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Messages - phenigma

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Installation issues / Re: alpha 2.28 issues
« on: August 14, 2009, 07:15:02 pm »
I had a problem with new mds not connecting and rebooting after I performed and aptitude dist-upgrade on my core to alpha 2.28.  Re-installing the core seems to have fixed that issue and my mds are created just fine now. 

Apt-cache-ng will not save you DLing the 400 mb video file because you are re-installing (erasing) the machine which would have the cache on it (the core).  It will only save bandwidth when updating MDs.

I use apt-cache-ng on a machine outside the LMCE network and point apt on my core to it.  That caches apt on all of my other ubuntu/debian machines as well.

As a side note, apt-cache-ng doesn't look like it installed on my core during my fresh alpha 2.29 install yesterday.

Installation issues / Re: WiiMote
« on: August 14, 2009, 07:06:51 pm »
The Wii sensor bar is nothing more than 2 IR Leds.  There are various 'wireless' sensor bars available for purchase which are battery powered.  Some people have cut a USB extension cable and use it to supply power to these 'wireless' units rather than using batteries.

Users / Re: Playstation 3 through LinuxMCE
« on: August 12, 2009, 11:05:21 pm »
There is a review of a few products which will take IR commands and broadcast the bluetooth commands for controlling a ps3 at

The actual article is:

Developers / Re: Discussion on true Multi-room Solution (continued)
« on: April 24, 2009, 05:19:29 pm »
Not so sure that xine is going to be the issue, that seems to be transparent. The device template could certainly easily setup the basic parameters needed for PulseAudio to initialise in a basic sense..... however, I think that the PulseAudio device will likely need to be a DCE device so that it can respond to commands coming from the media plugin telling it to bifurcate and sync a stream... media plugin is the source for that coordination, not xine... it will effectively take the problem out of the hands of xine, and handle the audio at the virtual "hardware" layer, and so need to respond to some kind of DCE commands from media plugin... which in turn will need to be mod'd to know to actually send those commands to the PulseAudio device in the first place... that being said, all seems very possible and very interesting..... :)

There is development information available for building PulseAudio clients and modules that interface directly with PA rather than through the command line interface, this would be the ideal way to implement PA as a DCE device.  All stream syncing is taken care of by PA when you choose multiple outputs (local or networked).  Things should be transparent to the media application.  PA sinks (outputs) can be looped back as a source (input) which could be sent to a squeezebox simultaneously, although I don`t know if sync between PA and the squeezeboxes would be possible.  

Development information (much of which is above me) for PA is available at:

With inexpensive MDs (My Eee Box B202 was $313.00 CDN) costing the same as a squeezebox ($299 US List), it would be great to have the functionality without the need to purchase an additional proprietary device (especially when the MD supports video output).


Developers / Re: Discussion on true Multi-room Solution (continued)
« on: April 24, 2009, 04:53:37 pm »
Sorry I was assuming you knew what I was saying when I was refering to Modulators

In the cable industry a modulator usually takes in Composite Video and Left/Right Audio in order to pump its signal to a specific channel frequency.  It the case of a computer a 1/8 stereo mini headphone plug which is Y split out to RCA style plugs.

Sorry Perplexus, I do understand the modulator and how it works in the cable industry for Audio-Video distribution.  This device works the same way only it simply modulates audio, no video, onto an FM radio frequency rather than a television channel frequency. 

My point was that there are likely more appropriate devices to use within a home as the device in question uses a 12V power source and has an antenna connector which is designed to plug directly into a car stereo, it is not a standard coax connection, hence the need to alter the device.  This is possible but I believe there are more appropriate devices to use within a home.

This is probably getting off-topic now for discussion within the dev section for multi-room audio within LMCE, I`d be happy to continue discussing this under another topic.


Developers / Re: Discussion on true Multi-room Solution (continued)
« on: April 24, 2009, 04:47:12 am »
Possible Idea:

If a core computer had multiple Audio cards within it... could it do audio switching.  Does Linux allow for multiple audio cards at once to within one computer?  Would they be at almost perfect sync?

If this is possible I could assign an audio card to a particular room and viola I could have a multi-room controller built within the Core.
I wouldn't need to have a bunch of cheap media directors to play audio only within them.

PulseAudio can do this.  The functionality is available in Ubuntu.

