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Homebrew Slingbox


DarkSenay
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After doing a bit of research, I've found that many of the slingbox type hardware devices only allow a user to recieve their stream via proprietary software. Unfortunately, these companies have not taken the time nor effort to develop a playback application for Linux, Mac, etc.

This is why I would like to build a homebrew slingbox.

I'll be doing some research and development to build out this device, but I just wanted to throw out the idea to see if anyone else might be interested.

Another application for this device could be remote security monitoring or similar application.

An ultimate goal for this project would be to have a webUI for remote channel control and viewing via a live flash video (or similar) feed.

Software thoughts:

LIRC - for IR transmission (changing the channel on a remote cable box or similar)

http://www.lirc.org/transmitters.html

VLC - for video streaming and playback

http://www.videolan.org

Any thoughts or help would be greatly appreciated.

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I wonder what kind of streaming protocol you'd use to watch it remotely outside of your house?

Flash Media Encoder hooked up to a service like ustream.tv or justin.tv? or would you use something like shoutcast?

The IR emitter would need to be controllable over something like serial in order to build a physical channel changer, otherwise we could end up doing something if there's other software out there to change channels via a pc with tuner card installed.

I like this idea,

Matt

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Use Skype, just change the video input to your tv tunner.

On a Mac using Quicktime Broadcaster

I love the idea of using skype, since you don't waste network bandwidth of services like ustream or stickam when not watching. And you can setup permissions in skype so that it will only answer to people in its contact list. And as I understand it the skype api is pretty open meaning that you could possible write a little bot that would watch for chat commands and change the channel accordingly.

As for the IR transmitters, they're pretty cheap or you can get a kit from someone like sparkfun.

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actualy in any case i recommend using vlc, you can set it up so it streams over the web, so you can set a NAS and streaming to the box, for this i would say getting a "computer" basicaly a case, with motherboard, procesor, ram, and a good vid card, well thats my 2 cents

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I think if you could hack an old xbox so that when its plugged into the internet, it dials home to your server and allows you to switch the channels on the "home" server and gets a stream sent back to the xbox, which already has video hookup for the tv. Then you can use the IR remote addon for the xbox controller port that works for dvd playback but make it work to change channels from a tv tunter on the home machine, or navigate a NAS folder with prerecorded shows, movies, etc, and stream back to the xbox. This way you can take the xbox with you everywhere and have a somewhat compact machine as the slingbox "receiver" with full hookups for TV output and IR Remote controls(Or just use the xbox controller).

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vlc works great by itself and if you have a tv tuner card you can control the channels in vlc. Vlc even has a webUI which ive used and it works great. the only downside to using vlc is the syntax for setting up the streaming end of it is a little unclear so you need to experiment with it to get it to work right and also you need to tweak your resolution settings depending on your bandwidth... but once you get that it works great.

Not too long ago i was using vlc to stream xvid shows from a server i have at a datacenter to my work computer using plink with some bat scripts to start and stop playback... also i used the webUI to control streaming playback...

here are some of the command line setups i was testing for streaming. I was using vlc on the client side and also windows media player just opening a straight http stream.......

basically what vlc does is on the fly transcoding of the formats. Also just a note i was doing this testing back a few months ago before the new version of vlc came out so im not sure if its any different now but this should get you started...

vlc -I http -vvv Battlestar.Galactica.S04E08.HDTV.XviD-BiA.avi --sout '#standard{access=http,mux=avi,dst=localhost:8081}'

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

windows media player setup

vlc -vvv Battlestar.Galactica.S04E08.HDTV.XviD-BiA.avi --sout '#standard{access=http,mux=asf,dst=localhost:8081}'

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

vlc -vvv http://data102.homelinux.org:8081

vlc -I http -vvv Battlestar.Galactica.S04E08.HDTV.XviD-BiA.avi --sout '#standard{access=http,mux=avi,dst=localhost:8081}'

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

test xvid

Battlestar.Galactica.S04E08.HDTV.XviD-BiA.avi

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

server name's

http://yourserver.org:8080

http://yourserver.org:8081

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

bad quality wmp stream

vlc -vvv Battlestar.Galactica.S04E08.HDTV.XviD-BiA.avi --sout '#transcode{vcodec=DIV3,vb=256,scale=1,acodec=mp3,ab=32,channels=2}:std{acces

s=mmsh,mux=asfh,dst=:8080}'

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Good quality http stream

vlc -vvv Battlestar.Galactica.S04E08.HDTV.XviD-BiA.avi --sout '#transcode{vcodec=DIV3,acodec=mp3,vb=800,ab=128}:std{access=http,mux=ogg,dst

=homelinux.org:8081}'

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

vlc -I http /root/downloads -vvv --sout '#transcode{vcodec=DIV3,acodec=mp3,vb=800,ab=128}:std{access=http,mux=ogg,dst

=homelinux.org:8081}'

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I love the idea of using skype, since you don't waste network bandwidth of services like ustream or stickam when not watching. And you can setup permissions in skype so that it will only answer to people in its contact list. And as I understand it the skype api is pretty open meaning that you could possible write a little bot that would watch for chat commands and change the channel accordingly.

As for the IR transmitters, they're pretty cheap or you can get a kit from someone like sparkfun.

Well who cares about wasting someone else's bandwidth? ;D

Privacy and security can be important though, and Skype is pretty widely used. If their API allows, then setting up a server should be possible. Then just program an interface or automated behavior :)

actualy in any case i recommend using vlc, you can set it up so it streams over the web, so you can set a NAS and streaming to the box, for this i would say getting a "computer" basicaly a case, with motherboard, procesor, ram, and a good vid card, well thats my 2 cents

VLC is really flexible, it would be nice to have a slicker interface to manage the server. If using a PC, Xbox or other compatible device, maybe a UPnP server like MediaTomb would be easier to use?

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
... you could possible write a little bot that would watch for chat commands and change the channel accordingly ...

I did this through MSN using AutoIt to control a remote computer, this would be pretty sweet to do to control a homebrew slingbox. I think I might actually rewrite that to control VLC to stream my movie/tv show/music collection. :D

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  • 2 months later...
actualy in any case i recommend using vlc, you can set it up so it streams over the web, so you can set a NAS and streaming to the box, for this i would say getting a "computer" basicaly a case, with motherboard, procesor, ram, and a good vid card, well thats my 2 cents

ok easy squeezy solution for the gamer console users, this example is for Xbox360 owners, but it works just as well on ps3 and itunes. the awesome torrent app azurus-Vuse has recently been upgraded to ver 4.2.0.0 i believe which has added media device support, now you can play your fav movies downloaded on pc to your console, the console must be networked to the pc running vuse. it also has transcode plugin to convert unsupported formats (by Xbox) to formats supported by the console. been using it for about 2 weeks now, and it solved most of my headaches about playing my videos on my xbox. a solid solution and easily done. find this cool app at

http://www.vuze.com/app

PS: transcode on the fly is not available yet, so expect to spend a little time transcoding. matroska files .MKV files convert to mp4 [about a hour for episodes - depending on PC, hint- increase priority for azurus and ffmpeg]

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