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HTPC configuration series

Posted 10-08-2010 at 04:09 PM by serafean
Tags htpc, imon, zotac

In this little blog series I'll describe my process of configuring my new HTPC.

hardware :Goals :
  • HDMI connected TV, running a media center
  • DVI/D-Sub connected LCD screen on which a full fledged KDE desktop always ready for quick internet acces (and to serve a connected scanner)
  • Sound output simultaneously to an amp (via optical) and to the tv (jack connector for now, HDMI maybe later); possibly 2.0 to 5.1 upmixing
  • Apache, CUPS, FTP, Samba servers.
  • wifi access point (the zotac has an atheros chip, good outlook there)

hardware-wise; a surprising discovery was that the slim DVD drive has a special power connector for which I had to buy an adapter (some sort of SATA/power combo)

The hardware worked out of the box, the only part that had to be searched for was the LCD. The imon remote does however use a driver I'm not sure is in the vanilla kernel yet, but is in zen-kernel

LCD : the lcdproc imon driver works great. All the icons work too (more details in a later post)

After a night left to compile a gentoo base system (make.conf & co configuration done), the first impressions are here:
Audio output : analog works out of the box, 5.1 sound to the amp has to be passed through (mplayer option -afm=hwac3). To get stereo output on the amp, mplayer -ao alsa:device=hw=0.1 (0.3 for hdmi) is necessary, analog output gets disabled though.

Video : nvidia binary drivers work like charm. hardware accelerated 1080p decoding using vdpau, and opengl acceleration work good.
mplayer -vo vdpau -vc ffh264vdapu,ffmpeg12vdpau,ffvc1vdpau,ffwmv3vdpau -ao alsa:device=hw=0.1 -afm=hwac3
is required to make it work. .mplayer/config file creation recommended on this

Thats it for first impressions, next up X configuration for separate X screens.
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