Archive | March, 2005

How To: Build a really, really, really silent PC

Posted on 26 March 2005 by

Oh sure, I let my MaximumPC magazine subscription lapse and they put out this gem: How To: Build a really, really, really silent PC “Is this thing on? We assembled a Pentium M-based rig with a fanless power supply, and ended up with the quietest air-cooled PC we’ve ever heard.”

It’s not a cheap proposition though using a nearly 500 dollar pentium M CPU

Ingredients:
Intel 2GHz Pentium M 755 ($440, www.newegg.com)
AOpen i855GMEm-LFS motherboard ($275, www.newegg.com)
Zalman VF700-AlCu VGA cooler ($40, www.zalmnusa.com)
Antec TriCool fan ($20, www.antec.com)
Antec 350 watt Phantom ($175, www.antec.com)
1GB of Corsair Micro DDR400 ($200, www.corsairmicro.com)
Pioneer DVR-A08XLA ($150, www.pioneerelectronics.com)
Smart Drive 2002 hard drive enclosure ($55, www.endpcnoise.com)
Antec SLK3700-BQE ($100, www.antec.com)
Floppy drive ($10, www.newegg.com)
Windows XP Professional ($200, www.microsoft.com)
Arctic Silver 5 ($8, www.arcticsilver.com)
Akasa Paxmate ($20, www.akasa.com.tw)

UPDATE kdhamann rightly points out that SilentPC Review is another really good resource for info, and well… reviews of quiet PC and noise dampening components.

TiVo to Aim for PC Desktop (?)

Posted on 11 March 2005 by

TiVo to Aim for PC Desktop

TiVo bullish on the future, “PC experience”

Of course, the big question is how TiVo is going to stay strong as the competition heats up. The CableCard mandate is something that TiVo takes seriously, and they are developing products that will support CableCard, including the existing unidirectional specification. Nevertheless, Ramsay noted the a number of “large monopolies” were doing their best to inhibit CableCard use for companies such as TiVo, but the company is hopeful that the law will be maintained in favor of competition, rather than in favor of the cable companies, who would like to use CableCard technology to lock customers into their own PVR solutions.

What really piqued my interest were brief comments about a TiVo-branded service on the PC. The company didn’t say anything beyond the fact that they are looking into this, but it would fit well with their broadband plans. The goal is clear: adding value to their service is the only way to differentiate the company from the competition. “Wherever” people want to watch is important to the company, and they want to embrace choice. They know that the PC platform is going to continue to play a big role in home entertainment, but they’re not yet talking about what this means in the long run.

I’m not holding my breath on the TiVo-branded service on the PC (after all this conference call is designed to keep the investors interested, and excite the fanboys, not necessarily reflect the reality). It would be pretty cool if they expanded their offerings in such a way to utilize the PC as content delivery or retrieval mechansim, but i’m not holding my breath after the delayed and then somewhat half-baked TiVo to Go implementation.

The CableCard technology and legislation is going to be paramount, IMHO, to TiVo’s future success. I’m also hoping they can make the breakthrough/headway so that legitimate PC based CableCard technology can follow in it’s footsteps.

Check out TVHarmony’s condiment flavored take on the TiVo come PC experience

Also worth reading is the venerable Thomas Hawk’s take on the subject TiVo Pauses Company Costs and Growth: My thoughts on the TiVo Fourth Quarter Conference Call

Plextor ConvertX PVRs Now Support Linux

Posted on 08 March 2005 by

Plextor just released an open source (GPL) Linux SDK for their very cool ConvertX PVR USB tuner/encoder product

This is great news for Linux PVR users who want to use an external device (linux support for the other major external tuner/encoder the Hauppauge wintvPVR USB2 was a little sketchy) or want hardware based MPEG-4 encoding in their MythTV or Freevo homebrew PVR. The ConvertX supports Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux!

The full press release is available here

Slashdot on Plextor PVRs Now Support Linux

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Media Portal 0.1.09 Released

Posted on 01 March 2005 by

Media Portal, the very cool open source windows media portal/PVR solution, has released version 0.1.09

My TV : Many fixes for multi-tuner and single tuner setups
My TV : added radio support for DVB-s/C/T and analog capture cards
My News : increased maximum number of feeds to 100
General : MP now keeps a backup of the log file and mediaportal.xml file
General : added key lookup in list views
General : now respond to y/n keys
My TV : speeded up my tv/recorded tv which was very slow
My TV : free-diskspace management for recordings
My TV : faster tvosd/zaposd
My TV : added list view to recorded tv
My TV : added default channel group ‘all channels’
My TV : fixed crash using MSN and fullscreen tv
Setup : map radio channels to specific cards
Setup : fixed EPG grabber for DVB-S/C/T
Setup : fixed wizards
Setup : added options for free-diskspace management
Setup : edit shoutcast channel searching when you add a new radio channel
Setup : integrated SS2 setup with the rest of the tv settings
My Pictures:better picture zooming

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