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Feature requests & roadmap / Re: Commercial Use
« on: January 31, 2011, 02:27:28 pm »
I think the dual-licensing scheme is pretty regular in the open source community. Though the solution particular to LinuxMCE has no dual-licensing IN PRACTICE, INSOFAR it is not bundled with hardware.

When the software is offered without hard goods, the same rights and restrictions apply as with the GPL license. However if a hard goods manufacturer wants to embed the software, or if a dealer wants to sell a turnkey hardware+software solution, then a separate license is required.
or in other words, the LinuxMCE project is fully GPL-compatible UNLESS you are selling a "hardware distribution":
“Hardware distribution” refers to selling some tangible hard good, such as a computer, television or automobile, which includes this software pre-installed or installed by the selling party or one of its agents, or if the hard good is marketed with reference to the software or its features.
SRC:]Pluto Public License

And which is which is made perfectly clear on this page:

I think Pluto's just watching out for themselves, which is fair, given the amount of work they put back to the project. All of the tools or software components that LinuxMCE use are available in some form or another in the open source community. But the hardware drivers for the DCE-router and the router itself are what constitute the essence of LinuxMCE, and not its disjointed parts. Given that the DCERouter and most of its hardware drivers came from Pluto, I wouldn't expect otherwise.

However, it must be emphasised that LinuxMCE IS dual licensed in a commercial setting. And although you don't have to be a lawyer to understand these texts, I think it would take a lawyer to see whether the Pluto Public License stands up in court, as the GPL is commonly recognized across the globe. The main question would be whether this type of dual-licensing would be in violation of the GPL, and thereby self-contradictory.

But those issues aside, and like I said before, I think the motive of Pluto is self-preservation. You probably could sell a "turnkey solution" using LinuxMCE, they just want to know who you are and that you're not ruining their business.

Users / Apacer Full HD Media player (AL670)
« on: January 31, 2011, 01:56:21 pm »
Has anyone tested Apacer's full HD media players? I'm getting a good deal on them now, about 50% of what I must pay for a "regular" nettop, so if I could hack one of these to boot over LAN I'd save a lot of cash:)
Product specs:

Unfortunately, it's only 10/100 Ethernet Connector. But it does have a remote!

Feature requests & roadmap / Re: hdmi cec
« on: January 04, 2011, 06:33:46 pm »
Some of the hackers on the forums are working on a chip with some success:

One user Phil123 is working on a breadboard design that:
tAt the end there will be a breakout board for the Arduino which has 2 HDMI connectors (in/out). One will be connected to the TV set, the other to a HTPC. The CEC in/out will be sent/received via the USB connection to a PC. That way a HTPC can be driven by the remote control of the TV set.

He put up sourcecode here:
Circuit schema here:

One Andrew put up a nice excel table of the opcodes:

Of course, this all amounts to using the CEC hacked android breadboard and not the built-in HDMI in the mobo/VGA cards. But I thought I should mention it anyway.

According to Mark E. DeYoung neither ATI nor nVidia is building CEC into their cards (source)

Feature requests & roadmap / Re: hdmi cec
« on: January 03, 2011, 04:11:37 pm »
Apparently, CEC-wiring is mandatory in HDMI but product implementation voluntary.

According to Wikipedia different trade names for the IMPLEMENTED CEC are:
Anynet (Samsung); Aquos Link (Sharp); BRAVIA Sync (Sony); HDMI-CEC (Hitachi); Kuro Link (Pioneer); CE-Link and Regza Link (Toshiba); RIHD (Remote Interactive over HDMI) (Onkyo); SimpLink (LG); HDAVI Control, EZ-Sync, VIERA Link (Panasonic); EasyLink (Philips); and NetCommand for HDMI (Mitsubishi).

The specification is built on AV.Link, which is used in SCART.
You can download the HDMI 1.3a specification for free by filling in the form here:

It exists a HDMI-CEC to USB and RS-232 bridge/converter as featured on Hackaday. This guy Valkyriemt made it work for him: Controlling Volume… Look Ma, no extra Wires!

A white paper on what this device does and how to use it can be downloaded here: PDF which makes the device writes:
(HDMI-CEC to USB and RS-232 converter) device has been demonstrated to work with TVs from Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, LG, Panasonic, and Mitsubishi.  TV CEC capabilities vary widely.  Many recent models can be powered on, off, and have the external HDMI input source chosen via CEC.
This device could be connected into the HDMI cable between the TV and the PC, but that is not necessary. Because the CEC bus is a single wire bus between all components, the device can be plugged into any HDMI input in the Home Theater system. The advantage of this approach is that the integrity of the cable (and therefore the quality of the signal) between the TV and the PC does not need to compromised by adding this device to it.

As far as I understand it having merely looked at the HDMI specs, the specification allows for pass-thru signalling; meaning one sleeping device will still pass through messages (such as SHUT DOWN) to other connected devices that are on or off. In other words, HDMI cables can become an extension of the network cabling for LinuxMCE to talk to devices directly the last-three-feet.

I personally have a Toshiba REGZA 42" (42XV550P) Television that I bought a couple of years back, and it doesn't have a serial RS232 controller. It does have 3 HDMI connectors though. I am not much of an electronics guy either, but I think we should be able to wing it.

The remote control for my Toshiba REGZA 42" has its own REGZA Link mode, which is Toshiba's implementation of HDMI's CEC, though sending them using IR. Showcase:

If I can record the IR signals sent to the television in REGZA Link mode, I should be able to send the same signals from a computer to the television (and other CEC devices), given I have a way to interface with HDMI with on the command-line and a HDMI controller on the computer. From this it should be possible to create a device template or "device class template" (e.g. REGZA-device), no?
The CEC specification has its own addressing scheme (think DHCP) with logical addresses 4, 8 and 11 reserved for playback devices.

The CEC wiring IS MANDATORY so you would not need more than one HDMI cable between computer and television, since the wiring for the CEC signalling is already inside the cable (in other words, HDMI cables send CEC along with VIDEO and AUDIO). But I don't know exactly what tty you could use (if any).. Just some thoughts on the matter..

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