March 22, 2007
Linux MCE Demo Video

Saw a note (via digg) about an article on Linux MCE. Uhmm.... Why hasn't someone told me about this? Where did it come from? Auto-dims your lights (if you have a home automation system of course), can send a control application to bluetooth mobile phones, turns on your TV and receiver and sets the right inputs? Scans all networked computers for shared media? Cover-flow like browsing? Where the hell did this come from?

And is it free? Huh? Really? From

LinuxMCE is a free, open source add-on to Ubuntu including a 10' UI, complete whole-house media solution with pvr + distributed media, and the most advanced smarthome solution available. It is stable, easy to use, and requires no knowledge of Linux and only basic computer skills.

The video is a bit smarmy in it's comparison of LinuxMCE to Windows MCE though, something that the Linux Community has to work on. However, if the features they advertise work as... uhm.... advertised. I've had discussions with a buddy of mine on MythTV vs Windows MCE and MCE definately came out on top. I use MythTV and prefer it, but it's setup vs WinMCE make it far more usable to normal people (and even geeks). However, if LinuxMCE (which integrates MythTV) this works like they say, I'll be replacing my MythTV Box with this ASAP.

Anyone else know about this of have any experience in it?

Oh, and LinuxMCE also integrates Asterisk (the free phone system), provides network boot to easily put up other LinuxMCE systems in the home, and it seems like the list goes on and on...

Sorry for the rambling, but this is really exciting!

Update: OK, a bit more digging through the website has enlightened me a bit more. LinuxMCE is a project where the software is given away for free, but the commercial side of it is selling you consulting and a $1,000-$7,000 setup with varying levels complete home automation. So basically you can put it together yourself, get the right hardware, get the right bluetooth module yourself, etc etc, or pay someone to give you an out of the box plug and play solution. Looks like the software given away is 100% complete though, so if you can set it up and get the right hardware, you can make it work as advertised. I'm not 100% sure, but it looks like you might need two computers, a "core" and a "orbiter", where the latter is a non-hard drive, network boot device only that is what is connected to your AV equipment and is controlled by the core. Maybe, I'm not sure exactly if the "hybrid" setup is everything on one computer or everything on two...

The project is a fork of pluto home apparently.

Posted by Arcterex at March 22, 2007 09:12 AM