XBMC runs on BeagleBoard

Popular cross platform media center XBMC was ported to the ARM architecture. As test platform the small BeagleBoard was chosen. Currently GUI is rendered by SDL. But supporting of OpenGL is coming soon. The porting of XBMC to ARM gives a possibility to run it on portable devices as well. Also using BeagleBoard you can build extremely small, quiet and energy-efficient media client/extender. Sure it won’t playback HD content but for SD it’d be very attractive.

[via Beagle Intern]

DIY analog of Philips Ambilight


Many of your know about Philips Ambilight – technology to extend video action beyond the TV. Here is a Russian DIY analog of it. That project was started on 2006. Since that time the author made a few changes in the used hardware and software. Sure that DIY Ambilight cannot be a competitor of the Philips product. But as a concept it’s good and useful for understanding how Philips Ambilight works.

Here is also a ready-made device from site Ambilight 4 PC. It offers Ambilight effect for your PC.

DIY: build HTPC from TiVo box


If you have TiVo box but don’t use it by some reason don’t sell it or throw out. Have a look that amazing DIY project which might help you to build full-blown HTPC based on TiVo box. Sure it isn’t so easy as buy a new case for media center. But if you have time, will and familiar with tooling follow by recommendations from that project and create unique HTPC for your living room.

The TiVo HTPC is run XBMC from USB flash drive and allows to play 1080p Blu-ray rips at full speed and upscale DVD rips to 720p. Following hardware is used there:

  • ASUS P5N-EM HDMI nvidia nforce 7100 chipset
  • Intel CORE 2 DUO E8400 3.0GHz
  • 2GB DDR2 800
  • TRANSCEND Jetflash v10 4gb USB 2.0 flash drive
  • HEC 250W Flex ATX 12V PSU

[via eHomeUpgrade]

Internet connected energy meter


I already wrote about energy meter Kill-a-watt which might help you reduce your electricity bill and improve our environment. Creative engineers from MAKE hacked it to add WiFi connectivity and possibility to post measurements directly to specified Twitter account. As result the information from the Kill-a-watt can be received quickly and can be shared with followers. The new device is called Tweet-a-watt

The Tweet-a-watt was designed for the Core77 Green Gadgets competition and its source, schematics and the idea was released as an open-source hardware project. I suspect that we will have such devices in the production soon.

[via SlashGear]

Second Life of AIWA NSX-430


Recently I found a good example of DIY HTPC. The 9 yeas old music center AIWA NSX-430 was used as a base. All its functions were saved except cassette player (in any case it’s not so important in our digital century). For HTPC are used following parts:

  • Motherboard: Shuttle FN85 with NVIDIA nForce3 Pro 150
  • CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3200+ with ZALMAN CNPS7700-AlCu
  • RAM: 2×512 Kingston DDR-533
  • Video: nVidia GeForce 6600 GT AGP
  • HDD: Samsung SATA II HD350HJ – 350GB
  • Optical drive: Sony NEC Optiarc AD-7170S SATA
  • PSU: Shuttle SB75G2, 220 W

Using AUX input sound comes from HTPC to music center speakers. Moreover, it’s possible to use built-in NSX-430 equalizer and DSP.

The article is on Russian. But there is a lot of photos which cover all stages of assembly. As result the old music center can be used as HTPC as well.

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