Element 1.1 for home theater PCs
Posted Apr 2, 2010 18:10 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata
In reply to: Element 1.1 for home theater PCs
Parent article: Element 1.1 for home theater PCs
I built something like that a few years ago, at the cost of about 200 hours of labor (coding, building other people's code, shopping for suitable hardware, etc). I knew something designed for somebody else, like Mythtv, would not satisfy me and some code I could get already written would take me longer to learn and get working that it took me to code it myself.
What I never did get working, and would dearly love, is a wish even simpler than yours: I want a DVD player that plays the movie when I press a button. No menu, fancy wipes, disclaimers, FBI warnings, previews, ads, or logos. Just play. And a related feature: never disable user controls.
It is presumably easy to build such a thing, and I believe lots of people have done it, but I myself have never witnessed a Linux machine playing a DVD. I tried half a dozen DVD players and rippers on Debian Lenny and not one could read my regular Hollywood movie DVD (error messages were unhelpful, but seemed consistent with the proposition that these programs were not designed for anti-ripping features). I was almost successful with the old Mplayer I use on the above mentioned TV recorder. I fixed a few bugs in the DVD code, and then the DVD menus operated and the movie played, but it was too jerky to watch. I know I don't have time to debug and fix that.
Based on my experience and what I've heard from others, I think expecting a software package to meet our needs is a pipe dream. There's too much integration. (My jerky playback might well be unique to my video and/or sound controller). So I'm keeping my eyes peeled for a hardware package I can buy that contains a wide open (i.e. not helpfully concealed from me) Linux OS so I can start from there to customize it to my whims.
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