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Old 08-13-2003, 10:25 PM   #1
JoeyJoeJo
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Embedded Linux Based Set-top-box


I'm interested in building a set top box with embedded linux. My first (software) question is, what is the best Embedded distro. My second (hardware) question is, what should I make it out of? I have an old pII desktop, but then I thought, I dont want a desktop on top of my TV. What I need is something that will do the following:

Coax Cable In
TV Out
DVD, MP3, OGG, CDDA, DivX, MPG MOV Support
Irda Remote
OSD
XMLTV or equivelent
Ability to copy files (mp3, ogg etc...) from CD to HDD
USB for external HDD (Not neccicarry)
Ethernet to stream (if possible) files from/to a computer or to ftp files to/from computer

Some list huh? I know what your thinking... Pipedream. Well, maybe, but I'm gonna try. If you know anything (software or hardware) that will help me out, please tell me.

P.S. Sorry if this is the wrong forum for this post.. wasnt sure where to put it
 
Old 08-13-2003, 10:40 PM   #2
michaelk
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A true embedded system doesn't have traditional interfaces like disk drives or video cards or sometimes even hard drives. And most embedded linux OS's are scaled down to fit in limited memory.

IMHO with your requirements you really want a standard PC with a PC distro.

BTW here is an example of an embedded processors that can run linux.
http://www.embeddedx86.com/

Last edited by michaelk; 08-13-2003 at 10:44 PM.
 
Old 08-14-2003, 08:40 AM   #3
JoeyJoeJo
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I was expecting an answer like this. Oh well, it was a good idea while it lasted........
 
Old 08-14-2003, 10:01 AM   #4
michaelk
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How about one of those cube looking bare bones boxes.
 
Old 08-14-2003, 02:37 PM   #5
JoeyJoeJo
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That crossed my mind too. I just might do that
 
Old 08-20-2003, 08:46 PM   #6
KendersPlace
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Try here:
www.mini-itx.com

I have done a lot of delving into this stuff, and it has it's pros and cons. The new formfactor called "Mini ITX" is a super small board with an onboard processor, video, NIC, sound, whatever. Many have RCA style video outputs, lots of open ports and stuch.

Problems are... The processors are slow in comparision of modern standards. The latest board is only a 1Ghz. Also, the bus and the onboard cache is wee-small. Only 64 onboard cache if I remember right, where 256+ is standard on most intel and AMD chips. They also only have 1 PCI slot via riser card on most boards. They only support SDRAM, so forget the high speed DDR stuff.

The plus - super small. The box made by casetronix is about the size of a set top box from your cable company. You'd never guess it's a whole computer.

For a use like this, you'd probably be better off long term getting a small-ish mid tower case in some stylish color or style. Then you can put full size ATX boards, drives, CD's, DVD's, whatever on them. A lot of the new ATX boards have optical inputs for sound and everything.

As for "embedded" L*, unless you really know what you're doing, it's probably more hassle than it's worth. I doubt you'll find a driver for the latest super video card that will be compatible.

Hope that helps.
 
Old 08-21-2003, 01:30 AM   #7
maroonbaboon
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If you like the small, quiet, slow Mini-ITX idea this

http://freepia.mooo.com/

might be close to what you want. I haven't used it so have no idea how good it is. As pointed out in the previous post you would have to be sure it had enough speed to do whatever coding/decoding you wanted. Probably as good as your Pentium II tho'.

For a standard PC http://www.freevo.org and http://www.mythtv.org are obvious places to look.
 
Old 08-21-2003, 03:19 PM   #8
JoeyJoeJo
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Sweet! Thanks for the tips!
 
  


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