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Old 08-18-2006, 04:09 AM   #1
Registered: May 2005
Location: Texas, somewhere near Houston (I think)
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Nanny Computer - need software

Hi. My wife and I discovered that it is much easier to get our 12 month old daughter to settle down in the evening if we have my wife's old Amy Grant tape playing in the baby's toy karaoke machine...

I also have a particular dislike for the baby monitor we use...

Hmmm, I have all of these spare parts laying around and could buy a few other parts for cheap and... yes, it just might work!

I have an old HP pavilion desktop that our neighbor gave us with a PII400 in it. I popped in a little hard drive (~3GB IIRC), 320MB of PC133, a 10/100 NIC, an old Avance (RIP) sound card, and my bt878 capture card that got displaced from our HTPC by a Hauppage unit. I invested in a pillow with speakers in it (which will be tie-wrapped to the side of the crib so she doesn't get the wire wrapped around her neck or anything), and a video camera with a microphone and infrared LED's for night vision.

To keep life a little simpler I piped the A/V output from the camera to an RF modulator which I will connect to the tuner card and tune into to keep an eye on her.

I have ~1500 or so mp3 files on a server in the house, so I will cue up a playlist of stuff that she will like (I'll need to filter out the Pantera and Die Toten Hosen and rip the Amy Grant tape) and let it stream music to the pillow speaker all night for her.

My dilemma: What software will allow me to stream the A/V feed from the capture card to the network so I can look in on her from any computer in the house while still playing music for her via Amarok or Xine or something like that? Typically the A/V being captured by a card like the bt878 is output on the local display/speakers, but I specifically do NOT want that. When she cries I don't need it coming back out of the pillow at her!

I won't be connecting a monitor, kb, or mouse to the box. I'll just control it with VNC when I need to.

FWIW I will probably be using Suse 10.1 OSS. It is the distro that I like and use on my server, laptop, HTPC, etc.

If there are no OSS/free (as in beer) packages to do what I want in Suse, I have every flavor of XP ever released at my disposal (all 9 of them!), but I prefer to stay with the security/flexibility of linux and the price of open source.

Media players are a dime a dozen, so basically what I am looking for in this post is software to take the output from the capture card and stream it over the network. What will get me where I want to go?



Last edited by litlmary; 08-18-2006 at 05:05 AM.
Old 08-18-2006, 10:26 PM   #2
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Sounds like you like to get your hands dirty. That bodes well for you...

This should get you started I think:

Also imperative:

This is neat:

Sounds like a cool project. If you felt like documenting it and writing it up I am sure people would be interested, though that is of course up to you.
Old 08-19-2006, 03:23 AM   #3
Registered: May 2005
Location: Texas, somewhere near Houston (I think)
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Hey, thanks! I was beginning to wonder if anyone would get back to me. I'll look into those packages and get back here to let you know how well they work out.

I probably will do an extensive write-up on the project when it is done. I have a web site that I put stuff like that all over, but it is down right now, pending a server migration from Windows 2003 to Suse 10.1 :-)

You will be hearing from me. I hope I won't be cussing ;-)

Thanks again!
Old 11-29-2006, 04:26 AM   #4
Registered: May 2005
Location: Texas, somewhere near Houston (I think)
Distribution: See my sig
Posts: 308

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OK, so maybe I will be cussing. Despite gobs of hours spent trying, I never got the capture card to play nice. The HP desktop got stripped and turned into a BitTorrent Server (seeding 24/7 keeps that ratio up!) and I piecemealed another nanny computer together: AMD 200 MHz (OC'd to 225MHz :P), 96MB RAM, ISA Tseng video card, ISA 3com NIC, and the Avance sound card from above all came together into a machine that simply wouldn't run a GUI under any distro at all. XP was obviously out of the question, so I choked on it and used Win98. I can VNC into the machine from anywhere in the house and start music for her if she cries in the middle of the night.

The camera is wired to an unused input in the Pioneer Receiver in the Amoire (sp?) in our bedroom, so a single tap on the screen of our Pronto remote gives us an audio/video feed of the crib. It isn't available everywhere in the house like it would be using the network, but it still works good.

I'll do a write-up and post a new thread if I ever take another crack at it and succeed.



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