Archive for December, 2003

Some more success

December 23, 2003

So the first suggestion that MPlayer makes for slow computers is to use the ALSA sound drivers. These drivers are included in later kernels, but not the 2.4.x series. Instead of taking the sensible course of action of downloading the source tarball and compiling them myself, I took what I thought would be the easy way out and started using the Debian pre-compiled kernel and ALSA modules. Except that mkinitrd wasn’t producing an init image and I had to make it by hand. Except that I now had to recompile the NVidia driver (ugh) and the linuxtv modules (argh).

Once I’d done all that however I could watch digital TV on the PC with no problems…until I actually wanted to do something on the computer that is. It’s then that I noticed that MPlayer wasn’t using the NVidia video output driver, that’s my next problem.

Some success

December 21, 2003

Compiled the latest MPlayer today and I could actually watch some digital TV on the PC, yay! It got out of sync and gave up after fifteen seconds, MPlayer helpfully spits out a list of things to do in order to improve the situation, so that’s where to from here.

The S video cable has arrived too, it’s scarily attractive for a cable.

NVIDIA drivers installed

December 20, 2003

Straight forward job to install and configure them for X, though I’m still yet to understand how to setup the TV-out interface.

Digital TV

December 18, 2003

So I’ve got yet another expensive toy to play with, a digital TV recorder setup. I’ve purchased a HauppaugeTV Nova-t digital TV tuner card, as well as a new video card with a TV-out socket, and an 80gig HDD to store stuff on. My home setup already has the television sitting next to the computer, so I don’t need a fancy box. And I’m not fussed about noise either; if I can hear it, great. The only bit of the puzzle I’m waiting on is the S video cord to arrive.

There are two goals I’d like to achieve, remote web based recording, for me and the flatmate; and predictive recording, probably based around

The hard drive was pretty simple, though I’m mildly grumpy that you still have to move pins around.

The video card wasn’t too much of a pain to install; it required X 4.3, which is in Debian, albeit the experimental section. Unfortunately, to be able to setup the TV-out slot it looks like the binary drivers from Nvidia are required, so there’s still some more work to do here.

The TV tuner card is still a work in progress. I’ve downloaded the dvb driver, only came across one weird compilation problem (that I’m yet to understand my fix for) and according to the test program I seem to be decoding the digital TV signals just fine. However, I haven’t yet been able to get xine to show me a picture.

A fixed toy.

December 18, 2003

The camera developed a weird problem, pictures taken with the flash would come out very dark. I took a bit of convincing that it wasn’t user error. Gave it back to Canon, who got it back to me within their estimated turn around time, with the problem solved, and handled under the warranty; I’m quite happy with their service.