Anyone build a new Linux HTPC lately? What did you use? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 09-19-2012, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I'm interested in building a small form factor Linux HTPC for myself. First time I ever do this.

I'm not terribly interested in watching live TV or DVR functionality; I don't have the patience to deal with CableCard issues.

I can see myself watching a lot of Flash video on sites like MUBI or pbs.org, which I don't have access to with my current setup. I do wish Flash would just go away but it doesn't seem to be happening very quickly.

I might also use it to rip Blu-Rays eventually, maybe. I have a bulky tower that I might eventually wind up using for storage only with some headless distro.

I do want a small form factor so I can easily take the thing downstairs and record audio off my USB turntable.

I doubt that I would leave the HTPC powered on 24X7 (in which case it might not really be an HTPC!)

If you've built a smallish Linux HTPC for yourself in the last few months, I'd like to hear about:

* components used and where you got them (Newegg? MicroCenter? Somewhere else?)
* Linux distro used
* total cost

I want to keep the cost under $400 if possible.

I am keeping an eye on devices like the MK802 and ODROID-X as well.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 24 Old 09-19-2012, 04:18 PM
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Normally, Flash on Linux requires a decent CPU. But Adobe has announced an end for new Flash versions for Linux. And, the latest version of Flash on Linux is buggy, and crashes a lot.

If you mainly want to use it to watch Flash videos, I would suggest just using Windows. It has full Flash support from Adobe. If it wasn't for your Flash requirement, I would suggest using one of the micro embedded boards like the Raspberry Pi.
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post #3 of 24 Old 09-20-2012, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

My last tower came with Vista and I have sworn never to pay Ballmer and company another cent if I can at all help it.

I'm running Ubuntu 12.04 on that same underpowered tower, and Youtube, PBS, and other Flash video plays OK, at least SD video.

Would really like to hear from anyone who's built a Linux HTPC in the last few months.
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post #4 of 24 Old 09-20-2012, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by testingwithfire View Post

I want to keep the cost under $400 if possible.
I am keeping an eye on devices like the MK802 and ODROID-X as well.
Thanks.

Well from a portability point of view any decent laptop will meet your needs at that price point. Throw in a wi-fi keyboard to make it easy to access when you're sitting on the couch.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823126264&nm_mc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r&cm_mmc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r-_-Keyboards-_-Logitech-_-23126264

As for flash, I have found XBMC to run great for just flash based websites. Not sure if they are using adobe for the flash or developed something on their own, but I've had no problem with NBC, PBS, CBS, Youtube, etc websites while running them through XBMC.
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post #5 of 24 Old 09-20-2012, 12:56 PM
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I've built a few actually. I went for full Myth boxes (MythTV), so my video demands were a bit higher.

I've got 4 Linux machines in my house right now. Two are running MythTV, via ArchLinux. Mine uses Linux Mint, and my wife uses Kubuntu.

3 AMD processors, and one Intel. 2 AMD video cards, and 2 NVidia cards.

So, here's my 2 cents.

ATI/AMD video acceleration via VA-API has come a long way in the last year or so. However, video acceleration for NVidia via VDPAU is still quite a bit better. AMD graphics are usually a bit cheaper, but for Linux, NVidia kind of rules the day.

I don't have any machines that run onboard Intel video, but ones that I've messed with do pretty well. Intel uses the same (actually they developed it) acceleration engine (VA-API) as ATI/AMD uses.

Now, on to Flash. We're finally getting video acceleration for Flash on Linux. It's still not as good as Windows, however, I can watch Hulu (Flash based) on my 50" and 52" HD TVs full screen with no problems.

Flash games, via Facebook and the like still suffer poor Flash quality, but those should be outlawed anyway. I manage to play some of them. Some are better than others in quality.

For anything that's going to be defined as "dedicated" I use ArchLinux. The tutorials are great, and the community is very helpful. Which is important because it's a fairly DIY distribution. You can run an extremely stripped down operating system and have no fluff. It can be challenging to set up though. However, it doesn't sound like your needs are too intense.

