Boxee social media center public alpha


Boxee is the latest piece of software to enter the home theater PC space. It’s recently become available as a public alpha. The first build is only for OSX 10.5, but Ubuntu is coming. Built on the XBMC code base-they even hosted the XBMC developer con last weekend-it has the same goal of letting you navigate and watch/listen to all of your media from your using just a remote. There’s more than just that though.

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DIY Slingbox


[David] took some interesting steps to put together his own Slingbox-ish setup. He used a Mac mini running Quicktime Broadcaster to capture the stream from a Firewire video camera which his cable/satellite receiver is plugged into. You’ll have to use an OS X machine, but that’s not too difficult these days. Broadcaster is about the simplest way to capture from Firewire and stream. We’re using it in our own office to multicast the signal from a Canadian satellite box.

LCD projector repair


[Kieth] picked up an Infocus projector only to find that it needed some repair. The polarizer on the blue light path was toast. When he parted out an Optoma projector he scored a polarizer that was just about right for the repair. It’s a good read even if you don’t have a projector in pieces at the moment. He ended up bending the mounting bracket a bit to hold the filter and got his projector fully up and running again.

Projector hacks roundup


Projectors have long been a favorite toy of hardware hackers. From reactive displays to cheap home theater, there are plenty of reasons to play with photons. Seeing some cheap projector repair put us in the mood to cover some of our favorite projector projects – check em out after the break.

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Cheap projector repair


[Ryan] sent in this writeup on some DIY projector repair. The write-up is a little hard to follow, but maybe it’ll inspire some future projector landfill saves. [Dissident] replaced the light bulb and ballast in an older DLP projector with some salvaged MR-16 hardware from an even older over head projector. The main trick required was to bridge the trigger leads that tell the projector that the bulb is on and working.

DIY Home Theater Preamplifier


[Dane] built this excellent home theater pre-amplifier. He used [Mark Hennesy]‘s pre-amp design to start with, and added selectable XLR, RCA, SPDIF and even USB audio inputs. Discrete inputs from his DVD player provide surround input, and an analog matrix creates 7.1 surround from the 5.1 input. The design is very elegant, and even uses a VFD display that appears blue with some filters. I usually just buy my HT gear, but projects like this make me seriously consider re-building my entire HT from scratch.

Movie screen mask controller


I was looking for some ideas for one of my little projects, and I ran across this screen mask controller that [Danny] was working on a while back. The roller drops a mask down, and an optical encoder lets the controller know the position of the mask. The final version is supposed to support ethernet, but I couldn’t find any updates on the project.