Welcome to Tech Fusion Online
Let me start by saying that I tested the Windows-based software in a fully updated Windows XP SP3 VMWare Workstation virtual machine and did my best to ensure all prerequisites were met for each software. The Linux-based MythTV software was tested using Mythbuntu, Mythdora, and LinuxMCE distributions installed in VMWare Workstation. All virtual machines were hosted on a Windows 7 64-bit OS running with a 3.2GHz Intel quad core processor and 11GB RAM. Also, where PVR functions are concerned, I did not test with external EPG data so I can't say for certain whether you may or may not be able to use these free PVR programs with or without paying a yearly subscription fee for your EPG data.
Now for a brief summary of my experiences and opinions of the PVR solutions I have tried:
Meedios - MeediOS - The HTPC app of the future
Meedios is a free Windows-based open source recreation of the Meedio software that was purchased and killed by Yahoo! First, the good. Meedios has an extremely awesome and slick looking user interface with all of the bells and whistles many people found to be lacking in SageTV. It is extremely configurable and will allow you to organize and display your media exactly the way you want it. Meedios is under active development and has an active following of plugin and theme developers. This means there are LOTS of plugins and themes to improve the look and functionality of Meedios. With built in plugins and 3rd party plugins you can bring a wealth of online content to your TV, including online videos, news stories, weather, and movie theater show times. And now for the bad. There are no PVR functions included with Meedios. The PVR functions are not built in and are only made available through 3rd party PVR engines and Meedios plugins. I didn't test these PVR functions since there were no recent releases or clear instructions on how to make it all work together. I didn't see any clear client/server ability with a common database and configuration serving multiple clients when I tested Meedios a couple of months ago. However, it appears that Meedios is working on integrating a central database solution so multiple clients can connect to and share a common library. Meedios is strictly a Windows-based media center application. It doesn't support other media player hardware (Popcorn Hour/Hauppauge MediaMVP) or gaming systems as Meedios clients with a Meedios user interface. And finally, along with the extreme flexibility in customization and configuration comes extreme complexity that will have most non-tech non-computer savvy users in over their heads very quickly when it comes to customizing things to get all of their data and media organized and displaying exactly how they want it. But don't let that prevent you from trying out this software. The initial install was simple enough to get most people happily started. But if you are a real stickler for how you want your media to be organized and displayed, be prepared for a fairly steep learning curve and significant investment of your time. If I didn't need the PVR functions and media extender capability, this is the software I would be using.
MediaPortal - MEDIAPORTAL - a HTPC Media Center for free!
MediaPortal is a free Windows-based open source media center and PVR software that has been around for a while and still being actively developed. First, the good. It has better integration of PVR functions than Meedios and they are all included with the MediaPortal installer. It also has all of the advanced PVR functions that SageTV has such as a client/server based PVR architecture and also the ability to use network-based TV tuners (meaning the main PVR server can utilize TV tuners that are not physically attached to the PVR server PC). It also has a very slick looking user interface and LOTS of extensions and skins to improve the look and functionality of MediaPortal. And now for the bad. While the TV functions have a client/server architecture, the media center functions for things like music, movies, and pics are updated on each MediaPortal installation separately instead of using a central database. If you have several client machines, each one may have to come out of standby or sleep mode to update their own databases everyday, hitting the network and server hard drives with more traffic than is necessary. Like Meedios, it doesn't appear to fully support other media players (Popcorn Hour/Hauppauge MediaMVP) or gaming systems as full MediaPortal clients with a MediaPortal user interface. It does support some of these as extenders, just don't expect to have the same slick and flashy user interface as you would get using a PC client. The installation is still a bit daunting and complicated, but if you're looking at this type of software then you can probably muddle your way through without too much trouble.
NextPVR - NextPVR | A free PVR and Media Centre application for Windows
GB-PVR is now called NextPVR and is a free closed source Windows-based PVR software that is currently being actively developed. First, the good. It has a client/server PVR architecture and now with a plugin it has the ability to use network-based TV tuners just like SageTV. It supports the Hauppauge MediaMVP and Popcorn Hour as client devices. It does have a small gathering of plugins and skins to fill in some of the gaps. And now the bad. I had trouble using my Hauppauge MediaMVP with NextPVR. It may have been the fact that I was testing NextPVR in a Windows XP virtual machine, but the MVP was extremely slow and kept locking up with NextPVR. A couple of newer versions of NextPVR have been released since I tested this, so I'll have to revisit it. I didn't have any other extenders to test with, so I can't comment on whether Popcorn Hour would have worked any better. For some people this might not be a bad thing, but the PC user interface was not nearly as slick and flashy as Meedios or MediaPortal. While not flashy, it was simple (maybe too simple) and responsive. It seemed more like SageTV was back in the SageTV v2 or earlier days. Since I couldn't test it with my MVP, I decided to skip the rest of the features so I can't comment too much on that other than to say that it allows you to do all of the basics such as browse and play your music, movies, and pics.
MythTV - MythTV, Open Source DVR
MythTV and MediaMVP Media Center are free open source Linux-based software. I'll start off by saying that if you are switching from SageTV and looking for MediaMVP extender support, the MediaMVP Media Center for MythTV isn't nearly as good of a client for MythTV as SageTV's built in MVP extender support. It only gives you a very basic and generic user interface to your MythTV server and it doesn't give you anything close to what SageTV accomplished. As a PVR, MythTV is probably about as close to a SageTV replacement as you can get for PVR functionality. First, the good about MythTV. It has a solid client/server PVR architecture like SageTV that allows you to have and use TV tuners on any machine with MythTV installed while having just one machine acting as the server to coordinated the usage of all of the TV tuners. Besides MythTV for client PCs, you can also use XBMC as a MythTV frontend that will run on Windows and Mac platforms as well as Linux. The MythTV user interface doesn't seem to be as slick and flashy as Meedios or MediaPortal, but I think it is better than any of the stock SageTV user interfaces. So, now for the bad. Maybe it was something with the distro I used or the version of MythTV included with the distro, but there didn't seem to be a whole lot of plugins or skins available through the MythTV user interface. Besides what is available from the MythTV user interface, there are additional addons available and tweaks you can do outside of the MythTV user interface, but you need to be familiar with using a Linux command line and know a little bit about Linux commands and the Linux file structure and permissions to do this without banging your head on your desk.
A quick additional note regarding MythTV…there are several Linux distributions with MythTV already integrated and will give you a ready-to-use MythTV server in a short period of time. These distributions have fairly easy to use wizard type installations but you may want to have the installation documentation or wiki page for the particular distro you have chosen loaded up on a laptop so you can consult with it as you move through the installation process. If you are looking for a whole house server that not only offers TV and Media Center services, LinuxMCE also offers home automation, security, and telecom control services. The drawback to a full LinuxMCE installation, with multiple LinuxMCE machines, is that it will likely require a significant reconfiguration of your home network. The LinuxMCE core server machine needs to act as the router and DHCP server for your LAN in order for all of the features of the interconnected clients to work, which means your LinuxMCE core server machine will need two network interfaces…one for the broadband/Internet connection and one for your internal LAN.
If I had to switch from SageTV right now, the choice I would make would be MythTV under the LinuxMCE distro. The addition of home automation, security, and telecom functions all integrated into one server is what will ultimately sway me to a LinuxMCE setup. If I were to stick with just a PVR setup in a Windows PC environment I would have to go with MediaPortal until Meedios has a proven and integrated PVR solution like MediaPortal. If I didn't care about all of the cool plugins, complex setups, or flashy user interface, and just wanted a simple PVR and media center, I would go with NextPVR.
OK, the rambling is done. Having tested these software packages in virtual machines, there were likely some problems I experienced that were attributed to that. If I have made any errors or false assumptions in my review, feel free to comment and correct me and I will verify and make any corrections necessary.
Read more 0 comments
News from: CNET News
With reports of 13 battery fires and one injury, the big-box retailer is recalling around 5,100 replacement batteries for the Apple laptops. [Read more]
Sometimes, cease-and-desist letters are mere morsels of intimidation, their legal grounds swamps. One lawyer decided that the accuser, West Orange, N.J., itself needed to shut up and go away. His letter smacks of literary genius. [Read more]
Looking to get a leg-up in the bendable display market, LG Display is going full throttle ahead with production of the new technology for mobile devices. [Read more]
Even as the company backtracks on its unpopular game-sharing policy, a company executive tells CNET that it won't budge on the price for the console, some $100 more than the rival PlayStation 4. [Read more]
Microsoft's backpedaling on DRM restrictions for its upcoming Xbox One is not the first reversal from a tech giant. Here are 12 others. [Read more]
2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved
News from: Sci/Tech - Google News
Microsoft retreats on rules for Xbox One after gamers complain
The Seattle Times
No regular Web link will be required and gamers will be able to use, sell, trade and loan their games. By Janet I. Tu. Seattle Times technology reporter. Related. Most Popular Comments. Hide / Show comments. No comments have been posted to this article.
Microsoft has 'no plans' to revisit Xbox One's $499 price
Xbox One Eighty: Microsoft fails to sell the future, retreats to the past
Xbox One: Microsoft reverses stance on connectivity, sharing
Wall Street Journal
Microsoft Explored Deal for Nokia
Wall Street Journal
Microsoft Corp. recently held advanced talks with Nokia Corp. about buying its handset business, people familiar with the matter said, as laggards in the fast-moving mobile market struggle to gain ground. The discussions faltered over price and worries about ...
That Microsoft-Nokia merger you've been predicting? It's no go
Report: Microsoft and Nokia talked acquisition
Did Microsoft just dodge another bullet, this time with Nokia?
NASA serves up Curiosity's billion-pixel panorama
NASA has stitched together 1.3 billion pixels of Martian marvellousness, giving the world the chance to peruse a planetary panorama of unprecedented detail. Available here with pan and zoom tools thrown in, the composite comprises nearly 900 images ...
Take a billion-pixel tour of Curiosity rover's surroundings on Mars
JPL releases billion pixel-panorama of Mars: Take a tour
Billion-Pixel View of Mars Comes From Curiosity Rover
Scientists make 'green' battery using wood
The scientists discovered that after charging and discharging the sodium-ion battery hundreds of times, the was was wrinkled but still intact. Scientists make 'green' battery using wood. Photo credit: Maryland NanoCenter. Science Recorder | James Fluere ...
A wood and tin battery
Battery Made From Wood ? Efficient, Long-Lasting, Environmentally-Friendly ...
An environmentally friendly battery made from wood
Review: Demise of Google Reader leads to alternative with more features
Minneapolis Star Tribune
NEW YORK ? On July 1, we say goodbye to Google Reader, a handy tool for bringing headlines and articles from your favorite websites into a single place. With Reader, I've been able to see at a glance all the updates from various news services, blogs and ...
News from: Phys.org - spotlight science and technology news stories
Stratasys, a leading maker of 3-D printers, is buying another 3-D printer manufacturer, MakerBot, for $403 million in stock.
Los Angeles' school system, the second largest in the United States, is ordering iPads for all its students, handing Apple a major success in its quest to make the tablet computer a replacement for textbooks.
The CIA selected Amazon over IBM to build a cloud computing service for the spy agency even though IBM's proposal carried a lower price tag, according to a government report.
(Phys.org) ?A billion-pixel view from the surface of Mars, from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, offers armchair explorers a way to examine one part of the Red Planet in great detail.
(Phys.org) ?Improved methods for breaking down cellulose nanofibers are central to cost-effective biofuel production and the subject of new research from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC). Scientists are investigating the unique properties of crystalline cellulose nanofibers to develop novel chemical pretreatments and designer enzymes for biofuel production from cellulosic?or non-food?plant derived biomass.
News from: robots.net
In Robots Podcast #132, reporter Ron Vanderkley speaks with Eric Stackpole and David Lang from the OpenROV project. OpenROV (OPEN-source Remotely Operated Vehicle) is a telerobotic submarine built to make underwater exploration and education affordable. Initially funded out-of-pocket, OpenROV has become a wildly successful Kickstarter project. Eric currently works part-time for NASA at the Ames Research Center. David also writes the Zero to Maker column for the MAKE Blog, where he chronicles his crash-course into the maker world.
Read On | Tune In
While other companies are working to develop fully autonomous vehicles, Ford has been working on a slightly different problem. According to a news release, they want robots to drive their traditional human-piloted vehicles on the test track. Robot test drivers could stay on the road 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Ford is launching a pilot program with a robot test driver for their 2014 full-size commercial Transit van. A single human can monitor up to eight simultaneous robot test drives. From the Ford news release:
?Some of the tests we do on our commercial trucks for North America are so strenuous that we limit the exposure time for human drivers,? says Dave Payne, manager, vehicle development operations. ?The challenge is completing testing to meet vehicle development time lines while keeping our drivers comfortable. Robotic testing allows us to do both. We accelerate durability testing while simultaneously increasing the productivity of our other programs by redeploying drivers to those areas, such as noise level and vehicle dynamics testing.?