My preferred Arch setup consists of the base operating system and a base XFCE desktop. XFCE is very lightweight, but full featured, and comes with a very good file manager. You can go even lighter with a Window Manager like Openbox, but I always revert back to XFCE every time I mess with it.

So, for hardware, based on what you're looking to do, I'd probably start with an Intel processor with HD4000 onboard graphics. An i3 would be fine on the CPU side. Throw it on an ITX or microATX motherboard. The new i3-3225 would fit your needs nicely and costs less than $150.00 which would go a long way to meeting your budget.

Here's an article about Flash acceleration using Chrome on Linux with a reference to Intel Sandy, and Ivy Bridge processors. Outlook is very good.

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTExMTQ
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post #6 of 24 Old 09-20-2012, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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minivanman, thank you. That's exactly the type and level of detail I'm looking for.
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post #7 of 24 Old 09-20-2012, 02:07 PM
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I need to append a statement about Flash. I'm an avid Firefox user, but due to the recent developments with Adobe and it's future support of Google Chrome, I thought I'd give Chrome a try for the Flash based games I was talking about.

MASSIVE difference in Flash quality between Firefox and Chrome. Chrome is mounds better, at least so far.

Only tested on my desktop, which is an AMD Phenom quad core with ATI 5670 graphics card.
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post #8 of 24 Old 09-20-2012, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minivanman View Post

I need to append a statement about Flash. I'm an avid Firefox user, but due to the recent developments with Adobe and it's future support of Google Chrome, I thought I'd give Chrome a try for the Flash based games I was talking about.
MASSIVE difference in Flash quality between Firefox and Chrome. Chrome is mounds better, at least so far.
Only tested on my desktop, which is an AMD Phenom quad core with ATI 5670 graphics card.

Correct- Flash is NOT dead on Linux. This has been a common misunderstanding. Moving forward, Adobe/Google will update Flash for Linux on Chrome only. The announcement *should* have said "Adobe drops Firefox/NPAPI support on Linux".

Firefox uses the older NPAPI for Flash integration

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NPAPI
Quote:
As shared back in February, Adobe is abandoning support for Flash Player on Linux. However, they are allowing Google to continue the Flash Linux support via a PPAPI (Pepper) plug-in, which right now is a plug-in API only implemented by the Chrome/Chromium web-browser.

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTEyNzc

http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/29/chrome-20-browser-released-64-bit-linux-flash/

https://www.pcworld.com/article/250455/for_flash_on_linux_chrome_will_be_users_only_choice.html

So, from a practical, everyday user perspective, the Chrome browser is a must for most users on Linux.

For most normal, non-techie users, I think this is a positive. However, the anti-Google/privacy geeks may not like it.

The Good News is that it appears Chromium, the FOSS version of Chrome (i.e. safe for privacy geeks) now supports PPAPI, which wasn't the case early this year when the Adobe Flash Linux support news bomb was dropped-

http://www.chromium.org/developers/design-documents/pepper-plugin-implementation
http://superuser.com/questions/387186/what-does-the-run-ppapi-flash-in-the-renderer-proces-flag-do

Xubuntu with Chrome is basically a Chromebook, but with a real desktop and desktop apps.

https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/

Flash is stuck at v11.2.x.x on Firefox at the moment, unless Mozilla decides to implement the PPAPI browser plugin interface on Firefox, which it will basically have to do if it wants to remain relevant on any Linux in the future, unless Flash fades from the web quicker than expected.

I plan to just use Chrome and/or Chromium moving forward. Disable tracking
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/epanfjkfahimkgomnigadpkobaefekcd

and disable reporting back to Google
http://www.howtogeek.com/100361/how-to-optimize-google-chrome-for-maximum-privacy/

It's sad that Firefox is losing relevance so quickly, but it appears FOSS needs a behemoth like Google for market muscle.

