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Make my own DVD player!!!

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Paul O, Apr 30, 2001.

  1. Paul O

    Paul O
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    This is something which I thought Id have a go at in my spare time...

    The plan is to create a PC with TV out, a DVD and a Hard Disk, and to write some custom software which will play any disk format which you care to throw at it, possibly also containing a Hard Disk recording system.

    However, I am missing 3 key items which are slowing down the project...

    1) Instructions on creating an LCD display for the front of the player

    2) Instructions on creating a remote control interface.

    3) A sexy black box to put everything in (instead of the white/cream coloured PC cases).

    Can anyone advise where I can find the above? Im sure the first too are on the internet somewhere, but Im struggling to find them.

    Any help would be grately appreciated.

    Cheers!

    Paul.
     
  2. Matty N

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    I'm not too sure how the LCD panels are interfaced with from a programming point of view - but www.avsforum.com has some interesting threads on this, with references to companies that could advise you - albeit on the other side of the pond.

    As for the remote control - I too am looking for something to do the same job (got as far as working out how to get a database of programming information off the web into a form that can be used in the front end of a PVR).

    So far I have only found this, but the guy hasn't contacted me yet. IR in is no probs, using infrared keyboards etc. but IR out is a problem - e.g. to control the satellite or amplifier.

    Anyhow, here's the link. Let me know how you get on - email is Matt.Norris@btinternet.com
    http://www.redrat.co.uk

    Cheers, Matt
     
  3. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    I'm looking into building an HTPC that functions as a PC, DVD player , deinterlacer and scaler for other sources. Early days yet though but confidence is high.
     
  4. Matty N

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    From a software point of view - logistical and technical difficulties aside - the "cut the mustard" systems will rely on highly user friendly and, dare I say it, "dead sexy" front end/user interface.

    All the behind the scenes stuff will not dazzle the missus, nor friends (who gives a stuff what this geeky computer nerd is going on about - what do I care what bitrate the simpsons is encoded at)

    As such, although this forum offers individuals an opportunity to share ideas, if HTPC's are going to take off then the "operating systems" to allow them to function will be hot property. They already are, just check other forums where people share "skins" they have developed.

    Might be a nice idea to share developments and info on various bits of the work such that other likeminded individuals can have their concerns abated, or even to distribute functional components such that (if nothing else) we get bug free software that has been fully tested. How embarrassing would it be to have the system crash in front of the latest guests to your home wishing to demo your innovation!!??

    Let us know how you get on...
     
  5. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Well my missus is quite interested as she used to edit on nonlinear systems like avid and lightworks. It is a bonus if you have friends whose last job was writing interpolation algorythms for most of larger scaler manufacturers! (however he assures me he can now write much better ones!)

    I see the front end if you will being the "easy" bit (I'm reminded of those video quiz machines you get in pubs: I saw an engineer working on one , when he rebooted it was running under windows 3.1!) I assume there are front-end custom gui packages. It runs on start-up and it links and floats over whatever bits of software you use for each task: dvd player , media player , capture software etc. Then its just a question of designing the layout. (think I'll fake mine up to be 3D) like the idea of a James Bond villainesque world domination globe!

    Main issues are the capturing side of things but I just need to do a bit of research. Will take a bit of time I'm sure.
     
  6. Matty N

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    For the video capture, Hauppage do a WINTV - PVR which, as its name suggests, is a MPEG1 or MPEG2 realtime capture card with pause, rewind and fast forward functions.

    They offer a SDK to allow software control of the card and, although I haven't used it, I understand it to be fairly friendly - ie. all methods in the link libraries are fairly user intuitive.

    My feeling is to use stock "industry standard" DVD and scaling software - better chance of getting support from the world at large and much less investment timewise. The current feeling appears to be that scaling and interpolation algorithms (or algorythms?) are actually quite good on PC software, especially when combined with a good video card.

    I like the idea of a fake 3D front end. Bit of 3D Studio in there and some lovely piccies!! Or you could opt for a nice 3D card and go for OpenGL realtime rendering for that wow factor for all the nerds!

    That said, for the average consumer, all they want is a one stop front end. There is money to be made if nothing else!! (Not that anyone would charge for users of the forum of course!!)

    Have fun...

    Matt
     
  7. Paul O

    Paul O
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    Thanks for all the info guys. I am really just after making it for myself (initially, but who knows...!).

