Linux based Media Center (NOT MythTV)

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Linux based Media Center (NOT MythTV)

Post by gnif » Thu Sep 14, 2006 5:03 am

for any that are interested...

I have for the last few weeks been writing a Linux xbox media center type program...

now before you all say "get mythtv.... its already done... etc", I have played with it and decided that it, for the xbox, is JUNK compared with XBMC.
- Its too processor intensive
- uses the Qt library (i dont like it)
- not designed for use as just a media center... the whole design revolves around recording tv programs.

and for those that say "use XBMC"...
- 40somthing char FatX filename limit :evil:
- No samba support :evil:
- Hard to customise
- Uses the Microsoft XDK (thus, illegal)

I have already got a basic app working that allows you to browse the HDD like XBMC and play/stop/skip... etc. videos... not very pretty at the moment since I am just working on functionallity, but its very usable.

I have not used any pre-made library (Gtk, Qt... etc), but build my own classes and stuff ontop of X, it is designed to run as the window manager, not on top of one... this will reduce overhead.

It is written in C++, and has already hit around 2000 lines of source. The only thing that is holding up my development of it is trying to get my dev xbox to run a 2.6 kernel (see the 2.6.17 kernel thread for more info).

Anyway, just thought I would let peeps know.

PS: I will be releasing it under the GNU licence...

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Post by gnif » Thu Sep 14, 2006 5:10 am

Oh, to reduce overhead even more... I am looking at using DirectFB...
And I dont like Freevo either (its basically just a variant of MythTV IMO)...

if anybody has any suggestions, let me know.

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Post by srewojar » Sat Sep 16, 2006 5:24 pm

Will your MC application run on any hardware other than xbox ? or are you targetting the xbox ?

I am actually looking to see if XBMC could be ported to run under linux on a standard Intel P4 system...

Any info you can give me ?

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Post by gnif » Sun Sep 17, 2006 5:44 am

there is no reason it wont work on a normal PC... but

I am targetting the xbox, hardcoding in the xbox remote, and videomodes for example. I do not plan to support any other platform since (1) i dont have the time (2) I dont plan to use it on a normal pc at this point.

When I get it to a workable point I will setup a sourceforge site and svn repository... at that point you can modify it to do what you like.

BTW: I have finally decided upon the SDL engine... just fixing xbox related bugs in the library at the moment (eg, tries to init keyboard when there is none)

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Post by dopey » Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:11 am

Just a question. Did you install all the MythTV plugins? Although true that the main purpose of the app is to be a PVR it has expanded far beyond that. The newly released 0.20 looks rather nice.

Also I don't see it as processor intesive. In fact it uses just about the same CPU power as mplayer would. . . and for videos it does use mplayer (the same thing XBMC uses). Gentoox is, however, very processor intensive. The fatx driver uses an extreme amount CPU time. If you opt to not use the fatx loop rootfs then it will be much faster. Of course you could tweak all the various video settings, like de-interlacing, to get it even faster.

The QT thing is an excelent point and is a grievance of mine as well.

I'm not trying to say you are making a mistake or that you should stop developing your app. I just want to understand why you think MythTV is slow and what the features are that it doesn't have that you want.

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Post by ShALLaX » Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:41 pm

Sounds like an interesting project! Do keep us updated. If it ends up being better than mythtv, I might re-write Gentoox MCE to use it :)
The original Xbox adaptation of Gentoo

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Post by gnif » Thu Nov 16, 2006 12:59 am

Will do,

This project has been put on hold for the moment... My programming skills under linux are still limited and I am still learning.

Also, after playing with SDL and using xinelib... I have finally realised that the xinelib stuff is not efficient enough, and does not do the overlay properly (also missing a few features I would like, ie, seeking issues).

I am going to investigate the mplayer libs, if I can figure out how to use them, it should be quick enough. I would like to get away from a X based frontend mainly for performace. In my opinion its too bloated for simple media center requirements (ie, dont need mouse support, resolution switching, thin client... list goes on)

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