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Messages - Tumbledown

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Installation issues / Re: MD Setup NVIDIA Driver Issues
« on: January 19, 2010, 09:57:15 am »
Due to the lack of response, I would say that either
the issue I have is an "Un-documented Feature", or is
due to me doing something really dull.

I'll opt for the latter, as this is the most likley ;)

Seeing that the data I have collected doesn't seem to be giving anyone
a hint to what is causing this issue, is there any way I can invoke a boot log,
and where would I access it from the core.
(MD never gets to a stage that I can open a terminal to login as it keeps rebooting at the end of
the Nvidia driver install script)

Just for a bit of background, before I reinstalled the core I had my laptop as a MD (Intel GFX),
and I did notice that I could not browse from the MD, but could on the core.

I didn't disable the firewall at that point, so I'm not sure if that's a contributing factor in the
MD (Nvidia GFX) not able to download the relevant sources.

I'll be reinstalling the core tonight, any recommendations on sequencing of updates to make this

I'm following to the letter with the exception
that I activate the Nvidia restricted driver before doing apt-get dist-upgrade.

Have I found a bug or am I being dull (need to know for my own sanity's sake  :P )


Installation issues / MD Setup NVIDIA Driver Issues
« on: January 17, 2010, 12:15:59 pm »

I have been playing around with 8.10 beta2 for a bit an decided to
use my main PC as a MD (For testing purposes).

I wanted to test how well my hardware woud run on a diskless boot.
More specifically the optical output.

I ran the /usr/pluto/bin/ script and after it completed
I plugged my PC into the subnetwork for pluto.

All worked fine in terms of creation of the diskless boot files on pluto,
however when I rebooted and went through the start up sequence
It wanted to do a driver install for my 8800GT Nvidia card.

It appeard to download some packages and wanted to reboot,
However it went through the exact same cycle of wanting to install
the driver

The screen roll is quite fast but I can see that it's unable to resolve,
and there are serveral lines like this.

I did a fresh install of the core, thinking my previous tinkering may have broken somethin, I also diabled the firewall.

But the issue is still there.

Is ther somthing I need to do on the core to make this work, or can i install the driver on the
diskless partition from the core.

The core has a 6600 Nvidia card with the driver installed from the restriced driver section of Kubuntu,
installed prior to the MCE build scrip


Users / Re: Audio Configuration
« on: January 04, 2010, 10:02:11 pm »
Hi Guy's
thanks for the replies.

so to clarify, I'm looking to get a zotec ion board.
As you mostlikley already know it has a HDMI and Optical outputs.

The MD will be used for general content that will be played on the TV via the HDMI.
e.g. heros or a movie that doesn't warrent the "Big Screen Experience".
But it will also be used for movie nights (e.g. Lord of the Rings/Star Wars etc) that
will then have the audio piped into the DSP 5.1 via optical (No HDMI on the amp) and
the video to a projector.

Just re-reading this and I've now realised that the video will also need to be switched to VGA for the projector.
I can't see any other way around but to re-run the AV wizard when I want to switch which will then
rebuild the screens in the respective res (on 8.10 bata2 takes long time)
Not as neat and simple as I had hoped for.

Back to the drawing board me thinks.

Users / Audio Configuration
« on: January 04, 2010, 01:12:07 pm »
This is most likely a dumb questions (odds are staked against me  ;D )

I'm looking to setup a MD in my living room that will have a dual purpose.

Purpose 1 - Play movies/Share media on my HD TV
Purpose 2 - Play movies via a projector and 5.1 amp (Optical)

Is there a way to configure the audio output to come via the HDMI and optical ports together,
or an easy way to switch between outputs?

I know the AV setup can be run, but it would be a bit of a pain in the rump to do each time I want to switch.

I'm not sure of the technical implications of what I ask, so might not be possible, but surely there is a way to switch outputs,
very similar to the mixer tick in the output.

I'm most likely over simplifying things.

Any suggestions, or sources for reading would be appreciated.


Users / Re: Small Form Factor MD Hardware (First Posting)
« on: May 22, 2009, 11:46:14 pm »
Thanks for the replies,

What I really want is to avoid having various workarounds,
or breakout cables etc.

Bunny hopping the audio from the MD to the TV to the amp for me is a big no no.
I know it's possible, but there are a few things that get in the way.

  • If one of the bits of kit in the chain fails, it all fails
  • Each time you route from one device to another quality is degraded

I won't be using the TV all of the time as the video will be going to a projector for the good films ;)
The amp will be used for all films via the MD.

A practical example would be if you needed to run a signal cable over a distence of 10m,
but you only have 10 1m lengths,you could join each cable together to get the length as a workaround.

However, after each joint in the cable the signal is degraded, to the extent that at the other
end the signel is determinied to be unusable.

I know I'm over simplyfiying things here, and I'm no expert in these matters by any stretch of the imagination,
but I would like to keep things as standard and simple as possible.
Hopefully this will reduce the possibilities of failure.

If there is an MD that has all the outputs and falls within my price cap, then I'd go with that, providing
it's up to the job.

I guess I'm asking is the Zotec up to it?
The way I read it on paper, its yes.

But I'll bow to more experinced voices on this topic.


