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Messages - alx9r

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I used your template and it seemed to fix the issue also that when I went to Power, and then Off, that my amplifier didn't try to turn itself right back on again...using 710.


You're welcome.  I'm glad it helped you.

There are 720p and 1080p videos, all encoded in WMV and 24 fps. MAybe we could use those for HD testing?
I think some could be included, but a wider variety of codecs, bitrates, and fps should be tested than just those offered on that page.


Users / Re: Small Form Factor MD Hardware (First Posting)
« on: May 18, 2009, 03:57:09 pm »
We should see vdpau implemented in an early Beta LinuxMCE-0810 I would expect.

That's contrary to this post.  Do you have some news from devs since then?


Users / Re: Small Form Factor MD Hardware (First Posting)
« on: May 17, 2009, 05:56:49 pm »
My first intention was to use the VIA Mini-ITX form factor, however
one of my requirements is for HD playback.
If you intend to playback HD, you will need a fair amount of processing power in your MD.  See here for details:

The Atom 1.6Ghz N270 CPU (and I suspect the N230 you are contemplating) can play few HD videos -- it is just not fast enough.

You might want to read the rest of that article too as there is a lot consider when selecting a mainboard for LinuxMCE, some of which is far from obvious or intuitive.

The fact that this is an Nvidia GPU, is this a breakthrough?
I would say that an nVidia GPU is preferable to intel or ATI because nVidia GPUs are more likely to work out-of-the-box with fewer issues.  However, as far as decoding video goes, none of the three can be used to decode video using LinuxMCE -- all decoding is currently done by the CPU.



Users / Re: New in the Wiki: Alx9r's Sample Setup
« on: May 17, 2009, 05:38:12 pm »
One section I would still recommend an update alx9r is the resolution output one. Dave89 is correct that the TV does play a huge part in what resolution you can use.
Agreed.  The resolution that you can use in your completely assembled system depends on the capabilities of your display.  I do have plans to cover that aspect of hardware selection in another topic.  I've added a short note about display resolution capability to the resolutions section on the mainboards page.  Once the full discussion of display selection is in the wiki, I'll link to it from there.

There is a technology called EDID that allows your video card to query the display (TV/CRT/LCD/projector) and determine the max resolution it supports, this is what actually limits your output options on the video card. The setting is in the card software, so it appears its a card restriction, but it actually stems from your display.
hmm...LinuxMCE disables EDID by default.  see the following:

As far as I can tell that information is valid.  In 0710 the template that LinuxMCE uses to generate xorg.conf includes the line
Code: [Select]
       Option "UseEDID"     "false"



Users / Re: I have made the jump, this is what i have ordered..
« on: May 15, 2009, 08:26:53 am »
In case you haven't already come across it already, there is a new guide in the wiki to help with mainboard selection.  You can find it here:
It might help you when you are selecting a mainboard for your next LinuxMCE box.


I've added the survey results so far to the wiki...thanks for your contributions.  Anyone else who can share their results would be appreciated.


Alex, thank you so much for your work here.
You're welcome.  And thank you for all the software you write and maintain.

The software that you and all the other LinuxMCE devs are creating is awesome.  I think it deserves good user documentation.  I don't write code so I'm happy to do the documentation.  Anything I can do to help this project gain momentum I think is worth doing.



Alex,i cant find the right words to thank You enough on this new Wiki. I have been around LinuxMCE for a year now and was trying to get all of important stuff in one place.Your wiki has all i wanted to gather,THANK YOU.
You're welcome.  Thanks for the feedback -- I was hoping it would help people.

I was wondering would it be possible for You to put somewhere on the Web the video files You were using for testing,so others (like me) could use them also and post our own results in Your wiki. That way we could build a nice DB for everyone and start a great and detailed Wiki page.

Please see my previous post in this thread.  Hopefully someone can volunteer to undertake that.

Users / Re: New in the Wiki: Alx9r's Sample Setup
« on: May 13, 2009, 09:27:12 pm »
In regards to the video decoding and TV's, I was under the impression that the screen resolution and size of my TV would determine what type of playback result I achieved from the processor.  Perhaps I was wrong in my understanding.  If so, it might be helpful to clarify this a bit. 
Oh now I see where the confusion is coming from, good point.  I have added a section called "Two Distinct Resolution Capabilities" to clarify this.  Let me know what you think.

On a side note, are there any processors which work with LinuxMCE which produce flawless results for all of the eight samples?

I don't know the answer to that.  I have plans to build a media director around the fastest processor I can ju$tify.   

Ive been looking for a good source of sample videos in various resolutions and bitrates, are the ones you used available freely somewhere?
Freely yes.  Easily distributable in a nice package, no.  As I was doing the testing I decided I should compile sample videos into a sort of "codec test pack", put it out there on bittorrent, and start a forum survey so we can get some more data for that section. 

If you want to undertake this, I recommend searching bittorrent for HD videos.  Many of them have short samples included in them.  Download the samples and check the codec/fps/bitrate/resolution using Video Inspector or GSpot.  Once you collect a variety of them organize them in a bittorent release. 



Users / Re: New in the Wiki: Alx9r's Sample Setup
« on: May 13, 2009, 05:32:42 pm »
I see on your guide, in the video section that the nVidia Geforce 8400GS is not listed.  Was this done because it is not compatable? Or you just never tested it?
The data in that table came mostly from a forum survey (see the notes at the bottom of the table).  The data was contributed by other forum readers like yourself. 

