Posts Tagged ‘Media center’

XBMC Awww shiiiiiiiiiiitttt. EDEN (v.11) is finally stable!!

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

From: xbmc.org

It’s been over a year in the works and today we are excited to announce that XBMC 11.0 is finally ready and available for download. You can find XBMC 11.0 here.

XBMC 11.0 Milestones include Addon Rollbacks, vast improvements in Confluence (the default skin), massive speed increases via features like Dirty-region rendering and the new JPEG decoder, a simpler, better library, movie set scraping, additional protocol handling, better networking support, better handling of unencrypted BluRay content and structures, adjustable display refresh rate in OSX (to match the already available feature in Windows and Linux), AirPlay support, an upgraded weather service with geoip lookup, and much, much more. Check out the highlights in the summarized changelog.

The new Confluence
In addition to our many software improvements, we’ve increased our reach in the realm of hardware support since Dharma was released. Eden marks the first in-sync stable release for the Apple TV2, iPad, and other iOS devices. We’ve vastly improved the method by which we handle input, including heavily upgrading JSON-RPC support, making remote control support much, MUCH simpler in Windows, and enabling unique methods of device communication with hardware. And now even AMD devices are supported for GPU video decoding in Linux to some extent, thanks to the inclusion of VAAPI.

Beyond XBMC 11 for Windows, Linux, OSX, and iOS, we are also happy to announce XBMCbuntu Final.

XBMCbuntu is very similar to past versions of XBMC Live. By default, the user boots directly into XBMC, and if he/she chooses, he or she will never see the underlying OS. However, unlike Live, XBMCbuntu is now built upon a full LXDE desktop environment, which has a web browser (Chromium) with a fully updated (and updatable) version of Flash built-in and a GUI package manager ready to install and update all of the normal Ubuntu programs a typical Linux user might use. The user may now toggle between XBMC, which auto-starts, and a normal desktop if he or she chooses. And, perhaps most exciting for many users, XBMC will now be upgradeable, both from command line and from the GUI package manager, without fear of crashing the XBMC experience.

Naturally, those users who do not want to see the desktop will never need to. When you boot your computer, you will be booted directly into the XBMC homescreen, just as you are right now. The only clear difference is the new power underneath the hood. Those users who have already installed the Beta version of XBMCbuntu can upgrade to final using the apt-get upgrade commands.

There are truly an incredible number of updates and improvements between Dharma and Eden. But don’t take our word for it. Download XBMC 11.0 Eden now.

XBMC 11.0 Eden: Beta available now!

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

It took a bit longer than expected due to a few bumps in the road, but we are excited to present the first preview release of what we consider to be the best version of the best home theater software out there.Ladies and Gentlemen, XBMC 11.0 Eden: Beta 1 is available to download.The sheer number of new features, platforms, and improvements to nearly every facet of the XBMC experience found within Eden are nearly too numerous to count.Milestones include Addon Rollbacks, vast improvements in Confluence the default skin, massive speed increases via features like Dirty-region rendering and the new JPEG decoder, a simpler, better library, additional protocol handling, better networking support, better handling of unencrypted BluRay content and structures, adjustable display refresh rate in OSX to match the already available feature in Windows and Linux, AirPlay support, an upgraded weather service, and much more. Check out the highlights in the summarized changelog.In addition to our many software improvements, we’ve increased our reach in the realm of hardware support since Dharma was released. Eden marks the first in-sync stable release for the Apple TV2, iPad, and other iOS devices. We’ve vastly improved the method by which we handle input, including heavily upgrading JSON-RPC support, making remote control support much, MUCH simpler in Windows, and enabling unique methods of device communication with hardware like the HDMI-CEC Adapter. And now even AMD devices are supported for GPU video decoding in Linux to some extent, thanks to the inclusion of VAAPI.We are also in the process of drastically altering XBMC Live to make it more like a full “Buntu” version of XBMC with massive changes to the boot and install process. That alteration is not quite ready for prime time and, thus, is not available at this time, but our devs are working on it round the clock. Keep an eye out for a more in-depth article on this in the next week or so. The XBMC Linux PPA is also not immediately available, but check back a few days after Christmas. It should be online at that time.Because this is Beta software, you can likely expect minor issues over the course of the next few weeks. For example, you may discover issues with playing movie trailers that may require a manual install of the Youtube addon. If, after asking in the forum and updating to the most recently available Beta, your issue is not solved, feel free to follow the above link to the Trac service and create a ticket with the issue.  As always, when troubleshooting, providing a debug log will be essential to resolving issues.And with that, we invite users one and all to backup your userdata folder which is always a good ideaalso, iOS users, you should follow this link for info on your slightly different backup process, and get to downloading! Downloads may be found here.

via XBMC.

full article from xbmc’s blog @  http://xbmc.org/

HDMI Cable Tutorial About HDMI

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

To follow up my facebook article about HDMI pinouts (http://www.facebook.com/note.php?created&&note_id=211924685506768)

I thought I’d share a great source of information on coming technologies. I’m only including what I think is pertinent, there is a link at the bottom with the whole article if you’re interested!

