Posts Tagged “HTPC”

Just released a new version of the tv_grab_nl_glashartmedia script. This version holds a few small bugfixes:

Changelog:

v0.6.2 – 17-May-2012
* fixes #4 Changed the end= to stop= (should be stop= according to xmltv specs). Thnx 2 Sander Jongeleen
* fixes #2 Changed the location of the cache directory to a place under the .xmltv directory in the homedir of the user. Thnx 2 Robert Tomohamat
* fixes #1 Now loading 24 hours of EPG before configuring so all channels with EPG data should be included now.

Go to http://code.google.com/p/tv-grab-nl-glashartmedia/downloads/list to download the latest version.

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A few months back I already discussed on a forum the possibility to use a linux based router to be able to use your Amino STB and htpc at the same time. This weekend I finally had some time to play around with dd-wrt, and within a hour or two, I already got it working.

The main problem was the DHCP request to the IPTV Network. When using a windows htpc, you must let the STB to the DHCP request, and then spoof the MAC address, and copy the ip of the STB to your windows network configuration. But when your STB receives a new ip-address, your windows htpc does not work anymore.

When using linux, it would be possible to spoof the MAC address, and change the DHCP request on linux, so your linux htpc will retrieve a correct ip address, and iptv can be used on the linux htpc. This works without any issues on my linux htpc for months now. But with this setup, you can’t use the STB anymore.

So with my new setup, it should all be possible. Setting up a dd-wrt router, which retrieves a ip-address through a DHCP request with a Amino vendor class option. Then the STB and linux htpc can request a ip-address throught DHCP from the dd-wrt router. The dd-wrt router is using an igmp proxy to let multicast flow between the IPTV network and the network of the STB and htpc. And it all works together very nicely.

I still see a maximum of 5 IPTV streams in the XMS network. I started with one HD stream on the STB. dd-wrt was showing around 14mbps on the WAN and LAN side. Then I started recording a few HD streams on the linux htpc. When I had a total of 5 HD streams (1 on the STB, and 4 on the linux STB), I saw a total of 66.5 mbps on the WAN and LAN side of the dd-wrt router. When starting a fifth recording on the htpc, I saw no change in the used bandwidth of the WAN or LAN side of the dd-wrt router. On the linux htpc, I only saw a black screen. When I put the STB in standby mode with the remote control, I saw the bandwidth drop to around 52 mbps for a few seconds and then come back to 66 mbps, and suddenly the stream on the linux htpc started playing. This proofs to me that the IPTV network has some kind of limit of 5 IPTV streams. I don’t know if this is a maximum per MAC / IP address or a maximum per fiber connection.

In my new setup if appears that the STB and my linux htpc can easily be used at the same time without conflicting each other or giving any other problems. It should also be possible to use a windows htpc, but I don’t have a windows htpc, so I could not test it. To see more information how to set this up see my IPTV Router page.

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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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Yesterday I played a bit more with recording hd streams in mythtv. The last time I tried, I added 7 iptv tuners in mythtv, and start recording SD streams. All went well for the first 5 streams, the 6th recording stayed black in mythtv. When I stopped recording one of the 5 active streams, the 6th recording suddenly started. So my guess is that in the iptv network there must be some kind of limitation of max. 5 iptv streams.

A week ago the local fiber company announced that the ftth network in our town is upgraded to the fastest fiber network in the Netherlands. The fiber modem at my home is now connected with a 1gbit connection to the POP. The modem has one vlan for internet traphic (with a max. speed to 50mbit/50mbit, which can be upgraded to 200mbit/200mbit). A second vlan on the modem is used for the iptv streams.

Yesterday I tried to record multiple hd streams. I started with Nederland 1 HD, Nederland 2 HD, Nederland 3 HD. And then ran out of HD channels. I also found Brava HD. And then added a normal SD stream. And all was still recording without any problems. Looking at the network stats, I saw that traphic coming into my linux pc from the iptv network was a stunishing 60mbit/sec! I didn’t do a speedtest on the inernet vlan by the way, will try that next time… One HD channel uses around 13.6 mbit/sec network traphic. The SD streams are somewhere between de 4mbit/sec and 8mbit/sec.

Because I changed the amount of iptv tuners in mythtv back to 5, I could not test if it allows more streams at the moment. I will test that the next time…

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Yes… Mesa Happy (think Jar-Jar from star wars…)

I just managed to setup my mythtv media pc with the new iprecorder functionality to record up to *5* streams of iptv receiving from our local fiber optic tv supplier (XMS). Time for a little party 🙂

Since a few months I have a fiber optic connection to my home, the so called Zeewolde op Glasvezel project. The fiber optic is brought all the way into the house and connected to a Genexis modem. This modem seems to have one fiber optic entering the case from the bottom. But this actually consist of two very tiny fibers. One fiber is for all digital data in _and_ out. This is your internet, digital tv, telephone. The second fiber is a one-way fiber with the 40 analogue tv channels and a few radio stations (don’t know how much). This brings me to the other ports of the modem. It has one coaxial output with the 40 analogue tv channels and radio stations. This can be used for any ordinary tv, video recorder or analogue tv-card in a pc. Because all data of the tv channels and radio stations are broadcasted over this coax cable, the coax cable can be splitted with special tv/radio splitters, so you can watch different channels on multiple devices at the same time. Back to the modem. The modem also has two rj11 connectors (t1 and t2) for analogue telephones. And there are four rj45 connectors (m1 til m4). The m1 connector provides an internet connection when connected to one pc or a router when you have multple pc’s behind the router. The m2 connector provides digital tv and must be connected to a settopbox. In this case a Amino Aminet 130m (with hdmi output). This settopbox is running Linux inside with a opera browser. The tv signal is requested through an ip-connection and broadcasted with multicast. More info over the how this works will be om my site. With the setup mentioned above, you can watch analogue tv on several tv’s. But with only one settopbox, you can only watch digital tv on one tv. It is possible to attach another settopbox, but the local supplier will only send you a non-hdtv settopbox as your second settopbox.

I use mythtv for about 6 years now. About 3 and a half years back (I think), I upgraded my mythbox with a Hauppaugt WinTV PVR-500 (dual tuner). This gave me the opportunity to record 2 shows at any time, while still using the tv to watch a third show. Although it’s long ago that I really watched something live (directly from tv or in mythtv), because we just record anything we want to see, and watch it, when it fits our time schedule 🙂 With the new fiber optic services, I can still record 2 shows at the same time through the analogue coax cable (and have a much better quality (less visual noise) compared to the tv signal from the local cable company UPC). But the settopbox has much more channels, around 160 channels (tv channels and radio stations). The aminet130m settopbox has a usb port. And some rumours on the internet say that it will be possible to attach an external usb drive to the aminet130m and have recording capabilities. But, this first has to be programmed into the firmware. This (I think) will not be available in the next months. besides that… I want my mythtv to do all the recording!

By doing a little traphic capturing between the settopbox and the modem, I managed to configure my linux pc with mythtv correctly, to watch the iptv streams on the media pc. Together with the iptvrecorder, which was added to mythtv somewhere in the last year, I am able to watch live TV. Then ramp it up a little, and finally had mythtv record 5 iptv streams (not hdtv) simultaneously. But I think there’s also a limit on the iptv supplier side, because my 6th stream was not working in mythtv. But 5 streams recorded at the same time should be sufficient enough 😎

More information about how I configured my linux pc and mythtv will be published on my site soon…

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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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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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