Hardware Building an Ion-powered Linux Media PC

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Bindibadgi, 3 Dec 2009.

  1. Bindibadgi

    Bindibadgi Tired. Forever tired.

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  2. Stelph

    Stelph Member

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    If you want to control your HTPC with your iPhone/iPod touch, try the HippoRemote

    http://hipporemote.com/

    Allows control of several applications using your iPod Touch as a mouse, and also as a keyboard. Can even be set up to turn the HTPC on (wake on LAN) the only downside to it that I have found so far is if you are using Linux then you dont get the Auto App switching like you do with the Windows/Mac version, which is a shame.

    Am looking forward to Sunday tho to see what Boxee are up to with their Beta! Apparently there have been some large changes to the software, so should be interesting.
     
  3. Cupboard

    Cupboard I'm not a modder.

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    Did you not put it in a case? I have just put together something using the Antec ISK 300-65 for a project at uni. Its a pretty good case and comes with a 65W psu but has a few design issues. For example with the Asus Ion/330 motherboard we were using the blanking plates for one of the fan holes got caught on a capacitor meaning we had to cut it off :doh: Also to screw the optical drive you have to fit a screwdrive through this tiny hole with no finger access to hold the screw. With the tools we had available, the only thing that could screw the screw was my Leatherman (non magnetic) so we had to drop the screw through and hope for the best!

    We haven't got round to installing the OS but it seems pretty quiet sitting at the BIOS and the PSU is passive, though obviously limited to 65W!
     
  4. Da Dego

    Da Dego Brett Thomas

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    Thanks for the nod, Richard!

    For anyone curious to try a little more, errr, complete HTPC experience on Linux, I highly recommend that you go grab the XBMC Live! CD (www.xbmc.org) and install it. It has everything you need fairly "out of the box" and is a great way to try out a linux HTPC without a lot of installing hassle (comes with everything, including drivers in the install).

    I'm personally not too much a fan of Boxee (though there are parts of it I like quite a bit), and XBMC does your proper DVD support and the like while giving you an interface to drool over.

    Oh, and for anyone with a Windows MCE remote, soundgraph IMON or other common PC remote that's hoping to get away from a mouse or ipod on their HTPC, it's already pre-configured for both Boxee AND XBMC. All you have to do is plug it in, install lirc ("sudo apt-get install lirc") and select "windows MCE Remote/Transmitter (all versions)" from its setup menu. 30 seconds and done! Again, this is already included on the XBMC Live installer, should you give it a go. ;)

    EDIT: Stelph, I'd not seen hipporemote before. That is AWESOME. Thank you for pointing that out!!!
     
    Last edited: 3 Dec 2009
  5. faugusztin

    faugusztin I *am* the guy with two left hands

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    Exactly as cupboard said, this is a WTF Media PC. Seriously, GeForce 9600 ? Why ? 350W PSU ? Why ?

    Antec ISK 300-65, Asus AT3N7A-I motherboard, 1GB DDR2 RAM, 250GB WD Scorpio HDD, slim DVD drive 2x Noctua 8cm fans and we are done ! It uses 27W in idle, so what is the point of 350W PSU ? GeForce 9300 is more than enough to play Full HD videos through VDPAU acceleration.
     
  6. javaman

    javaman May irritate Eyes

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    Why put a 9600 with an ion? Sorta takes away the whole point of an ion ie. atom + 9400. Why not just use a normal atom board then if your gonna put a 9600 on?
     
  7. TomH

    TomH Bwahahahahaha

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    Word of warning to anyone using the Nvidia-provided .run files - if your kernel is updated, even with a minor release (as often happens throughout the course of an Ubuntu release for security fixes and such) then GDM will fail to start, and you'll need to re-run the Nvidia installer.

    Thankfully the pre-packaged version available from the Ubuntu repositories (whilst older - 185.xx) can be installed via the Restricted Drivers Manager (or Synaptic if you want) and uses DKMS to automatically build the required module with each kernel update. Anything 185.xx and beyond should support VDPAU, as far as I'm aware!

    Edit: Nice article though. I need to check out Boxee again as it's been a while since I've used it (and I now have an Nvidia G100 which supports VP3 :))
     
    Last edited: 3 Dec 2009
  8. Bindibadgi

    Bindibadgi Tired. Forever tired.

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    From this, I can assume you didn't read any of the article, only looked at the pictures. Honestly, I really don't write words just as black squiggles to fluff around the pictures. :p

    I did use the Ion. The whole article describes setup on the Ion: the title of the article kind of gives that away ;)

    We explained in the text we threw it together: I was giving a nod to Zotac and be quiet as I wanted to investigate the latest Boxee release and how Linux compares to the usual Win 7 we were using on other Ion platforms recently.

