I’ve been running beta 2 of XBMC Eden for a couple of days now on my Apple TV 2. Result? It’s a lot more stable. It used to crash about once a day, now it hasn’t crashed once. Over all I’m very pleased, I can really recommend it.
I’ve been having an irritating problem with XBMC and Apple TV 2. The local time has been wrong, doesn’t matter if I change it since it changes back all the time. The problem was that it had the wrong time zone. This is an easy fix though.
1. Remove /private/var/db/timezone/localtime
2. Link (with ln -s) from /usr/share/zoneinfo/CET (or whatever your timezone is) to /private/var/db/timezone/localtime
My Apple TV now has the right time zone and because of this it doesn’t change to the wrong local time with NTP.
Today I took the step, I decommissioned my HTPC and it’s now replaced by my Apple TV 2. OK, this isn’t the whole truth. I still use it for tvheadend server and splunk server. I’ve only moved it to my server closet and of course it’s not running XBMC anymore.
Trying to clean up in the chaos of cables and crap in the closet i mounted the Ethernet switch on the wall.
Quite nice! The best thing is the silence in the living room. Although the HTPC was very silent, it wasn’t completly silent. Now it’s dead quiet and I love it!
Some time ago I tried XBMC on my jailbroken Apple TV 2 and I was very dissapointed. Since then there’s been a beta release of XBMC 11.0 Eden and I just had to try it out.
Just like last time I followed this guide and jailbroke the ATV 2. The only difference was that I was now able to do an untethered jailbreak of iOS 4.4.4 on the ATV.
When it was jailbroken i followed the offical XBMC guide to install XBMC 11.0 Eden beta 1.
Any difference since last time? Oh yes.
- Dolby Digital and DTS works
- The menus are not perfect yet, but I can live with it
I’ve been using XBMC as my media center of choice for many years, I’ve also been using remote controlled on/off switches and dimmers for almost as long. The day came when it was time to combine the two. I bought a Tellstick from Telldus Technologies and though to myself “there must be a way to make XBMC and the Tellstick work together”. This wasn’t quite as easy as I’d hoped, but I’ll give you a description on how I made it work.
To start with most guides assume you have the Tellstick connected via USB to your media center. I don’t and I don’t want to! Why? For starters, it’s a media center! It shouldn’t have loads of other crap installed imho. I have my Tellstick plugged into my Mac server, this brief guide will probably work just as good if you have it connected to a Linux box aswell. For Windows I have no idea, not touching it.
Setting up the Tellstick in TelldusCenter
Install Telldus Center on your server, here you can see my setup.
When you’re installing Telldus Center it will install a console program called “tdtool”, this is what we’ll be using to control the dimmer.
Connecting the media center PC and the Tellstick server
I’m using SSH to remote execute commands on the Mac/Tellstick server. I don’t want to enter my password every time I have to execute a command, so I’m relying on public key authentication. Follow these four steps:
- 1. user@mediacenter> ssh-keygen -t rsa
- 2. ssh user@tellstickserver mkdir -p .ssh
- 3. cat .ssh/id_rsa.pub | ssh user@tellstick ‘cat >> .ssh/authorized_keys’
- 4. ssh user@tellstickserver ‘tdtool -l’
The last command should list all the devices associated to the Tellstick.
marcus@eris:~$ ssh amalthea 'tdtool -l' Number of devices: 9 3 Kök Vattenkokarbänk ON 8 Köksfönster ON 5 Vardagsrum Fönster ON 2 Kök Diskbänk ON 7 Hall Byrå ON 4 Vardagsrum Hörn ON 1 Kök Spots ON 9 Skrivbordslampa ON 6 Vardagsrum Soffa DIMMED:170
Now we’re able to remote control the Tellstick via SSH! Perfect. The next step is to build this into XBMC.
Getting XBMC to remote control the dimmer
I’ve found a script here that I made some small modifications to.
#!/usr/bin/python # ljus.py import xbmc,xbmcgui import subprocess,os class MyPlayer(xbmc.Player) : def __init__ (self): xbmc.Player.__init__(self) def onPlayBackStarted(self): if xbmc.Player().isPlayingVideo(): os.system("ssh amalthea 'tdtool -v 100 -d 6'") def onPlayBackEnded(self): if (VIDEO == 1): os.system("ssh amalthea 'tdtool -v 170 -d 6'") def onPlayBackStopped(self): if (VIDEO == 1): os.system("ssh amalthea 'tdtool -v 170 -d 6'") def onPlayBackPaused(self): if xbmc.Player().isPlayingVideo(): os.system("ssh amalthea 'tdtool -v 170 -d 6'") def onPlayBackResumed(self): if xbmc.Player().isPlayingVideo(): os.system("ssh amalthea 'tdtool -v 100 -d 6'") player=MyPlayer() while(1): if xbmc.Player().isPlayingVideo(): VIDEO = 1 else: VIDEO = 0 xbmc.sleep(3000)
The script runs the SSH commands to my Mac server to set either dim value 100 when playing something or 170 when not playing. You can modify the dim values to suite your preferences. The last step is to run this script in XBMC.
Create a file in /home/[xbmcuser]/.xbmc/userdata called autoexec.py. This file should contain the full path and file name to the script above, I saved mine as /usr/share/xbmc/scripts/ljus.py:
Play a movie and hopefully your dimmer should now be dimming the light. Stop the movie the opposite should happen.
Yesterday I tried Plex on my Apple TV gen 2 and I wasn’t satisfied. Today I thought I’d try XBMC out instead. I followed the guide found at http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=HOW-TO:Install_XBMC_on_Apple_TV_2 and installed the latest nightly build.
The installation works fine, but there are a few problems. To start with the UI is sluggish and slow compared to my HTPC. Although this isn’t a deal breaker it irritates me and I find it hard to accept. But that’s not the worst, the ATV seems to be unable to send Dolby Digital or DTS sound streams to my reciever, the sound is just disturbing and sounds like a big bowl of sound pollution. Accept 2.0 sound? Don’t think so. And last, when I’m play ing 1080p movies it buffers for 3-4 seconds now and then, this never happens on the HTPC.
So the conclusion is about the same as with Plex, it’s promising… but not there just yet.
I know, I know, no blog post for a long time. I thought I’d redeem myself with a post about my latest project, running XBMC-PVR instead of a normal set-top box for watching TV.
I use XBMC-PVR (still in beta) as frontend and TVHeadEnd as backend. These work very well together, even though XBMC-PVR is a bit unstable and crashes sometimes.
My normal HTPC, ASRock ION 330.
3x Sundtek USB tuner for DVB-C
Switch for splitting the cable signal since I have three tuners
How do I do it?
There’s no reason for me to write a guide since there’s one out there already. http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=HOW-TO_watch_TV_in_XBMC_(aka_XBMC-PVR)
I’ll be happy to answer any questions about my setup.