Watch television with VLC and Archos 9

I think Archos 9 tends to be a little slow when it comes to decoding a DVB video while at the same time handling audio streaming from usb. It could be the processor…

I recently purchased a stick from Afatech, well to be honest an unbranded version of it, for watching television in Greece. Its cheap, compact and works in both Linux and Windows 7 flawlessly.

But in order to have a smooth video you have to make it work with VLC, because the bundled proprietary software BlazeVideo is heavy, bloated and you just cant select the appropriate output module and deinterlace method. Some of the following apply to Linux as well, DVB settings are for Greece (for your own country settings may vary) and finally it is not too much CPU intensive:

1) Install VLC if you havent done it already… look here: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-windows.html

2) Run it…

3) Tools – Preferences

4) Show settings – All

5) Advanced – Allow one running instance, Enqueue items to playlist when in one instance mode, Increase the priority of the process (Check all these)

6) Click Audio (parent setting) – Uncheck High quality audio resampling, Force detection of Dolby Surround Off, Replay gain mode None

7) Now expand Input / Codecs, Access Modules and go to DVB – Caching value in ms 1200 (milliseconds of cached video for fast access I think this setting is ok, but it was almost random)

8) Transpoder/multiplexer frequency 674000 (this is Athens/Greece specific)

9) Network Name, Network Name to Create – Anything you like (in Greece makes no difference whatever name you choose).

10) Adapter card to tune -1 (This is for those who have more than one DVB stick connected, -1 is automatic)

11) Inversion Mode – Undefined (I dont know yet whats this, but for me it didnt make any difference, better leave it as is)

12) Satellity settings are to be left unchanged

13) Modulation type – QAM64 (Greece specific)

14) ATSC settings are for different chips, therefore leave unchanged

15) FEC rate – 3/4 (Greece specific)

16) Terrestrial low priority stream code rate (FEC) – Undefined

17) Terrestrial bandwidth – 8 MHz (Greece specific)

18) Terrestrial transmision mode – 8k (Greece specific)

19) Now expand Video Codecs and select FFmpeg

20) Check if not already: (For Decoding) Direct rendering, Hurry up, Hardware decoding

21) Skip the loop filter for H.264 decoding – All

22) Now go to Video (parent settings) – Check these if not already: Enable Video, Embedded video, Drop late frames, Skip frames, Overlay video output, finally go to bottom of page – Deinterlace On – Deinterlace Method Mean

23) Expand Video now, go to Output modules and select DirectX (DirectDraw) video output. Here you can select Direct3D with its better quality video, but it is more CPU intensive and your video may become choppy and have frames lost eventually. Try either of these.

24) Εxpand Output modules go to DirectX deselect Use hardware YUV – RGB conversions and select Use triple buffering for overlays

25) Click save now.

26) At this point you can create a playlist with all the frequences for your country. In Greece for example we have four networks/channels for each frequency in standard definition, when you tune to a frequency go to Playback – Program to select the network/channel. VLC even supports teletext!. You can take this playlist for example:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<playlist version="1" xmlns="http://xspf.org/ns/0/" xmlns:vlc="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/ns/0/">
	<title>Playlist</title>
	<trackList>
		<track>
			<location>dvb://frequency=682000000</location>
			<duration>3600000</duration>
			<extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
				<vlc:id>0</vlc:id>
				<vlc:option>dvb-adapter=0</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-bandwidth=8:dvb-caching=900</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-adapter=0</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-device=0</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-frequency=682000000</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-inversion=2</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-modulation=64</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-code-rate-hp=3</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-code-rate-lp=0</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-bandwidth=8</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-guard=8</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-transmission=8</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-hierarchy=-1</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>file-caching=2400</vlc:option>
			</extension>
		</track>
		<track>
			<location>dvb://frequency=674000000</location>
			<duration>3600000</duration>
			<extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
				<vlc:id>1</vlc:id>
				<vlc:option>dvb-adapter=0</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-bandwidth=8:dvb-caching=900</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-adapter=0</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-device=0</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-frequency=674000000</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-inversion=2</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-modulation=64</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-code-rate-hp=3</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-code-rate-lp=0</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-bandwidth=8</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-guard=8</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-transmission=8</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-hierarchy=-1</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>file-caching=2400</vlc:option>
			</extension>
		</track>
		<track>
			<location>dvb://frequency=690000000</location>
			<duration>3600000</duration>
			<extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
				<vlc:id>2</vlc:id>
				<vlc:option>dvb-adapter=0</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-bandwidth=8:dvb-caching=900</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-adapter=0</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-device=0</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-frequency=690000000</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-inversion=2</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-modulation=64</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-code-rate-hp=3</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-code-rate-lp=0</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-bandwidth=8</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-guard=8</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-transmission=8</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>dvb-hierarchy=-1</vlc:option>
				<vlc:option>file-caching=2400</vlc:option>
			</extension>
		</track>
	</trackList>
	<extension application="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/playlist/0">
			<vlc:item tid="0" />
	</extension>
</playlist>

Copy to a new text file and save as *.xspf. VLC should open it nativelly. Change program/channel by choosing playback – program. Original post here by me:

http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=50885

Save from the net…

Internet is so much grown up now and it probably has more to offer in the future. The last years we witnessed and still do the growth of companies offering hosting services for file and other media downloading and off course link sharing.

Some of them are strict when it comes to following their policies and illegal media, while others just… point their eyes in the wilderness and whistling with joy! Who cares… users will download what they want either way.

Although I do not encourage someone downloading something which is illegal, it may be useful for those who share things that ARE legal.

Among many download helpers that are found through extensions and/or add-ons for browsers there are also some web front-ends which help users get easily what they like. One of them is Savefrom.net. What it does is simply act, I would say, a download proxy. It gets the file for you, to you. You can use it to download youtube videos or files from rapidshare.com bypassing all their limiting restrictions like rapidshare’s waiting interval or youtube strict policy for fundamental streaming content.

There are 3 ways according to savefrom.net to use their service:

1st way
Enter the URL-address in the input field at the top of the page and press Enter or click on the button to the right of the input field.

2nd way
Add “savefrom.net/” or “sfrom.net/” before the URL
example: sfrom.net/http://youtube.com/watch?v=u7deClndzQw and press Enter.

3rd way
Use short domain names: ssyoutube.com, srapidshare.com, srutube.ru

4th way
Use bookmarklets or UserJS.

Opera users can also install the SaveFrom.net extension.

What I like with this thing is that it works with all browsers, even with mobile ones and it conveniently does the job for you.

Flickr photos and the original pages

The trick bellow is most likely already known to many flickr and in general internet users, but I like to include it on my blog for the surfing purposes.

Lets assume you found a random blog or website with images hotlinked from flickr. How lame it is not to provide a direct link to their flickr album, make things easier and simultaneously save bandwidth and time?

Go to the blog of your interest, right click an image and select Open Image. Example photo url:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4128/5024043804_af64df42f0_b.jpg

The 5024043804 is the image’s “global” id and it is unique to every photo. Now all you have to do is keep on a note this id and then append it to this url:

http://flickr.com/photo.gne?id=

Your url should turn into this upon appending the id:

http://flickr.com/photo.gne?id=5024043804

Doing the above and you will end up on this page:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lightsinthedark/5024043804/in/photostream/

From this point on you can access the user’s other images and photostream. However this does not apply to private albums. Flickr is quite secure hosting service now and they have pretty much closed their security holes of the past.