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A Fedora Core 4 based live CD with a multimedia bias

Details, details...

Why don't we just use a stock standard Fedora Core 4 and add some software? Well first of all, even though the FC4 install is much more VIA Epia friendly than in the past, some bits are out of date or missing.

Reading the other sites and mailing list posts you will find people having problems with DRM. Now that is not the infamous Digital Rights Management but rather the Direct Rendering Module.

So we are going to have to update to the latest kernel. And while we are there we will make it Epia specific rather than Pentium specific.

We are also going to take out the FC4 supplied and replace it with Xavier Bachelots RPMs that have the latest Unichrome drivers installed. On top of that, lirc will be installed as well as the xine media player in place of totem.

What hardware will this run on?

This will work on all hardware with a CLE266 chipset. As we progress it will run on any VIA Epia with CLE266 and CN400 chipsets. This leaves out in the cold all the older mini-itx motherboards.

We will be supporting DVB cards. Digital video is the only show in town in lots of places in the world. We will be supporting Free to Air digital TV only - no CAM support. If you need analog and things that we do not include then feel free to use our work as a jumping off point.

I use VGA out to a LCD flat panel. My idea in creating this was to limit output options to VGA connection to flat panels or DLP projectors. However some people have asked for support of older TV sets. This will be an option but only for watching DVB or DVD video. There is some work to do to validate which resolutions will be available for quality output in both cases.

As this is a live CD and seeing that 1 and 2 Gb USb key drives are more commonplace I guess that we will have a USB key drive derivative. I already build and sell machines with compact flash IDE drives so this will be another option to work on.

Internal DVD-RW and external Firewire drives will be supported. The Epia motherboard has ieee1394 ports and they are so much faster than USB2 consider this when you are buying an external drive (hard disk or DVD-RW). I have written DVDs with both USB2 and Firewire drives and trust me, Firewire is MUCH better.

Why did we choose to support USB DVB-T devices? Because you can take them on holiday and watch TV on your laptop. In fact I prefer to have an external Firewire DVD-RW for the same reason: I can move it from computer to computer. I can also use it with my Sony VAIO C1XD laptop which is too small to have an internal drive.

I hope to include support for several types of wireless multimedia keyboard/mouse combinations as well as IR and USB remotes.

Much of this hardware I do not have so I will be calling on people to test as we go along.

Lets get our hands dirty now...

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