Given that Google uses Ubuntu internally-

http://linux.slashdot.org/story/12/05/12/219226/google-talks-about-its-ubuntu-experience
http://www.zdnet.com/the-truth-about-goobuntu-googles-in-house-desktop-ubuntu-linux-7000003462/
http://www.webpronews.com/goobuntu-when-google-makes-its-own-ubuntu-2012-05

I don't think the Flash/Chrome issue is a bad thing. Flash in Chrome is auto-updated with Chrome updates, currently at Flash v11.3.x

It passes the litmus test- my nieces ask for Chrome now. It's "cooler" than Firefox at the moment. wink.gif And it's architecture, software engineering quality and performance beat Firefox anyways. Plus, Chrome has a well stocked integratedApps Store, making it point/click easy to graphically add plugins, add-ons, and full blown apps and games from Chrome. Chrome acts like a web app front end or mini-OS. These are Good Things for the Moms, wives, nieces, kids and most other "normal human" users out there (i.e. not forum regulars here wink.gif ) We get current Flash, and they get Angry Birds from the Chrome Apps Store biggrin.gif

The only real complaints I ever heard on this forum re: Chrome were the privacy concerns. Try Chromium if that is an issue for you, though I don't know if Chromium supports the complete Chrome Apps Store.

I haven't used anything but Linux in my home since 2007, and XP SP2 and Win98Se before that on my first HTPC's in the late 90's.

For media PC's, I use Mythbuntu for machines with tuners
http://www.mythbuntu.org/

or Xubuntu for machines without tuners
http://xubuntu.org/

then add the media codecs, extras and apps you need, per my (outdated) guide
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1275302/howto-ubuntu-lucid-10-04-1-maverick-10-10-media-htpc-install-setup-and-mythtv-guides

Install XBMC if you want a media center frontend-
http://xbmc.org/

An XBMC liveCD is available there.

For a music server/audiophile media PC using an audiophile grade USB DAC, I am trying Ubuntu Studio-
http://ubuntustudio.org/

I see no reason to stray from a Debian/Ubuntu distro or their derivatives (Mint or the 10's of other Ubuntu derivatives) for compatibility and common support across web forums like this.

Yes, it appears XFCE is the new desktop standard among long time Linux users. Xubuntu, Mythbuntu, and Ubuntu Studio all default to XFCE, as well as Debian now. Linus himself now uses/advocates XFCE

www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTE1NTk
http://linux.slashdot.org/story/11/08/04/0115232/linus-torvalds-ditches-gnome-3-for-xfce

Geexbox 3.0 might be fun to try, a highly optimized XBMC distro made for set top media center appliance use:
http://www.geexbox.org/

The ATI HD6xxx series and higher are getting better and better Linux driver support month by month. But as stated above, Nvidia's VDPAU is still the best- get a fanless GT520 and you're good to go. A quad core AMD A6/A8 APU with HD6xxx on board may be something to try- essentially a "free" GPU with low power quad core CPU. If the HD 6xxx doesn't work well for you, just add a fanless GT520 PCIe card and call it a day, and you have a cool running low power quad core media PC.

Amazon and Microcenter have been beating Newegg on cost, service and selection for some time now.

I have been an AMD-only guy for over 10 years, for the same reasons I use Linux/FOSS- you don't want an OS monopoly, so why do you want a CPU monopoly (or support one)? Plus, on a performance/$ metric, AMD meets/beats Intel. Also, Intel appears to be shafting Linux users again-

http://linux.slashdot.org/story/12/09/14/1236219/intel-says-clover-trail-atom-cpu-wont-work-with-linux
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTE4NDY

making another deal with MS to keep Linux at bay by not supporting the power management features of Clover Trial on Linux per MS's demands.

In the longer run, I think if secure boot and related lock downs take hold on x86, I suspect most DIY Linux users will move to ARM based boards once more vendors do quad core 1.5Ghz or higher ARM motherboards with a more standardized architecture (BIOS, interfaces, GPUs's, audio, drivers, etc) supported by common distros.

It appears the fears about UEFI and secure boot are coming to fruition:
http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3117811&cid=41333749
Quote:
They stated this is a windows 8 only chip. So they won't release specs for other operating systems to use this. Also since windows 8 'require's' the uefi secure boot option, how much do you want to bet intel made Clover trail boards 'won't' support either disabling it nor adding your own keys?
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post #9 of 24 Old 09-21-2012, 07:06 AM - Thread Starter
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rgb, thank you so much for the information.

