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Mitv Project Log


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Mitv stands for My Internet TV and is a project i have been wanting to work on almsot since the days of the broken but now i think i have a good way to do it. The idea is to have a central place holding IPTV content like Hak5 as well as "obtained" shows i like and to be able to have a nice place to sit down and watch such content. The issue though is that i wanted to spend the least amount i could and it had to run on mac because that is what i like. I also had to have atleast some portable content available to me.

Here is how the project will be layed out. The base machine or the brain as i will call it from now on is my old iBook G4 1.2ghz. I am pumping the audio out via a RCA to Sterio jack to my sterio system and the video out via a mini DV to composite cable. This pretty much turns my TV into a second monitor. Now attached to the iBook will be a 4 drive firewire enclosure with 4 320gb HDs for storing the content. I wanted an 8 bay but it's not in the budget currently. This will also be storage for my own video content/back up hense the mass of space.

Now how do i want to watch this content in an organized way? Well at first i said front row but that not only doesn't work on older macs but also can't play AVi and WMV files very well if at all. So i am going with 1 of 2 Mac media front ends but that choice will be made a bit later in the project. I'll still have a little issue with WMV but i am working on that as well.

Next up i need a remote. Well for now the system will be controled over VNC using my Palm|TX or laptop which ever is closer at the time. I'm also looking into some RF keyboard and mouse stuff for general use of the computer.

Upgrades down the line: I would like to create a myth box and use the iBook as the front end for that. I would like to do a version of the RF Modulator/VLC Remote to send the content to other places in my apt mostly my bedroom. As well as a few other things working off the central brain.

I'll have pictures here as i go along with some updates on what i have done.

Step 1: Attaching the iBook to the TV Coming between august 5th-7th. The cable is in the mail :).

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Sounds like a fun project... I've been looking for a good way to do this on Windows and I figured that something that looks and works like a multi-movie DVD menu... I could throw something together program-wise but I'll probably take a while in doing that... for all us Windows folk I'll post any updates if I get round to writing an app 'cos I like being able to be lazy when watching shows :)

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I was looking into this a while back, I wanted something for just provding a nice front end to a hard disk full of videos (NTFS). I looked at mythTV, but in the end I just went with a standard XP install and something called MediaPortal. Works like a charm and keeps the masses away from bad things like config menus.

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Ok i did a test using my macbook and the cable i did get and it worked out well so i am hopeful for this project. I just sent tonight for the new correct cable from apple so i should have a pic and info about that coming in the next few days.

A new idea i am kicking around is building the 4 bay fire wire enclosure and the ibook itself into a custom plexy case that would look a bit like an old record player if it was made by apple. Maybe even adding in a iPod dock right into the case. This is long off though as i still have alot to do just to get the basics ready.

Also a quick note tvguy, moonlit, and myself have been having some fun talks over in IRC about how to make the IPTV experiance more like a normal TV experiance using special software and scripts. If you guys wanna yakk with us about this hit us up in IRC and will have some jam sessions.

Full step 1 coming later this week.

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Step 1:


My first step now with the new cable is to use the miniVideo to Composite cable to attach the iBook to the TV for video. The nice thing is as soon as the cable is plugged in the screen sets to the right resolution. The 4x3 resolution fits almost perfect to my 27" TV.


Next up was the issue of getting sound to the TV from the iBook with out having to adjust the volume on the iBook. I am using the basic RCA to Mini Jack plug into the headphone port. I put the volume at full and then can use my normal TV remote to do the adjusting.

So that pretty much is Step 1 and it works quite well. Next up is going to be gutting an old Record/8-Track player that will act as the housing for the 4 bay firewire enclosure and iBook. By the end of this i will have a old school record player looking device with a ton of home media power.

Step 2 Coming Soon

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