The goal of this project was to build a multimedia center using an old computer. The requirements are very basic: I wanted something to read TV shows, movies or internet radio without having to enter complex command lines. The setup has to be basic and easy to use.
I had no old computer to reuse, so, I bought a second-hand one with the following hardware:
- Thermaltake Mozart VC400SNS case see specs
- ASUS M2A-VM HDMI motherboard with ATI integrated graphicssee specs
- Athlon X64 5000+
- 8Gb compact flash (CF) for the system. To be used with the SATA, I used a CF/SATA adapter (you can buy such an adapter on ebay for a cheap price).
- Western Digital 1To to store data
For the OS, the computer runs Debian with the following software (everything is available as a debian package.
- xbmc for video watching and audio listening. It is available as Debian package on debian multimedia
- To control the computer with the remote from the Mozart case, I use LIRC
- To display information on the LCD screen of the computer case, I use lcdproc
First, install the
lirc-modules-source packages. Then, you need to build the lirc modules. Have a look at the file
/usr/share/doc/lirc-modules-source and use
module-assistant to build the modules. Then, make sure the
lirc_imon module is loaded at startup. For that, edit
/etc/modules and add the following line :
lirc_imon module is used to control the remote but also to display text on the LCD display using the lcdproc package.
To be able to use the remote control, you have to edit this file. Put the following content:
begin remote name iMON-PAD bits 32 eps 30 aeps 100 one 0 0 zero 0 0 gap 235965 min_repeat 1 toggle_bit 0 begin codes AppExit 0x288195B7 Record 0x298115B7 Play 0x2A8115B7 SlowMotion 0x29B195B7 Rewind 0x2A8195B7 Pause 0x2A9115B7 FastForward 0x2B8115B7 PrevChapter 0x2B9115B7 Stop 0x2B9715B7 NextChapter 0x298195B7 Esc 0x2BB715B7 Eject 0x299395B7 AppLauncher 0x29B715B7 MultiMon 0x2AB195B7 TaskSwitcher 0x2A9395B7 Mute 0x2B9595B7 Vol+ 0x28A395B7 Vol- 0x28A595B7 Ch+ 0x289395B7 Ch- 0x288795B7 Timer 0x2B8395B7 1 0x28B595B7 2 0x2BB195B7 3 0x28B195B7 4 0x2A8595B7 5 0x299595B7 6 0x2AA595B7 7 0x2B9395B7 8 0x2A8515B7 9 0x2AA115B7 0 0x2BA595B7 ShiftTab 0x28B515B7 Tab 0x29A115B7 MyMovie 0x2B8515B7 MyMusic 0x299195B7 MyPhoto 0x2BA115B7 MyTV 0x28A515B7 Bookmark 0x288515B7 Thumbnail 0x2AB715B7 AspectRatio 0x29A595B7 FullScreen 0x2AA395B7 MyDVD 0x29A295B7 Menu 0x2BA385B7 Caption 0x298595B7 Language 0x2B8595B7 MouseKeyboard 0x299115B7 SelectSpace 0x2A9315B7 MouseMenu 0x28B715B7 MouseRightClick 0x688481B7 Enter 0x28A195B7 MouseLeftClick 0x688301B7 WindowsKey 0x2B8195B7 Backspace 0x28A115B7 Up 0x6902F9B7 Right 0x68C281B7 Down 0x6882C1B7 Left 0x6AFA81B7 end codes end remote
Also, make sure that the
/etc/lirc/hardware.conf file contains the following line:
DEVICE="/dev/lirc0". As the lirc software creates the special device
/dev/lirc0 and not
/dev/lirc, you have to change it and specify the right special file.
This website contains many add-ons and plugins to play french TV shows such as the one on France 2, Canal + and so on.
This archive contains file with french radio that can be used directly by XBMC.
To be able to use the remote controller with lirc, you need to edit the
Lircmap.xml file. Put the following content.
Power Record Play Rewind Pause Stop FastForward Left Right Up Down Enter Ch+ Ch- Esc Backspace
SelectSpace NextChapter PrevChapter FullScreen MultiMon Vol+ Vol- Mute MyMovie MyMusic MyPhoto MyTV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
LCD proc configuration
/etc/LCDd.conf and change the
Driver= line. It should look like
Driver=imon. In addition, the special file to be created is called
/dev/lcd1. So, make sure the configuration file contains the following line:
Then, change the permission on the special file
/dev/lcd1 to be used to the LCDd user. Another solution consists in using the root account to run the daemon but it is not safe. In that case, put the following line in the