Author Topic: What hardware was used in the 0704 video?  (Read 2095 times)

nosebreaker

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What hardware was used in the 0704 video?
« on: November 03, 2008, 10:50:02 pm »
I just saw this video:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2176025602905109829

Simply put: I want to duplicate this functionality, and I know that Linux is tricky with most hardware.  I want to buy the same exact thin clients, webpad, TV decoder, flat panel TV, remote, everything.  What did the creator of the video use?

If this question has already been asked please post a link the the answer, I couldn't find it!

alx9r

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Re: What hardware was used in the 0704 video?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2008, 11:51:59 pm »
There's some info on the wiki page here:
http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Video

When I embarked on setting up my LinuxMCE system I also wanted to duplicate parts of what I saw in the video - or at least the functionality.  Here's my experience FWIW:
 - I had trouble finding some of the items and opted for others altogether based on what I read in the wiki, forums, online reviews, and price/performance at the time (e.g. for NAS I went for the D-Link DNS-323 rather than a Buffalo unit used in the video)
 - I tried to track down the DVD jukebox a few months ago without success.
 - I am using the ASUS M2NPV-VM motherboard from the video, but it seems that that mobo is getting harder to find.
 - Sharp Aquos TV is a good route to go.  The model in the video wasn't available here in Canada and I believe it has been succeeded by a newer version.  I ended up with the LC42D64U.
 - The video uses a RXV-1500 Yamaha receiver.  I think it is now also succeeded by another model; I wasn't able to find one for myself.  I use a Denon and have nothing but good things to say about it: It was truly plug and play.
 - I tried to locate the DT 375 Web pad with no luck.  After some research I ended up with the Nokia N800.

In hopes of helping people to figure out what parts are actually going to work, I've got the details of my working system documented here:
http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Alx9r%27s_Sample_Setup

Many others have documented their systems too.  See here:
http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Category:User_Setups

Hope that helps a bit,

Alex


nosebreaker

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Re: What hardware was used in the 0704 video?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2008, 04:36:24 pm »
Yeah that is what I was afraid of, most of the hardware isn't available now.  The appeal of LMCE is the ease of installation and use, and to get that I accept that I'll need to buy specific hardware.  But if I can't get that hardware then I have to deal with the usual linux "edit 50 text files with arcane commands and options" crap.

I'd like to just have the primary media center in the basement (with the TV card for input but no A/V gear) and use thin clients everywhere else.  The "follow me" feature and the home automation is also appealing.

Zaerc

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Re: What hardware was used in the 0704 video?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2008, 04:48:19 pm »
Yeah that is what I was afraid of, most of the hardware isn't available now.  The appeal of LMCE is the ease of installation and use, and to get that I accept that I'll need to buy specific hardware.  But if I can't get that hardware then I have to deal with the usual linux "edit 50 text files with arcane commands and options" crap.

I'd like to just have the primary media center in the basement (with the TV card for input but no A/V gear) and use thin clients everywhere else.  The "follow me" feature and the home automation is also appealing.

Yeah, god forbid you'd have to put in any effort at all to get what you want from free software. 
"Change is inevitable. Progress is optional."
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nosebreaker

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Re: What hardware was used in the 0704 video?
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2008, 09:39:10 pm »
I put in lots of effort for plenty of other open source things, my media center isn't something I feel justified spending lots of time on.  That being said, I'd gladly pay for a solution that meets my needs and does what I want.   Notice how I am talking about buying whatever is necessary, including the Fiire clients and remotes just to get what I want.  Since the hardware doesn't seem to be out there, I am forced to muck with other hardware and hope it works.  I have a limited amount of free time, if I can't get it to work in one afternoon I'll probably never use it again.

This is kind of the problem with Linux in general on the desktop, most users don't want to spend lots of time, they just want it to work like an appliance.

freymann

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Re: What hardware was used in the 0704 video?
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2008, 10:18:04 pm »
Notice how I am talking about buying whatever is necessary, including the Fiire clients and remotes just to get what I want.

 Hmm, and even if you could source out all the equipment used in that pretty youtube video, can you really afford it?

 I was hooked after watching that video (several times) and thought gee, I'll just use what I have and buy a few things. Over $3,000 CDN later I would consider myself "not done yet!" which is both good and bad, depending on ones point of view  ;)

 To see a list of my components, follow the link in my sig.

nosebreaker

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Re: What hardware was used in the 0704 video?
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2008, 10:36:19 pm »
Yes

Zaerc

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Re: What hardware was used in the 0704 video?
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2008, 12:06:36 am »
I put in lots of effort for plenty of other open source things, my media center isn't something I feel justified spending lots of time on.  That being said, I'd gladly pay for a solution that meets my needs and does what I want.   Notice how I am talking about buying whatever is necessary, including the Fiire clients and remotes just to get what I want.  Since the hardware doesn't seem to be out there, I am forced to muck with other hardware and hope it works.  I have a limited amount of free time, if I can't get it to work in one afternoon I'll probably never use it again.

