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Newbie Building his First Linux MCE

Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
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September 25, 2008 8:40:45 PM

Guys,

this is the first time i've ever made a posting but now i am opening myself up for some much needed help after watching this

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=217602560290510...

regarding the linuxmce running on kubutu, i came to these ones after again watching the powers of the media on this link it offered me everything i wanted from a media centre.. currently using window mce on my xbox360 but decided to use some of my highly earned bonus and get a linux machine.. too be honest i hate the Windows verison and after my constant everydays runnings with vista i couldnt trust it to manage my media..

What i have currently is this

Antec Fusion Case this is where its stopped

basically i didnt want to buy everything esle only to find Wammm nothing works .... so what i want to achieve is this..

I own on my WD 1tb 500gb encoded tv shows and movies. and about 60 gb in music i love the layout in the window but i have access to lots of HD movies/blue ray too ( now from reading on random sites linux doesnt allow blue ray playback/rippping.. but then other sites they do highly confused obioulsy would love blueray)

I keep seeing that Nvida fx graphics card 5800 series (ish) would be enough to power HD quality format but what for only £50ish .. i am not sure

also i have a 7:1 surround sound in my bedroom.. ( mainly as i play my xbox in there GOW etc) But would like to have my new linux box to utilize this digital sound etc but where do i look for sound cards too many to choose from.

Hardisks i always go with WD. in 15 yrs not one has failed on me

But again motherboard/chips sets.. ARGHHh too many decisions.. but the case has been made as picked up an ex display one for £50 whcih never lefts it box.. and now is currently in its box onto of my wardrobe.

Budget i dont want my pants pulled down but i do want to experience true HD quality ( dont we all )

as in the uk we would ask Jim ALL FIX IT :)  so can you guys help me fix it so i can actually have this up and running in the next few weeks!!!!

Thanks in advance

Rob
a b 5 Linux
September 26, 2008 12:08:08 AM

0. a board like this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

1. ATI or nVidia VGA of your choice ( disable the onboard video )

2. 2-4GB RAM

3. a reasonable CPU

4. a suitable capture card ( what TV standards do you have where you are? ) Linux compatible HD card from http://hauppauge.com/ or http://www.pchdtv.com/

Blue ray and HD-DVD are a mess. DVDs work fine :) 

Not much help but a starting point.

How much are you looking to spend?

GL :) 
October 2, 2008 9:01:29 AM

1, just about to purchase a nVida graphics card i have an inbuilt one but after installing mce on a old pc i have in the house just to test it all out. i found the card doesnt allow high spec settings which is a shame.
2. i have 2gb in there already
3. i have a motherboard chip set duel core floating about which i was planning on using.


looking at spending £400 max really

having massive issues with my settings though

question running linuxmce thru kubutu run a pc i have in my room behind my plasma to power it using the connecters vga. only using it as a test case, as i ulimatlely want to build a singing and dancing media box but i wont run b4 i can walk and it took me 8 attempts at installing this first of so i will be crawling for a while

scenerio i have a weston digital 1tb external hardrive plugged into my router (downstairs) i want to be able to see it access it etc etc (upstairs) where the main Linuxmce is .. i have another pc downstairs which isnt conneced with linux.

soooo i need to know how to connect my WD to me upstairs i am sat looking on numerous wiki.linux sites.. but its not very clear...

i just need a Idiots guide to making it work.. i have 700GB of tv shows and movies i cant access and still having to use my naff xbox xtender to look at it..
Related resources
a b 5 Linux
October 2, 2008 4:21:22 PM

Is your external hdd a network drive or a USB drive?
a b 5 Linux
October 3, 2008 2:49:57 AM

cactuskid said:
Guys,

this is the first time i've ever made a posting but now i am opening myself up for some much needed help after watching this

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=217602560290510...

regarding the linuxmce running on kubutu, i came to these ones after again watching the powers of the media on this link it offered me everything i wanted from a media centre.. currently using window mce on my xbox360 but decided to use some of my highly earned bonus and get a linux machine.. too be honest i hate the Windows verison and after my constant everydays runnings with vista i couldnt trust it to manage my media..


I am watching a Linux-based HTPC right now, so I might be able to give you a hand:

[quote[What i have currently is this

Antec Fusion Case this is where its stopped

basically i didnt want to buy everything esle only to find Wammm nothing works .... so what i want to achieve is this..

