Author Topic: My expedition to LinuxMCE  (Read 1600 times)

MediaMonkey

  • Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
My expedition to LinuxMCE
« on: September 27, 2007, 01:10:56 am »
First of all please excuse me for such a long post.

I just started my expedition to LinuxMCE! I have another WindowsXP MCE already mostly used with MediaPortal. Media portal is much better than Windows XP MCE for playing archived music in local machine or from a FTP server. I preferred LinuxMCE because I can use it to share music files and DVDs either archived or by using the CD/DVD changer. I also like the concept of disk-less MDs. For movies I prefer to use DVD changer so that I do not have to use huge disks for storage and thereby reducing huge data loss in the event of a disk crash. I might later add an HDHomeRun for local TV channels. But for now it is exclusively to share media (DVD/CD) across all rooms in the house. Right now I am just experimenting with the setup and will be commissioning this once the basement is ready. My setup, so far is:

==== Core =====

Motherboard: http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=249235
             (which is same as http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186104&Tpk=N570SM2AA-8EKRS2H)
             (has two Network connections - one for Internet from my home network and the other connected to an 8 port switch for a separate media network)
Video Card : ASUS EN6200LE http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121019
CPU        : AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ 2.1GHz
RAM        : 2GB DDR2-800
Harddisk   : 80GB (will add more later)
Drives     : DVD drive/writer
External Dr: Sony XL1B3
InputDevice: Media center compatible Keyboard/Mouse combination
           : Gyro Mouse
IR Remote  : USB-UIRT (not yet installed)
OTA TVTuner: ATI HDTV Wonder (not sure if it is compatible - not yet installed)


Media Director ======
Currently I am using an old motherboard with minimum configuration as MD. (This sort of old school h/w costs very inexpensive these days)

Motherboard : Intel D815EFV with built in Video/Network/Audio
CPU         : P3/Celeron 1GHz
Memory      : 256MB SDRAM
(Power consumption of this setup is only about 40W or so. I will use similar configuration for all my MD needs if it serves the purpose)


My experience so far:

Even though most of it is working, there are quirks and they are.
  • Core and MD both keep running the detection scripts (for various TV models and such) every few minutes (or more frequent than that) -- which is very annoying
  • Core and MD both saying they found some Windows share called MOON or MOON12 or something and is ready for use!!
  • Could not play DVDs from the DVD changer, it is saying DVD changer drive is not accessible. But it can list the filled slots, eject a disc etc in the drive management screen. The same hardware setup including DVD changer worked fine with Windows XP Media center (I just installed WindowsXP MCE to test it).
  • I would like to hibernate (or shutdown) my Core when not in use and get it remotely woken up (or switched on).  I will tackle that myself, once everything is working fine. But I noticed that each time I start the Core it goes through all the initialization scripts such as re-building the screens and all that -- which really slows things down. Same issue is with MDs also. Is that normal?

Future plans:
  • Move my DirecTV HD-DVR along with MCECore and DVD changer to a basement corner Room (nook).
  • Rip all my CDs using DVD changer to MCE's native format (ogg?)
  • Mount all my DVDs in DVD changer and make it available for entire house.
  • Run wires from DirecTV DVR to two different locations in the house to watch DirecTV programs/recordings (one LCD TV in Living room and one Projector in basement family room). Have two MDs in these two locations control the TV, local receiver and DVD player using USB-UIRT.
  • Have one or two MDs in bedrooms for music, DVD and OTA TV programs from HDHomeRun (no receiver - audio though TV)

My questions:

  • While someone is watching a DVD from DVD changer using one MD, if someone else try to play another DVD in another MD what will happen?
  • If I get one more DVD changer can I watch two movies in two different places (one each from two different collections)?
  • If I change resolution of an MD or add new devices to one MD will linux keep track of the changes per MD?
  • Is it possible to remove the KDE Desktop option from the menu and add an option to start just the web-browser?
  • Can LinuxMCE play DVD-Audio?
  • Can LinuxMCE use shared folders from the external network?
  • I hear a lot of bad things about DVD changer, is it too unreliable for my use?
  • Movies can be stored (after ripping) in a raid-5 array or a DVD changer, which is better?
  • Should I wait for a Gigabit version of HDHomeRun? Or is 100mbps good enough?

Any other comments are also welcome. This is my favorite project now!
« Last Edit: September 27, 2007, 01:16:25 am by MediaMonkey »
Core/Hybrid: Foxconn N570SM2AA-8EKRS2H (has 2 network ports), ASUS EN6200LE, AMD-X2 4000+, 1GB DDR2-800, 500 GB SATA/300, DVD drive/writer, Sony XL1B3, BTC 9019URF, Gyro Mouse, Gyro Remote, USB-UIRT, MS Win XP Remote, ATI HDTV Wonder, HDHomeRun

Zaerc

  • Alumni
  • LinuxMCE God
  • *
  • Posts: 2256
  • Department of Redundancy Department.
    • View Profile
Re: My expedition to LinuxMCE
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2007, 03:00:13 am »
  • Core and MD both saying they found some Windows share called MOON or MOON12 or something and is ready for use!!
I think that shouldn't happen, but I've seen it too.  Just tell the system to ignore them permanently as their files will be available anyway in the LMCE system.

