My perfect TV setup Updated

XBMC's home screenThis is an update to an older post: My perfect TV setup

I recently upgraded the whole media consumption set-up in my apartment. This post describes all of the different aspects, hardware and software components in use.

Hardware

  • Mac Mini – this is the main hub of the whole operation. It sits in my living room, connected to sound system and projector.
    Specs: 2.3GHz i5, 2GB RAM, 500GB HD, Intel HD 3000 Graphics.
  • Apple TV – the new 1080p one. Connected to the LCD TV in my room.
  • iPad – also the new one.
  • Projector - still the same old one that won’t die. Only 720p, but I refuse to replace it before it has reached the end of it’s lifetime.
  • Logitech Harmony - universal remote to control the cable box, sound system, projector and XBMC (via Mac Mini’s infra red port) in the living room.
  • 2TB harddisk - connected to Mac Mini via USB.
  • 2x AirPort Express – connected to speakers in the kitchen and bathroom.

Software on Mac Mini

  • XBMC – with it’s recent Eden release and a few configuration tweaks the perfect, easy to use frontend for all my movies & TV shows.
  • Transmission – Torrent client with a nice web based remote frontend.
  • Catch – to automatically download new TV show episodes.
  • Air Media Server – serves media to iOS devices.
  • AirServer – receives AirPlay streams from iOS devices.

Software on iOS

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BSS – Brainfusion Surveillance System

BSS app iconLast weekend I sat down and built a surveillance system, including an iPhone webapp, for my apartment using my old iBook, an external iSight, the Webcam Software EvoCam and a set of scripts in AppleScript, PHP and some shell scripts.

The whole thing is pretty custom made but I’ll document it here anyway and with a basic understanding of the technology it should be fairly easy to reproduce with whatever hardware you have available. At the end of the post you’ll find a ZIP file with all the scripts I used in the setup.

The set up

  • The iBook has the iSight connected and pointed at the entrance door.
  • iBook is using?MAMP to serve PHP scripts and produces some audible confirmation messages.
  • The iPhone webapp shows if the system is armed or not, can start or stop EvoCam, lists all the available surveillance videos and offers a link to the live video stream.
BSS CTRL center

BSS CTRL center

Read on for the whole article with a detailed explanation of all components.
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