Ubuntu repo for VDR 1.7.X


Good news for all how already use unstable version of VDR 1.7.X or just are going to install it and don’t want to compile it from the sources. Gerald Dachs started the Ubuntu Jaunty/Karmic repository contained packages from VDR 1.7.X and its plugins. Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty users should just add following lines to their /etc/apt/sources.list:
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/gda-dachsweb/vdr/ubuntu jaunty main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/gda-dachsweb/vdr/ubuntu jaunty main

and upcoming 9.10 Karmic:
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/gda-dachsweb/vdr/ubuntu karmic main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/gda-dachsweb/vdr/ubuntu karmic main

After that VDR and its headers and plugins can be easily installed using apt-get.

Fashion media center Boxee: first impression


Finally I got invitation to test the first “social” media center Boxee. Installation under Kubuntu 8.04 was pretty simple. I just added Boxee repository and install it using apt-get. After running the Boxee it automatically found media content in the standard Linux directories – Pictures, Videos and Music. It tried to guess the names of movies by their filenames and get information from IMDB. For those video files which weren’t be recognized cover were created using some frame from movies themselves.

The user interface looks pretty nice. It’s intuitive and allows to easily navigate by media files, control playback movies and music. It’s easy to specify new media source. Doesn’t matter where it is – on local PC or on some network share. Moreover, using Boxee it possible to listen Internet radio, which becomes very popular this time.

However the most interesting and original feature of Boxee is its social component. It allows to people find friends and share between them info about what they watch or listen (be careful with adult content ;)). Additionally they can rate or recommend movie or song. The very basic social feature is offered by Facebook add-in for Windows Media Center. But, for sure, Boxee is much better.

I heard an opinion about competition between Boxee and MythTV. Maybe in the future but currently Boxee don’t support PVR functionality at all. Taking into account that XBMC also misses LiveTV I can conjecture that Boxee won’t have it in the future. In any case, Boxee is good media center software integrated with social service. Will see its progress.

P. S. I can send the invitation somebody who’d like to play with Boxee. Just leave a comment here.

LinuxMCE 0710 beta is out!

Finally LinuxMCE development team made a good present for all its users. The beta version 0710 is available for downloading and testing. Unfortunately, you can get it form Torrent only and the size of the image is 5.12GB. So, you should have dual layer DVD drive to be able to burn ISO.

BabelTV is a new word in the home entertainment


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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LinuxMCE 0710 is coming

LinuxMCE logo
Good news from LinuxMCE development team. The new version of LinuxMCE is going to be released by the end of November. That version will be based on Kubuntu 7.10 and will include following major changes:

  • Both a 32 and 64 bit version
  • Support for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray playback, as well as integration with MPlayer
  • 1080p on the nVidia graphics platform
  • Better integration with MythTV
  • The inclusion of VDR, popular with the European Satellite users
  • Naturally lots of bug fixes and tweaks

As you may see many significant improvements will be done in the entertainment area: full HDTV, MythTv and VDR. Daniel Kristjansson, one of the main developers for MythTV, will coordinate integration between MythTV and LinuxMCE. It’d be nice to find somebody from VDR community also.

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