Multimedia/HTPC

UPDATE: NOVEMBER 2012 ( my new system):

This page contains information about HTPC’s and home/mediaserver.
Mainly it is a collection of my notes and remarks on my own attempt to organise some stuff and to make it possible to watch multimedia-content and tv and access my MP3′s and videos(films and sersies), whenever I want wherever I am.

Multimedia and General Purpose Home Server
A Home Server can take care of all kinds of centralized activities, like act as a NAS/storage system, serve media to various clients, and do some “household-tasks” like running a centralized CalDAV-server for syncing calendars and taking care of my IP-camera ( for safety pointed at the garden :-) )

Note: A home “server” is more then just a NAS; A NAS is nice for sharing files across your home network, and is a good start, but a ‘server’ can do much more, although ofcourse the difference between a ‘server’ and some NAS-devices is a bit of a grey area.

The current Home/media server setup is:

      Hardware
  • System Hardware:
    - AMD A6-3500, 2.1Ghz, FM1
    - Gigabyte GA-A75N-USB3.
    - 4 GB of RAM
    - Streacom 150W picoPSU

    - SSD: Samsung 64 GB SSD
    - Maxtor 320 GB harddisk
    - some other old harddisk

    TV tuner Hardware:
    - TV tuner Pinnacle 72e
    - TV tuner HDHomeRun dual
    - Smargo Phoenix Cardreader

    Main Software:
    - Gentoo Linux kernel 3.6.1
    - MySQL for sharing XBMC-profiles and information

    Serverside Software for watching tv:
    - TVHeadend : TV server, works great with both HD Homerun and Pinnacle USB DVB-T sitck!
    - OSCAM ( for using the Smargo card reader and HDHomeRun with my subscription)
    - dvb-hdhomerun

    Multimedia software
    - some other stuff, including Subsonic ( audioserver) , Autosub (for finding subtitles) .

    Power Consumption of the Home Server
    I wanted a system with ‘some juice’, but with low power consumption on idle-time (which is a lot of time on an always-on homeserver), so I ended up with this Gigabyte motherboard; See UK overclockers and xbitlabs for more info and discussions about the Gigabyte GA-A75N-USB3 MoBo power concumption and performance.
    Mine uses 26 Watt at idle ( including an SSD and two old harddisk at idle, and a USB pinnacle device) which is OK I would think ( though I would like to get a system sometime with less idle powerconsumption).

    see Power Management

    HTPC systems around the house
    My actual clients are:
    - An ASROCK ION2 running XBMC in the living room
    - A laptop running XBMC for use in bedroom or outside
    - I-phone and android devices.

    List of HTPC Related Posts

    HTPC Related Posts

    • MCE Remote and XBMC Getting the Hauppage MCE USB Remote KIT to to work seems to be kind of a hassle every time a new system is installed or major changes take place. (date: March 2013) Initial notes: - There is no need to use LIRC. This remote has kernelmodules available and can work without LIRC - Some keys on the remote work immediately, ...
    • Home Server Power Management For my always-on homeserver my whish was to have low energy consumption, so next to using low-power hardware (mini-itx with an efficcient pico-PSU) I tried to find optimal powersettings. Some useful guides: Less Watts PowerTop Gentoo Power Management Guide Frequency control I use the “ondemand-governor” which reduces the cpu-frequency to the lowest values (800MHz) when not much computing-power is needed. There ...
    • TV Headend post processing of recordings Post processing A post-processing command can be configured to be run by TVHeadend after a recording has been finished. Recordings in TVHeadend produce an mkv file (there are some more options in the transcoding branch). Post-processing can be handy for example : -to transcode the recording to a different media-format, - to move a file depending on certain rules (move ...
    • Use HDHomerun with TVHeadend Use HDHomerun with TVHeadend via a virtual device /dev/dvb/adapter1 The HDHomerun from SiliconDust is a network-attached dual DVB-C/T tuner. It allows you to watch tv from various PC’s or devices in your home. Standard usage is to use VLC or some device to connect to the “networktuner”, and no device /dev/dvb/ is needed. However, it is ...
    • Kernel module for Phoenix Smargo Smartreader+ For my HTPC system I use the Phoenix Smargo Smartreader+ in combination with OScam to be able to watch also the encrypted DVB-T channels. For the USB smartreader to work the USB FTDI Serial Driver must be compiled in the kernel ( AFAIK as ‘build-in”, not as a module). Selecting the right Driver in the ...
    • Installing OSCam Installing OSCam with the Phoenix Smargo Smartreader. OScam is an open source CAM Server-program that can access your subsription card (via a cardreader) and ‘serves’ the Keys to your TV-decryption program, for example TVHeadend. In my case I use OSCAM with the Smargo Smartreader to watch Digitenne DVB-T signals. The system I use: - AMD Athlon 4800+ - Gentoo Linux ...
    • MythTV: Firefox as default browser Using Firefox (Iceweasel) as the default browser for MythTV This page describes the configuration to set up Firefox as the default browser of MythTV, replacing the ‘ internal’ browser. Just changing the browser was the easy part, however I had a bit more trouble setting up the remote control for Firefox. In the end, (assuming Lirc works ...

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