Building notes, projects, and occasional rants


I bought my TV 1 or two months ago, but I've only been using it in the last 3 weeks or so. I was expecting to connect it to my standard definition TV but I made a big confusion between component video and video by components. Somehow I was expecting to plug the box into a standard s-video...

Anyway, now that I got it connected to an HDMI TV (a Samsung LE32R32B if you must know) and stuffed it with video content, I can tell you a bit about my experience.

I love it.

You can buy or build a much feature-complete PVR with MythTV and others and comparing with a TV, the latter lacks a lot of features. But I've seen my mother and my mother-in-law sitting in front of the TV with the remote in their hands navigating successfully over all my iPhoto albums searching and looking at photos of the kids. Without my help. That in itself is already a big win for me. I probably could have the same thing with MythTV, but not without more effort from me than what I had with this.

I haven't hacked the box yet, I waiting a little bit more to see if a legal patch stick appears so that I don't have to open it. I only want to put the Perian Quicktime components and some sort of plugin that allows me to use network disk drives for storage of video files (I'll probably find something in the plugin category of the AwkwardTV or in the plugins directory).

And that brings us to my only gripe with it: the disk inside is very small.

Usage of my TV

And that is with only the kids videos inside, no content from me and my wife...

So I need to expand the storage and there are two ways: swap the disk inside, or use a NAS.

I've decided to use the second one. And to that end, I also got a Airport Extreme Base Station. You can plug several USB devices into it (printers and USB drives supported) and share them over the network. I had a 500Gb Western Digital Book external drive, I plugged it in to the base station, and I can now see the drive from my Mac and from the wife PC laptop.

The second part is to get the TV to see that device and the video files inside. Let see how the patch stick goes. It if takes more than a couple of weeks, I'll open up the box, enable SSHd, and install some plugins.