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    Michael is a trainer and consultant specializing in making mobility technology work in people's everyday lives.
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Posts Tagged ‘HTPC’

Watch Treo Videos and Pictures on your TV

Posted by Michael Brown on July 20, 2007

As I wrote about in the post “Treo, collector of memories”, the Treo is a great device for capturing “stuff that happens”, like funny pictures, video clips, and sound files. The only difficult thing about sharing those memorable moments with a group is the small size of the Treo screen. Sure, it’s great for showing stuff to one or two other people, but if you have a few people (like a family get-together), it doesn’t work out so well. A laptop screen is a bit better, but not by much. It’s in this kind of situation where being able to show it on a TV would be the best. And that’s what we do in our house.

As I’ve mentioned before, we use a Home Theatre PC in our Family Room, running Freevo. It has options to View pictures, and Watch Movies. Now, there are an infinite number of ways to have your pictures and videos appear via Freevo: you could copy them onto your Freevo HTPC’s hard disk, it could mount a Windows shared drive or NFS share, it could mount a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device, and so on… which is beyond the scope of today’s post. The important thing is they get placed somewhere where the Freevo HTPC can find them in a directory or directories. You can do that by HotSyncing your Treo and copying the pictures and Videos from your user folder to the Freevo share, or by copying them from the /DCIM folder on your SD card to the Freevo Share.

Pictures are the easy part. Freevo works “out-of-the-box” with the JPEG pictures that a Treo takes. Just see
http://freevo.sourceforge.net/cgi-bin/doc/ImageConfig for information on how to configure the Image plugin to find your picture directories, and to set the options for viewing the Pictures (stuff like transitions, slideshow options, etc)

http://freevo.sourceforge.net/cgi-bin/doc/MovieConfig details how to set-up the Movie plugin. I had to modify things a tiny little bit to get Freevo to play the Treo videos.

First, you set the Video items to the directory (or directories) you’re storing the videos in. You can have multiple directories, which will show up as many different menu options. Subdirectories can be browsed within the Movie browser, so don’t worry about having to list everythin in VIDEO_ITEMS.

VIDEO_ITEMS = [ ('Movies', '/files/movies'),
('Family Movies', '/mnt/FamilyMovies') ]

Next, you will need to add the suffix or extension ‘3g2’ to the list of playable extensions, as shown below. 3g2 is the extension that the Treo Camera application uses when it stores Treo videos on the SD card.

VIDEO_MPLAYER_SUFFIX = [ 'avi', 'mpg', 'mpeg', 'wmv', 'bin', 'rm',
'divx', 'ogm', 'vob', 'asf', 'm2v', 'm2p',
'mp4', 'viv', 'nuv', 'mov', 'iso',
'nsv', 'mkv', '3g2' ]

Once that’s done, you just need to start (or restart) Freevo, choose to view a picture or video, and you and your loved ones can share some memories together.

Posted in Freevo, HTPC, Palm, Technology, Treo | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ubuntu “Fiesty Fawn” 7.04 quickies

Posted by Michael Brown on April 23, 2007

A couple of quick notes about “Fiesty” after I upgraded the HTPC in the family room from 6.10 to 7.04:

It includes Linux kernel 2.6.20 (Debian Etch only includes 2.6.18). It’s got nice hardware support, including the k8temp module needed by my AMD 3500+ processor on the ASUS M2NPV-VM motherboard. It also has the Nvidia drivers available in the restricted modules section. I had to manually install the nvidia drivers, as it was an ‘apt-get’ upgrade (I’ve been stripping this install back to the bones since it’s more of a multi-media “appliance” than a PC).

Mplayer is majorly broken in Fiesty. Playing a video results in distorted sound. I ended up having to reconfigure Freevo to use xine instead of mplayer. So, be wary if you use mplayer (or software that depends on mplayer) if you plan on upgrading to Fiesty Fawn.

UPDATE: July 2007. The specific problem is that mplayer’s mp3lib is broken. After googling around, I found that adding “afm=libmad” (without quotes) in /etc/mplayer/mplayer.conf fixed the problem.

Posted in Freevo, HTPC, Linux, Ubuntu | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »