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[Discuss] Zotac Zbox ID80 for media front-end

HandBrake works well under Linux.

To get a list of track numbers and their durations:

> HandBrakeCLI -i /dev/sr0 | egrep '+ (title|duration)'

To rip tracks 1, 2, and 3 into mp4 files:

> HandBrakeCLI -i /dev/sr0 -f mp4 -m -O -I -t 1 -o track-01.mp4
> HandBrakeCLI -i /dev/sr0 -f mp4 -m -O -I -t 2 -o track-02.mp4
> HandBrakeCLI -i /dev/sr0 -f mp4 -m -O -I -t 3 -o track-03.mp4

On Sat, Jan 12, 2013 at 1:16 AM, Rich Braun <richb at> wrote:

> In 2009, I bought several Acer Revo 1600 boxes to use as MythTV front-ends.
> If they were still on the market, that product (based on a first-gen NVIDIA
> ION GPU) would be what I'd recommend buying.  Smooth video, runs everything
> out of the box, and no failures in nearly 4 years.
> Today's market for this has gotten more complicated, more expensive, and
> not
> really as advanced as I'd have thought.  Moore's Law apparently never came
> close to the 1080p video-playback requirements that many of us have.
> If you're thinking of buying this, here are some post-purchase thoughts:
> * You will need to upgrade to absolute bleeding-edge NVIDIA Linux driver:
> version 310.19.  Read more at:
> .
> Until I
> installed that, I saw frame-refresh rate of about 15fps.
> * The system is bare-bone in terms of disk/RAM but it includes an MCE IR
> remote kit.  It's clear that Zotac has been targeting the
> home-entertainment
> market.
> * Specs on these Atom-based systems are misleading in one respect:  when
> they
> say "4GB maximum", they actually mean 4GB per DIMM slot (there are 2
> slots).
> If you want, you can put 8GB in.  And if you only want 4GB, you should buy
> one
> 4GB DIMM rather than 2 2GB DIMMs so you have a spare slot for future
> upgrades.
>  (RAM is so cheap these days that $20-25 gets you a 4GB SODIMM.)
> * I crafted my own cron script to put the system to sleep during hours when
> I'm usually asleep or at work.  It's basically a one-liner, inserting the
> output of 'date -+%s -d "desired-wakeup"' directly into the kernel's
> /sys/class/rtc/rtc0/wakealarm setting prior to a pm-suspend.
> * I use lircd for managing the IR remote.  Starting with SUSE 12, I ran
> into a
> problem with double-input of button presses.  New versions of xorg-x11 have
> done away with most of the painful xorg.conf.d crap, so X usually comes up
> more automatically.  But if you're manually controlling configurations of
> things like the IR remote, you have to explicitly tell X not to be so
> smart:
> use an Option Ignore "true" with a MatchProduct specification of the
> particular device, to disable this capability.  You can get the
> MatchProduct
> string by grepping the output of Xorg.0.log for anything that you want to
> disable.  (My double-keystroke problem was due to having two processes
> listening simultaneously, X's built-in input driver plus lircd.)
> OK so here's the full recipe of what it takes to build a Zbox ID80
> front-end
> running MythTV or one of the rival media servers:
> * The Zotac package:  about $234
> * A 4GB DDR3 SODIMM: about $25
> * Storage:  a spare 2.5" drive or USB or SSD: about $20-$50
> * (Optional) An external optical drive: $20-$50
> * Free software download:  NVIDIA driver 310.19
> * Your favorite software distro and media player software
> One caveat about the optical drive:  MythTV dropped its DVD ripping support
> when it achieved enough critical mass to attract attention from Hollywood's
> lawyers sometime around 2009.  The only useful alternative I've found is a
> non-Linux tool called DVD Decrypter which requires a Windows box.  Thus far
> those battalions of attorneys haven't yet shut down the download sites for
> that tool.  I haven't yet tried playing Blu-Ray discs with this new system
> but
> I assume it'd be even more painful than DVD.  (The reason Linux DVD
> playback
> doesn't work is that 99% of DVDs have at least one I/O error.  MythTV
> versions
> since 0.24 don't tolerate even a single error.  The only way I can watch a
> in MythTV is to rip first under Windows, which means a 15-25 minute wait
> whenever I buy a new one.)
> -rich
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at

John Abreau / Executive Director, Boston Linux & Unix
PGP KeyID: 32A492D8 / Email: abreauj at
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