.

The RIPNAS is based on Windows Home Server which offers complete home network backup for all family Windows PCs. It’s available with 640Gb HDD. But storage capacity can be easily extended by connecting external USB drivers.

The price of RIPNAS is not so cheap – €995.00. You can buy even semiprofessional solution with RAID support and many others options. IMHO it isn’t reasonable money for possibility to rip your CDs (and not DVDs). The lack of gigabit Ethernet is also not an advantage.

[via TestFreask]

Save energy with Google PowerMeter

Google PowerMeter

Google announced its new web service – PowerMeter. AS you may understand from its name the main goal of that service is to provide a way for consumers reduce their electricity bill amount and carbon footprint by making smart decisions about energy use.

The idea is not so new. There is a bunch of energy meters on the market. But the biggest advantage of PowerMeter is an integration between device and web service which allow to analyse data, store statics and represent results in the easy understandable format like charts or graphs. Additionally the energy consumption data can be shared with relatives, friends or neighbours.

Currently the Google PowerMeter is a closed beta program. As I understand the main problem to make it public is the energy meter. Not sure which one is used by Google. Probably it makes a deal with GE. But when the device will be in production the PowerMeter will be open.

Logitech diNovo and LinuxMCE


I already wrote about using compact keyboard with mouse pad Logitech diNovo with MythTV. Now it’s time to use it to control your LinuxMCE core/hybrid or media director. Media buttons work out of the box. But to activate mouse pad just add following line to the /etc/modprobe.d/options:
options usbhid quirks=0x046d:0xc71f:0x00080000

After reboot enjoy that cool keyboard!

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