Author Topic: First time user: Help before install  (Read 1108 times)

Radical_Monkey

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First time user: Help before install
« on: November 07, 2008, 06:02:25 pm »
Hi All,

Currently I'm using Windows Vista Ultimate on my media centre pc (i know its over kill but it was a pressie for my bday). Its slow to start up and seems to lock up alot. I came across this website by chance really since I was goggling different Linux distributions. I'm very impressed with LinuxMCE and definitely want to give it a go. Before I do, I have a few questions id like to ask, and also this is the first time installing any kind of Linux based OS.

My system specs are as follows:
- ASUS M2NPV-VM
- AMD Athlon 64 3800+
- 2GB RAM
- 40GB primary HDD
- 500GB secondary HDD
- CD/DVD drvie
- USB IR transmitter that came with the windows media center remote
- Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-4000 tv tuner
-  newbielink:http://"http://www.bgears.com/b-enspirer.html" [nonactive]

Im planning to install newbielink:http://"http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=729076&Product=LG+GGC-H20L+Lightscribe+SATA+16xDVD±R+%2bRWx8/-RW+x6+Also+READS+-+Blu-Ray+%26+HD+Disc's+black+-+Retail" [nonactive] blu-ray drive to replace the dvd drive, most likely after the OS installation.

1. Is the above spec ok for installing LunixMCE as a hybrid? Ive read that there are issues with my tv card? Also there is
    a linux driver provided for the soundcard by the manufacturer however im not sure if it will work?

2. Does LinuxMCE play MKV files natively? If not what software do i need inorder to get them to play?

3. Do I need any other software to play retail DVDs like nVidia's dvd decoder for windows MCE?

4. Would it be possible to use my N95 to control the media pc?

Thanks in advance for your replies, im really excited to install LinuxMCE and any help would be greatly appreciated :)

sambuca

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Re: First time user: Help before install
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2008, 09:10:07 pm »
Hi,
and welcome

1. The specs. look good for a first setup. If you plan on extending the system with any media directors (MDs), you might consider changing the hybrid to a core to ease the load, but I would not worry about that just yet.
Be warned: the HVR-4000 is not supported by default in LMCE. There exists a driver, but you will need to compile it yourself (See the www.linuxtv.org site for more information). On the other hand, I do use this card in my setup, and it works fine once you got the setup right.
Sorry, don't know anything about the sound card.

2. You will find some forum posts regarding MKV. I suggest searching the forums, as I have not tried MKV files myself.

3. There is an option to install the dvdcss library which allows you to play DVDs. I did have problems with playing a few DVDs.

4. Dont know for sure, but since it uses the Symbian OS, it might be possible. Check the wiki for mobile orbiters. If not, the JavaMO might be a possibility, although it is now quite finnished yet.

Regarding blu-ray, there have also been some forum posts. Don't have a drive myself, so I suggest doing a search in the forum.

regards,
sambuca

totallymaxed

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Re: First time user: Help before install
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2008, 12:26:56 pm »
Hi All,

Currently I'm using Windows Vista Ultimate on my media centre pc (i know its over kill but it was a pressie for my bday). Its slow to start up and seems to lock up alot. I came across this website by chance really since I was goggling different Linux distributions. I'm very impressed with LinuxMCE and definitely want to give it a go. Before I do, I have a few questions id like to ask, and also this is the first time installing any kind of Linux based OS.

My system specs are as follows:
- ASUS M2NPV-VM
- AMD Athlon 64 3800+
- 2GB RAM
- 40GB primary HDD
- 500GB secondary HDD
- CD/DVD drvie
- USB IR transmitter that came with the windows media center remote
- Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-4000 tv tuner
Bgears b-Enspirer soundcard

Im planning to install this blu-ray drive to replace the dvd drive, most likely after the OS installation.

1. Is the above spec ok for installing LunixMCE as a hybrid? Ive read that there are issues with my tv card? Also there is
    a linux driver provided for the soundcard by the manufacturer however im not sure if it will work?

