Archive | August, 2005

HowTo: Mandriva Linux 2005 C3 VIA EPIA Mini-ITX MythTV Guide

Posted on 31 August 2005 by

Austin just posted a pretty cool HowTo: Mandriva C3 VIA EPIA SP13000 Mini-ITX MythTV Guide

“This HowTo describes how we built a fully working MythTV system using a VIA EPIA SP13000 motherboard. Building a myth box involves a lot of variables, which is why it’s so hard to document. Your hardware choices, your outboard gear choices, and the software you wish to use will almost certainly deviate from the road we took. Use this guide as a starting point, not a rule.

We wanted the following configuration:
– C3 box used as both frontend and backend
– one big SATA hard drive
– one DVD-RW drive
– one Hauppauge PVR-250 TV card with remote control
– video out to both a TV (S-Video) and a large CRT monitor
– audio out by digital S/PDIF to home stereo
– wired 10/100 connection to home network router
– open source unichrome pro drivers
– Mandriva Linux 2005
– full MythTV suite with all plugins”

EDIT–> They get bonus points for that pretty cool looking guitar… What IS that thing? Some sorta retro 50’s les paul knock off?

New HTPC Blog: HTPC Rant @

Posted on 30 August 2005 by

SpHeRe31459 a prolific poster and guide editor ( HTPC Acronym guide, S/PDIF, connecting Digital Cable/Satellite to PVR, Recording HDTV FAQ, etc ) in the HTPCnews forum has launched a new HTPC rant blog

Definitely keep an eye out / add to your RSS feed reader

More Windows Vista MCE Speculation

Posted on 30 August 2005 by

Unrelated, but germane to the previous Windows Vista MCE entry is the intimation that Windows Vista will ship with MCE enabled/installed and will partner nicely with XBOX 360 as a MCE extender (check out those lucious screenies at Hexus)

The speculation that Windows Vista will ship with MCE standard instead of it’s own separate SKU seems at odds with this previous blog entry by Ian Dixon pointing out this Steve Balmer interview comment : “…Other editions for home users, tablet PCs and media center entertainment PCs would join the premium editions of the upgrades.” Although I’m not sure that’s solid enough (it’s not a direct quote from Ballmer) to debunk the Hexus speculation.

I wonder if bundling MCE with Vista would start the monopoly litigation train rolling again (or at least provider fodder for blogger/pundits to bang their pulpits over… myself included). Although I’ve always felt that MCE should be sold as a separate software add on instead of married to some modified version of XP Pro. So, if it comes standard with Windows Vista I can’t argue with the price point 😉

via Chris Lanier’s blog

Speculation on Windows Vista, DRM, CableCARD & 3rd Party DVR

Posted on 26 August 2005 by sam

You probably already know that DRM is a dirty word in these parts… you probably also know that I’m dying for a legitimate way to record HDTV via cable without using the cable company’s DVR i.e. the mythtical cableCARD PC device. I’m not sure that i’d trade DRM up the wazoo to get it, however…

It is rumoured that with Windows Vista (nod to Ed Bot) there’ll be sufficient DRM and content “security” to appease the content providers enough that maybe there’ll be CableCARD support in Windows Vista MCE.

A few prominent bloggers are wondering what Windows Vista means to 3rd party PVR software including the always insightful to read Chris Lanier MSMVPPC PVR Needs Vista and PVP-OPM! and Your Company is NOT Ruined, SnapStream in response to a rightfully skeptical SnapStream devblog entry

Now there’s no reason to panic or schedule an EFF rally or the like yet, even though i’m not sure I trust the big players in all of this to have the consumers best interest in mind here. There’s a gradual closing of the analog loophole endgame afoot, and eventually digital content will be handcuffed to HDCP approved devices that only DMCA violating daredevils will attempt to supercede. Can I trademark HDCP-X-copy now to beat the rush?

Between intel’s trusted computing platform, HDCP, PVP-OPM and the like it doesn’t look to promising for fair use (or competition!) in general.

Jarod Wilson’s Fedora Core MythTV Guide Updated to FC4

Posted on 25 August 2005 by

The excellent MythTV how to guide / walkthrough has been updated by Jarod for Fedora Core 4!

The guide is using yum instead of apt-get this time around.

If you’re not going the knoppmyth route, and don’t allready have a favorite linux distribution, I highly recommend Jarod’s Fedora Core MythTV guides as a starting point for your linux/mythtv project!

New CTPVR Beta 1.15B03

Posted on 25 August 2005 by

hvcpvr points out that there’s a new beta of CTPVR available that now supports plugins.

Some CTPVR screenshots of the new weather plugin and some background of the application.

I must say I like the new look of CTPVR really makes a big difference. Good job!