This is kind of the problem with Linux in general on the desktop, most users don't want to spend lots of time, they just want it to work like an appliance.

If you're already complaining about the fact that you might have to edit a few config files before you have even started, then I seriously doubt all the "lots of effort" you put into those "plenty of other open source things".

Plain and simple, what you want (or feel justified to spend time on, as you so dramaticly put it) is your problem, not ours, can you deal with that?  None of the volunteers here are interested in your demanding "costumer" attitude, or how much money you can/want to spend to avoid having to edit a config file here or there.  If this is a huge issue for you then I'd suggest you go look at comparable systems such as crestron that will probably do everything you want without the need to ever edit a file yourself at all.

And that is not a problem of Linux, it's a problem of those users, funny how some people always like to turn these things around.
"Change is inevitable. Progress is optional."
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alx9r

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Re: What hardware was used in the 0704 video?
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2008, 01:06:23 am »
nosebreaker,
I see you've already met zaerc, the chairman of the welcoming committee.  But seriously, I think you'll find that you'll need quite a bit more time than one afternoon to get a LinuxMCE system functioning the way you want.  If that's more time than you'd like to invest in a media center, you might be better off using different less complex media center software.  I've heard others recommend XBMC and Mythbuntu.  Or, if you've got the cash pay someone to install a proprietary system like zaerc suggested.

regards,

Alex

nosebreaker

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Re: What hardware was used in the 0704 video?
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2008, 05:42:50 pm »
Thank you, I will look at the "creston".  I hadn't heard of it before.

I have a mythbuntu 8.04 system now, it didn't work on the first try with anything.  From having to edit the lirc config for the remote to not shutting down when you press the power button to not working with the TV card.  Plus it has an annoying habit of not auto-detecting media I put in the videos directory, I have to tell it there is new media all the time through a menu.  The end result is that I don't use it because it takes more time than just going to the computer and watching it on the projector.

Zaerc, I don't have to prove to you I'm not some 13-yr old n00b, your attitude probably puts people off this project though.  I'm not complaining because its just "a few config files".  I use Linux every day, I simply don't want to spend my spare time mucking with systems, I get enough of that at my job.

If it really is going to take weeks of spare time to get this working I'll probably never finish it.  I might tinker with a spare system to see how it works and what it detects before I jump into this then.

tschak909

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Re: What hardware was used in the 0704 video?
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2008, 07:22:49 pm »
nosebreaker, This system is very much unlike anything else in the free software world. And there are very few commercial equivalents...and all the commercial equivalents are insanely expensive. Zaerc mentioned Crestron, but AMX, and Control4, and Cortexa, are a few others. A typical Crestron system, for example, will set you back $200,000 or more, for a 4+ bedroom house, and you won't get telecom, or media control. You have to add those separately. The above figure also does not figure in the cost of programmer time, either (typically the programmer lives at your place for about 2 weeks configuring everything AFTER the wiring and hardware installation has been done.)

We are trying to do something here in a much larger scope than any of the media centers in the free software world, We are trying to create the ultimate smart home platform, nothing less. And because of this, our functional scope is unbelievably large, and because of that, we have to limit hardware configurations etc a bit, until someone can actually do the necessary leg work to make more hardware plug and play (believe it or not, the infrastructure to do this is already part of LinuxMCE itself.). We need everybody's help to do this.

-Thom

Zaerc

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Re: What hardware was used in the 0704 video?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2008, 08:39:41 pm »
...
I'm not complaining because its just "a few config files".
...

Oh really?

...
But if I can't get that hardware then I have to deal with the usual linux "edit 50 text files with arcane commands and options" crap.
...

Could have fooled me...  :P
"Change is inevitable. Progress is optional."
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hari

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Re: What hardware was used in the 0704 video?
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2008, 09:13:49 pm »
is this thread worth getting some popcorn?
rock your home - http://www.agocontrol.com home automation

freymann

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Re: What hardware was used in the 0704 video?
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2008, 09:28:47 pm »
I have a mythbuntu 8.04 system now, it didn't work on the first try with anything.  From having to edit the lirc config for the remote to not shutting down when you press the power button to not working with the TV card.  Plus it has an annoying habit of not auto-detecting media I put in the videos directory, I have to tell it there is new media all the time through a menu.  The end result is that I don't use it because it takes more time than just going to the computer and watching it on the projector.