2. Does LinuxMCE play MKV files natively? If not what software do i need inorder to get them to play?

3. Do I need any other software to play retail DVDs like nVidia's dvd decoder for windows MCE?

4. Would it be possible to use my N95 to control the media pc?

Thanks in advance for your replies, im really excited to install LinuxMCE and any help would be greatly appreciated :)

The basic spec looks ok. The Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-4000 may cause some issues as it is not completely supported under Linux currently. See here for more details http://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/Hauppauge_WinTV-HVR-4000

The motherboard should be fine and mkv files (ie h.264 encoded) do play at upto 720p but you may find there are some green pixellated artifacts during playback with the current nvidia drivers.

LinuxMCE will play & rip the vast majority of DVD's out there. If you find one that does not play or rip then you can still use a Windows app to rip it to an iso and then just copy it into LinuxMCE's media library (ie /home/public/data/videos ) and it will work fine.

Currently the Series60 Orbiter is not compatible with the N95 but the JavaMO (Mobile Orbiter) would work fine.

All the best

Andrew

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Radical_Monkey

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Re: First time user: Help before install
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2008, 11:27:05 am »
Thanks for the replies guys, was really helpful :)

I have one more question, if I have a piece of hardware that has linux drivers is that guaranteed to work with linux mce or does it need specific drivers?

totallymaxed: You said that MKV files do play up to 720p, does that mean that a 1080p file wont play or it will only play to 720p?

sambuca: I dont really like to sound of having to compile the drivers myself  ??? From a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is very easy and 10 is insanely difficult, where would compiling the driver come? Considering this is the first time im doing anything linux related. Ive had a look on the website and it look mightly complicated...  :'(

Also you said the 4000 works fine in your set up, does that mean that all the outputs work? Even the  DVB-S2 receiver?

totallymaxed

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Re: First time user: Help before install
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2008, 12:36:17 pm »
totallymaxed: You said that MKV files do play up to 720p, does that mean that a 1080p file wont play or it will only play to 720p?

Hi again,

What i meant was that in testing here we have successfully played back various 720p h.264 encoded mkv files on nVidia 6150/7300/8300 GPU's and the performance has been fine. Content at encoded at 1080p however did not play as smoothly on the same hardware... and would not have been acceptable for daily usage.

In the above tests we have the MD's configured at 720p & 1080p (ie using the AVwizard)

All the best

Andrew
Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd
United Kingdom

Read My Blog; http://ellipticalcurve.com

Contact me for Smart Home consulting advice here;
@herron on Twitter, totallymaxed+consulting@gmail.com via email or PM me here.

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iOS Orbiter: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Dianemo_iOS_Orbiter
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dianemo-Home-Automation/226019387454465

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sambuca

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Re: First time user: Help before install
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2008, 01:00:01 pm »
Note that "works with lmce" can mean different things:
* Most basic interpretation is that the linux driver is included in lmce. This means that your device will be usable for linux.
* The other aspect is that lmce autodetects your device and sets it up more or less automatically. Not valid for all types of devices, but at least for some.
If you have a specific device, you should search the wiki and the forums for any information, and post a question if you cannot find any.

But in most cases hardware with linux drivers will work with lmce. A problem could be that the driver is brand new and has not been included in the linux kernel version used in lmce.

I did myself put off the compiling for quite some time, even though I have a few years of Linux experience, so I can understand your concern. I would say it is about 5 on the scale for my part. The main problem with this driver was that there were several different drivers (or variants thereof) to choose from. Besides that, the compiling were pretty straight-forward.
But lately there seems to have been quite a few changes to the driver development, and that this driver will be included in the 2.6.28 kernel. They have also removed the source I built the driver from, so I really cannot say how easy/difficult it would be to  build it today.
To build the driver today, I think you need to download the whole v4l source tree. http://linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/How_to_install_DVB_device_drivers is a good starting point.

I used the 4000 mainly for DVB-S. I think the S2 part was not supported by the driver at the time I built it. I did test DVB-T also, and it seemed to work fine. Reading the linuxtv wiki, it seems that S2 will not be supported until kernel 2.6.28 is released.

Radical_Monkey

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Re: First time user: Help before install
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2008, 04:23:27 pm »
Thanks very much for the info! :) I think im ready to install it now, ill just leave the 4000 driver stuff until kernel 2.6.28 is released.

Thanks to both of you again for all your help ;D