  • Is it possible to remove the KDE Desktop option from the menu and add an option to start just the web-browser?
Probably, just don't ask me how.  :-\  But you can already start just a browser by going to the computing screen and selecting one of the "Web bookmarks".
"Change is inevitable. Progress is optional."
-- Anonymous


colinjones

  • Alumni
  • LinuxMCE God
  • *
  • Posts: 3003
    • View Profile
Re: My expedition to LinuxMCE
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2007, 03:22:56 am »
MediaMonkey

The MOONxx devices it is detecting are the Windows machine you are running the MD on. Am I right in assuming that you have Windows installed on the PC, but then boot PXE to diskless MD? Even though Windows isn't even running, it seems that the MD detects the local partitions, recognises them as Windows partitions and serves them up as a (virtual?) device as if the PC was running at the same time as the MD. Very clear that it can do this, but quite annoying in my case because somehow this screwed up the library database and when I switched back to Windows, all the media that was previously in the database for that PC had gone. I'm assuming that it updated all the references so that the MOON device "owned" them, and when I rebooted into Windows the MD no longer existed of course, so it removed them from the view. Strange....

1audio

  • Addicted
  • *
  • Posts: 552
    • View Profile
Re: My expedition to LinuxMCE
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2007, 05:01:10 am »
1) MoonXX is the ID of the media directors (Relates to the Pluto origins of this stuff) They seem to be detected even though they should not be. This is a known bug (fwiw).
2) The detection scripts come from having some unrecognized serial device somewhere.
3) The DVD changer should work but its a little buggy. if you can check its logs when its running you may see lots of errors. A second changer should be able to make its content available to a second system.
4) No need for Gigabit Ethernet for the HDHomeRun. It can manage fine with 100M E.
5) Shared folders on the external network are not normally available, there are a host of reasons to keep the two seperate. But you can move all of your network stuff to the inside network, leaving only the cable modem/DSL modem on the outside.
6) You can change add and delete MD's (except the core) at any time, but it will take a while for the system to do the work.
7) Don't know about DVD Audio. Am working on Bluray but no promises.
8) You can integrate and control the DirecTV stuff but not internal, LMCE becomes a big remote for it. However someone found a way to get a Sat device into Myth (I'm not sure which) so there may be a better integration in the future.
9) I would use the changer unless you expect to watch the movies over and over a lot.
10) I set the system to Flac for best audio quality.

MediaMonkey

  • Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
Re: My expedition to LinuxMCE
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2007, 07:03:31 am »
Thanks for all the replies!

I just re-installed everything from scratch using the quick install DVD. MOON issue has disappeared. Detection scripts still run every few minutes (even after I disabled the serial port in the bios).

My DVD changer has already started acting funny! I tried to rip about 20 CDs in WindowsXP MCE. Not only that it failed but it ate couple of my CDs (they are inside the device and not recognized by the utility). Since I do not want to void the warranty, I may have to call Sony to get permission to open the device to retrieve my CDs.

After re-installing LinuxMCE from DVD, I am now trying to rip CDs/DVDs for a trial.

Probably, just don't ask me how.  :-\  But you can already start just a browser by going to the computing screen and selecting one of the "Web bookmarks".
Oh! I thought I have to go all the way to KDE desktop to access Web browser. I am still playing with all the options. I should have remembered that even Admin window is in Web browser!!

10) I set the system to Flac for best audio quality.
Thanks for the tip, I did not know that I could use flac, In fact I already ripped most of my CDs to flac using EAC and some script in Windows MCE itself.
Core/Hybrid: Foxconn N570SM2AA-8EKRS2H (has 2 network ports), ASUS EN6200LE, AMD-X2 4000+, 1GB DDR2-800, 500 GB SATA/300, DVD drive/writer, Sony XL1B3, BTC 9019URF, Gyro Mouse, Gyro Remote, USB-UIRT, MS Win XP Remote, ATI HDTV Wonder, HDHomeRun

1audio

  • Addicted
  • *
  • Posts: 552
    • View Profile
Re: My expedition to LinuxMCE
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2007, 08:50:24 am »
Quote
My DVD changer has already started acting funny! I tried to rip about 20 CDs in WindowsXP MCE. Not only that it failed but it ate couple of my CDs (they are inside the device and not recognized by the utility). Since I do not want to void the warranty, I may have to call Sony to get permission to open the device to retrieve my CDs.

Maybe thats why Sony is selling them for $200. I have 3 Powerfile dual drive changers (the industrial version) that are all flakey. The New Sony BluRay changer uses a mechanism from some one else. I was hoping the Sony version would be more reliable.