I mostly use Chrome on Ubuntu/XFCE, older desktop (see below) and my experience with Flash supports what is said above. Audio is a bit flakey - I'm always unmuting if I'm watching Flash, and if I leave Youtube up in the browser, I can't get audio out with any other application. Close the browser and audio comes back.

minivanman, can you say more about your MythTV boxes? (If I'm going to lay out money for hardware, maybe I should think more about ditching the $20/month Verizon STB...) Just like any good business person laying out hardware/software requirements, I''m changing my mind mid-stream!

I have this older desktop. I believe it has the Pentium dual-core processor - it's definitely dual-core. With more RAM, a couple of 1/2 TB drives, and maybe an SSD for the OS, could it be a decent Myth backend? I record maybe 10 hours a week, mostly SD, but I do tend to leave the TV on for several hours at night.

Maybe then I could do an HDHomeRun and a front-end appliance, maybe even Android on the front-end. That Geexbox looks interesting.

Thoughts?
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post #10 of 24 Old 09-21-2012, 12:41 PM
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My Myth boxes are an angry response to the Cable companies, Microsoft, Netflix, Tivo, etc. In other words, I'm just an angry little man.

Seriously though, I'm not sure the Myth boxes are the most efficient, or cheapest way to do things, but I kind of live for this sort of stuff.

Comcast pissed me off, so I looked for a way to ditch them. I now just go with OTA transmission in HD. I have an antenna in my attic, and I'm about 30 miles (straight line) from the main transmission tower in Chicago. So, it works really well for me.

ChannelMaster makes a DVR for OTA transmission that costs about $400.00. I figured I could build something better for that money.

So, my first Myth box was built with a dual core Intel processor (circa 2007-2008 processor??). It's more than enough processor and with a cheap NVidia 9800GT, I had a way overbuilt system. This system still serves as my backend. 4 GB of RAM as well.

Issues I ran into.

I started with Mythbuntu. Was pretty easy to setup. However, when I started adding applications, like Hulu Desktop, or even trying to play a Youtube video I ran into EXACTLY what you're talking about with only one application at a time being able to play audio. MythTV would lock down the audio.

Then I ran into another problem. My backend was downstairs in a finished basement on our bigger TV (52"). This was in hopes that we could save the upstairs of the house from the tortures inflicted by children. The upstairs has a 50". My wife and the kids love Netflix. Netflix doesn't play on Linux, so I had an HTPC running Windows XP.

Since I didn't have cable anymore, I had a choice of running another RG6 run to the upstairs TV from the Antenna, or network to the backend. If I networked, I would use MythTV again, but I would lose Netflix, and I would have to figure out the audio issue.

Netflix was workable through a virtual machine, but that would require a more modern computer. So, I spent a few bucks and went out and bought an AMD FX-4100 and a NVidia GT440 card at Microcenter for pretty cheap.

I was using MythTV 0.24 release, and I noticed that PulseAudio wasn't really supported and that it really only liked the ALSA drivers. Mythbuntu added the extra layer of Pulse Audio on top of ALSA, and I figured that's probably where the conflict arose between applications.

That's why I tried out ArchLinux. I'd be able to monitor conflicts because nothing would be on the computer that I didn't put on. Built up the main O/S, threw XFCE onto it, then built MythTV on top of that. Created a Button directly in the main menu to access my Virtual Machine with XP on it for Netflix and I was golden. I also have browser capability for Hulu, Amazon Video, Crackle, etc, etc along with DVD capability.

Now, that computer operated as just a frontend. The backend still used Mythbuntu. I did confirm that my fronted didn't have the audio conflicts, and everything played fine. I did need to configure my .asoundrc file though, but I was just using ALSA and it went pretty seamless.

My wife requested that I figure out the backend so we could have Netflix downstairs as well, because we are determined to get the kids into the basement instead of trashing the main floor. The kids LOVE Netflix (they are 5 and 3 currently).

So, I started a fresh load of ArchLinux onto the backend machine. Much more complicated than getting the frontend up and running. I eventually got it though, and now both machines are fairly identical, running rolling release distributions.

