Saturday, May 1, 2010

GeoVision iphone webbrowser alternative

I got a geo vision card to replace the standalone dvr for my security cameras. GV makes a decent application, but best of all, it's easy to hack your own stuff. I was not really happy with the GV-IView iphone app. It takes like a half hour to load and view a camera feed. And it's the same situation on the firefox jpeg viewer. So here's my workaround.

Go to your gv directory and find the web temp directory, mine was C:\GV-600\WebTemp\
Then rename your ChangePwd.htm to ChangePwd.BAK (for backup) then download my version, replacing the original. Download here.

So now when you browse to your GV web version http://:/ChangePwd.htm you get a nice iphone and firefox compatible version. The only downside is that you can't change your password from the web anymore, you would have to be at the DVR to change password. I had to do it this way, because GV would not let me serve a new html file, so I had to edit an existing webpage.

Once you log in, all of your settings are saved in a cookie, so that means a quick auto login. I'm not going to get into all the details of this mod, but it does lot's of stuff, and looks great on an iPad / iPhone too because you can pinch and spread to zoom in on your feeds. Also, if you add the webpage to the iphone homescreen, it makes a nice icon.

IPhone Screenshots:

IPad Screenshots:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Upgrading MCE2005 to Windows 7

So I made the plunge on all my boxes to Win7 from MCE2005. A lot of things have improved in Win7 but it took me forever to get everything setup right. Especially since I was attempting to upgrade old MCE2005 hardware to Win7. My box was a 2005 HP Pavilion Slimline, 1 gb ram (max), on board video card, no more expansion slots. So hardware upgrading wasn't possible. After reinstalling Win7 four times and trying specialized codec packs, which all sucked, my biggest problem was my networked xvid videos were choppy. I tried hundreds of fixes, from codecs to drivers.

The codecs that worked best for me, was CoreAVC and the XviD codec. This got the choppyness to a minimal amount, and enabled mkv formats but it still wasn't perfect. It turns out I was sharing content via an administrative share //server/d$/content for example. This was the source of my problem all along so I am documenting it for any other losers out there. Windows 7 does not stream video smoothly via an admin share! Just share the folder normally and it's all gravy FFS.

Here's some other tweaks I made. First off install mediabrowser because it's awesome, a bit slow but worth it. Also you want to modify the home strip to say something more blatent than mediabrowser, so tweak it via the registry like so:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Start Menu\Applications\{ce32c570-4bec-4aeb-ad1d-cf47b91de0b2}]
"Title"="Movies or whatever"

And you can remove the other items from the Start menu like Extra's by running this app:

Also, I tweaked Win7 for HTPC use only by right click, my computer, properties, Performance Information and tools (lower left) Adjust visual effects (best performance), indexing options (modify then remove all).

Lastly since my MCE is an old piece of shit box, I stuck in an old 2gb flash drive then set it up for ready boost, which is kinda like a ghetto ram expansion. But believe it or not, it did run faster with it.

After all that was done, I transformed an old POS MCE 2005 box to a usable Win7 MCE box.

Here's some other shit I changed but I don't know if it helped or not... Only try if you're desperate:
I installed the Preferred Filter Tweaker
which basically lets you tell windows 7 mce which codec to decode with. And totally unrelated I upgraded DirectX. Both things probably weren't neccessary but I'm throwing it out there anyway.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Grip Growl Notifications in Media Center

There was no Growl display addon for media center. So I decided to get my hands a lil dirty and create one. I found some a source code from MCE 2005 that seemed to do exactly what I wanted. The only problem is that the source code didn't work for MCE 2005 rollup 2, and the link to the fix was long gone. So after some scouring, I found/posted the fix, recompiled the application DLL's, and began testing. It works great on my MCE 2005 boxes, and I even got it working in Windows 7 MCE, didn't test in Vista because vista sucks.

Why did I write this? Because I am an idiot who has a million other paid projects I should be writing but MCE keeps pulling me back in. And also, Notify Pro was released in Cydia which allows your iPhone to push growl notifications from your phone to a growl client, this works with that so new SMS/Incoming Calls alerts etc, work with media center. The alerts vanish after 7 seconds, no remote control needed.

Download the installation files with source code here *fixed carriage return bug

To install the media center addon, exit media center, then copy all files from the MCE-Install directory into C:\Windows\ehome\ then double click the install.bat file. To uninstall run, uninstall.bat file. After this is done, MCE is ready to receive notifications. To send Growl notifications to the media center install growl and then install the scripty display:

Now you need to configure scripty to launch our custom executable, so go to displays, set scripty as default, then hit browse and navigate to the MessageSender folder, and select the MessageSender.exe If scripty doesn't let you select the MessageSender.exe file then type *.* in the file name box and it should then allow it.

Now start a non maximized media center, and click preview and you should see this:

Now I guess you can install all kinds of growl apps and get your notifications in MCE.