Archive | August, 2006

DIY Linux BareBones HTPC “Kit”

Posted on 31 August 2006 by

planetjay pointed this one out to me (thanks!) DIY Linux home theater PC

LixSystems has introduced a low-cost Linux powered home theater PC (HTPC) packaged in a compact, consumer electronics-style enclosure. The Lx8100-MN, available “barebones” (sans CPU, memory, and hard drive) for around $300, offers quiet operation and is supplied with an easily-installed Fedora 5-based system image on DVD, according to the company.

Is TiVo on the Rise? Don’t Call it a Comeback…

Posted on 30 August 2006 by

We like to thumb our DIY hacker-ethic noses at TiVo sometimes, but TiVo is definitely an important part of both the initial adoption of DVR technology and more importantly concept/mass marketing but also to it’s future (see: CableCard Tivo — eventually anyways)

In any case, it seems that Wired News is a little bullish on TiVo after some recent court battle victories and partnerships announcements with large cable providers.

Time will tell though if legions of mac-cult like followers and a great UI is enough…

ATI Theater 650 Review and Recall

Posted on 30 August 2006 by

Check out this early ATI Theater 650 review over at hot hardware. ATSC and hardware encoding analog tuning? Where do I sign up — not so fast… sometimes it doesn’t pay to be an early adopter.

The daily tech is reporting that there is a nationwide recall out for the ATI Theater 650

“In what appears to be a quick retail turnaround, ATI has issued a major nationwide recall of its ATI TV Wonder 650 graphics cards. Although details of the recall remain unclear and ATI has not issued official reasons for the recall, several readers have emailed DailyTech noting that the TV Wonder 650 cards have begun disappearing from store shelves.

Retail chains such as Best Buy were the first to take the new cards off store shelves.

Both links found from HTPCnews

How-To: Turn Your Mac Mini into DVD Jukebox

Posted on 30 August 2006 by

How-To: Turn Your Mac mini into a DVD Jukebox

what if you want to do away with the platters and store your movies on your hard drive? If iTunes allows you keep your CDs in the closet forever, so why not do the same with your DVDs?

Dream HTPC Configuration Survey Project

Posted on 29 August 2006 by

Gatorback is leading the call to gather data points on what the community thinks would be the best/most recommended components to make a “dream htpc”

I think it’s a cool idea, and using google spreadsheet to collaborate on it is a great idea! I’ve got my own idea for a comprable project that people have been asking for, forever… but in the meantime lets help gatorback with this project/idea

I am publishing a spreadsheet on the web that will enable you to jot down your dream PVR configuration. If you are interested in contributing, please send an e-mail note to coronabeach at gmail dot com and I will send you an invite. After I have collected enough data points (about 50 or 100 days, whichever is first) then I will publish the results.

The purpose of this exercise is to determine if there is a general concensus as to the preferred SW \ HW configuration.

If this exercise turns out to be a positive experience I will follow-up with a similar exercise. Thank you for your cooperation and participation.”

BYOPVR’r G808’s BeyondTV Setup Featured on SnapStream Blog

Posted on 28 August 2006 by

Prolific byopvr forum poster g808’s BeyondTV based home theater configuration was recently featured on the SnapStream blog under his other very apt pseudonym “btvfreak”

I see btvfreak’s posts on our forums all the time, but I guess I never took the time to actually click on the links in his sig. Tonight I did and I was extremely impressed with his Beyond TV setup… and how thoroughly he’s documented all the details on his blog.

We start by checking out btvfreak’s Beyond TV server, with what looks like 3 HDTV TV tuners and 3 analog TV tuners. Not bad. Then, we move on to his living room and bedroom setups. Both are outfitted with quiet, attractive looking HTPC cases running Beyond TV Link.

Finally, checkout btvfreak’s home theater setup, complete with 46″ TV, an HTPC running Beyond TV Link and Beyond Media and a good ‘ol xbox.

