January 16, 2013

Transcoding a Movie Library with Python

Filed under: Home Theatre,Programming,Python — pj @ 10:18 pm

Like many a fellow geek, I have a Ubuntu server with shared folders that hold my collection of photos, music, movies, etc.. To show the movies on my TV, I started off with ASUS O!Play media player. Eventually, I bought a Samsung Blu-ray player with built-in media player. While the ASUS box supported CFS (Windows file sharing), the  Samsung could only see DNLA servers. I installed a DNLA service on my Ubunto and that worked fine until recently. Last summer, I moved to a new house. My new place doesn’t have CAT5 run all over, so I needed a new Blu-ray player with WiFi. I bought an inexpensive Panasonic unit from Costco because the Panasonic supported Amazon Instant Videos. Unfortunately, the Panasonic was much more picky about the supported video formats. While it can play modern .mkv files, it can’t play .avi files at all. I had a choice: I could buy another Media Player (the Western Digital WD TV Live was recommended for wide codec support) or I could figure out how to transcode videos.


May 3, 2007

ABCDEFG HDMI which TV for me?

Filed under: Home Theatre — pj @ 12:42 am

Prices on High Definition TVs (HDTVs) finally fell. A month or so ago, the manufacturers decided they had soaked the sports fan market for all it was worth and lowered prices to where the rest of us might consider a new TV. There is still not enough (non-sports) HD content available. There are just a handful of HD DVDs available to rent at my local Blockbuster and though my satellite provider, DirecTV, has a handful of HD channels available now, they are promising a lot more “real soon now”. 

For various reasons, I recently needed a new TV for the basement. As usual, I did my homework and bought a TV.  So, which TV is the right one for you? Getting the ideal TV is kind of complicated and depends a lot on what you want to do with it… (more…)

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