yaVDR brings XBMC and VDR to your HTPC

yaVDR logo

Linux distribution yaVDR – yet another VDR, offers XBMC version integrated with VDR – Video Disk Recorder. Because, as you may know, XBMC lacks PVR functionality. Moreover, yaVDR supports hardware acceleration VDPAU from the box. It allows to playback HD video even on Atom processors using power of nVidia GPU.

The latest version of yaVDR, announced yesterday, is based on Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid. It looks very promised because contains two the best in my opinion open source software XBMC and VDR in one distribution. I read before about integration VDR and XBMC but it needed too many manual work to setup such solution. With yaVDR that procedure became much easier. Even for ordinary users.

Installing XBMC on Karmic with VDPAU and VDR

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This brief howto explains clearly how to install XBMC on Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic with supporting of hardware acceleration VDPAU and integrate it with Video Disk Recorder (VDR) – popular software to build receiver for digital TV. All installations are done using packages which is much simpler that build everything from the sources. The integration between XBMC and VDR is done via VDR streamdev-server (there is an another approach based on scripts to switch between XBMC and VDR).

Except installation instructions that howto contains very useful diagram of XBMC LIRC remote action mapping (see it below). As you may see setup of LIRC remote control under XBMC is not so easy task as for the rest HTPC software. Many thanks to author for clarification of that important aspect!

If you have some troubles with VDR installation here is another howto which might help you to setup VDR with VDPAU support under Ubuntu Karmic.

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Run Ubuntu and XBMC on PS3

As you may know Sony removed OtherOS feature from the latest PS3 firmware to avoid installation any other OS there. But madshaun1984 found the way to bypass that restriction. He was able to install Ubuntu and XBMC on the PS3. Here is a short instruction how to do it. Cool hack but without a practical application in my opinion. I think using PS3 as HTPC is a controversial decision. First of all it’s very noisy. When you play game it doesn’t matter. But when you watch non-action movie it can be really annoying. Secondly, the PS3 should be reboot if you want to watch movie after game or vice versa. It’d be much more convenient to buy or assemble compact, noiseless and non-expensive HTPC based on nVidia Ion and enjoy movies with it and games with PS3.

[via Engadget]

NUU player: Boxee, XBMC and Skype

NUU Player

Another networked player contains popular HTPC software Boxee. NUU player demonstrated at CES 2010, is based on Atom CPU and probably Intel graphics. It sports 160GB HDD, HDMI, DVI, a few USB and one Ethernet ports. There is no info about WiFi adaptor but the player includes Bluetooth module. So, the wireless headset can be attached there.

Except Boxee, the NUU player offers XBMC and Skype applications. That’s really interesting cause you may no only watch video from sofa but make also Skype calls using Bluetooth headset without standing up.

The price of the NUU player is a bit more expensive then upcoming D-Link Boxee Box – $300 (Boxee Box is just $200). The date of availability is not set yet. The demo video after jump.
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Broadcom Crystal HD Hardware Decoder and XBMC

Broadcom Hardware Decoder

It seems that nVidia Ion has a serious competitor – Broadcom with its Crystal HD Hardware Decoder. The biggest advantage of Broadcom is a common API for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X and possibility to add it to the old boxes without upgrade graphical adapter. One of the first who added support of Broadcom was XBMC. Currently you can checkout XBMC with Broadcom from SVN repository and build it from the sources. Of course, you need Broadcom Hardware Decoder to test it. For example, that $69.00 PCIe Mini Card. That gives you possibility to decode mpeg2, h.264 and VC1 video content up to 1080p using Broadcom card. So, weak CPU won’t be a problem for HD video playback. Happy testing and Happy New Year!

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