used dell 4300 dimesion p4 160 gig hd radeon 9600 video ati tv wonder. monitor has built in tuner with coaxial fitting and vga . records ok video is fuzzy in center aprox 4 inches any ideas what is causing this. i am runnig direct tv spliting it on out to splitter in then one out to tv one to tv wonder help would be apperciated.
Free TiVo: Build a Better DVR out of an Old PC (Page 4 of 4)
Categories: Homebrew & DIY
7. Install Cygwin and Server Software
To finish up my TV PC, I wanted to add in the functionality of an HTTP server, FTP server, and an SSH server. I chose to do this in Cygwin, which is an environment for Windows that simulates the *NIX operating system interface. Many of the free software packages that are available for Linux are also available in Cygwin versions. I chose to use Cygwin for much of my server software because I like the Linux command-line interface, it's free, and I wasn't able to locate a SSH server available for Windows. Another side effect of using Cygwin is that I can install many of my favorite development tools, such as GCC, Perl, Flex, bison, and Python, and have those tools available if I need them for another project.
I chose to use the Apache webserver (httpd), ProFTP (proftpd), and OpenSSH (sshd) for my server installations. All of this software is available for download via Cygwin's standard installer (I didn't have to build any of them from source code). To set up these three programs, I used the instructions which install to the /usr/share/doc/Cygwin directory. The documents in this directory show you how to install these three programs as Windows services (they need to be services to run properly in Windows).
The only addition I had to make to these instructions was with HTTPd. To get this service to start without error, I had to go into the Windows service manager and set the service to logon as Administrator (instead of the default Local System). This can be done by right-clicking on My Computer and choosing Manage. From here, go to Services and Applications -> Services, and right-click and choose Properties on the "CYGWIN httpd (apache)" service. In the dialog that comes up, change the Log On from Local System account to the computer's Administrator account. Now the HTTPd service should start up correctly.
I also changed some of the default configuration for ProFTPd. The first thing I did was to remove Anonymous user access. Usually the authorized users for an FTP server are the same as the authorized users for the computer. But I didn't want everyone to have access to the entire system, so I used a configuration directive called AuthUserFile to set a passwd file for the FTP server only. I used a Perl script called ftpasswd to create this alternate passwd file and add users to it (the script is availableat http://www.castaglia.org/proftpd/contrib/ftpasswd.html). I also set up a feature called a root jail that allows you to restrict user access to a subset of the PC's hard drive(s). Next up, I set permissions on my directories such that FTP users could only write to their home directories and to an incoming folder. Note that the entire ProFTP configuration is controlled by editing the /etc/proftpd.conf file. For more info on modifying the proftpd.conf file, refer to the documentation at http://www.proftpd.org/.
8. Set up Firewall and Dynamic DNS Service
For remote access, I needed to configure the firewall on my D-Link router to allow connections to the FTP, HTTP, SlimServer, and SSH servers. After these ports were open, I added port forwarding, so that requests coming over these ports would be forwarded my TV PC.
Finally, I wanted to make it easier to access my servers from the outside world. As with many broadband users, I am at the mercy of my ISP's DHCP server. What this means is that the IP address of my network is dynamically assigned by my ISP and can change at any moment (in reality, it usually only changes every couple of months). I also have no DNS access, so I have to remember an easily-forgotten 12-digit number to get to my computer.
I found a free solution to this problem by using a Dynamic DNS service. Basically, a service like this allows you to configure a Domain Name for your IP address, so instead of typing "192.168.42.13" you can type something like "ken.isageek.org". These types of accounts also allow you to automatically update your IP address by using a small utility which checks your IP at set time intervals and updates your account automatically if anything changes. I chose to use http://www.dyndns.org/ for my service provider and a small utility called DirectUpdate, which runs on my TV PC to automatically update my IP address if it changes.
This project came together very well, and I now have a DVR PC that far exceeded my original expectations. The real beauty of this project is its versatility. If you have some additional programs or features you'd like to add, it's very simple to install the software and integrate it into the system using Girder.
