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Installing XBMC on SONY BRAVIA TV


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#1 Alvas Rawuther

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 09:44 AM

I'm really annoyed with all the restrictions that my SONY BRAVIA TV imposes on file formats and just how limited it's video player. So I ask you, is there a way to install XBMC on my SONY BRAVIA TV? After all it uses linux, or at least if not that - can I run something like VLC Media player on it to play all video files, a portable version perhaps?

It's really stupid how all these expensive gadgets from companies like Apple and SONY have all the latest features but they can support only one video format - MP4, how annoying!

Edited by Alvas Rawuther, 31 May 2012 - 09:46 AM.

SYSTEM SPECS.
Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 | Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 @ 2.93GHz | 4.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 333MHz RAM | 488 GB WD SATA HDD | 1024MB ATI Radeon HD 4350 | No real-time antivirus | MBAM on-demand | Windows 7's Built-in Firewall |

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#2 Alvas Rawuther

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 06:19 AM

Come on, I expect something. I thought you guys are DIYrs and tweakers too.
SYSTEM SPECS.
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#3 rotor123

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 12:00 PM

I've never heard of anybody hacking a TV to add software to it. Sorry

I stand corrected I just searched for this.
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=hack+sony+tv&oq=hack+sony+tv&aq=f&aqi=g2g-K2&aql=&gs_l=hp.3..0l2j0i30l2.3465.6256.0.7047.12.10.0.2.2.0.177.833.9j1.10.0...0.0.NYsCGJhd5Z4&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=4e154b18253a8ec1&biw=1024&bih=619


You are talking a complicated change. Where are you going to install the software. I'm sure the TV has just enough flash memory to hold the firmware. Then comes the how would you tell it to load the software? Add a menu option? Change a remote buttons functionality? To do this you will have to get a copy of the firmware and edit it.

Your media player probably would need a rewrite to be able to display anything, TV sets do not have computer type video cards. They have scalers to uprez or downrez. It also most likely has a low power CPU and limited memory.

Pick up a nice Media player and hook it up to the TV set.

I can play most file types with my Western Digital Live Hub, 1Tb internal, Ethernet and two USB ports. Plays off of my USB drives and my NAS drives. As well as Netflix and a lot of junk services like Youtube.

However If you find out how post back please
Roger

Edited by rotor123, 08 June 2012 - 12:01 PM.

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#4 Alvas Rawuther

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 04:12 AM

Thanks for the reply. :)

Here's what I think - SONY BRAVIA has it's firmware built upon Linux, so it's essentially and basically all Linux. To get the firmware maybe I can just open up the TV and look into where the firmware is stored? If it's linux, I should be able to install Linux packages, no. I know it seems cumbersome and hence I have thought of something else too.

Something like a WD TV Live Hub will cost quite a good amout(12,500 INR, now that's about $226). I am a student, I don't have much money. So here's what I think, can't I just buy a low-cost mini-computer like Raspberry Pi, install Linux on it and hook it up to a hard drive? That should be enough for me since I just want all file formats, subtitles and stuff like that to be played just like in a computer.

So, what do you think?

Edited by Alvas Rawuther, 09 June 2012 - 04:15 AM.

SYSTEM SPECS.
Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 | Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 @ 2.93GHz | 4.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 333MHz RAM | 488 GB WD SATA HDD | 1024MB ATI Radeon HD 4350 | No real-time antivirus | MBAM on-demand | Windows 7's Built-in Firewall |

#5 rotor123

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 09:48 AM

Hi
Well the Live hub is more or less the Live Plus with a 1Tb hard drive and a better remote. And they went up in price since I bought due to the flooding in Thailand last fall that reduced drive making capacity.

However I wonder if a low cost computer would have enough power to play HD video. The media players don't need a lot of CPU power as all the decoding is done by special hardware that is designed for that purpose.

I can play 1080i on my media player but a I3 computer of mine struggles with it hence my question of whether a low-cost mini-computer will be OK for you? You might have to use a player and a video card that can provide hardware assist in playing video.

In the TV the firmware will most likely be in a soldered to the Mainboard of the TV flash memory. And I'd bet that there is not a lot of room in that flash memory to add things nor would it be easy to make anything added usable.

Sony FYI is a leader in locking things down and DRM. Which explains why their DVD players, BluRay player and now their TV sets are picky.

Good Luck

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#6 Alvas Rawuther

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 10:58 AM

..
However I wonder if a low cost computer would have enough power to play HD video. The media players don't need a lot of CPU power as all the decoding is done by special hardware that is designed for that purpose..

These are the FAQs, they say it can do 1080p/i very well. In fact, I've also read that it's one of it's perks.

..
I can play 1080i on my media player but a I3 computer of mine struggles with it hence my question of whether a low-cost mini-computer will be OK for you? You might have to use a player and a video card that can provide hardware assist in playing video..

The computer that I am using right now has an intel core 2 duo processer, it can play 1080i/1080p without any problems at all, no lag or anything of that sort at all. You are saying you have an i3 and you can't play 1080i videos! Are you serious?!

Hi
Well the Live hub is more or less the Live Plus with a 1Tb hard drive and a better remote. And they went up in price since I bought due to the flooding in Thailand last fall that reduced drive making capacity.

That looks cheap and that's pretty good for me too. I'll have a look at it.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thank you for helping me with this. A lot of what you said is really helping me. It's better this way. :)

Edited by Alvas Rawuther, 09 June 2012 - 10:59 AM.