How do consumers benefit from HDMI?
The new HDMI digital interconnect provides:

  • Superior, uncompressed digital video and audio quality
  • Simple, user-friendly connector that replaces the maze of cabling behind the entertainment center
  • Integrated remote control
  • A popular interface enabling the transmission of high-definition content. HDMI opens the floodgate of digital content from major motion picture producers

What is HDMI 1.3?

  • HDMI 1.3 allows the availability of a new mini connector for devices such as camcorders
  • The availability of HDMI 1.3 depends on your specific equipment.
  • All HDMI cables should be made using the largest gauge (AWG) wire with individually shielded pairs possible with top quality workmanship. This protects your signal from Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) and Radio Frequency Interference (RFI).
  • Increases single-link bandwidth to 340 MHz (10.2 Gbit/s)
  • Optionally supports 30-bit, 36-bit, and 48-bit xvYCC with Deep Color or over one billion colors, up from 24-bit sRGB or YCbCr in previous versions.
  • Incorporates automatic audio syncing (Audio video sync) capability.
  • Optionally supports output of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio streams for external decoding by AV receivers.[8] TrueHD and DTS-HD are lossless audio codec formats used on Blu-ray Discs and HD DVDs. If the disc player can decode these streams into uncompressed audio, then HDMI 1.3 is not necessary, as all versions of HDMI can transport uncompressed audio.

What is HDMI 1.4?

  • HDMI 1.4 was released on May 28, 2009, and Silicon Image expects their first HDMI 1.4 products to sample in the second half of 2009.
  • HDMI 1.4 increases the maximum resolution to 4K x 2K (3840x2160p at 24Hz/25Hz/30Hz and 4096x2160p at 24Hz, which is a resolution used with digital theaters);
  • HDMI 1.4 includes an HDMI Ethernet Channel, which allows for a 100 Mb/s Ethernet connection between the two HDMI connected devices;
  • HDMI 1.4 also introduces
    • an Audio Return Channel
    • 3D Over HDMI (HDMI 1.3 devices will only support this for 1080i)
    • a new Micro HDMI Connector, expanded support for color spaces
    • an Automotive Connection System.
  • HDMI 1.4 supports several stereoscopic 3D formats including field alternative (interlaced), frame alternative, frame packing, line alternative, side-by-side half, side-by-side full, 2D + depth, and 2D + depth + graphics + graphics depth, with top/bottom half and full formats to be added in January 2010.
  • HDMI 1.4 requires that 3D displays support the frame packing 3D formats at either 720p50 and 1080p24 or 720p60 and 1080p24.
  • High Speed HDMI 1.3 cables can support all HDMI 1.4 features except for the HDMI Ethernet Channel.

What is the life expectancy of HDMI?
HDTV uses less than 1/2 of HDMI’s available 5 Gbps bandwidth. With capacity to spare, HDMI can incorporate new technology advancements and capabilities long into the foreseeable future.

Does HDMI provide a secure interface?
HDMI, when used in combination with HDCP, provides a secure audio/video interface that meets the security requirements of content providers and systems operators.

What is HDCP?
HDCP stands for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection. HDCP encrypts the digital signal to prevent it from being recorded. HDCP encryption / decryption takes place within your equipment. Check your equipment documentation to see if it offers HDCP. Cables simply pass the digital signal between the HDCP compliant equipment.

What are the advantages of HDMI over existing analog interfaces such as composite, S-Video and component video?

  • Quality HDMI transfers uncompressed digital audio and video for the highest, crispest image quality.
  • All Digital HDMI ensures an all-digital rendering of video without the losses associated with analog interfaces and their unnecessary digital-to-analog conversions.
  • Low-cost HDMI provides the quality and functionality of a digital interface while also supporting uncompressed video formats in a simple, cost-effective manner.
  • Audio HDMI supports multiple audio formats, from standard stereo to multi-channel surround-sound.
  • Ease-of-use HDMI combines video and multi-channel audio into a single cable, eliminating the cost, complexity, and confusion of multiple cables currently used in A/V systems.
  • Intelligence HDMI supports communication between the video source (such as a DVD player) and the DTV, enabling new functionality.

Is HDMI backward-compatible with DVI (Digital Visual Interface)?
Yes, HDMI is fully backward-compatible with DVI using the CEA-861 profile for DTVs. HDMI DTVs will display video received from existing DVI-equipped products, and DVI-equipped TVs will display video from HDMI sources.

