Archive for November, 2008

NetUP Dual DVB-S2

| November 21st, 2008

As I’ve previously mentioned, my interrest in DVB-S2 has been on a low boil. Primarly due to few pure HDTV channels available, upscaled SD content I can do myself.
This has ever so slowly started to change tho, and Ive started to sniff around for solid DVB-S2 cards.

I have been very reluctant to purchase a card from producers that dont actively either develop linux drivers, or are forthcoming to the v4l community devs with specs on the chipsets used.
This is of course a problem not solely on the card producers, but also the analy retarted chip producers. Alot of devs get specs when signing NDA’s, fair enough, if no other solution is available….

BamBaBA!

As I was catching up on the mailinglists a mail from a (to me) unknown company caught my attention..

Hello,

We have designed NetUP Dual DVB-S2-CI PCI-E x1 card. A short description
is available in wiki – http://linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/NetUP_Dual_DVB_S2_CI
Now we have started the work on the driver for Linux. The following
components used in this card already have their code for Linux
published:
Conexant CX23885
STM STV6110A

We are working on the code for the following components:
Dual demodulator STM STV0900BAB
Dual LNB STM LNBH24
SCM CiMax SP2

The resulting code will be published under GPL after receiving
permissions from IC vendors.


Abylai Ospan
NetUP Inc.

link to thread

Say what now? A Dual DVB-S2 PCI-E card, that linux drivers are being developed from the start? AND… are gonna be published under GPL?

I didnt think twice to reply & place my preorder.. The first batch will be done in jan-feb, I for one can easily wait for this card to be available.
I will of course post a full review on the card when its been put into service.

Massive karma points to our Russian neighbours!

Back & forth with VoIP

| November 14th, 2008

Ive been messing(I couldnt use a better term really) with VoIP in many shapes and forms over the years. Had many plans on how to set things up, integrate with existing analogue adapters, fail-over to PSTN, soft-phones, cell-phones with SIP, insanely long & tedious IVR setups.. the list goes on an on..

Well, last night, like many nights, sleep mode did not init, so I kicked off a VE in one of my servers running OpenVZ. After about an hour I had FreePBX running and connected to a Voipdiscount.com trunk. A few minutes later Wengophone registered and made its first call through the trunk.
So far, so good, could the rest be equally easy? Well, no, had I known then, what I know now, it would have all been done in 30min. But where would the fun be in doing something you know all aspects off from the get-go?

The biggest time-killer were my Nokia N82, I have used it alot with various VoIP providers, but not with my own Asterisk server. Where I did wrong? I did NOT omit 3 entries in the Registrar settings, and believe you me, I tried many combos & read alot of pages before that solution smacked me in the face.

Next up was to get a ATA registered, I have an old Sipura SPA-2000 thats been collecting dust for years, this one was up within minutes.(hey, I cheated, found good info on the SPA-300x series on FreePBX site)

The rest of the night Ive spent documenting some of what I did, and started planning the layout of the IVR & what to record there.
Anyone planning to call me/us using a hidden number, expect to spend the rest of your life in IVR menu.. or just dont call at all, it will be your lost time, not mine. 😉

I have ordered another trunk number from a national Telco which should hopefully be operational within not long. Will no doubt have alot of fun getting both in- & outbound calling setup with several trunks.

You can check out the Wiki for info on whats done, and whats to come.

I’ll let Mr Geldof end this post..

I hear a heartbeat
it’s ringing out across the universe
It sounds so lost and lonely
must come from somewhere deep inside of us.
And the operator says:
AII is calm and all is quiet

close your eyes and sleep tonight.
This is the world calling
this is earth
this is the world calling
this is us.

Mythbuntu 8.10

| November 4th, 2008

Another box, another update. This time around my MythTV backend(BE) was due for a upgrade. Been chunking along happily under Hardy for a good while, if it works, dont break it? No sir, not in my house!

Of course, with any change on an important service, backup of db & confs is a given…

When that was done, the upgrade itself went smoothly, the only hickup I had were with v4l-dvb. I pulled the latest & greatest to see what was going on with the new API(5) and its inclusion of S2API. It did compile, but did not play nice with open-sasc-ng, and after a little reading I saw patches where needed for both open-sasc & mythtv to make use of the new API.

If my Myth BE had been running on.. ohh say Gentoo, I’d give it a stab, but not on a pre-compiled distro. That would mean (re)compiling any coming updates to MythTV untill said patches had made it upstream..

So I took the easy way out, reverted v4l-dvb to revision 8984(pre API5), which works fine with latest open-sasc-ng & current Mythbuntu repo(incl 2.6.27 kernel). Due to the big stir up on multiproto vs s2api, Im putting a hold on a dvb-s2 purchase. Even tho s2api has been selected and merged into v4l-dvb, I’ll wait till the dust settles before I make a decision on what hw to get..

Since I run a headless BE, I cant speak much on any of the GUI changes, I did run mythbuntu-control-center via ssh tho, most notable changes there were prep’ing of images for diskless frontends. Good stuff for those that dont like to mock about in a terminal.

What I did notice, where an increase in overall performance/speed. Both mythweb, and all communication with frontends(FE). Channel lock & changes are cut with a few secs, this might also be due to open-sasc-ng, since I ran legacy code before upgrade, but had the same impression upon playback & editing of recordings. It all feels more snappy.

The speed bump made me want to clean up the channel list(long overdue), any change there via Mythweb in the past made the browser unresponsive for 4-5 minutes upon hitting ‘save’. Satellite hookups will do that I guess, 2500+ channels are a hefty load to process.
Cut it down to about 1/5th, which in turn made my BE grunt like a quad-core on speed.
This is still a part of MythTV Im not overly positive about, manageing a big channel list, with its xmltvid, commercial free or not etc settings. Be it mythtv-setup or mythweb, the last word that comes to mind is practical..

But, thats a MythTV issue, not Mythbuntu in particular, bottom line, Intrepid does a good job on my BE, my diskless FE’s, and heck, it even runs very well on my Aspire1 now that the Intel drivers for the GPU had a fix pre Intrepid launch.

UPDATE:
I have not dug into the amazingly long change log since 2.6.24, but to underline what I said earlier in the post(performance), have a look at the CPU usage & load on the box after the 2.6.27 upgrade..

cpu
load

There are no changes in the number of services on the box, nor has the recording schedules changed.

There was a constant load close to 2.00 under 2.6.24, this I filed under kernels inner demons cause I could not find a reason for it. Non of the apps or services justified this load, looks like they got to this demon. This is a Athlon 64 x2 4600+, with 2GB ram, SATA drives only..