Friday, October 28, 2011

Android XBMC Remote App

I though the Roku remote app for Android was pretty cool as a replacement for a lost Roku remote, but the Official XBMC Remote app for Android goes beyond being just a remote control app and really does a great job of tying together two of my favorite pieces of software. The XBMC Remote app is free and is made by some of the devs behind XBMC, so there's no need for any of the unofficial apps anymore.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Android Wireless Video Streaming With A Samba Server

I wanted to wirelessly share content from my Android phone to XBMC on my modded original Xbox as well as my laptop so I could easily show pictures or videos I took on my phone on a bigger screen without needing to copy the files over. There are web servers for Android that let you download files off your phone, and you could of course use something like Dropbox to get files onto your laptop, but I wanted something that lets you stream content easily to XBMC so I wouldn't have to wait for a download to complete. The Samba Filesharing app by funkyFresh lets you run a Samba/Windows fileshare server on your rooted Android phone, and this does exactly what I wanted.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Roku Remote App For Android

I'm writing this while watching Tekzilla at my sister's house using a Roku box hooked up to her TV. The Roku remote has been missing for a while, but it turns out there are apps for Android and iPhone that let you use your phone as a remote. Awesome. The Roku remote app I'm using is called Roku Wi-Fi Remote and was the first thing to show up in the Android Market when I searched for "Roku".

Setup was instantaneous, basically I hit a button and it found the Roku box on the network by itself, though there is an option for manual setup. The interface is simple and using the touchscreen is definitely not as nice as real buttons, but this is a great way to reduce the number of remotes you've got on your living room table, or if you lose your Roku remote and need a quick solution.

Not a lot more to say about this, I know there are other apps for Android that do this but I see no need to bother trying them. I haven't used any iPhone Roku remote apps yet, but there are some in the App Store.

Here's an Android Market link to the remote app I used.
The official Roku blog lists a few more apps too, but I like the one I linked to.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Convert Geovision Security Videos In Linux

   A local small business was robbed recently. The owner asked me to get the security camera footage off their system, which is running some ancient version of Geovision on obsolete hardware, and convert it into a format the police could view on their systems. I don't know about more recent versions of Geovision, but this install saved the videos in some wacky format like Indeo or something which not even VLC could play. After some searching I found a quick one-liner to batch convert the Geovision videos to a more common format using Mencoder, the video encoding part of Mplayer.