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Showing posts with the label dvr

The BeagleBoard: $149 Linux System

Was rereading LinuxJournal's write up over Jailkit, an easy toolkit to setup and configure scp/sftp for specific users, when my eye saw this: The BeagleBoard: a $149 Linux System.

The specs are impressive! I only lack an Ethernet port, but using USB (for power), you could add disk storage as well as a network port. Easy! What could you do with it? Uhm... create a media server with it; build a portable movie center; build a fancy web or database server; create a firewall or proxy server... lots!

I'm thinking putting this inside a small box, take a USB hub with power, a USB Bluetooth dongle, a Bluetooth mini keyboard and a mouse. Add Linux, install VLC and connect your choice of USB disk(s) filled to the brim with HD 720p movies and all you need is a TV with an S-video input and you can watch whatever you brought with you! w00t :nerd:

Apple: iTunes becoming major video platform

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After the announcement that Apple will release movies on iTunes the same day as they're released for DVD, I am now reading that HBO will also release its programs on iTunes... it looks like Apple wants to reaffirm the use of Apple TV as a useful household appliance.
I do understand it, I'm using a Mac Mini as HTPC and it's certainly nice, easy to use and a breeze to set-up and configure. So if the Apple TV adds some digital recording capabilities and a lot of content, I think it'll sell easy and create a lot more Apple addicts...

BBC iPlayer comes to Wii

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While not really important to most non-British people, having Digitenne at home has made me miss BBC TV programmes. So I for one am glad that the BBC now offers their iPlayer for the Wii for free! It's like the Dutch www.uitzendinggemist.nl but ony for BBC shows on BBC One-Four and a few uninteresting others. Like Doctor Who, Eggheads, Have I Got News for You, and Falcon Beach!!! ;) Just kidding, no idea what most of these shows are either. :D

Alienware's ultimate Home Theater Setup: Hangar18 HD

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Stumbled upon the ultimate Home Theater PC...!
Alienware's Hangar18 HD seems to have it all! Up to 4 TV tuners to record everything at once. 2 TB (2000 GB) of local storage to store it all. 1080p to watch it all and 5.1 surround sound to hear it all. Add a Blu-ray dual-layer player/burner, 4 USB 2.0 and a Firewire port, a Gigabit Ethernet connection, WiFi, an ATi 2400HD video card and up to 4 GB of RAM.
One sad little damper on th whole thing: Windows Vista Home Premium! Yuck! :puke:

New flat screen TV

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It's not a Full HD screen, simply because we don't have any sources for that and our Mac Mini media server, AFAIK, cannot handle Full HD movie decoding/display. And unless we win a PS3, we won't get one. But it's got plenty of input ports: 2 SCART, 2 HDMI, component (RGB) , VGA and composite, as well as audio in and output. We also got some fancy 2.1 speakers for it that will look totally cool! Petra loved them so who was I to argue. ;) our Home Theater setup is now almost complete... Only missing a general purpose amplifier and a DVR using Elgato's eyeTV products.

T3: Sony's first full-spec Blu-ray players outed

Now that HD-DVD is really dead, the doubting is over and it's time to take the next step: check out first full-spec 2.0 Blu-ray players. Prices: $400-500 this Summer. With the $ going further South, this may get even cheaper.

KPC: Shuttle's $199 Linux PC

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Linux is really making new grounds this year. PCs are getting cheaper and with Linux, they can get really cheap! Note Shuttle's new $199 Linux barebone PC. Small form factor, really cool graphic designs, enough horsepower for common tasks and upgradable with more RAM, USB harddisks if you need it. Hmmm, could make a cool media center except for the lack of video horsepower. Oh well...

TVease - Linux, MythTV and full control without the fuss

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You know you want a HTPC and a DVR in your livingroom. You you want to be able to download movies while at work and come home and watch them on your TV without the need for a physical DVD. You know your girlfriend hates the miles of cable that you know are necessary for stable and fast connections. You also know you could do all of it using Linux instead of Windows Media Center. But you realize it just might be easiest and quickest way to get it... Well, not anymore! :) Check out TVease!
These guys have taken decent, pretty HTPC housing, added Linux, MythTV, Hauppage TV tuner cards, WiFi and 80+ GB of storage and built the ideal HTPC/DVR for you! No muss, no fuss, just buy, wait, unpack and use! Brilliant!

Roku PhotoBridge HDTV, WiFi, MythTV and freedom from wires

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Just ICQed with Jelte and he told me about the Roku PhotoBridge...
It's basically a digital media viewer or player. No harddisk, just a card reader, WiFi, Ethernet and decoders. So zero (!) dB noise! It can play MPEG2/MPEG4/mp3 files over the network. Or make a slideshow of your digital storage cards, like SD or Compact Flash. Best of all, it outputs HDTV standard. So it'll really utilize your widescreen LCD/plasma TV instead of sampling those 6 Mpx photos down to what's displayed on TV. ;)
But wait! There's more! It gets more interesting... Now add your server into the picture. That's where you store all your mp3, photos and ripped/copied movies. You could add a TV card to the server, feed it your local coax TV cable and watch TV on the PC (your server). You could then add MythTV to your server to get free EPG (Electronic Programming Guide) info off the Net, record your favorite shows from cable to your HD and play or stream them to the Roku in the livingroom which …

My Knoppix - Digital Home Edition

Interested in Windows Media Center but not enough cash to burn? MythTV too much work? Xbox Media Center (XBMC) too flashy?
My Knoppix - Digital Home Edition is meant to be a smart and centralized OS that can be implemented in a home environment. It can be connected to a TV or other large screen to record and play DVD movies and surf the Internet. It also implements video sharing with the NX technology, and includes the videolan program for broadcasting video or music throughout the network. Diskless client computers can connect with the server as it performs other tasks. Coool! B)

PVRs: MythTV vs Microsoft Media Center

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I've been thinking what to do with my 400+ CDs. I love the booklets, the colorful covers & lyrics and looking at some disks after a while brings back a whole slew of memories, sights, sounds and smells. Really. But... storing 400 CDs is a problem. You need a big bookcase and they're always ugly. I have 4 wall-mountable racks in beautiful aluminum brush, but they take up the whole wall. I could loose the booklets and store them in bag-like folders but you run into the problem that you forget in which folder a particular CD is. And it's always in the last one!!!
So I've come to the conclusion that I need a barebone PC. In a roughly shoebox-sized PC with plenty of trimmings, I can store all my CDs as mp3 (Ogg Vorbis, for quality vs. size considerations) encoded files. CDDB will provide author names, track titles and more and a suitable player will let me search through the library in a jiffy. SP/DIF output from on-board AC'97 5.1 audio cards will feed directly int…

Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 Demos

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What's the next thing Microsoft is doing? It's TV! Yes, sadly that universal fool-proof device will soon run Windows too. At least, if the demo of Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 is to be believed... Check the website or just download the video directly.
What does it do? Well not much more than a barebone PC fitted with a decent ATI/nVidia video card incl TV out, a decent 5.1 sound card, a 160GB hard disk and a DVD player (with or without recording capabilities. Set this next to your TV and HiFi stereo and you get the same. But without the XP Mickey Mouse GUI and without all the familiar CPU-cycle wasting fading animation gizmos. In fact, it'll be so cool for anyone with an IQ between 70 and 110 who's most recent PC was the P3 and who's PC experience tops out at turning on a preinstalled, preconfigured desktop that I'm afraid this will be very VERY big by Xmas. :'( Oh well... Meanwhile, I'm busy getting MythTV working. Why? Because *I* can! ;)