 Depending on your type of remote some manual configuring of LIRC may be required. I used a supported MCE Remote (with MythBuntu and LMCE) and I didn't have to fiddle with anything until I wanted to change or add some controls. With LMCE I replaced the MCE IR transceiver with a USB-UIRT though so I could control my other a/v devices via IR. That's something (as far as I know) MythBuntu doesn't do.

 I also used a supported tuner card (Hauupage PVR150) and had absolutely no problems there with either software.

 As for auto detecting media, with MythBuntu, you have to hit a few keys and have it re-read your music or video folders. There is also a setting on one of the setup screens that tells MythBuntu to display ALL media in the folders even if it hasn't been cataloged yet. I know that works for Video, not positive about music. If you have some file extensions in the directories you don't want to display on the TV you can add those extensions to MythBuntu's ignore list.

 With LMCE, I can drop any type of media file onto the system and LMCE automagically detects it and catalogs it, and then I can come back later and manually add 'attributes' to further tune the collection.

 I use both systems here at home, all hanging off the main LMCE core.




nosebreaker

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Re: What hardware was used in the 0704 video?
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2008, 09:51:43 pm »
Hi Thom,

I see, I didn't realize it would cost so much to do something that seems so simple to do.  I guess the main problem is that a lot of people want it to "just work" like it did in your video, but the video was made using hardware that isn't readily available.  What is needed is the same video with hardware that can be purchased right now I think.  A more limited set of hardware would be best if it gives the user a better experience (mac approach).  If you could do that it would be great.  If you had a "wish list" of parts that you'd need to work on I'd certainly send you some stuff if it helps.  I think if you could get things to work with hardware that isn't as expensive that would also bring about more adoption.

Zaerc (popcorn),

Seems you're the official troll here.  Here's food for thought: You mentioned that you think it's the users problem that they can't get Linux to work on their desktop or they view it as being "too complicated".  Do you actually think you're going to change/educate everyone else?  You can't, but you can change the product so that it does what people expect it to do and it "just works".

Yes, I agree that some people like just typing a quick command vs clicking through a bunch of menus.  Sorting through data is far easier with a few commands than trying to open a big text file in notepad or something and searching for data.

Let me give you my perspective about a recent nvidia driver issue I had just the other day.  It started out as me just wanting to get surround sound working in Ubuntu.  I had used this box for over 2 years without any issues.  It was 6.05 I believe (6.x anyway).  I discovered I needed to install Pulse Audio to get surround sound, so I installed it via yum and walked away.  When I came back a few hours later it had upgraded Ubuntu to 7.10 since it wasn't compatible with 6.x!  This broke a number of things, including VMware and my nvidia driver.  I recompiled vmware and downloaded the latest NVidia driver and everything worked except my 2nd display was stuck at 800x600.  Since 7.10 is end of life as of a few weeks ago I figured I might as well upgrade to 8.x since the display was broken.  It upgraded to 8.04 fine and then rebooted, and the same NVidia/vmware issue was there.  So I went to install the nvidia driver again, except it didn't work.  I tried every possible way of removing and installing it, and it is broken.  EnvyNG, manual install, Ubuntu's nvidia-new drivers, etc.  I scoured forums, nothing.  The best I can do is to get ONE display working with the old "nv" driver (the other 2 won't work at all).  At this point I'm not touching it until I have lots of time since its at least working for now.  So to recap, after many hours of searching and trying new ways of installing I have 1 out of 3 displays working, and I still don't have surround sound.  It really shouldn't be this hard, and I hate to say it but I've found this to be a typical Linux experience.  I have 4 Fedora machines (6, 8 and 9), 2 Ubuntu, and 1 embedded system.  Every one of them has had some complication and hasn't worked right away, with the exception of one of the Fedora6 boxes.  If this has been my experience I don't wonder why Linux isn't more mainstream on the desktop market.

It's going to boil down to money eventually, as the volunteers will need money if they are to quit their day jobs and work on this project at some point.  I think taking steps now to move the product in that direction are a good idea (look at what Fiire is doing).  Sitting on your high horse doesn't work in the long run, seriously I suggest you drop the attitude.  You aren't helping things by insulting people.

freymann,

Thanks for the tips, I'll probably torch the mythbuntu system to try LinuxMCE on it.  I have the MCE remote, it wouldn't work until I gave the lircd daemon a kick in the pants.  I don't know what kind of tuner card is in it, probably a Leadtek Winfast XP 2000.