Users / Re: Small Form Factor MD Hardware (First Posting)
« on: May 22, 2009, 07:17:12 pm »
After a bit of soul searching I find myself back at the start of my journey
(seems a popular outcome from the posts I've read :) ).

I have looked at the EEEBoxes, and the Revo, and they have their pros and cons
for my application.

So I've decided to re-evaluate my requirements, as I think I've got lost in the mire!

My MDs will be located around the house and can be put in 2 categories: -

  • Living Room
  • Bedrooms

Looking at the requirements of the bedroom first, I think the Revo will be an ideal candidate,
especially considering the features it will be able deliver once VDPAU in implimented.

The living room however, requires additional features, due to the fact that this will be intensivly
used as a "Theretre" setup.

This means that the MD I select for the Living room will need to be able to output AC3 audio
either via spdif, or preferrably via optical for use in a 5.1 amp.
To my knowledge I do not recall seeing the spdif or optical ports on the specification list
for the Revo, however the EEEbox does (Via an adapter).

The main detractor for the EEEbox is the fact it has an ATI GFX unit.
Over the last 10 years of playing with Linux in one form or another I have
never had great experience with ATI by comparison to Nvidia derived cards.

So I'm back to the Zotec ION Atom (N230), It appears to have the same foundation
as the Revo, but with the added features of multiple audio/video outputs.

Presumably once VDPAU is introduced into LinuxMCE this platform shouldn't have
any issues with 1080p h264.

Is this evaluation of the options a fair one??


Users / Re: Small Form Factor MD Hardware (First Posting)
« on: May 22, 2009, 02:16:20 pm »
Yes, I'm aware of the limitations on broadcast HD and also the limitations
of capturing these sources if using an external source such as the Sky+, freesat or Virgin's V+ boxes.

My setup will not be looking to capture any SD/HD content from TV sources, but will be used to distribute
my DVD collection.

These will be ripped and placed on a 1.5 TB NAS for the core to access.
As my BD collection grows, I will also rip these to the NAS in MKV format and all in H264.
(The things we do to keep the integrity of disk out of the hands of little kids).

The core will be tasked with stitching the MP3/Video content across all MD's,
and taking care of a slowly growing compliment of home automation devices (x10)

So form that point of view I think the if I'm looking to get these results now,
the system needs to be beefed up.

I can get hold of a cooler that is 25db (the sound of freathing at 1m apperently),
 so might go down the road of the Zotec and a Core2 Duo.

I just got to figure out if it will all fit inside the box :)

Users / Re: Small Form Factor MD Hardware (First Posting)
« on: May 22, 2009, 01:20:32 am »
Firstly, Thanks for the comments, and more importanly thanks for not flaming me being my first posts here ;D

Just been looking through some other products Zotec provide and found this little
board causing a stir

Essentially its a Mini-ITX board with 9300 Nvidia GFX but it has a 775 socket that supports 65nm and 45nm processors.

In theory i could put a Q6600 quad core in a min-itx form factor, depending on this boards performance, I might just do that for
my wifes lan box
But my intention for the MD would be to either put a duel core or a Core2 Duo (I've heard they run cooler) Cost dependent.
I'm not really looking to spend more than £200 - £250 on an MD.

My challenge with this board would be
  • To find a low profile "Quiet" cooler
  • To find a small mini-itx case that will accomdate the cooler

Seen a few things on ebuyer, but i think it's going to be a bit of a gamble
ordering without knowing if the CPU will clear the internal wall of the case.

Any thoughts on the Zotec board, and choices of CPU cooler/case.

(the case doesn't have to look pretty as it will either be hidden away in the TV cabinet,
or will be mounted to the back of the TV


Users / Re: Small Form Factor MD Hardware (First Posting)
« on: May 17, 2009, 08:49:58 pm »
Hmm that is a bit of a pain then eh!!

I guess the top priority for me is a silent system.
Im kinda hyper sensitive to fan noise, if you can hear it in
the quiet bits of the film Ill go nuts lol

The only way I can see this being possible is one of the following options: -

  • Small Form Factor that is passively cooled
  • Larger Form Factor that can be passively cooled
  • Install the MD in a location outside the room and pipe the Audio and Video into the room

Man open source gives you choice, but it also give you one mother of a headache  ;D
Guess ill have to keep digging around to find the right kit

Users / Small Form Factor MD Hardware (First Posting)
« on: May 17, 2009, 03:14:37 pm »
Hi All,
I've been looking around the forums looking to find the best small
form factor MD hardware.

My first intention was to use the VIA Mini-ITX form factor, however
one of my requirements is for HD playback.

I only have a 720p/1080i set at the moment but will be upgrading to 1080p,
so I want any hardware to be future proof on this front.

I receintly noticed that ZOTAC have released a Mini-ITX board with a fanless
Atom 1.6Ghz N230 CPU and NVidia ION graphics processor.

review here: -

I know the Mini-ITX boards have issues with the UI2 etc due to being either
under powered or driver access to acceleration features.

The fact that this is an Nvidia GPU, is this a breakthrough?

When I find the right kit I'll be placing an order enough for 4 MDs,
so I want to get it right  ;D

Any thoughts or advice from experienced users would be appreciated


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