Developers / Re: Discussion on true Multi-room Solution (continued)
« on: April 24, 2009, 04:06:59 am »
Is it possible to do this within a core or a media director?

No.  It takes an RCA style input, not implementedable within LinuxMCE.

These devices are intended to be plugged directly into a car stereo and would require modification to use otherwise.  It's not meant meant for home system use, there are devices for that purpose, such as amplified matrix distribution systems.

Developers / Re: Discussion on true Multi-room Solution (continued)
« on: April 24, 2009, 01:25:03 am »

Link for what I am talking about... obviously this is made for a car so range could be an issue. I will try to find some specs.

These are great devices, I have one of these in my car.  I does not broadcast an FM signal though, it is simply a modulator, not a transmitter.  It would allow you to modulate an audio signal onto an FM carrier frequency which you could then connect to the FM Antenna input on a receiver, this could probably be distributed through coax cable and a couple of splitters.  As a minimum it would allow a single FM radio device with an external antenna input to receive an audio signal from a single device with RCA style outputs.  These devices are not regulated because they do not 'broadcast' their signal through the air, only within a wire.

FM transmitters are limited in power (and therefor range) by broadcast regulators (CRTC here, FCC in the US, etc..).  Without a licence from a regulatory body FM transmitters are limited to the approx. 10' you've mentioned.  I've used some that will do 20' on fresh batteries.  These devices can sometimes be modified for higher broadcast power but you are then in violation of FCC/CRTC regulations.  I've not seen an FM transmitter that does not run on batteries (I assume for transmit power purposes) because they are usually intended to be portable, like for your car.


Developers / Re: Discussion on true Multi-room Solution (continued)
« on: April 24, 2009, 12:26:12 am »
I have not yet had time to investigate this further, for synchronization accuracy, but the claim is that it is perfect.  I really think PulseAudio ( is a viable option for multi-room audio playback.  There are many features which could be desirable to LinuxMCE users:

- It will output synchronous audio to multiple networked computers
- It will output synchronous audio to multiple sound card outputs in a single computer
- It will output individual sound sources to different sound card outputs in a single or multiple computers (this allows it to operate like a matrix switch without latency issues with multiple sound card outputs from a single pc)
- It allows you to use remote inputs (microphones) as local devices (baby monitor?)
- It uses a timer based method of synchronizing audio across networked pcs
- It is already incorporated as the default sound system in (k)Ubuntu 8.04 and up
- It uses zeroconf (avahi) for auto-discovery of networked pulseaudio systems (easily discoverable like remote shares...)
- It has a command line interface for all functionality (looks fairly easy to interface with...)

Why re-invent the wheel?  It is already the default sound system in Ubuntu...

Example: From the PulseAudio FAQ (
Is PulseAudio capable of providing synchronized audio playback over the network for movie players like MPlayer?

Yes! Unless your network is congested in some way (i.e. transfer latencies vary strongly ('jitter')) it works perfectly. ...

I'm still working my way through understanding the entire system but my understanding is that a device template could be written to use PulseAudio sinks (outputs) similar to how squeezeboxes are implemented.  I don't know how this would be done.

Many linux distros use PulseAudio (windows support as well)  XBMC also uses PulseAudio now.  Many options for network capable audio players open up by incorporating PulseAudio support.

My 2 cents.  :)


Users / Re: Would you buy EEEbox for MD (199€)?
« on: April 23, 2009, 10:06:11 pm »
thanks for the rundown.  seems like there's hope for the PSS on the eeebox yet.  Did you happen to notice any performance difference between 2.1.1 and 2.4.1 other than those related to the PSS?


No I did not notice any other differences in performance.  I *think* that media playback worked fine with the menus but I don't remember.  I am planning on investigating further but havn't had the time yet.


The xorg.conf that I have posted here is still the one we use...its generated by the AVwizard when the B202 is added (we do non manual changes at all).

Interesting, the xorg.conf created by my system did not give a display on my screen.  Once installing your xorg.conf my display worked.  I have not checked the differences between the one you posted and the one my system generated.  I have tried some updated drivers under 0810 (not under 0710) and posted what I found in response to Alex in another thread.


Users / Re: Would you buy EEEbox for MD (199€)?
« on: April 23, 2009, 09:38:57 pm »
Where you able to figure out the PSS issue ?
I have disabled the PSS device on the eee box as having it enabled at all caused lockups.

