Thin-client media center?

I have been working on setting up a thin-client Linux system. I am using Ubuntu as the server and using old PIII laptops to connect as the client. While this is an easy to maintain and cost efficient solution, you still need a lot of hardware to set the system up. Well I was sent an email about some new projects for thin-clients that are not only cutting down on the hardware it cuts down on cost too. Go to here for more information on the how the system will work. Also go to here for the hardware. Now this stuff is still to new that they don’t have prices or hardware available. And the systems are designed to be very affordable for people with little money. It is an interesting concept that I am interested in setting up. It works by using a NIVO (network in, video out) device. The small device takes an Ethernet connection in and sends out your PS2 ports and VGA port. That’s all there is to the device. So instead of using a full computer you just use this small device for the thin-clients. I feel this setup would benefit everyone. Most of us computer people have multiple computers at our house. And of course we have to have separate computers for our family members. We don’t want ours messed up. With this system you can have computers all over your house and maintain one.

Multimedia possibilities:

The real part of this that I’m interested in is for multimedia possibilities. I think this setup could be used as a full house media setup. You could setup a mythTV box somewhere in your house. Then you just need the thin-client hardware wired to the TV. The design of the thin-client box would need S-video or some other high quality video, maybe HDTV, USB ports for remote control. You could buy these inexpensive boxes and hook them up to every TV in the house. You will have mythTV throughout your entire house with little expense. I’m going to look into the idea more. Let me know what you think.

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Did you ever get any further with this project?

It wasn’t exactly as a wanted. It wasn’t much after I started playing with the idea that extenders for Windows Media Center started taking off. Now you have a number of streaming products and XBMC code that has been ported to everything. The more complex thin-client setup doesn’t really have many pros.

XBMC running on AppleTV, xbox or old computer with a backend NAS or Windows Home Server is a much better solution.

If you could put together a simple thin client system for each TV, regardless of cost, what are your thoughts on the hardware and software you would need now. I’m thinking about doing just what you were talking about but only have a vague idea of how to do it. Hopefully you could provide some insight on a rough design of such a project. I’ve looked into extenders and I believe that they would work for my needs but I am wanting to build my own thin client systems in part for entertainment and second as a project to learn more about thin client structure. Fortunately I have access to affordable hardware for building it, but alas I am confused and can find little about recommended specs for such an animal. If I do this, I want to do it right the first time.

I am currently working on a similar project. Check out my blog:


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