Will current HD TVs and set-top boxes using DVI-HDTV be compatible with HDMI devices?
Yes. Currently there are TVs with DVI-HDTV inputs available from a variety of manufacturers. Those devices will be compatible with future HDMI-equipped products.

What types of video does HDMI support?
HDMI has the capacity to support existing high-definition video formats (720p, 1080i, and even 1080p). It also has the flexibility to support enhanced definition formats such as 480p, as well as standard definition formats such as NTSC or PAL.

Does HDMI accommodate long cable lengths?
Yes. HDMI technology has been designed to use standard copper cable construction at long lengths. In order to allow cable manufacturers to improve their products through the use of new technologies, HDMI specifies the required performance of a cable but does not specify a maximum cable length. Cables are expected to be lengths of up to 15 meters. As semiconductor technology improves, even longer stretches can be reached with fiber optic cables, and with active cable technologies such as amplifiers or repeaters.


How much better is 1080p than 720p?
225%! It’s a huge difference. The soundtrack also improvesby 50% with the new totally lossless, bit-for-bit Dolby True HD and DTS Master HD multi-channel audio content. 

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE HERE:

HDMI Cable Tutorial About HDMI – HDMI Info – HDMI Information – High-Definition Multimedia Interface Tutorial – PacificCable.com – 1-800-931-3133..

Mounting a 55″ samsung LED with old hardware

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

A 50″ samsung LED, replacing an old heavy Sony bravia. The bracket is way overkill for this set, but it is more than strong enough! The only downside is the non low profile style of this mount.

Broadcom Crystal HD chips. Damn!

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Have a read about this amazing New technology designed by broadcom to do all your video decoding, its tiny, its CHEAP, and it will change the way we build media centers!

quoted from Davilla, From XBMC.org – 1080p HD content playback has always been the Holy Grail for any Media Center application but this has traditionally been difficult; playback using software decode alone requires a very hefty CPU and hardware decoding has only been made available recently using the nVidia’s VPDAU technology, available only on Linux. Windows has its own platform specific solutions and poor old OSX has no public APIs available at all. There really is nothing around with a common API that enables hardware accelerated 1080p HD content playback that can also be used under all three major platforms (OSX, Linux, and Windows). Well, that situation is about to change.

crystalhd-pr-shot

The Dark Knight vc1 running at 1080p on an AppleTV

Through hard work and the joint efforts of several TeamXBMC/Redhat developers and the Broadcom Media PC Group, cross-platform hardware decoding of mpeg2, h.264 and VC1 video content up to 1080p will be coming to XBMC on OSX, Linux, and Windows via the Broadcom Crystal HD Hardware Decoder (BCM970012). The Broadcom Crystal HD is available now in a mini-PCIE card with ExpressCard and 1X PCIE form factors to follow. This means that the AppleTV and all those lovely new netbooks, Eee Boxes and older Intel Mac Minis have exciting new potential.

This solution has a common programming API, so many 3rd party developers and applications will be able to leverage hardware accelerated video content playback across OSX, Linux, and Windows platforms with minimal source code changes. Best of all, this is an open source solution with full source code for driver and library available for OSX and Linux under a GPL/LGPL license. Wow, this indeed is the Holy Grail and a major score for the open source community as this means no more tainted Linux kernels! Support has already been added to XBMC under the svn trunk. Our bleeding-edge users can expect to find the feature in the next nightly builds from our community builders, the more patient can wait until the next stable release. Other media projects such as FFmpeg, MythTV and Xine will soon follow as their developers add support.

The Windows driver binary, as well as the Linux source code for the driver and library can be found at the Broadcom web site. For OSX, the binaries and source code for the driver and library will be hosted at google code. Users in the USA can purchase the Crystal HD mini PCIE card from Logic Supply for $69 at the time of this posting, and of course there’s always ebay for those outside the USA.

Damaged hdmi cable

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Damaged hdmi cable repaired! A 25 foot cable fished from a closet in an adjoining room, was damaged at the connector.

The internets claimed repair was impossible!

All soldered And ‘B’ Connected ready to go, Lets test  it!

Absolutely perfect!

Hanging a 54″ panasonic plasma with articulation and floating shelves

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Here we are hanging a 54″ panasonic plasma on a double arm articulating bracket, with 3 floating shelves underneath. 2 hours all is said and done with minor remote programming, and a temporary DVD hook up, until a blu-Ray player is purchased.

Hanging a 37″ sharp over a fireplace

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Here we are, hanging a 37″ sharp aquous above a fireplace. There was no power or cable above said fireplace, but never a problem if you’re willing to patch and paint! 2 hours to fish the wires, hang the tv, and shelf!