As far as I can tell, 0810 allows upgrading (or includes) newer graphics drivers.  If someone is running an 0810 alpha on an eeebox (jondecker76?) perhaps they could comment on whether they've tried the latest graphics drivers on the eeebox.


I tested my EeeBox202 with 0810 alpha 2.4.

Under 0810 the freezing does not occur with UI2 + mask, however the overlay is not occurring properly.  The menus work great until the PSS comes on and then the graphics become garbled as the PSS and menu try to co-exist together.  The system does not lock up, it does not freeze but it is still un-usable.  At the time I was going to upgrade to the latest intel drivers (2.6.x something at the time) but xv acceleration has been disabled in the 2.6.x versions of the intel driver.

Checking now the 2.7.0 driver is out.  Xv has been re-enabled but there are tearing issues when using it (according to

Gutsy (0710) uses v2.1.1 of the intel driver <-- freezing
Intrepid (0810) uses v2.4.1 of the intel driver <-- no freezing but garbled menus/pics in UI2 + overlay
Jauny (0904) uses v2.6.3 of the intel driver <-- would have tried but xv is disabled so didn't bother

Looks like the 'freezing' was fixed between 2.1.1 and 2.4.1 but incorrect overlay is garbling the menus and graphics.

Installation issues / Re: N800/N810 Orbiter Slow in Some Cases
« on: April 17, 2009, 09:45:16 pm »
I'll keep the same format for consistency:

Orbiter Setup
 * Used (ebay) Nokia N800 Orbiter (same here)
 * OS (settings=>control panel=>about product):
    * maemo Linux based OS2008
    * version 2.2007.43-7 (mine is an older ver)
 * Connection (settings=>control panel=>connectivity=>connections=>edit connection)
    * Security Method: None
    * Advanced=>Other=>WLAN transmission power: 100mW (same here)
    * Advanced=>Other=>Power saving: On (maximum) (same here)
 * Connectivity (settings=>control panel=>connectivity):
    * Idle times=>WLAN idle time: unlimited (same here)
 * Orbiter Setup: I followed the wiki instructions and installed the 'Diablo' version of orbiter.

 * on INTERNAL network
 * wireless via WRT350N running DD-WRT v24-sp1 (mega)
   * WLAN interface in access point mode (CH11)
   * Static IP (
   * DHCP disabled: (core does DHCP)
 * WRT350N connected to core via 2x D-Link Green series 10/100/1000 switches (DGS-1008D)
 * Encryption Type: None

 * "Start Orbiter" to UI1: 8-9 seconds
 * Home to Video: ~3 seconds
 * Jump to Letter in Video: 1 seconds for text update, ~3 seconds for coverart update
 * Up/Down Arrow: 1 seconds for coverart update, ~2 seconds for text update
 * Select Video to Coverart/Play/Close screen: 2-3 seconds
 * close Coverart/Play/Close screen (back to library): 1-2 seconds
 * once in a while, the orbiter will take about 10 seconds to react to any input (I get this too occasionally)

My Nokia N800 is typically faster to respond than my WebDT366 in the same room.
I also have 2.4Ghz bluetooth controllers and headsets for my PS3 and Wii and my cordless phones are all 2.4Ghz and all in the room co-existing and operating toegher (except for the ps3 and wii controllers, they do not operate at the same time).

My N800 response times increase if my wireless signal degrades at all (ie, I go into the back yard).

There are also two other wireless networks in houses near me on CH1 & CH6.

Could LinuxMCE use PulseAudio sinks?  PulseAudio was incorporated into Ubuntu and implements a 'glitch-free' synchronous multi-output network sound server system.  It is the best sync for a networked sound system that I have heard.  It's still not perfect.  Just a thought.

[edit: spelling]

Hmmm... that sounds promising and definitely worth some research as Thom says.


I've got some time in a few weeks.   I've played with it under ubuntu with gnome but not under kubuntu, I had initially been trying to get PulseAudio and mpd to play nicely on wireless routers with usb sound cards.  I'll try to set up 0810 on a few machines and see what's what.


Could LinuxMCE use PulseAudio sinks?  PulseAudio was incorporated into Ubuntu and implements a 'glitch-free' synchronous multi-output network sound server system.  It is the best sync for a networked sound system that I have heard.  It's still not perfect.  Just a thought.

[edit: spelling]

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