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Monday, February 13, 2012


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Friday, August 26, 2011

Configure a Synology NAS as MySQL server for XBMC



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If you use XBMC and you have a Synology NAS device, then you ought to think about using the NAS to host not only your music and videos, but also your MySQL database! The Synology has built in support for MySQL and it only take a few minutes to set it up for XBMC. This will allow you to use multiple XBMC installations and share the same database and thumbnails. In my case I use an Apple TV 2nd gen in the living room with a Crystalbuntu AppleTV 1st gen in the media room. I also have  a couple of windows installs that I can use to both watch movies anywhere in the house, or just to manage the library from my desktop.


The main benefit of a MySQL setup are that there is only ever one place where you will need to update TV Show and movie information. But, the reason I like it is because I can watch something upstairs and stop in the middle and then resume from any other XBMC player in the house. And, if I ever need to re-install one of my devices, there is no need to re-scrape all of my media. I just put a few config files in the userdata folder and everything is just the way it was before.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Crystalbuntu - Fixing the July update bug


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** EDIT ** Sam released a new version in August, it fixes the July issue so no need to worry about this any more! ** END EDIT **

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Crystalbuntu Instalation Guide - Part 4 - The First Boot


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At this point you should have already modified the AppleTV hardware by removing the Hard Drive and fan as well as replacing the WiFi adapter with a Brodcom CryastalHD card. You should also have completed the steps to build a CrystalHD for AppleTV boot thumb-drive and modified the system files within to allow booting with no internal hard drive.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Crystalbuntu Instalation Guide - Part 3 - AppleTV Hardware Modification


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Part 3 - AppleTV Hardware Modification

The next part of this guide is going to focus on taking apart the Apple TV and removing the hard drive and the fan while also replacing the WiFi adapter with a new CrystalHD mini-PCI card. The hard drive and fan represent the only moving parts in the Apple TV and removing them will make the ATV completely silent.

Crystalbuntu Instalation Guide - Part 2 - Preparing The Thumb-drive


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Part 2 - Preparing the Crystalbuntu USB Thumb-drive

The process to install Linux on an Apple TV is actually quite simple, but things get a bit more complicated when you also want to remove the hard drive from the Apple TV. This guide will include everything you need to do to get up and running with no hard drive. This guide will also include a number of optional configuration changes that may be very useful to those who need them such as adding a static IP address, DNS address and later some advanced XBMC settings.

Also, since I personally need to use component video, this guide will include the steps necessary to use either HDMI or Component video.

Crystalbuntu Instalation Guide Part 1 - Introduction


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Building a silent media player from an original first generation Apple TV

The original Apple TV (ATV) never really made sense to me as a retail product. It was too expensive, had too many moving parts and it could only play media from Apple. I actually bought one years ago when they first came out but I quickly returned it when I realized that it could not play the high definition MKV files (h.264) that I typically use. My attitude changed however when a few enterprising developers built a new Linux back-end specifically for the ATV and coupled it with he Broadcom CrystalHD decoder. The result is a simple to use media center that runs XBMC and can play just about any video file I can throw at it. There are plenty of guides out there to install the CrysatlHD board and get up and running, but I specifically wanted a silent media center that would pull all of its content from a shared folder on my Synology NAS.