I like Xbox gamepads they are $10 or less at gamestop and usually cordless ones are $12 or less there as well. These can be spliced to merge them onto a simple USB cord which I get off old USB mice when they wear out without ruining their Xbox plug. Just melt away the wire to expose the four wires (best done in a well ventilated area) and splice in the four wires needed. The xbox pads are nice and big for my large manly hands and very sturdy and durable.
You can also get an old Xbox at gamestop $50 usually and use some tricks to convert that into a media center using the XBMC package. Much cheaper albeit maybe not quite as cutting edge or high tech as a full blown computer media center. The advantage...Xbox is built to be quieter than your typical PC and much more power consumed with PC like 350 watts avg.
? looking into pos converting a DELL Optiplex w/ W2000 to DVR, I have straight cable (no set top box) and a Netflix account.... Can the converted PC/DVR stand alone and play/record TV and also be able to play Netflix instant DVD's??
Do I have to have a set top box?
The DRM type security they (Blockbuster and Netflix) are required to apply to their online movie viewing offers makes it rather gimicky at best. Pretty much all PC's should be able to view these although not through the convenient remote control of the media center software. You would almost certainly need to add the obligatory wireless keyboard (and mouse) to use the media center in a PC capacity to play these video offerings.
MediaPortal is one good way to go when using a PC as a media center or the usual Microsoft MCE operating systems which includes Windows(CP)MCE2005 and Vista Ultimate.
PopcornHour.com is another good option for watching old video and online streaming of stuff like Youtube to the TV without the need for the wireless keyboard and mouse. Although as of today it doesn't support HULU because this platform and technology continues to evolve. It almost certainly could have supported HULU at one time but seems people started releasing 3rd party tools which could capture the videos and allow people to store them and watch without the commercials so HULU changed how they coded their video streams - like I said it gets gimicky and they are really determined to make people either pay cash to watch or force you to watch the commercials - none of that store it so you can skip/not have at all or fast forward the commercials.
God, I don't think $30 will buy very much. A mouse maybe. So in answer to your question, maybe it's because many people already have spare computer cases and parts (RAM, DVD drives, keyboards etc). Obviously the Technological trend over the last few decades has been toward throwing away and buy new versus building to last or repairing what breaks.
As the US economy continues to refuse to allow itself to recover old directives like "waste not want not" become relevant again. Printers are an excellent example. I can buy a new printer cheaper than I can buy ink or toner refills so just buy a new printer OR you can find ways to refill ink carts with cheap ink yourself. That's where these forums come in handy. So the return "back at ya" question would be, why come to these forums to taunt members when you don't want to refill an ink cart you just prefer to buy a new printer. Toss the old printers in your closet.. They are cheap.
If that doesn't seem upside down and unsustainable in the long run, I don't know what is. It makes a bit more sense when you look at how HP paid Staples 100 mil to stop selling discount ink refills. I replaced a motherboard for $54 had better built-in video and cost less than the previous video board which was on the dead Mobo. So yes new stuff is very cheap now, but in this particular instance I made a great new PC from a dead one for $62 (shipped price) using an ASRock A780LM from Newegg. Had a spare video board leftover (can Craigs list that for $20 if I want or save it for a future project box) when I was done and the kids are playing Warcraft again smooth as can be. Some folks just want to be efficient and use every part till it breaks.
Since the last post my old box finally started acting up on me and I suppose you could say I went darkside. I broke down and bought Windows 7 Ultimate which includes the windows media center TIVO TV thing. I must say it is a very nice application. The remote control works well I'm wishing the arranging of priority of new shows were easier than always being placed at the bottom of scheduled recordings and having to move it up one step at a time when adding a new recording. imagine if blockbuster didn't have a way to add something to the top of your queue and after adding it yuo had to click 20 times to move it up one position in the queue to get to the top. Yeah I was amazed at the lack of testing that was apparent in this feature for a huge company Microsoft has a long way to go in some areas but overall I love the interface and reliability and of course free patches until Windows 8 comes out in a week.
Any PC can play Netflix movies, so yes. The trick has always been being able to play on other devices like the xbox360. Well the other trick is getting to to work with just a remote versus having to grab the wireless keyboard.. right?