    If you wanted to use a discrete graphics card for gaming (dual boot with Windows 7 for example) - the Be Quiet and Zotac board can handle something like the passive and silent 9600 GT. The picture is there to show the size difference as well. I also explain that for the cost of the Zotac board there are alternatives to use: like AMD 785G + full fat CPU. There is no definitive answer to what a HTPC should be, this is just one example, one investigation.

    Yes, there was no case, it was a proof of concept investigation not a final solution you should all go out and buy. There is no score. It's not a review. I completely agree that the whole system should run on a 60W PSU, but, again, if you read the article I explain on the last page the Zotac board can handle multiple hard drives and/or RAID as well as other expansive possibilities where the SFX PSU will benefit you.

    Yes, that's true, but more update drivers always = better. ;)


    For reader benefit, if you are unable to read the title of the article, I added a line of clarity in the first page indicating we used the ION chipset and not the graphics card.

    Stelph - you and that link is awesome. Please stay that way :thumb:

    :duh:
     
  9. Ross1

    Ross1 New Member

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    Personally im extremely happy with my asrock ion 330 running xbmc. Might get a remote for it soon, and upgrade the sound to use either the optical or even hdmi. But ive been very impressed by the asrock, its one of the very few prebuilts that has looked like the best option over building yourself.
     
  10. javaman

    javaman May irritate Eyes

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    Answers my question too. Missed the fact you only tested with the 9400. Thought you left the 9600 in >.>

    Appoligies for my own stupidy :duh:
     
  11. Jaguar_Infinity

    Jaguar_Infinity Just some guy

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    Thanks for the review, gives me more options to think about for when i finish my Ion system build :)

    And +1 for me, i initially thaught you had left the 9600 in as well
     
  12. Bindibadgi

    Bindibadgi Tired. Forever tired.

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    No problem ^_^
     
  13. Stelph

    Stelph Member

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    No Probs guys, glad to help. If you manage to work out how to get the app switching to work in Linux then please let me know! I assume it is possible and involves a VNC software but I have no idea where to start!

    Alright alright, :D What I meant was that apparently Boxee will be significantly different with new functions ect, taken from the blog:

    "The Boxee Beta will look, feel and behave differently from the Alpha. It takes into account many of the requests and feedback we received from users in the past year.

    The Beta will feature:

    new user interface
    improved navigation
    search TV Shows and Movies
    a user controlled Queue
    shortcuts
    more… "

    http://blog.boxee.tv/
     
  14. Icy EyeG

    Icy EyeG Controlled by Eyebrow Powers™

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    It would be nice to see how the Zotac ion behaves with it. How about an "Ion-powered Linux Media PC - Part2" article? :blush:

    I'm curious about on thing though: is it possible to configure it as a media server (i.e. as an alternative to something like this, but accessing the media contents over the network only)?
     
  15. Aracos

    Aracos New Member

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    Thanks rich, this looks quite inexpensive and good for a HTPC, I have a question though, I know you're a fan of soft subbed anime in MKV format so can you tell me if you had any problems with subtitles and such displaying? I've never used or heard of boxee before so I wanted to know :thumb:
     
  16. Bindibadgi

    Bindibadgi Tired. Forever tired.

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    Yea it works ;)

    Icy - The board has already gone back today, and we're a bit Ion'd out right now. I might come back next year :)

    You mean just as a server? Like this: http://www.bit-tech.net/bits/2007/06/05/build_your_own_server/1 ?
     
  17. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

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    Is it possible at any point that Linux is ever going to be... well, properly finished, or in any way well-presented, or, frankly, usable by anyone who doesn't hold a PhD in advanced propeller-headery?
     
  18. Icy EyeG

    Icy EyeG Controlled by Eyebrow Powers™

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    Let's hope and wait then. :)

    No, I already have a server :p, what I meant was to use XBMC (for example) as a simple interface to access the media files on the server (no files stored on the HTPC). There are some gadgets that already do that, but they are either too expensive or very limited as far as file formats are concerned (I think Pinnacle was one of the first to release something like this with the Pinnacle Showcenter).
     
  19. WhiskeyAlpha

    WhiskeyAlpha New Member

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    In a word: yes.

    Just map a network drive on the client to a samba share on your server (containing your films/vids etc), point XBMC at the 'new' drive and ... voila!

    Couldn't be simpler :thumb:
     
  20. HourBeforeDawn

    HourBeforeDawn a.k.a KazeModz

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    see an HTPC means all of that and Blu-Ray to me and well is there an option for that in the linux scene legal or not?
     
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