This 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.
- 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
If your mobile strategy for 2011 is to hire someone to build an iphone app, then you are probably missing the big picture.
A quote from a very interesting article over at The Next Web blog about the “Free Day of Javascipt on Mobile” Event at Google HQ. It offers some pretty good insights on where the mobile web & mobile app ecosystem might move over the course of 2011.
iOS 4.2 is available, adding some impressive new features and finally getting iPad’s and iPhones up to the same OS version number. And Google releases “Cloud Connect”, a plugin that syncs Microsoft Office and Google Docs.
Today I’m posting some interesting videos about the Boxee Box, Friends for iPhone and Google Refine. And Facebook invites journalists to yet another press event possibly concerning Facebook’s message System.
Last 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
Read on for the whole article with a detailed explanation of all components.