As someone has spotted out, our Vaio doesn't support the instant playing of media contents but.. there's a trick
A group of ppl is working around a multimedia-minimal Linux distro called GeeXboX which comes with all the necessary to play and show video e media contents from ANY (yes I checked by myself the NTFS support) file system.
Some lines from developers...
GeeXboX is a free embedded Linux distribution which aims at turning your computer into a so called HTPC (Home Theater PC) or Media Center. Being a standalone LiveCD-based distribution, it's a ready to boot operating system than works on any Pentium-class x86 computer or PowerPC Macintosh, implying no software requirement. You can even use it on a diskless computer, the whole system being loaded in RAM.
Despite his tiny ISO image size, the distribution comes with a complete and automatic hardware detection, not requiring any driver to be added. It supports playback of nearly any kind of audio/video and image files and all known codecs and containers are shipped in, allowing playing them through various physical supports, either being CD, DVD, HDD, LAN or Internet.
GeeXboX also comes with a complete toolchain that allows developers adding easily extra packages and features but that might also be used to give birth to many dedicated embedded Linux systems.
Last "stable" release is the GeeXboX 1.1-rc2, available over at this link but I tried (I'm a kamikaze eheh) directly the GeeXboX 2 Technological Preview which is insanely stable as well as usable!
Here's some screens from v2:
Docs and Download from Official Website, over at www.geexbox.org/
Of course... post your comments friends!
----------| [color="Red"]UPDATE ---> Tue May 08 and Sat May 19[/color]
It is way far from being complete and in a release state (don't ask when it'll be out) and it's still based on V1.x design (no freevo inside), but ...
Here comes the first HDTV Ready version of GeeXboX.
Basically I've managed to add X.Org server to the distribution.
One way to test, grab the i386 generator:
The ISO is a bit bigger but nothing harmful.
So, what's new...
[INDENT]- HD resolutions (both square and wide) are now taken into account.
- All video cards (ATI, nVidia, SiS, Unichrome ...) now have fully optimized drivers (i.e. supports overlay, the equivalent to vidix).
- Unless you choose to run in VESA mode (but then only standard resolutions should be available), there's no more TVOut support. Considering that TVOut only supports up to 800x600, there's no need for HDTV and so no need for X.Org (just keep the old version).
- There's not (yet) XVMC support (a.k.a. MPEG2/4 hardware decompression).[/INDENT]
Using the generator, you may have to edit the /etc/X11/X.cfg file.
There you can set the requested resolution, frequency and driver you want to use.
The list of resolutions is listed in /etc/X11/resolutions file (same for drivers in /etc/X11/drivers file). You should keep driver selection to "auto", it should work pretty well. You can also set a resolution that is not in this list, it may work (or tell me more resolutions to be added to this file).
GeeXboX will try do determine the best suited video driver and set the screen at the requested resolution, than as a fallback, to the highest resolution from the /etc/X11/resolutions file. Once booted (it may take a bit more time than before), you'll have a new menu in info menu, telling you which resolution your screen has been configured to.
To avoid burning ISO 50 times to set a good resolution, you can also pass arguments from boot prompt:
[INDENT]- "geexbox" starts in console mode (old school)
- "hdtv xorg=AxB@F", ex: hdtv xorg=1368x768@60
- "hdtv xorg=AxB", ex: hdtv xorg=1280x720
- "hdtv xorg=480p/720p/1080p" (choose one only)[/INDENT]
Please report bugs (and there will be a lot of), congratulations, insults, money, hot chicks, caiman bank account opening or whatever you like ...
-> Sat May 19
- support for AMD GeodeLX
- new driver for Intel video cards.
- way better fetch of monitor's native resolution and parameters.
- you can now pass xorg=XxY (without frequency argument) at boot prompt
- you can now pass xorg=480p/720p/1080p at boot prompt
- aspect ratio correction (16:9 now really looks 16:9)
- support for installator
Good news is that now it works for me Wink
I mean that GeeXboX can autodetect and set my LCD TV screen to its native resolution (1360x768) without any special option.
Picture really is full screen, with no more black border or image stretching.
Works on my ATI card.
I've tested with Via Unichrome too and it only works with my 4:3 TFT (doesn't seem to like much the wide resolutions, I've got green stripes).
Besides, it works in both VGA (native 1360x768) and DVI/HDMI (native 720p, i.e. 1280x720) connections.
Download (HDTV Version - Sat May 19): HERE.
[SIZE="2"]GeeXboX 1.1 now available[/SIZE]
Although development never stopped, more than a year has passed without any new official GeeXboX release. This new one is a really good candidate for your HTPC multimedia distribution choice. It comes with an improved hardware support, providing dozens of new drivers (a lot of new WiFi controllers, DVB card chipsets and new remote controls). It also comes with a massively upgraded and more stable MPlayer, which features native decoding of various audio/video formats/codecs that used to be available through non-free Win32 DLLs only (such as Windows Media Video, Flash ...). Also, GeeXboX now has some decoding speed improvements (use of SSSE3 instructions from Core2Duos has been added) and the OSD menu has been completely rewritten to provide a lot of new attractives features. Oh, and did we mention ? It can plays decrypted EVO files from HD-DVD ?
While still working on version 2.0, the next version of GeeXboX (1.2) will come with some features that were requested for quite a long time. First, it'll come in both 32 and 64 bits editions (second one is 15% faster). But more importantly, it'll be first version of GeeXboX to come with a native HDTV screens support. So, just stay tuned, most of these features are already available, and 1.2 won't take a year to come this time ;-) By the way, speaking about the future, we're looking for a Sony PlayStation 3 to port GeeXboX to: that would make the best HTPC ever. Feel free to help us doing so ;-)
But let's get back to 1.1 release and just enjoy using it.
Download: GeeXboX 1.1 for i386 (PC)