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  • New toys for the pc car

    Ok so I sort of fell of the face of the planet for the past 6 months and have not posted a thing. But allas, Im here. New job, no time... yadda yadda. Who cares.

    Maybe it was because the pc-car project was complete. Everything worked... no more bugs. nothing left to do. Well it took a while, but I finally found a welcomed addition to my pc-car. TiVo.

    I dont quite know where im going with the idea. but the basics are as follows :

    For anyone that has no idea what im talking about go to http://www.tivo.com and start reading. Tivo is like a VCR with a brain. I dont want to get to far off track, so we will just say its a box with 20-200 hours (depending on size) of your favorite TV.

    The best part about Tivo ( ok well maybe not the best.... but still pretty cool) The heart of TiVo is a Linux based pc. Now before the windows people start to rant - have no fear all the good stuff is just plain mpeg video.

    So far I have 4 ideas -

    1. Make the tivo HD removeable, and simply drop it into the car after loading data.
    Would need some work on the back end to mount the Tivo fs (Linux native) on to the car pc.

    2. just buy 2 tivos. keep one in the car. This would be the easiest setup. I allready tried it pluged into an inverter and everything was fine.

    3. You can ( with some work / hack / warenty voiding) add a Network card to the tivo. I have 802.11b from house to car. programs are allready written to run on the tvio and windows pc to extract the mpeg data. I could use Samba and mount the car as the output drive for the mpeg decode....

    4. Some sort of transcoding to lower the quality of the video and make the file size smaller.. .then transfer to pc....

    Some things to consider - we are talking about a lot of data. 8 hours of good looking video is about 20 GB. Tivo is picky about people messing with its fs. I have crashed mine a couple of times allready ( easy to restore a backup)

    Annyone interested ?
    Im boared... this sounds challenging... whos with me
    Gizmo-
    Techonlogy on Wheels
    http://www.hjnetworks.com/car

  • #2
    An idea that would be great along with your many ideas would me a program that would automate the process to convert an episode of your favorite tv show into an easy transferable file that you could load into your car-pc.

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    • #3
      I'm interested in hearing a few of the details as you work on the project...
      Player: Pentium 166MMX, Amptron 598LMR MB w/onboard Sound, Video, LAN, 10.2 Gig Fujitsu Laptop HD, Arise 865 DC-DC Converter, Lexan Case, Custom Software w/Voice Interface, MS Access Based Playlists
      Car: 1986 Mazda RX-7 Turbo (highly modded), 1978 RX-7 Beater (Dead, parting out), 2001 Honda Insight
      "If one more body-kitted, cut-spring-lowered, farty-exhausted Civic revs on me at an intersection, I swear I'm going to get out of my car and cram their ridiculous double-decker aluminium wing firmly up their rump."

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      • #4
        If it`s based on a linux pc, i wonder if its possible to hack it 2 play mp3s.... hmmm. If not, then mp2 should be possible, as this is the format i imagine it using for sound.
        My Setup

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        • #5
          Check out the ReplayTV
          It already has an ethernet jack and seems to be much better than the Tivo. It also has a larger storage capacity. Also if you're planning on buying 2 The Replay TV is already set up to watch video on Replay TV #1 that was recorded on Replay TV #2 via the ethernet Port.

          The downside is they are $500

          (But I want one really bad!)
          1983 BMW 733i
          Cyrix 166 32MB with MPXPLAY And no display. Player sits on the back seat with a keypad in front. Someday I'll mount this thing for good...
          *****************************
          Gathering parts for carplayer v2.0!

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          • #6
            So where's my LCD and control box you promised to buy and build for me gizmonkr?
            Technology, Gadgets and Making Money Online
            http://www.genemills.ca

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            • #7
              I dont know about you guys.. but I find my dvd player pretty useless in the car. Not once have I seen a dvd movie while sitting around somewhere. Maybe music videos but not 2hr movies.
              04 Acura TL w/ core2duo 2ghz laptop w/ 1gb RAM on a docking station.

              Fast car, fast PC. ;)

              http://www.arcdesigns.net/carpc/

              My TL CarPC ver2

              FSR Flash Skin w/ moving weather maps

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              • #8
                TiVos are not as robust and hardcore as you seem to think they are.