Two days ago though, while everything had been working fine, the audio started behaving the same way. I could only get audio from MythTV and nothing else. So I dug around and updated my .asoundrc file utilizing "dmix" and it's working again. In the process though, I found that MythTV 0.25 supports PulseAudio, and I found some tutorials that fix the audio issue revolving around Pulse Audio.

So, Mythbuntu is probably more workable than it was in the past. However, if I was to do it again all over, I'd still use Arch, just because I like knowing where everything is, and I'm not getting conflicting files, in varying directories, etc. While nothing is plug and play, I know exactly where everything is that I've modified or configured. I never got LIRC to work plug and play the way Mythbuntu has it installed, but with Arch I could manually configure it much easier than breaking through the layers that Mythbuntu had installed, these are all little things that took extra time, but I found with Mythbuntu, I was taking that time anyway because not everything was as plug and play as it was designed to be.

Also, I don't use LIRC anymore. I use this keyboard. http://www.siig.com/it-products/keyboards/wireless/wireless-mini-multimedia-trackball-keyboard.html

The kids do very well with it, and it makes navigating the web very easy. Also, configuring hotkeys for a keyboard in MythTV is much easier than configuring keys in LIRC (IMO).

For tuners in the backend, I started with an Hauppauge HVR-1600, then added a HVR-2250. The 2250 is a royal pain, and gives me headaches sometimes. This was all bought before the HD Homerun was really that well supported. If I were to do it again, I'd TOTALLY go with the HD Homerun. One box, three tuners, one cable and everything just networked. Much simple solution IMO.

Ultimately though, the real appeal is that I only have one box sitting under the TV instead of a DVR, a DVD player, a Roku, etc.
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post #11 of 24 Old 09-21-2012, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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"Linux HTPC builders: angry little people." I love it. I AM it. I'm also trying to get away from the array of single-purpose boxes underneath the TV; it just seems so silly.

While minivanman was composing the account of his Mythic odyssey (which I greatly appreciate, BTW), I've been browsing the MythTV forums. I wish to G-d I wasn't such a Turner Classic buff - 80% of what I watch comes from that one channel. It keeps me hooked to cable AND, it seems, will stop me from being able to use MythTV with anything other than an STB with component out to a Hauppauge PVR. Please someone correct me if I am wrong!

So it seems like I'm back to the original plan of just the front-end for now. However, if things get expensive enough, I might cut the cable cord, get myself an antenna in the attic, and then we'll see what's what. And I might still throw some RAM and maybe even a bootable compact flash card with SATA adapter into the old desktop, just because it's fairly cheap to do so.
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post #12 of 24 Old 09-21-2012, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minivanman View Post

My wife requested that I figure out the backend so we could have Netflix downstairs as well, because we are determined to get the kids into the basement instead of trashing the main floor. The kids LOVE Netflix (they are 5 and 3 currently).
So, I started a fresh load of ArchLinux onto the backend machine. Much more complicated than getting the frontend up and running. I eventually got it though, and now both machines are fairly identical, running rolling release distributions.
So, does this mean that you have Netflix working in Linux?
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post #13 of 24 Old 09-21-2012, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
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So, does this mean that you have Netflix working in Linux?

Not exactly. I have Windows XP installed on a virtual machine using VirtualBox. I then run Netflix through the Virtual Machine. Definitely not optimal as in order to do it, you need quite a bit of RAM to get it running smoothly.

With MythTV I just created a button on my main menu that says "Netflix" and it opens up the Virtual Machine GUI. I just hit enter on the keyboard and XP loads from it's previously saved state which is always on Netflix. It's actually pretty quick.

testingwithfire, people are having success with the HD Homerun Prime and getting premium cable channels. The real fight is with the cable company itself and initializing the cable card properly. People are doing it though.

