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Uber Geek
Member # 3773

Icon 1 posted February 14, 2007 21:26      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Suppose you were in a house. Suppose your housemates and you all pitched in for cable TV and cable internet.

Suppose that there wasn't coaxial wiring to all the rooms, but you had in your geeky superiority established a fast, secure wireless network.

Suppose your friends wanted to be able to watch the cable tv on their laptops.

Okay, so this isn't all supposition. I was thinking about setting up an old *nix box with a cable encoder PCI card and somehow use that with a streaming media server over apache to allow the housemates to just go to the known IP address of the server.

So I was wondering, does anybody here have experience with using cable cards on linux pc's? Using a streaming media server?

Do you have any recommendations for software/hardware combinations?

This idea is still in the design stage, so I still need to research whether cable cards can tune multiple channels at once, or else this idea is pretty much shot out the window (unless I wanted to record southpark tivo-style and let the housemates watch it at their leisure).

"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower." - Robert M. Pirsig

Posts: 948 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Colonel Panic
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
Member # 1200

Icon 1 posted February 15, 2007 19:41      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
One card, one tuner, one channel.

Each channel you want, you need a tuner.

My internet is WI-FI from a DSL modem. As for cable, I am circulating a petition to open a season on Comcast representatives. A visit a week, with each new cable guy blaming last week's guy for the problem did that.

DirecTV comes into one of two HDTV boxes. One box has an HD recorder with two tuners. Both boxes have one HDMI, two component, one S-Video and one composite output. HDMI splitter prices are falling faster than Rush Limbaugh on a bungee cord. There are places on the internet where you can get cables cheaper than you can buy a Republican defense contractor.

I live next to a melted glacier. I get five markets. So I use an antennae for that. OTA HDTV is much better than satellite or cable (bandwidth and compression issues).

Shop around and you can get a decent Panasonic 42" plasma set for around a grand; 32" Olevias aren't bad for half that.

A few universal RF remotes make the whole deal work.

Then you can watch C-span on TV and throw rocks at righties over the internet at the same time!

Colonel Panic

Free! Free at last!

Posts: 1809 | From: Glacier Melt, USA | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
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Icon 1 posted February 16, 2007 06:09      Profile for supaboy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Originally posted by nerdwithnofriends:
So I was wondering, does anybody here have experience with using cable cards on linux pc's?

Yes. I have a cheap Hauppage card in my Linux desktop. It's only analog, so digital cable and HDTV are Right Out. Also, my computer (900MHz Athlon) doesn't have the horsepower to decode HD in realtime, so no big loss.

Verdict: it's more of a toy than anything else. It works just fine with MoTV and TVtime in Linux. However, the picture quality isn't great to begin with and doesn't improve much no matter how much I play with the settings.

I used it before I got a real TV of my own, and it came in handy when my roommate was watching some dreadfully boring sports event on the living room TV. I also used to pipe my PlayStation 2's composite input through it. My Sims peed themselves a lot because it was difficult to tell what they wanted in the little speech balloons, but it's like that on a regular TV too. [Smile]

The Colonel is right: one channel per card. So you'd have to put multiple cards in the media server, and the cable would have to be split to go to each card. Since it's already split a couple times between rooms and between the cable box and cable modem, you might run into a low signal-strength problem. And your media server would have to have enough grunt to encode multiple channels simultaneously. And I think trying to stream them back out again over a wireless link is going to hog a lot of wireless bandwidth.

I'm a fan of doing things just because they can be done, but I'm not really wowed by my own setup!

Posts: 1767 | From: Columbia, SC USA | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged

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