[ale] Building linux entertainment devices
ahuitzot at mindspring.com
Sat Dec 27 00:27:55 EST 2003
Don't bother. There are many places on the net that give a rough parts
list. A quick roundown is PPC CPU (rather slow one by your standards,
I think its like 50MHz) a hardware (yes hardware, and this is why it
works) MPEG codec for encoding and decoding the video streams,
and in the case of the DirecTiVO like I have, 2 DSS digital tuners, and
a smart card slot. This is all for the series 1 TiVo units. The series 2
units have a more powerful CPU in them, but I think its still PPC based.
Oh and BTW, the DirecTiVo units actually only need an MPEG decoder,
as the stream from the satalite is already MPEG encoded, so that takes
some hardware load off the unit.
The reason they chose a mostly hardware solution (hardware encoder/decoder
with a cheap CPU) is not just cost. I believe they did it for reliability as well.
Think of how many fans are in a PC, and how hot they get. A TiVo only has one
fan for the entire unit, and I believe it uses less then 50W of power. No PC can live
up to that claim, atleast not one that can do simultanious realitime encoding and
decoding of an MPEG stream without getting any glitches.
From: zack <zack at the-links.net>
Sent: Dec 26, 2003 11:43 PM
To: lg1450 at bellsouth.net, Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts <ale at ale.org>
Subject: Re: [ale] Building linux entertainment devices
Larry Grenevitch wrote:
>Millions were spent to do this by ZapMedia which I believe is now out of
>business. The problem is if you want "PC" quality sound and video yes you
>can do it. If you want dolby digital sound and Tivo quality output, then you
>have got a long way to go and the base you can start with now is much better;
>however, your going to need lots of money to buy in the quantities necessary
>to bring the price down enough for it to work and you will need custom
>hardware or custom hardware (chips) embedded onto your custom motherboard.
That's a good point. I thought Tivos used mostly commodity PC parts, so
I didn't think getting dolby sound etc, would be too difficult. Maybe a
good time for me to crack open my Tivo and take a little inventory.
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