I own on my WD 1tb 500gb encoded tv shows and movies. and about 60 gb in music i love the layout in the window but i have access to lots of HD movies/blue ray too ( now from reading on random sites linux doesnt allow blue ray playback/rippping.. but then other sites they do highly confused obioulsy would love blueray)[/quote]

Linux playback for commercial DRMed Blu-Ray is supposedly coming to the ATi Catalyst 8.10 drivers (this month's drivers.) But if you ripped the Blu-Ray discs to H.264, MPEG2, XviD or whatever, then you can simply play back the non-DRMed ripped discs right now with any Linux distro.

Quote:
I keep seeing that Nvida fx graphics card 5800 series (ish) would be enough to power HD quality format but what for only £50ish .. i am not sure


Linux video playback happens with one of three methods: XvMC, Xvideo, and OpenGL. XvMC is GPU-assisted playback for MPEG-2 files, and the FX5800 can do that. Almost any GPU can do Xvideo as that is mostly CPU-dependent (you will need a stout CPU to do 1080p with Xvideo, particularly H.264.) Using OpenGL output on an FX5800 probably won't work well as OpenGL output takes quite a bit of GPU grunt to render and I doubt the FX5800 will be up to the task for HDTV.

Quote:
also i have a 7:1 surround sound in my bedroom.. ( mainly as i play my xbox in there GOW etc) But would like to have my new linux box to utilize this digital sound etc but where do i look for sound cards too many to choose from.


Most motherboards today have 7.1-channel onboard sound with high-definition codecs. They should work nicely with your sound system.

Quote:
Hardisks i always go with WD. in 15 yrs not one has failed on me


I do too, although I haven't had Seagates or Hitachis in laptops die on me either. I won't buy Toshibas or Maxtors if you paid me.

Quote:
But again motherboard/chips sets.. ARGHHh too many decisions.. but the case has been made as picked up an ex display one for £50 whcih never lefts it box.. and now is currently in its box onto of my wardrobe.

Budget i dont want my pants pulled down but i do want to experience true HD quality ( dont we all )

as in the uk we would ask Jim ALL FIX IT :)  so can you guys help me fix it so i can actually have this up and running in the next few weeks!!!!

Thanks in advance

Rob


Here's my experience. My HTPC just handles SD stuff and has the following specs:

CPU: 900 MHz socket 370 Intel Celeron (Coppermine-128, 100 MHz FSB)
Motherboard: AOpen MX3W Pro-V i810/ICH1 uATX socket 370 board
RAM: 256 MB no-name PC100 SDRAM
HDD: 100 GB Hitachi Travelstar 5K100 with a 40/44 pin IDE adapter
GPU: eVGA GeForce 6200 PCI (the board has no AGP slot)
Tuner: Hauppauge! WinTV PVR-150 (in the server)
Sound: onboard Intel AC'97
Monitor: 1994-era Magnavox CRT attached via composite/cinch cables
SW: Debian Lenny i386 with MythTV 0.21

This machine plays back 720x480 MPEG-2 files at about 5 Mbps from the HW encoder tuner card with about 65% CPU usage using Xvideo output (for some reason there is stuttering using XvMC.) I do no deinterlacing since I am outputting to an interlaced CRT display. This machine is a frontend like your Xbox and streams everything over 802.11g wireless from my desktop that acts as the server.

I also have a desktop with the following specs that is the server:

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ (socket 939)
Motherboard: abit KN8 SLi (NForce 4 SLi)
RAM: 4 GB DDR-400
HDD: 74 GB Raptor + 3x 250 GB Caviar SE16 in RAID 5
GPU: ATi Radeon x1900GT
Tuner: Hauppauge! WinTV PVR-150
Sound: external USB speakers
Monitor: Dell 2001FP 20.1" 1600x1200 DVI monitor
SW: Debian Lenny amd64 with MythTV 0.21

This machine plays back those 720x480 MPEG-2 files with Yadif 2x deinterlacing at 40% CPU usage using Xvideo (no XvMC playback assistance on ATi cards yet.) It plays back 1080p MPEG-2 files without doing any deinterlacing at a 90-95% CPU utilization without dropping frames. If I enable image post-processing, it pegs the CPU at 100% and stutters. I suppose I could overclock the CPU to about 2.5-2.7 GHz and successfully do post-processing, but I rarely encounter such video and prefer to run my CPUs at stock. Also note that any NVIDIA card newer than the GeForce 7000 series also cannot do XvMC, so your CPU has to do all of the decoding. The only new GPU that can handle XvMC is Intel's IGPs. They work okay for video playback, but the video quality is pretty "meh" compared to discrete NVIDIA or ATi cards.
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