Category: HTPC

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: Some hints for getting free-to-air satellite channels into the Electronic Program Guide in Kodi (or another frontend)

If you are running a satellite backend system such as TVHeadEnd or MediaPortal (or MythTV, if you are one of the lucky few that can actually get it to work), and you use Kodi or the MythTV frontend, then it is possible to populate the schedule grid with listings from many sources. Note I did not say that it is easy, just that it is possible. The key is to use an external program … These are commonly referred to as “schedule grabbers”, or just “grabber” programs.

The real trick is figuring out how to use one of those programs. …..

Some hints for getting free-to-air satellite channels into the Electronic Program Guide in Kodi (or another frontend) (Free-To-Air America)

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)

If your MCE compatible remote stopped working in Ubuntu 14.04 or another newer release of Linux, check for this weird problem!

Note: The issue described below is not the same one that is affecting many users of recent versions of Ubuntu. For a solution to that problem, see Make LIRC work in Ubuntu 18.04, so that you can use your infrared remote in Kodi.

If you have found this page you have probably already come across several other pages that try to tell you how to get the MCE USB remote working in Ubuntu. Maybe you are a Kodi user and you came across this thread, and you tried everything but nothing would work – in fact, when you ran the ir-keytable program (which you’ve almost certainly already installed if you’ve found any other pages on this subject) in test mode, you may have found that on the keys that work at all, you got strange combinations of square brackets and letters instead of the expected output. Well, before you give up, and especially if you’re installing Ubuntu (or some other *buntu variant) on new hardware, here are two things to check.

First, if you are using a USB infrared receiver, try a different USB port. In our case, this made the difference between getting no response at all out of the thing and the aforementioned cryptic square brackets/letters.

But also, try running sudo ir-keytable one more time, and look to see if maybe it’s finding more than one IR device (even if you are sure you only have one). For example, when we ran it, we were seeing this (and I hate to say it, but it took far too long to dawn on me that we were seeing TWO devices there):

$ sudo ir-keytable
Found /sys/class/rc/rc0/ (/dev/input/event4) with:
	Driver ite-cir, table rc-rc6-mce
	Supported protocols: NEC RC-5 RC-6 JVC SONY SANYO LIRC RC-5-SZ other 
	Enabled protocols: RC-6 
	Name: ITE8704 CIR transceiver
	bus: 25, vendor/product: 1283:0000, version: 0x0000
	Repeat delay = 500 ms, repeat period = 125 ms
Found /sys/class/rc/rc1/ (/dev/input/event10) with:
	Driver mceusb, table rc-rc6-mce
	Supported protocols: NEC RC-5 RC-6 JVC SONY SANYO LIRC RC-5-SZ other 
	Enabled protocols: RC-6 
	Name: Media Center Ed. eHome Infrared 
	bus: 3, vendor/product: 1784:0008, version: 0x0101
	Repeat delay = 500 ms, repeat period = 125 ms

The real IR device is the “Media Center Ed. eHome Infrared”, so what’s the “ITE8704 CIR transceiver”? We have no idea – maybe there’s some vestigial circuitry for an IR receiver in the computer, and it’s detected during startup, but there no actual IR receiver there? In any case, once we realized what the problem was, we found the solution in a post in the Kodi forum:

edit : “/etc/modprob.d/blacklist.conf” and add the line:

blacklist ite_cir

And reboot

The prevents the operating system from seeing the non-existent IR receiver, and only lets it see the real one. We then reinstalled lirc (which we had removed because so many pages had said it wasn’t necessary) and all of a sudden our remote came back to life, with all the buttons working in Kodi again.  If you have a similar situation, you can try blacklisting the driver for the non-existent or non-functional device in a similar manner.  And if that isn’t the problem, perhaps one of the links mentioned above can help.  That’s Linux for you sometimes – the solution to a problem takes about 30 seconds to implement, but finding it takes HOURS.  🙁

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)

Link: Raspberry Pi Remote For Free! (How you may be able to control your Raspberry Pi using your TV’s remote)

For my first ible I just wanted to give everyone a quick tutorial on how to use the HDMI-CEC protocol to control your Pi with your Tv’s remote control.

This is very useful because is saves you from having to buy a remote just for your Pi and also leaves you with an open usb that you would have needed for your wireless keyboard and mouse.

Full article here:
Raspberry Pi Remote For Free! (Instructables)

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