                1. Make the tivo HD removeable, and simply drop it into the car after loading data.
                Would need some work on the back end to mount the Tivo fs (Linux native) on to the car pc.
                TiVo keeps the filesystem format (Media FS) secret. There's no way to mount it in an intelligible way at the moment. It's basically an on disk database.

                You can mount the TiVo's linux native partitions, but you won't get access to the content.

                3. You can ( with some work / hack / warenty voiding) add a Network card to the tivo. I have 802.11b from house to car. programs are allready written to run on the tvio and windows pc to extract the mpeg data. I could use Samba and mount the car as the output drive for the mpeg decode....
                TiVos tend to completely freeze upon any heavy activity, whether it be network or CPU. If two heavy things try and happen at once, it resets (watchdog?). That makes it extremely 'testy' to work with.. as it will constantly be resetting itself.

                Additionally, I doubt you'd be able to get a samba server running on your TiVo. You can get your tivo to mount an nfs partition from an nfs server, but it's not very useful.

                You still can't access the data on the media filesystems. Meaning the most you can do is copy little linux binaries and config files, but none of the actual shows you want as a file.

                The scripts that get the shows now work in cooperation with the TiVo software. They ask the TiVo's DB for the data, which returns it. We still don't know how to read TiVo's MFS.

                4. Some sort of transcoding to lower the quality of the video and make the file size smaller.. .then transfer to pc....
                That's going to be as much work as having encoded it yourself in the first place. TiVo mpegs are on their own, very big. Think 2GB-5GB per hour.


                You'd be better off just getting a TV capture card and encoding shows you want to send to your car. If you want, you can have the input to your capture card come from your TiVo playing back things it recorded.

                I never really understood why people want DVDs or other TV type stuff in their cars though. I don't want to sit in my car, not driving, for 2 hours, watching a movie on a tiny screen. Especially a movie I've seen before.
                Player: Celeron II 633MHz, 256MB RAM, 20GB IBM 9mm 2.5" Laptop HD (180G/2ms), onboard ethernet/sound/video/tvout, 10"11"x3" case, MPBS1 70W DC-DC PS w/auto-shutdown controller, in-dash lighted switches, 7" NTSC TFT widescreen in-dash LCD, touchscreen, rear-window brake light installed Garmin GPS35 GPS, credit card sized IR remote w/IRMan, mini-wireless keyboard/mouse (sits under seat), PowerMate black knob, MP3s and GPS Navigation (Winamp, CoPilot, SA8.0).
                Car: 1993 Nissan Maxima, Black Emerald

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                • #9
                  Noticw how he still hasn't replied? could it be that the 49.99 lcd he bought for me n ebay he tried to pawn off for 4x as much? yeah i thought so...
                  Technology, Gadgets and Making Money Online
                  http://www.genemills.ca

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                  • #10
                    Actually no, that has nothing to do with it Cyberfox.

                    I promised you a screen, and I fully intend to keep that promise.

                    I remember when I sold one of mine, you said something about it. I sold the guy the screen, mounted in plexi, and a controller. Assembled and tested. I had to research the board & the lcd, and wire that all together. After you take out shipping costs, I made about 50.00 on the deal. Considering the time I put into it, I think its worth the 50.00

                    I sold the lcd, because I simply couldn't find a place to put it. I needed a smaller one. I sent another screen to Canada (amer.com) so they could test / configure / design something to connect the lcd to an SBC ( If I remember correctly, you bought the same sbc)
                    Amer is *still* working on this interface. They blame lack of data on the LCD. So far, they can only get the lcd to display an inversed image.

                    I still have the LCD I promised you in a box on my shelf. I held off on sending it because I didn't want you stuck with hardware you couldn't use. I was trying to save you a headache, not screw you out of an LCD.

                    I got all your parts sitting here, *please* by all means let me know if you want me to send them.
                    I sincerely hope this clears up any misunderstanding
                    Gizmo-
                    Techonlogy on Wheels
                    http://www.hjnetworks.com/car

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                    • #11
                      Yes that does clear it up and that is decent of you to reply and let me know, I appreciate that. I can't believe amer still has that board, must be frustrating..tell them to get on the ball..hehehe..thanks for keeping me in the loop and I'll be in touch
                      Technology, Gadgets and Making Money Online
                      http://www.genemills.ca

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