Yea..just been having trouble with it.  Actually spent some time with it last night and finally got it to PXE boot.  But resolution is waayy off.  And i couldn't get back to the video wizard.
Once you have gotten to the bottom of it, please post your results on the forum survey thread.  This information is like gold for new users.  You can find the thread here:


Users / Re: New in the Wiki: Alx9r's Sample Setup
« on: May 13, 2009, 05:28:29 pm »
Dave and Pnuts,
Thanks for the feedback.  I chose the title to restrict the scope of the topic to mainboards as much as possible.  I intend to create a broader topic to cover hardware other than mainboards (the topics will surely refer to one another).  It will probably be a handful of topics actually as there is a lot of ground to cover. 

You did a nice job explaining terms which are familiar to veteran users, but not to those that are new to LinuxMCE, such as PXE and GPU.
I think hyperlinking the first mention of these words to a wikipedia or LinuxMCE wiki page should help here.  That's on the TODO list.

1.  Three different sections for motherboard selection based upon core, hybrid/core, and client.  This would make it even easier to focus on the specific needs of the system being built.
*wrinkles nose*...that would be messy.  Some factors aren't split nicely between those three categories (like form factor).  There are also criteria that apply to 2 of the 3.

2.  Some more detail about the case for the motherboard.
3.  Information about things like Bluetooth, and remote control receiver.
Case selection, bluetooth, and remote control stuff should go in other topics.  I'm curious what details about cases you are looking for here. 

4.  You have done a nice job detailing your personal hybrid.  You might want to make those references links to that page (such as under Video Decoding Requirements)
Thanks.  Good point, done.

5.  Under video decoding, it would be nice to have some more options listed if possible.  Or, at least a link to a list of others.
I think it would be nice too. ;)  That will depend on others contributing them as I only had the hardware listed there to test.  Perhaps a properly initiated survey would help this along.

6.  Also under video decoding, it would be helpful to have some explanations as to what the different playback results mean.  I want to make sure when I select the components for my hybrid that I have a processor capable not only of working with my current TV, but something that will work with TV's I may purchase in the future.
Hmm...the processing power required to decode a video doesn't depend on the TV.  AFAIK wrt video decoding processing demands there is no (or at least negligible) dependence on the final display resolution.

Overall, I felt like a learned a huge amount from reading the page and it was very insightful.
Well then the goal is largely accomplished.  :) You're welcome and thanks for the feedback.



Installation issues / Re: How to Respond to Display On/Off Events
« on: May 13, 2009, 04:57:22 pm »
Thanks for the response.  In terms of power and volume control it seems your Spa MD setup is indeed similar to my Bedroom MD setup. 

However.... Using an audio pipe means that volume commands are directed to the pipe (whether it handles them or not) so in my scenario (and yours I suspect) there is now no way to control the volume as these commands need to be processed by the App Server (which controls the sound card volume controls).
Your suspicion was exactly right.  I ran into this problem also.

I discussed this on IRC with Thom I think it was and he is convinced that i am using the system in an inappropriate way and that is expected behaviour. I disagree and believe that volume commands should be able to be directed to whatever device can handle them perhaps with a heirarchy based order - but until I can change this code then that it teh way it works.

I can't comment on whether this behavior is expected or not or good or bad. However, I think it is worth stating the following explicity: There doesn't seem to be a way to properly control the power-only of a device that is somewhere in the audio signal path between the MD and speakers that does not control the volume.  This type of device includes stereo amplifiers and equalizers (think audiophile), studio monitors (like I am using), any kind of rack mount processing gear (I'm thinking compressors, noise gates, etc.), and multimedia computer speakers.

My temporary solution which might help you was to listen for the Media Playing and Media Stopped events and use these to turn the Amp on/off. This meant removing the audio pipe so that the volume commands would still be handled by app server and go to the sound card. It works but is a bit of a hack really and ideally I would like to have the pipe connected but that is just added to teh list of things that I would liek to do.....
The downside, of course, of using the Media Playing/Stopped events is that power to the amplifier is toggled more frequently.

I've got some good news.  I did get both the power and volume behavior working correctly late last night.  The solution isn't that elegant though:
1. I created an an "Amp/Preamps/Recevers/Tuners" GSD device template
2a. I patched the commands for volume and mute to the TV device (I am using it to control volume, I suspect they could be patched to control the sound card volume somehow).
2b. I patched the command for power to the X10 switch device that controls the power to the speaker amplifiers.

So the "power on" ruby rectangles looks like this:
Code: [Select]
dest = <X10 switch device ID>;
cmd =,dest ,1,1,192);
cmd.params_[97] = "98";

Hope that helps in some way
It sure does.  I was hoping someone could comment on whether I am approaching the problem in a productive way.



Installation issues / How to Respond to Display On/Off Events
« on: May 13, 2009, 05:41:07 am »
Does anyone know how to create a "Respond to Events" entry that responds to a media director display turning on or off? 

I have other "Respond to Events" entries working (set volume when playing media for example).  I haven't figured out how to set the criteria for an event such that it fires when an MD display is turned on or off.

The obvious General=>on/off event doesn't seem to fire at all (I tried setting it up to respond to my TV's on/off).  I think I might be misunderstanding how events work.  If someone who's had some success with Advanced Events could point me in the right direction I'd appreciate it.

Why do I want to respond to an MD display on/off event?  I am using some powered speakers (actually studio monitors) with one of my media directors.  I would like to turn them on and off with the display (i.e. the TV).  I have the X10 gear to switch the power, but the tricky part seems to be hooking into the display on/off events.   

Perhaps someone else who is using PC speakers or a straight power amplifier has come across a good solution to powering them on and off.



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