If I were still a cable subscriber this would be a great option for me. Gets a bit expensive as the device itself is about $150.00

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815345006
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post #14 of 24 Old 09-22-2012, 06:37 AM
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Would the Homerun Prime work with MythTv or would you need to run windows 7 in a virtual box to get media center support?
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post #15 of 24 Old 09-22-2012, 07:59 AM
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It works but depending on your cable co it varies whether it's worth using. Because of copy flags and such there might not be many channels recordable. For example Time Warner only allows the local QAM channels which means you might as well use the ATSC HDHomeRun which is a lot cheaper. First thing you have to do is find out what your provider allows to be recorded before getting a prime.

I prefer using the analog hole with HD-PVRs.
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post #16 of 24 Old 09-22-2012, 08:29 PM
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I had looked at the ATSC HD HomeRun and that looked more like what I wanted. Thanks. I have Fios and ran into problems via DVHS and firewire and copy flags. Don't need that headache again.
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post #17 of 24 Old 09-23-2012, 04:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minivanman View Post

My Myth boxes are an angry response to the Cable companies, Microsoft, Netflix, Tivo, etc. In other words, I'm just an angry little man.
.

Perfect theme song for Linux users! biggrin.gif

The lyrics are a perfect fit for Linux/FOSS itself and its users, who have a "bright future" moving forward wink.gif

The "sinister plan" are the dark forces of proprietary/closed/DRM'd software, whose users are "fooling themselves" within a Grand Illusion smile.gif
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post #18 of 24 Old 09-23-2012, 04:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minivanman View Post

Not exactly. I have Windows XP installed on a virtual machine using VirtualBox. I then run Netflix through the Virtual Machine. Definitely not optimal as in order to do

Moving forward, Android x86 may enable us to fill in gaps like Netflix while sticking with FOSS/linux, either through dual boot or Android x86 in a VM, or perhaps booting to Android x86 and using a VM for your daily Linux desktop. Canonical has been talking about Ubuntu/Android integration for years, perhaps using some other method of seamless integration of an Ubuntu desktop with FOSS apps plus Android proprietary apps (i.e. Netflix and other closed stuff)

http://www.android-x86.org/

http://news.softpedia.com/news/How-to-Run-Android-Applications-on-Ubuntu-115152.shtml

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.netflix.mediaclient&hl=en


This has been Canonicals plan with Unity

http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/android

http://www.itworld.com/mobile-wireless/289825/heres-what-ubuntu-android-looks-could-you-use-it

OTOH, if ARM motherboards like successors to the RPi and ODROID-X take off, x86 may be moot for Linux DIY'ers as we all move to 8-16 core 2Ghz+ ARM boards with excellent integrated GPU's, running Android or some other Netflix compatible distro wink.gif
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post #19 of 24 Old 09-23-2012, 01:34 PM
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This looks interesting for anyone considering a small form factor build:

Small Form Factor Intel NUC PCs coming in October for under $400

the NUC will be an Intel Core i3-3217U Ivy Bridge processor, and it will be soldered onto the motherboard. That particular CPU is a 1.8GHz dual core/four thread part with 3MB cache, and Intel HD 4000 graphics (there is no Turbo Boost functionality).
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post #20 of 24 Old 09-23-2012, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac The Knife View Post

This looks interesting for anyone considering a small form factor build:
Small Form Factor Intel NUC PCs coming in October for under $400
the NUC will be an Intel Core i3-3217U Ivy Bridge processor, and it will be soldered onto the motherboard. That particular CPU is a 1.8GHz dual core/four thread part with 3MB cache, and Intel HD 4000 graphics (there is no Turbo Boost functionality).

The "story" that popped into my mind, (or rather made up), is an Intel engineer playing with his new Raspberry Pi in his cubicle and when asked about it by his boss replies, "It's a Raspberry Pi, look how small it is", and then management having a fit, and creating a similar product for 10 times the price.

There are some definite applications for these new small form computers coming out. I'm still waiting on my Raspberry Pi, but that's already slotted to my 5 year old son so he (we) can tinker and he can learn some cool stuff.
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post #21 of 24 Old 09-23-2012, 05:16 PM
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Perfect theme song for Linux users! biggrin.gifThe lyrics are a perfect fit for Linux/FOSS itself and its users, wo have a "bright future" moving forward wink.gif
The "sinister plan" are the dark forces of proprietary/closed software, whose users are "fooling themselves" within a Grand Illusion smile.gif

I was a bass player in a band, and we decided we wanted to have keyboards to expand our cover song playlists.

