Category: Home Theater

How to install Kodi media player to Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver) Desktop

We recently wanted to install the Kodi media player software to a system running Ubuntu 18.04 desktop.  Here is the procedure we followed.

Source: How to install Kodi media player to Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver) Desktop – Two “Sort Of” Tech Guys

Make LIRC work in Ubuntu 18.04, so that you can use your infrared remote in Kodi

If you are a Kodi user and have recently tried to upgrade your system to Ubuntu 18.04, and then tried to install and use LIRC to make your infrared remote control work the way it should, you may have discovered that it doesn’t work. For one thing, you don’t get the configuration menu during the install process, so you can’t select your make and model of remote. Even the old standby of using sudo dpkg-reconfigure lirc to bring up the configuration menu doesn’t work anymore.

Source: Make LIRC work in Ubuntu 18.04, so that you can use your infrared remote in Kodi – Two “Sort Of” Tech Guys

Plugin brings Netflix to Kodi Media Center (unofficially, but without breaking DRM) – Liliputing

There’s an open source Kodi plugin that lets you login to Netflix, browse the streaming video service’s catalog, and play videos.

Source: Plugin brings Netflix to Kodi Media Center (unofficially, but without breaking DRM) – Liliputing

HDTV Overscan: What It Is and Why You Should (Probably) Turn It Off

Here’s something you may not know: that HDTV that you love so much probably doesn’t show the whole picture on its screen. In fact, up to five percent of the picture can get cut off around the edges—this is called overscan. It’s old technology that’s left over from the CRT (cathode ray tube) televisions of yesteryear. Here’s why it existed in the first place, why it’s still used today, and how to (hopefully) turn it off on your TV.

Source: HDTV Overscan: What It Is and Why You Should (Probably) Turn It Off

Link: ODROID-C1 is a $35 quad-core, single-board Android/Linux PC

When the Raspberry Pi team launched a tiny, low power computer priced at just $35, it was pretty remarkable. But that was 2 years ago, and while the Raspberry Pi has seen a few updates in that time, it’s still powered by the same single-core 700 MHz Broadcomm BCM2835 ARM11 processor.

Over the past few years a number of other single-board computers with more powerful hardware have appeared, but they usually also have higher price tags.

Hardkernel’s ODROID-C1 doesn’t though… it’s a quad-core mini computer that sells for just $35.

odroid-c1_01

Full article and demonstration videos here:
ODROID-C1 is a $35 quad-core, single-board Android/Linux PC (Liliputing)
Related:
$35 quad-core hacker SBC offers Raspberry Pi-like size and I/O (LinuxGizmos.com)
Ordroid-C1 vs Raspberry Pi B+: Hardware, Benchmark, Storage and Ethernet Performance Comparison tables from Ordroid

Link: Review of the TBS MOI+ DVB S/S2 Satellite TV Linux Server – a bit like a HDHomeRun, but for Free-To-Air satellite signals

A couple of years ago, I acquired a HDHomeRun Dual device, and discovered how nice it was to be able to stream terrestrial TV signals to anywhere in my home via my local network. I set up a backend system so that I could record programs and enjoy watching them at my convenience. I wondered if it was also possible to do the same thing with the signals I received off my satellite dishes. So earlier this year I attempted to build a backend system that could receive free-to-air satellite signals and stream them to the various computers around my home, including the home theater PC’s that are connected to my HDTV receivers. Let’s just say that the first attempts didn’t work as well as I’d hoped. There is a huge learning curve, particularly if you’re not a programmer nor otherwise particularly geeky, and sometimes the hardware and the backend software just won’t cooperate.

Then I stumbled across a page on the TBS MOI+. I suspected that it might be able to accomplish what I’d been trying to do, and in a lot smaller package. So, I went online in an attempt to find some reviews on this device. To my surprise, little has been written about it, particularly in English. So, hoping to fill that gap, I contacted TBS and asked if they might be interested in providing a unit for review purposes. They graciously consented, and this review is the result. Just so you know, I did not promise to write only nice things about the unit, and I’m not getting paid anything for this review, beyond receiving the MOI+. So, this will be as honest of a review as I can make it.

Full article here:
Review of the TBS MOI+ DVB S/S2 Satellite TV Linux Server – a bit like a HDHomeRun, but for Free-To-Air satellite signals (Free To Air America)

Link: Tutorial: Raspbmc PVR TinyUSB2 DVB-T & TVHeadend All-in-one

Note: We hesitate to post this link because DVB-T is NOT used in the United States or Canada (we use ATSC).  It IS used in many other parts of the world.  But the reason we are linking to is is because some of this information might be adaptable to use of an ATSC (digital television via an antenna) or a DVB-S or DVB-S2 (free-to-air C-band or Ku-band satellite) tuner, all of which can be used in North America.  However we do not guarantee that, and we can’t tell you what parts of the instructions would need to be modified to make it work with one of those types of tuners.

Thought I would post my first attempt to build an all-in one XBMC LiveTV and PVR running Raspbmc and TVHeadend. Credit is given to Quonith for his awesome tutorial upon which this is based: http://forum.stmlabs.com/showthread.php?tid=2648.

This particular tutorial is using the Digital Now TinyUSB2 DVB-T with TVHeadend as the TV server. I am looking to do away with my power hungry Windows 7 Media Centre PC and this is more od a proof of concept more than anything. At this point in time, I still prefer Windows MCE as it ‘just works’ and is very intuitive for the user (most important of all). None the less, this was good fun.

You can view a video of my setup here: http://youtu.be/aU99C-0W4fI

Full article here:
Tutorial: Raspbmc PVR TinyUSB2 DVB-T & TVHeadend All-in-one (Raspberry Pi)

Link: Chorus Is a Powerful Web-Based Remote Control for XBMC

Chorus is an add-on for XBMC that lets you remotely manage, build playlists, queue up videos, organize your library, and do just about anything you want with your media center—all from the comfort of a browser window on another device.

Full article here:
Chorus Is a Powerful Web-Based Remote Control for XBMC (Lifehacker)

If you tried upgrading XBMC under OS X, run a MythTV backend, and get the error “No PVR Client has been started yet”, see this thread

This thread contains information on the buggy XBMC version 12.3 for OS X, and a couple of suggestions for reverting back to XBMC 12.2, which will fix the problem for now.  This issue does NOT appear to be present in Linux versions of XBMC 12.3.

The ASUS VivoPC: Could this be a good Home Theater PC?

We don’t know (though we’d happily accept a device for review if anyone at Asus happens to read this), but it is quite possibly the most easily upgradeable PC we have ever come across, as this video shows:

 

YouTube link: ASUS VivoPC Overview

This is the only full review we could find.  The audio track is in Italian, but you can turn on English subtitles from the CC button in the player (that should appear once you start the video):

 

YouTube link: Recensione ASUS VivoPC – Review

From what we’re seeing here, it looks like this is a unit to keep an eye on, since it seems to play video pretty smoothly under both Windows and Linux. Just keep in mind that you may want to add or upgrade the memory if you plan to use this for serious computing, but I don’t think you’ll see too many systems that make that an easier process.

Note that this is the lowest-end unit of the VivoPC series, but there are two higher-end models that come in black cases and have upgraded hardware, naturally at a higher price.

Here’s a link to the article that tipped us off to this device:
Asus VivoPC mini-desktop now available for $320 and up

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