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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Sunday, 14 September 2008

Watching TV on my i600 and the mac mini... (techie!)

Since I invested in the remarkable Neuros OSD about five months ago, the main purpose to which I've put it has been to stream TV across the home network, so it can be watched - for example - in the kitchen.

As the excellent stream_fuse has evolved, it's now really easy to make this possible. If the stream_fuse software's been downloaded, installed and enabled (which is quite simple to do) and as long as the OSD hasn't been rebooted, it'll sit there waiting for a request from a capable media player.

The latest incarnation of stream_fuse has made it easy to customise the player for various screen sizes and bandwidths. What I've done is create a 'playlist' file with the correct parameters for each, and associated them with my media player of choice. Here's what I've done, then...

Streaming TV to the mac mini

The media player: VLC by VideoLAN. It's free, fast and extremely versatile. This would be my recommendation for Windows PCs, too.

The playlist file: I created StreamTV.pls as follows:

Title1=streaming TV

The address set as File1 is intended to contact the Neuros OSD and configure it to give a high-quality, high-resolution video stream using the excellent new manual settings, so I can run it full screen. I simple associate .pls files with VLC, and double-click it to start it playing. Easy!

Streaming TV to the Samsung i600

The media player: The Core Pocket Media Player. The link is to - what I believe to be - the last 'free' version of this software. A new, improved $25 dollar version is at corecodec.com

The playlist file: I created StreamTV-i600.pls as follows:

Title1=i600 streaming TV

The only significant difference is in the parameters after the address - this reduces the bandwidth and video quality so it can display at 320x240 resolution across the wi-fi network. Once again, setting TCPMP to open .pls files is all that I need to do - the stream will automatically load and play.

Now, if only it were possible to change the channel using Matthew Wild's excellent Wooble (hopefully something that'll turn up in the next version), then remote TV Nirvana would be mine!

One of the most remarkable things about the Neuros OSD is the amazing sense of community it has. I have had email conversations and comments from many of the developers - people at the heart of this system. I can't think of a product that's so closely involved with its users, and I think that's what sets the Open Source model apart from the corporate world. Long may this continue and grow!

Posted by james at September 14, 2008 12:08 AM

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