Question on creating a video server

Da Rock rock_on_the_web at
Sat Nov 8 19:39:34 PST 2008

On Sat, 2008-11-08 at 10:40 -0800, Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
> Hi All,
>   OK, I'm just asking for opinions here on some application
> software.
>   Like most people we have a nice big 21" TV set that will be
> obsolete in Feb.  I have been thinking about replacing this with a
> big screen TV set but the prices on them are still way, way
> way out of my budget (I just can't see spending $500 for
> a TV set, sorry!!!!)
>   I can pick up really high quality, large, old-style
> video monitors from a computer surplus place near here for
> next to nothing.
>   I'd like to setup a PC and put a HDTV tuner card in it
> for over-the-air HDTV broadcasts, and use that as a TV.
>   We also have a ton of DVD's and I'd like to rip these
> to video files and put them on the PC.  Then when anyone
> wants to watch a movie they just watch it off the PC.
> I've already started doing this under Windows and it works
> great - it's even better since I can remove all those
> movie previews that the studio wants to force you to
> watch.
>   Has anyone done this with FreeBSD and open source
> software, and has recommendations on what hardware to get
> and what software works with it?
> PREFERABLY cheap - since ultimately we likely will get
> a big screen TV set once the prices fall.

Try the multimedia list, but for the most part (from my experience) the
modern tv tuners aren't really supported by FreeBSD (correct me if I'm
wrong) natively. Some are experimental and they're the hauppage tuners,
and then only a limited selection of them with limited features.

Another option maybe to try and get some of the linux drivers working
using linux compat_kmod- if you're really savvy that is...

Its been a real pain for me too, you're only other option is to use a
linux box (with greater driver support) which is what I'm using myself
right now until I can get the time to help in writing drivers for the
newer chipsets required for dvb. Check for more info on
cards and chipsets and linux compatibility.

Good luck- there are some really cool options available to you once you
go down this path: like piping the transmission around your network
using multicasting so you can watch on just about every computer in the
house, setting up a personal, customised, tivo like system, and much
much more.

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