SYSTEM SPECS.
Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 | Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 @ 2.93GHz | 4.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 333MHz RAM | 488 GB WD SATA HDD | 1024MB ATI Radeon HD 4350 | No real-time antivirus | MBAM on-demand | Windows 7's Built-in Firewall |

#7 rotor123

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 11:31 AM

If you buy the WD media player be sure to get one with a Ethernet port. The Live hub has one other feature that made it worth the money beyond the hard drive. I can also read or write files to it and any USB connected drive from my computer. It acts as a NAS that way. Not all the features of a NAS but as far as the ability of anything on the network with it to read from or write to it. I do not remember if the Plus has that ability you would have to check.

It is partly compromises. It was a very inexpensive server that I added a sound card and a 1X PCI express video card to.

The other reason could be that I use high bitrate sources and they seem to put more of a load on it. I could also be remembering wrong. I deleted the BluRay content I had on it and have nothing to test with at the moment. I also have a P4 3.2Ghz computer hooked up to the KVM switch that couldn't even handle Youtubes 720p resolutions. I also am using VLC to play, not something that can take advantage of the video card.

The Video is the weakest link in this computer at a 4.7/5.8 WEI rating under win7.

From a learning viewpoint presuming that you could live with it if you broke the TV, then hacking it as you mentioned might be an interesting project. I would also suspect fraught with peril if you toasted the firmware.

Good Luck
Roger

Edited by rotor123, 09 June 2012 - 11:37 AM.

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#8 Alvas Rawuther

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 12:43 PM

If you buy the WD media player be sure to get one with a Ethernet port. The Live hub has one other feature that made it worth the money beyond the hard drive. I can also read or write files to it and any USB connected drive from my computer. It acts as a NAS that way. Not all the features of a NAS but as far as the ability of anything on the network with it to read from or write to it. I do not remember if the Plus has that ability you would have to check.

I'll have a look, but nah, I don't really need the functionality of a NAS. Thanks.

It is partly compromises. It was a very inexpensive server that I added a sound card and a 1X PCI express video card to.

The other reason could be that I use high bitrate sources and they seem to put more of a load on it. I could also be remembering wrong. I deleted the BluRay content I had on it and have nothing to test with at the moment. I also have a P4 3.2Ghz computer hooked up to the KVM switch that couldn't even handle Youtubes 720p resolutions. I also am using VLC to play, not something that can take advantage of the video card.

The Video is the weakest link in this computer at a 4.7/5.8 WEI rating under win7.

Which version of VLC are you using?(I use 2.0.1) Because as of now, VLC does, in fact, take advantage of the GPU(it supports GPU acceleration). The images below prove that..
Posted Image
Posted Image
I have a WEI of 3.8, lower than yours. I use pretty good and high bitrate sources too, but my PC obviously doesn't struggle with it. How can yours?

From a learning viewpoint presuming that you could live with it if you broke the TV, then hacking it as you mentioned might be an interesting project. I would also suspect fraught with peril if you toasted the firmware.

Good Luck
Roger


I might actually go around hacking it, not so soon though. We have just one 40-incher in our home, everyone watches stuff on it.

Edited by Alvas Rawuther, 10 June 2012 - 02:18 AM.

SYSTEM SPECS.
Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 | Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 @ 2.93GHz | 4.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 333MHz RAM | 488 GB WD SATA HDD | 1024MB ATI Radeon HD 4350 | No real-time antivirus | MBAM on-demand | Windows 7's Built-in Firewall |

#9 rotor123

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 01:38 PM

I've always stuck with VLC 1.x I tried out the 2.x shortly after it was released and had problems.

I'll have to remember to bring in a BluRay to try.

The Video is a 1X PCIe GTS 520 with 512MB. When I think about it I may have tried the 1080i with the built-in ATI server video chip. Which could explain it as it was a 1.0 WEI for video. Which is reasonable since this is really a inexpensive server box that has 4Gb of ECC memory. Actually the motherboard is a Intel server chipset too. But it was pretty cheap to buy and will end up as a Windows Home Server 2011 Box on my Home network. It came with that software and 250Gb for under $300.

Fortune Cookie says: Fortune not Found: Abort, Retry, Ignore?

Sent from my All-In-One Desktop. Perfect for Internet, Not for heavy usage or gaming however.

How Does a computer get Infected? http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/2520/how-did-i-get-infected/
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167 @ June 2015


#10 Alvas Rawuther

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 03:18 AM

I've always stuck with VLC 1.x I tried out the 2.x shortly after it was released and had problems.

I'll have to remember to bring in a BluRay to try.

Do try. And let me know if you may.

The Video is a 1X PCIe GTS 520 with 512MB. When I think about it I may have tried the 1080i with the built-in ATI server video chip. Which could explain it as it was a 1.0 WEI for video. Which is reasonable since this is really a inexpensive server box that has 4Gb of ECC memory. Actually the motherboard is a Intel server chipset too. But it was pretty cheap to buy and will end up as a Windows Home Server 2011 Box on my Home network. It came with that software and 250Gb for under $300.

512 MB of GP memory isn't really bad at all - so that might not really be where you ran the 1080i video and found it struggled. It may have been the ATI server video chipp. And the deal you got looks really good. I get 3.8 in WEI for video(which is the lowest subscore).
SYSTEM SPECS.
Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 | Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 @ 2.93GHz | 4.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 333MHz RAM | 488 GB WD SATA HDD | 1024MB ATI Radeon HD 4350 | No real-time antivirus | MBAM on-demand | Windows 7's Built-in Firewall |




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