I’m already looking a long time for
the ultimate media and entertainment center out of the box, but yet
nothin’ serious came up my horizon so far.Since living in a flat, I’m not allowed to use a satellite-dish
which terminates my dream of the wonderufl DVB-S. We got cable with
almost 40 channels, most of them home-shopping-crap… but at least
Munich is DVB-T broadcasting about 24 channels since May this year.
DVB-C brings only 8 free digital channels on cable, all the other
stuff is commercial and really expensive.
So the obvious way to go was, using DVB-T together with analogue
channels from the cable and mix all that well with the usual
mediacenter stuff (movie player,photos,music,dvd,text).
I studied all of the latest set-top boxes, and commercial
media-centers, but all of them lack one or more big features:
Internet-TV-channels and custom onscreen infos/ticker
Finally you would end up with more single media boxes than a
home-cinema-rack has AV-connectors.
Building my own PC media center seems the only way to achieve my
“everybody’s?” ultimate mediacenter goal.
The big problem now is, that it’s almost impossible to find a
software which can handle DVB-T and analogue channels within one
channellist. That means you always have to change the device/tuner
and then select the channel, instead of simply channeljump through
analogue and digital broadcasts. Further to pass analogue channels
the same way as a DVB receiver does to a mpeg2 decoder, analogue
channels will need to be encoded to mpeg2 first to feed a unique
I think most people will not understand the above as long as they
haven’t tried by themselves.
OK, I skipped the analogue part for the moment, and start using
Yesterday I bought the Terratec Cinergy 1400 DVB-T Card, which is
now officially supported in Kernel 2.6.13. (There’re also
mixed-mode cards available, but without mpeg2 encoder, which means
it’s just two cards in one, nothing more.)
Already a long time ago, I bought myself a Mini-ITX PC, to have a
compact, powersaving and silent computer for the living room.
Since I’m a gentoo linux enthusiast, I compiled everything from
scratch on that slow=powersaving machine.
Compiling the new kernel for an Epia M10000 Ezra board, was quite a
challenge, although I had absolutely no problems in the past, but I
found out “vesafb-tng” doesn’t work anymore in 2.6.13, “vesafb-old”
does only work if it’s not compiled as a module. And compiling
takes quite a time on this 900MHz hardware. For a first try I
skipped patching the sources with older 2.6.7 epia patches, which
I’ll need later to get hardware-mpeg-acceleration CLE266,
framebuffer and XVideo motion compensation XvMC running.
After compiling 2.6.13 for the third time, this time successful, I
gave up and did go to sleep.
Not sure if I’ll pick up there tomorrow, or simple use my already
It’s hard to reduce power consumption, if you have to let the
computer running the whole night to get some stuff compiled.
Where’s the powersaving here ? A fast machine can at least save
power when it’s unused.
…to be continued…