    It was an idea which I dreamed up when I realised one night that it would be very nice to be able to play all manner of formats in a box (therefore custom design). A PC magazine had a similar artical a few months later about making an MP3 player, but didn't go into much detail. However, they say they found the info of the IR and the LCD display off the net somewhere. This sparked up my idea again, and I thought I'd give it a shot.

    I plan to create a very basic front end to start with, pretty much automated to begin with - i.e. it checks the disc and its contents and reacts accordingly, and then develop this from there.

    The IR info looks good, but still stuck on the front panel LCD connections. Any ideas??

    I'll let you know how I get on, when I start the project, and I'll share any info and code which I find/make. Please feel free to do the same!

    I have just aquired some redundant PCs from work, so they'll do as a start for the project.

    Next on the shopping list....IR, TV-Out/Capture and DVD drive. Any recomendations for cheap places?

    Could turn into quite an interesting lead this one...!!

    Thanks again,

    Paul.
     
  8. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Kryton has a VFD (like a LCD but better in the dark), search for Kryton either here or on www.avscience.com. There are 3 companies that I know of that make LCD/VFD's that fit a standard 5.25" drive bay. They are Matrix Orbital, CrytalFontz and Scott Electronics (www.seetron.com). The display in Kryton is a Scott Electronics VFD, I chose them because they have a distibutor in the UK (Milford Instruments?) See www.seetron.com for details. The good thing is that some software exists to run these things. I have a winamp plugin that displays song name and track details. If you need anymore info on Kryton just ask. I have written an article for HCC Online but it hasn't been published yet.
     
  9. Paul O

    Paul O
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  10. GarryF

    GarryF
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    Someone posted about black PC cases on here a while back, the link is http://www.kustom.co.uk/case/main.htm
    I got the second one down, it's very nice, front cover slides up to hide all the cream drives etc
     
  11. Paul O

    Paul O
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    Hi all.

    If anyone is still interested, I am planning on starting this DVD player project using a PC (finally!! There are so many gadgets to waste time and money on aren't there!)...

    It is intended to be initially a dedicated PC which will sit under the telli and act as a movie/audio jukebox, and a DVD player all in one unit. There is the potential to add to this later with a capture card etc, but just starting with the basics for now.

    I'v sourced all the bits, and are on order at the moment. Had to make a few sacrifices (like a sexy slim PC case), as I want to keep the project down to a budget price.

    Custom software is going to be written (I'll probably do it at the end of this month I think) to handle the menu system for the jukebox, and the copying facility to store films and playback from the system.

    Current estimate for the project weighs in at just over £250 for a basic remote controlled juxebox and DVD (with dolby dig no less).

    Gonna be ace. If anyone wants to follow this, post reply and I'll keep you informed of its progress...

    "Why don't you just buy a Tivo-style recorder?" I hear you ask. Answer - Cos I wanna build it! hehe And my project will do exactly what I want too...

    Cheers!

    Paul.
     
  12. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    Jeff: Are you planning on writing an update on the Kryton project? The current report is quite old now.

    Cheers m8y!:clap:
     
  13. John_N

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    You could try the LMP-PC home cinema PC case. This is black or silver and comes with an optional LCD display for the hardware part. Also has a slot-loading DVD drive. A very nice piece of kit.

    On the hardware side you'll have to pay attention to sound levels inside the case. There are numerous posts on silent power supples, quiet graphics cards, quiet hard disks etc etc etc.

    J
     
  14. kron

    kron
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    Try looking at this thread over at bit-tech for your lcd/vfd http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?threadid=12398

    I have one of those Noritake VFD's it's easy to get going .It works best with LCDC which is a small inexpensive piece of software which controls the VFD ,IIRC it has a plugin for ZoomPlayer but i've not used it so can't help you there i'm afraid.
     
  15. Paul O

    Paul O
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    Hi everyone!

    My project is started. Raaa! Not put it all together yet though.

    Have started the coding of the automatic jukebox. It rocks. Makes a menu of all films on the hard disk so far, and then plays the selected one.

    Heres my case. I have gone for the cheapest, so its not particularly small - I have put it next to my video by comparison. So far, the entire project has cost me £187. Not bad. Still need a hard disk and infrared though. Infra red is going in the other slot, along with an LCD display.

    Thanks for the silent tips. My motherboard is fanless which is ace, so its very quiet. Not sure about the case yet though, as I haven't powered the beast up. We'll see.

    I'm trying to do it all on much-cheapness! We'll see how it goes.

    Next step - Putting it all together.

    Paul.
     

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