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New Linux-based PVR software solution

Apr 26, 2001 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Fort Lauderdale, FL — (press release excerpt) — Metro Link demonstrated a new Linux-based Metro-Media Personal Video Recorder (PVR) application during the recent Embedded Systems Conference held in San Francisco. Metro Link's demonstration consisted of PVR/DVR software displaying its capability to play, stop, rewind, and record programs. The demonstration took place in LynuxWorks' ESC booth, on a television set controlled by a UPnP-enabled television remote control, laptop, and Intel StrongARM 1110 “Assabet board” running LynuxWorks' Blue Cat Linux.

Metro-Media PVR is a cost effective PVR solution for set-top boxes. It runs on the industry standard X Window System and supports critical PVR functions that allow simultaneous record/playback of different programs (also known as time shifting), EPG, and full hardware accelerated MPEG encoding and decoding. Metro-Media PVR combines Metro Link's existing graphics, video, and device connectivity technologies with MPEG compressed video using next generation MPEG encoding/decoding PCI cards. By porting to X, the full capabilities of the hardware are exercised.

Using Metro Link's interprocess communication protocol (Metro-EnableWorks, a UPnP/Device Connectivity for Distributed Media Applications), the graphical user interface of the PVR can be exported to other devices within the home, allowing networked devices such as Web Pads, PDA's, PCs, residential gateways, and set-top boxes to control the functions of the PVR. Metro-Media PVR takes advantage of TV-centric environment and Metro-EnableWorks provides unrestricted command and control of connected devices within the home.

Metro-Media PVR combines Metro Link's X Window System based graphics, video, and MPEG compressed video with device-connectivity technologies Universal Plug and Play (UPnP). Using Metro Link's interprocess communication protocol, the graphical user interface of the PVR can be exported to other devices within the home, allowing products such as Web Pads, PCs, residential gateways, and other set-top boxes to control the PVR. This exportability also provides the parallel benefit of a unified user interface for all device control within the home environment, such as lighting, security, and heating/air conditioning.

Utilizing Metro Link's EnableWorks device connectivity and control technology based on UPnP, the system can also act as a gateway controlling heating, air conditioning, lights, and appliances that are UPnP enabled.

Metro Link's Electronic Program Guide (EPG) not only allows a user to browse the list of recorded shows, but can also be extended to browse other media collections such as MP3's, DVD libraries, etc. The EPG provides access to television program listing information. It connects to a server on the Internet, acquires the program listings, and stores them in a local database. This information can then be used for such features as presenting a browseable program listing grid for the user, or automatically selecting programs to record. The program guide data is made available to other devices using the UPnP standard “ContentDirectory” service. Metro Link will also provide their Metro-EnableWorks Java-based UPnP protocol drivers and control point software for use in residential gateways, set-top boxes, and other next generation Internet appliance designs. Metro-EnableWorks supports the connectivity requirements of numerous devices throughout the home, including intelligent appliances, computers, audio/video, heating/air conditioning, etc.

Metro Link PVR products will be engineered for set-top boxes and residential gateways based on the Intel X86, MIPS, and Strong Arm processors running the Linux operating system.

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