The robotic technology used to drive the Ford vehicles comes from Autonomous Solutions, Inc.. The Ford test track is designed to compress 10 years of driving abuse into a small course. The robots must repeatedly drive trucks over broken concrete, cobblestones, metal grates, gravel, mud pits, curbs, and speed bumps. the course is so rough that human drivers were limited to one drive per day. Read on to see video and more photos of the robot test drives.
A recent UC Davis news release describes a remotely piloted helicopter (aka "drone") that is being field tested in a Napa Valley vineyard. The researchers are using the Yamaha RMAX unmanned helicopter on the Oakville Experimental Vineyard. UC Davis worked with the FAA for five months in order to obtain a permit for the application of herbicide and pesticide sprays from a remotely piloted vehicle. The FAA requires 48 hour advance notice of each flight and the vehicle is limited to an altitude of 20 feet. From the news release:
?We have more than two decades of data on the performance of the RMAX in Japan, but we don?t yet have that kind of information on its use in the United States,? said Steve Markofski, a Yamaha business planner and trained RMAX operator. He noted that in Japan more than 2,500 RMAX helicopters are being used to spray 40 percent of the fields planted to rice ? that country?s number one crop. ?What Ken and Ryan bring to the table is their spray application expertise and knowledge of the current application methods that are in use in the United States,? Markofski said. ?As we collaborate with them on tests of spray deposition and efficiency, we?re gaining insight into to how the RMAX performance compares to spray application methods that are being commercially used for this crop and this terrain.?
The Napa Valley's hilly terrain offers challenges similar to those of Japan's rice fields for conventional manned aircraft. Robotic spraying is hoped to be less expensive and safer than conventional aircraft or tractor-drawn spraying rigs. More photos and video can be found on the UC Davis press kit website. Read on to see some video of the robot in action.
Take your robot for a walk. The 2013 conference on Dynamic Walking is coming up at CMU next week, 10 June - 13 June. According to a CMU news release, this year's conference includes a lecture by Scott L. Delp, professor of bioengineering, mechanical engineering, and orthopaedic surgery at Stanford titled, "Insights from simulating gait dynamics and disorders". There will also be talks on biped walking using the Hubo II robot, and even esoteric subjects like that covered by the talk titled "Seven reasons to brake the swing leg just before heel strike". The conference covers both simulation and realization of various dynamic walking technologies. There will also be live demonstrations of dynamically walking robots. Oh and don't miss the "undergrad style" Pizza and beer event Monday evening. Most importantly, takes photos, shoot video so we can share some of the fun.
CC BY NA SA 2.0 licensed photo of Jonathan Borofsky's Walking to the Sky sculpture at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, TX by flickr user phigits
In episode #131, Sabine speaks with Ramon Pericet and Michal Dobrzynski from EPFL about their Curved Artificial Compound Eye (CurvACE) published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Inspired by the fly?s vision system, their sensor can enable a large range of applications that require motion detection using a small plug-and-play device. As shown in a YouTube video (link), these sensors could be used to assist small robots with navigating through their environments, even in very dim light. Other applications might include home automation, surveillance, medical instruments, prosthetic devices, and smart clothing.
Read On | Tune In
News from: Singularity Hub
Is it a plane? Is it a car? Well, so far, a flying car prototype is the best answer?and a late one at that. Massachusetts firm, Terrafugia, has been promising delivery of the Transition for almost four years. The latest missed deadline? The end of 2012, and to date, still no Transition. As you?d expect, it?s hard to build a flying car.
Last month, the office supply chain, Staples, joined the world of 3D printing. Adding to the momentum? Amazon is in too. Or at least that?s the story.vThe online retailer launched a new department offering 3D printers ($1,099 and up), 3D printing filament, parts and accessories (for those building their own machine), 3D printing books, and software, like CAD, to make 3D models.
I have a new book coming out early next year, The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance. As the title suggests, my subject matter is the outer limits of human potential and the question of what might actually be possible for our species. During the course of writing [...]
Technology has always ridden far out ahead of the laws that govern it. As the pace accelerates, that gap may widen. The US Patent Office issued the first patent on a gene thirty years ago. Tens of thousands of patents later and amid growing uncertainty about the patentability of genes, the issue was heard by the US Supreme Court earlier this year. On June 13th, the court ruled against biotech firm, Myriad, saying the company may not patent isolation of naturally ocurring genes. However, the court upheld patents of synthetically created genes, known as complementary DNA or cDNA.
Top 10 Downloads
There are no files for download yet
Newest 10 Downloads
There are no files for download yet