Hauppauge Wireless MediaMVP Article

Posted on 26 August 2006 by

As you probably already know, we’re big fans of using the Hauppauge MediaMVP as network media client to extend our PC PVRs to additional televisions far from the “server” HTPC. Now we don’t have to string wire to do so.

Over at the SnapStream blog they gave the Hauppauge Wireless MediaMVP a test run in an uh… interesting location 🙂

Ever had the desire to wirelessly share recorded TV content, videos, music, and pictures to televisions throughout the house? For those of you who said yes, Hauppauge now has answered your demands with their new Wireless MediaMVP. Did I mention it was wireless?

Hauppauge sent us an evaluation unit of the Wireless MediaMVP (referred to as WMVP henceforth) the other day, so I decided to take advantage of this freebie, and test the unit in my house by connecting my Beyond TV server to the WMVP

Also see forum thread on wirelessly streaming live tv from BeyondTV to MediaMVP

HTPCNews 2006 PVR Card Guide

Posted on 25 August 2006 by

HTPCnews has posted the venerable HTPC community guru SpHeRe31459’s updated 2006 PVR Card Guide with tons of great up to date info on different chipsets like the Conexant (popular with Hauppauge cards) and ATI Theater x50 Pro Designs, ViXS (used in Nvidia DualTV and VistaView’s new PCIe Saber2020 card) , NEC, and WIS Designs.

“This guide is to give people the background information and pictures to understand what hardware MPEG2 encoding card they own or are thinking about owning. This guide started off with the need to explain to people which card was which. This is especially true for those considering buying from Internet auction sites. There have been many cases of vendors claiming to sell one card but in fact have a different card. This is to arm you the HTPC user with an understanding of what the differences are between the cards.

This is a rebuilt and revised edition for 2006 and made especially for the new HTPCnews content system. Enjoy!

Windows Vista 32 Bit Edition Loses HD Playback (NOT!)

Posted on 24 August 2006 by

Windows Vista 32 Bit Edition Loses HD Playback

Microsoft revealed today that no 32-bit versions of Windows Vista will be able to play back “next generation high definition protected content” (translation – studio-released BluRay and HD-DVD movies).

By far the majority of PCs use 32-bit processors, because despite AMD’s efforts to push 64-bit CPUs into the marketplace early, Intel’s first widely-promoted 64-bit CPU is the just-released Core 2 Duo.”

see also Slashdot: No Full HD Playback for 32-bit Vista

UPDATE: or does it? Windows Vista 32-Bit CAN Play HD DVD, Blu-ray Movies

…it turns out the 32-bit version of Windows Vista can play next-gen protected high definition content. Microsoft reps said Senior Program Manager Steve Riley was mistaken when he told a group of Australian developers that Vista couldn’t handle the high definition movies.

But the Microsoft representatives said the support will come from third party HD DVD/Blu-ray movie playback software developers like CyberLink who already make DVD playback software.

First PCIe Dual TV Tuner coming to market: VistaView Saber 2020

First PCIe Dual TV Tuner coming to market: VistaView Saber 2020

Posted on 23 August 2006 by

Got the scoop on a new product coming to market early September. VistaView will be releasing the first analog dual tuner PCIe (pci express) TV card called the Saber 2020

Some quick features of note: It will be MCE compatible/certified for Windows MCE 2005. It’s low profile. Dual tuners (duh!). It’s hardware mpeg2 encoding of course, and is using the ViXS chipset, which is the same as the Nvidia DualTV card — except again this card is PCIe instead of regular PCI. The retail flavors will come with some PVR software which notably includes PIP (picture in picture) functionality. I think that about covers all my notes 🙂

So far there’s only been single tuner PCIe options on the market (notably ATI’s TheaterPro chipset). It’s good to see more options available to HTPC builders and to have more cards to put into these PCIe mostly dormant slots!

Larger picture after the jump ( Digg It!? )
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