This was the first song I tackled because I loved the keyboard parts.
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post #22 of 24 Old 10-09-2012, 04:09 AM
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I installed Ubuntu 12.04 on my 3 year old laptop recently and found it was a great replacement for Windows Vista. So when I built my first HTPC a couple of weeks ago with the following components.

Intel DH67BL motherboard
Intel G620 processor
Corsair Vengence 4 GB ram
WD green 1 TB hard drive
OCZ 60 GB SSd

I installed Ubuntu 12.04 on it. I only use it to watch ripped 720p MKVs on it with XBMC.

Everything worked out of the box connected to my Infocus IN76 720p projector and Onkyo 674 7.1 received over HDMI. Only very minimal tweaking was necessary in the sound setting under Ubuntu and XBMC for 5.1 over HDMI.

Absolutely love it and works great! I've said goodbye to Microsoft forever. I use Chrome and flash works great no issues here. As you can see above my system is pretty basic for a HTPC especially since I use the integrated Intel graphics.
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post #23 of 24 Old 10-09-2012, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by chrome6boy View Post

I installed Ubuntu 12.04 on it. I only use it to watch ripped 720p MKVs on it with XBMC.
Everything worked out of the box connected to my Infocus IN76 720p projector and Onkyo 674 7.1 received over HDMI. Only very minimal tweaking was necessary in the sound setting under Ubuntu and XBMC for 5.1 over HDMI.
Absolutely love it and works great! I've said goodbye to Microsoft forever. I use Chrome and flash works great no issues here. As you can see above my system is pretty basic for a HTPC especially since I use the integrated Intel graphics.

Nice to hear positive success stories once in a while around here wink.gif

Too many Doom and Gloomers in FOSS land, it appears sometimes smile.gif

The strategy is to point out what you CAN do, not the relatively tiny amount of things you can't *currently* do on desktop Linux, like the oft-cited Netflix streaming (technically DOES work on "linux"- Android, Roku, both use Linux kernel), or *some* commercial games that won't run under Wine.

EDIT: You can do NEtflix on Ubuntu/linux now biggrin.gif
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1439556/netflix-on-ubuntu-is-here

Eventually you can do everything on linux- just be patient- freedom ain't free ya know wink.gif

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_isn%27t_free

Amazon Prime streaming works fine on desktop Linux- support that instead of Netflix.

Given the number of native FOSS games (flight/driving sims, platformers, puzzle, FPS's, etc) , native Linux commercial & indie games, 1000's of emulated games (DOS, legacy game systems, arcade, Windows 3.1/9x/XP via Wine or other method, etc), Chrome App Store (Google Play) games, free web Flash/HTML/Java games- if you simply played those that interest you from these groups, no human could finish them in their LIFETIME, leaving no time to even think about the handful you CAN'T run on Linux.
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post #24 of 24 Old 11-20-2012, 01:42 PM
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Bought a while back, but still works like a charm:
Asus AT5IONT-I connected to a Denon AVR-2313 over HDMI to a Mitsu HC3000 throwing its light onto a 106incher in all its glory. Running Fedora17 with MythTV 0.25 compiled from github.
Using closed source nvidia drivers for hardware acceleration.
Connected over a 1Gb switch to an HDHomeRun for Antenna and HDHomeRun Prime for Comcast cable with schedulesdirect account for program data.

My only problem is the remote control, as it is a bit finicky with the key input.

BluRay are watched through makemkv and livetv is being recorded to a 64GB SSD for quick pause/stop/ff/rew functionality.

I've started mocking around with MythTV about 7 or 8 years ago when I wanted to store all my DVD's on a harddrive. And since I can't leave anything alone and always have to tinker it turned into a full blown HTPC and Dish receiver when Nagra2 was still.. uhhh... not Nagra3.

I love Linux ever since I laid my eyes on kernel 0.99 sometime back in '93.

Go Bears!
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