Archive for the “Hardware” Category

Since a few weeks, I can record tv programs in HD quality (1080i), but unfortunately my htpc isn’t powerfull enough to play these HD recordings. I currently have a nVidia GeForce 7300LE video card. Which is good enough for SD quality video’s but not for HD. So I ordered online the XFX nVidia GeForce GT 220. This card supports VDPAU, which should let me play video’s in HD quality with only 5-10% CPU load. MythTV also has support for VDPAU. The card also has a HDMI output, so I can really watch the recordings in HD quality with 5.1 sound in a few days.

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Thermaltake VC7001SNS

Thermaltake VC7001SNS

Finally all my ordered hardware is arrived at home. Salland had some issues delivering the htpc case, so after the tirth time they changed the estimated delivery date, I cancelled the case and ordered it at CSV Direct. They didn’t have the VC7001SNS,

but they ship the VC7000SNS including the media lab.

Thermaltake VC7000SNS

Thermaltake VC7000SNS

Thermaltake Media Lab

Thermaltake Media Lab

This all together makes it almost the same as the VC7001SNS, but without the extra little buttons on the front panel (like play, stop, next, +, – etc..) But I don’t think I would have used them very often, so it’s ok.

Now that I have all the stuff, it’s time to start building my new htpc.

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Gigabyte M528 MID

Gigabyte M528 MID

Giga-byte is showing a new device on their website with the status ‘Coming Soon’. This is Linux-based MID (Mobile Internet Device) with a qwerty keyboard, Including an Esc key!!

So finally, it’s possible to ssh to a linux box and vim from almost anywhere on the planet (as long as there is  Wifi, GPRS or UMTS/HSDPA).

This is really a very neat device. It’s a bit bigger than the average smartphone, but still small enough to be very portable. (15,2 x 8 x 2,25 cm, 340g). It has a intel atom chip running at 800Mhz, 512MByte of memory and a 4GByte SSD for storage. The screen is a 4.8 inch touchscreen LCD display with 800×480 pixels. The device supports bluetooth (2.0), wifi (802.11b/g) and HSDPA UMTS and has an integrated GPS receiver. Besides a mini-usb port to connect it to for example you linux workstation, it also has a usb host port, to connect an external harddisk, usb webcam, scanner, printer, anything (as long as the software supports it). And ofcourse, If you slide the MID open, you will get a blacklight keyboard, with an ESC button.

The MID does not support voice calls, but maybe voip calls over umts will work also… Some sites mention that the linux OS is Ubuntu Mobile and that looks very good and usable. Ubuntu mobile comes with a browser based on Firefox 3, and open office. So what else do you need?

So now you know what’s on my wishlist for my next birthday 😉

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I’ve been using Mythtv for about 4 years now. And the motherboard is showing some failures now and then (rebooting in stead of shutdown), the disks are a bit full and playback of hdtv is not smooth.

So time for a new one!

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