New in 1.15B03
• Plugins Support ( Sample ).
• USB UIRT External Tuning.
Included in 1.15B02
• New skinnable user interface
• Menu Transition Animation.
• Native support for MCE type remotes.
• Improved Music File Playback.
• Enhancements forTV viewing in 6:9 & 4:3.
• Closed Captioning( Live TV & Playback )

To Be Added:
• HDTV(ATSC) tuner cards support.
• Local & Remote Browser scheduling
• New default skin for Windowed mode.
• Hauppauge Ir Blaster External Tuning.

HTPCNews Mobo Review: Foxconn NF4UK8AA-8EKRS

Posted on 25 August 2005 by

While browsing over at I saw that they had a review of the Foxconn NF4UK8AA-8EKRS motherboard. (Foxconn Link) When I first saw that part number, I thought “Wow, thats a really long part number.” But thats ok, it looks like a good semi-budget NForce4 board with more standard PCI slots for you to use for tuners and such, and from what I see it still has 2 PCI-e 1x slots for the future, looks to be a good deal. From the review:

Once you put in a graphics card with a large silent cooler such as the HIS X850XT IceQ II, you are now down to 1 or 2 PCI slots. I know I myself use two tuners and a HDTV tuner, then a modem for caller ID and throw in a high end gaming sound card and you have easily eaten up 5 PCI slots. If you happen to have a single slot dual tuner card then you are still looking at the need for 4 slots. Foxconn hopes to answer the above pleas with it’s NF4UK8AA-8EKRS system board. This nForce 4 system board offers up nearly everything but the kitchen sink in features and has an unheard of 4 PCI slots! Yes I said that right, 4 PCI slots! But before we get to the board, let’s take a look at who Foxconn is.

Worth taking a serious look at if you are in the business of building a new HTPC based on the AMD architecture.

BYOPVR Project Journal Spotlight: BigBear's Multipurpose HTPC

BYOPVR Project Journal Spotlight: BigBear’s Multipurpose HTPC

Posted on 23 August 2005 by

BigBear posted an awesome write up of his Multipurpose HTPC setup in the BYOPVR Project Journal & Project Showcase area with lots of helpful HTPC info/tips and *drool* pictures.

HTPCNews Review: MS Remote Keyboard

Posted on 22 August 2005 by

For those of you that use MS Windows XP MCE, this could be of interest to you. HTPCNews has got a review of the new MS Remote Keyboard. From the looks of the early parts of the review though, it looks to be exclusive to MCE, sorry GB, Sage and BeyondTV users! From their review:

A few years ago Microsoft released it’s Media Center operating system geared toward the extremely young HTPC Market. With early products such as myHTPC, SageTV and others on the market it seemed like this “trend” as some called it, was growing beyond anyone’s belief. More and more HTPC oriented software, plug-ins, and peripherals were being announced and released. Everyone and their mother to this day though is still looking for the perfect accessories to go with their setup. Anything that would make the integration seem less PC like and more home theater oriented was always a welcome addition.

The product being reviewed today is one of those products. Microsoft’s new Remote Keyboard for Windows XP Media Center Edition. Notice how it isn’t labeled as a Keyboard first, but as a Remote. This is well justified too as this is exactly as it sounds, a Remote Keyboard.

MeedioTV PR: First Commercial DVR to Record HDTV

Posted on 22 August 2005 by

Meedio announced the official support/release of OTA HDTV devices in MeedioTV via ATSC, DVB-T, & DVB-S!

Meedio supports a number of analog TV tuner devices and expects to support additional devices with each new release. Today’s release adds to this growing list with support for the following digital TV tuner devices:

* ATI HDTV Wonder
* AVerMedia AVerTVHD MCE A180
* DVICO FusionHDTV 5
* Hauppauge WinTV Nova-T
* Hauppauge WinTV Nova-T USB2
* TechnoTrend DVB-S and DVB-T
* VBox DTA 151

Congrats to Meedio on this accomplishment, and let me be the first in line to request adding QAM 256 to a future release! 🙂

EDIT IMPORTANT NOTE: While they may be one of the first 3rd party commercial PVR applications to include the ability to record OTA HDTV in an official release, this MeedioTV release doesn’t have HDTV EPG listings! I’m sure it’ll be coming soon, but that takes a little wind out of the sails for me.

UPDATE: 2 There seems to be a little bit of contention over the claim to be the first commercial DVR application to do OTA HDTV Technically non-commerical applications got their first ( MythTV, GBPVR ) and Got All Media is commercial and has had HDTV support for a while but doesn’t support all the different permutations (yet?) of DVB-T, DVB-S, primarily focused on ATSC support so far.

Personally, I’m not going to nitpick too much about the specificity of the press release. I’m just happy that more software is adding support for HDTV and HDTV cards in more and more applications. I’m pretty confident that the next few releases will shore up some of the concerns/issues specific to HDTV support and MeedioTV.
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