Author Topic: Minimal hardware for test setup  (Read 3521 times)

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Minimal hardware for test setup
« on: August 19, 2005, 03:30:18 pm »
What is the minimal hardware I'd need to get to do a test of Pluto? I'm thinking one M/D to play DVDs and potentially music to start. My initial guesses:

Core: decent processor (2+ GHz), lots of memory (1+ GB) and hard disk space. That's what I have access to cheaply. With this Core machine, could I later add a TV Card to set up MythTV? I'm also assuming that I'll only need 1 TV card per channel I want to watch or record simultaneously. Is that even the right approach to put MythTV on the Core?

M/D: moderate processor (<1 GHz), RAM (minimum?), network bootable, and it appears it needs to be Intel architecture (e.g. P4 or P4-M).

IR adapter: Which GC100?

What about a controller? I don't have a PDA or Symbian phone. How would I control this beast to start DVDs or play music? I have another 2 computers in the house that will not be converted to M/Ds, but that isn't convenient for DVD control (or eventually TV control).

Thanks for any pointers to help get me started.

Colin

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Minimal hardware for test setup
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2005, 06:34:30 pm »
Your hardware assumption sound about right.  We are working on a boot image for the VIA platform, which will make for very low cost media directors.  Of course the safe bet for the moment is a P4 as you said.

Of course you can just control a system with a mouse and keyboard, although it admittedly even a wireless keyboard isn't something that comfortably sits on the sofa. The cheapest (small) way to control Pluto is just using a normal infrared remote control.  The 28 version due to be released on Monday or Tuesday as much improved infrared functionality, and every screen is designed to be controllable with infrared as well.  The problem is the infrared receivers we been using with the LIRC Project are not very reliable or accurate.  We would really like to be able to use the same infrared transceiver of the Microsoft Windows XP media Center, but the problem is there are just no reliable linux drivers for it yet.  So for the 28 release we have a new driver for the irtrans.de tranceiver.  This does both infrared receive and transmit.  And it seems to work flawlessly,  and a 28 release includes an optimized template for her in the windows XP media Center remote controls, which are available everywhere very cheap.  You could also get a DIGN/Dvine 5 case (see ahanix.com), which has an IR trans receiver and VFD display built-in.  That's what I'm using, and it works great.  Remember you can also get a Symbian series 60 phone on eBay for around 80 or $90, you don't need any service to use it, or you could get it cheap PDA from eBay as well.

Of course the Windows version of orbiter can run on any Windows PC, and any media director can be used as a remote control for any other media director.

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Minimal hardware for test setup
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2005, 07:07:59 pm »
It will be interesting to see the results with the VIA platform. I found one review of it that indicated it was good for DVD decompression (MPEG2), but couldn't handle anything else without dropped frames and stuttering. Not a major concern for me, but something I'll keep in mind.

If I understand, the XP MC remotes are the transmitter only, and I'd still need a case with the tranceiver or the one from irtrans.de? Also, in regards to the ability to control all the A/V devices from Pluto (e.g. insert DVD, TV switches to DVD input automatically, surround sound unit switches on, etc.) I'd need the GC 100? Or could the irtrans.de device do that also?

Thanks for the reply. I'm going to see if I can scrounge up some spare computers and parts to give this a try.

Colin

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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2005, 07:29:01 pm »
irtrans does both send/receive.  you don't need the gc100 with an irtrans.

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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2005, 08:38:25 pm »
Thanks for the speedy reply.

So to confirm (sorry for being so thick)...

If I go with a case with a IR receiver I'll be able to use a regular remote to control the M/D, but won't get the full control integration with the other components.

To fully integrate control of the other components, I need to add an IR transceiver, and position it so that it can "see" all the components it is intended to control (which could include the M/D if it didn't have IR on the case).

Thanks again for being patient with my basic questions.

Colin

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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2005, 11:04:58 pm »
correct the normal irtrans from the website does both send (ie control other equipment) and receive (be controlled by i/r remote).  the irtrans oem unit built into the dvine 5 case (and other cases) is receive only.  so either case with i/r receive, plus gc100 if you want to control, or irtrans with send/receive.  note the gc100 also gives you serial ports, inputs, and relay outputs you can use for home automation.

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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2005, 06:38:17 pm »
AFAIK the Microsoft MCE USB remote receiver should run under lirc 0.7.2 - also the new one's. Did somebody give it a try already?

Regards
Carsten

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« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2005, 10:00:34 am »
Hi Carsten,

we have here on our test platform an Windows MCE Remote which is working fine with lirc. i don't know what version of lirc though.

Dan

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« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2005, 09:58:47 pm »
Hi Dan,

I just tested my Microsoft MCE 2005 USB remote receiver on a MD:

The modules lirc_mceusb2 and lirc_dev are loaded succesfully (just plugged in the receiver and rebooted)! So far so good! :)

But I can't choose the mceusb2 driver in the pluto MD admin page (only mceusb is selectable, which is for older pre 2005 remotes). Where can I add this infrared receiver?

And if I try to add the MCE remote a popup opens which says: "This device requires some advance preparation, ...". But nothing seems to happen. What should happen?

Can you help me?

Best regards

Carsten

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« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2005, 12:15:51 pm »
If the driver is loaded (which means either discover or hotplug loads it, sice we don't), select "default" from that drop down. But I don't think the remote definition matches the "Windows XP MC Remote" either so you'll have to train it and send us the config. I'm not too sure about this though.

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« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2005, 04:30:51 pm »
Quote from: "carstenschroeder"
AFAIK the Microsoft MCE USB remote receiver should run under lirc 0.7.2 - also the new one's. Did somebody give it a try already?

Regards
Carsten


We have several 'New' MS USB receivers/remotes working ok. We set them to use mce_usb as the receiver and used the ' Windows XP MC Remote' as the remote.

Cheers

Andrew

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« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2005, 09:22:10 am »
i confirm that i have a working remote with lirc, using mce_usb as receiver and Windows XP MC Remote