HowTo: Install Flumotion Streaming Server on Ubuntu 14.04

Tutorials
Flumotion Streaming Server is a great open-source application that is available in the Ubuntu repositories that can easily allow you to broadcast a live stream from a video camera, or broadcast pre-recorded media. The end-user can view this media in any capable HTML5 web browser such as Google Chrome. Unfortunately Flumotion (version 0.10.0-1 at the time of writing) relies on some deprecated Twisted Python network functions that prevent the software from working properly on any release of Ubuntu from 13.04 and upwards. The obvious solution is to simply install Flumotion under Ubuntu 12.04 but then you will find that Flumotion in the 12.04 repository is buggy and out of date anyway, requiring you to update Flumotion from the official developer PPA to the stable release that is already in Ubuntu 14.04. There is…
Read More

HowTo: Use lxbdplayer – the Open Source Blu-Ray Disc player for Linux

Tutorials
Yes, you read that right - there is finally an Open Source Blu-Ray Disc player GUI for Linux, albeit unofficial and certainly very grey in legality depending on which country you are in. lxbdplayer is the collaborative effort of four French Engineering students. What they have written is basically a frontend that combines the apps DumpHD and AACSKeys which I have used in previous Blu-Ray articles into one easy to use GUI. Decrypted BD streams are then piped into MPlayer for playback. The end result is that you can now watch your BD movies almost as simply as a regular video player without the need to go through the process of ripping them into an MKV file first, or chewing up loads of drive space. (more…)
Read More

HowTo: Deal with BD+ copy protection when ripping Blu-ray titles using Ubuntu

Tutorials
A fair while back now, I wrote an article detailing how to decode Blu-ray titles using Ubuntu and an LG GGC-H20L Blu-ray optical drive. This article detailed how to decrypt just about every movie under the sun except for a newer type of protection called "BD+" which I never got around to supplementing my original article with. What is "BD+" protection? Well in short, it's the deliberate corruption of random parts of the video track of the movie (well, OK - that is a highly simplified definition as BD+ protection can do a lot more than that, but the end result is the same - to prevent unauthorised playback which includes ripping). The idea BD+ is that when you rip the title, you can still watch the movie, but with…
Read More

HowTo: Build a MythTV box from scratch using Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04

Tutorials
MythTV is a project that brings analogue and digital television to your Ubuntu-powered PC. It primarily functions as your television and personal video recorder (PVR), but can be made to do many other things (refer to the official MythTV site for more information), however one thing that can catch people is actually building a MythTV box from scratch. Over the years, MythTV has been one of the largest causes of baldness in users who have torn out their hair in frustration. Nowadays, tailored distributions such as Mythbuntu make the task pretty much trivial, but not everyone likes to use the tailor-made distributions. For one, Mythbuntu has a lot of its own branding across it which I personally don't really like, and I'd prefer not to have it install all of…
Read More

HowTo: Fix MythTV’s Frontend not going full-screen in Ubuntu Jaunty.

Tutorials
The next version of Ubuntu is here - 9.04 aka "Jaunty Jackalope". Along with a wealth of new features comes a wealth of new minor bugs to fix. Not enough to be show-stoppers, but enough to annoy the heck out of you, and here's a doozy. If, like most people, you have Compiz enabled and you start the MythTV Frontend, you will notice that rather than go full-screen, Myth will start as a window, essentially, even if your settings within Myth say to go full-screen. In a single-screen scenario, the MythTV window will start just underneath the upper Gnome panel and the lower Gnome panel will sit over the top of the Myth window, obscuring part of the display. Proof that it's a window can be found by holding down…
Read More

HowTo: Encode a Blu-ray rip into a smaller format without losing quality

Tutorials
Those of you who archive or backup their Blu-ray movie media to hard-drive will already be aware that the average movie comes out at a good 25GB. Some of the bigger titles top out at around 40GB or more. This eats up an awful lot of disk space. Blu-ray titles are already compressed down using the MPEG2 codec, and quality pundits will abhor the idea of re-compressing the title again for fear of losing image and audio quality. Certainly if you go down the Xvid route, you will definitely lose image quality, but as per my previous DVD HowTo, you can do excellent rips with virtually indistinguishable quality to the original using the x264 codec, and have a significantly smaller footprint to go with it. The process of encoding a…
Read More

HowTo: Rip a Blu-ray movie using an LG GGC-H20L Blu-ray drive with Ubuntu

Tutorials
The Blu-ray disc format has brought with it the ability to easily provide the next generation of High-Definition 1080p movie content. There's just one problem - Ubuntu and Linux in general has no official support for Blu-ray, and its encryption scheme is vastly different to that of DVD - it's not just a simple case of installing a library like the libdvdcss2 library for decrypting DVD's - the protection is done both at a software and hardware level. This article discusses how I used my recently purchased LG GGC-H20L Blu-ray ROM drive to successfully read and watch movies using Ubuntu Intrepid. (more…)
Read More

HowTo: Rip a DVD video title into an x264 and Ogg encoded MKV video file

Tutorials
Many people like myself jumped aboard the revolution that was the DVD ten years ago (has it already been that long??) and collected a vast library of discs that now take up space on several shelves in the corner of your lounge room. In this day and age of the PVR and DVR, even I myself find it frustrating to go to the shelf, find the movie I want to watch, take the disc out, make sure it's free of fingerprints, stick it in the drive, skip all the blasted "mandatory" ads and trailers before you can actually get to the movie itself. At least with YouTube and downloaded AVI and MPEG files, you can simply double-click and watch what you want, when you want, on demand, 24/7 - no…
Read More

HowTo: Eliminate the Green Bar on video playback in Totem (and other media players)

Tutorials
Some people, including myself, have experienced an annoying issue whereby some videos you playback, particularly those encoded with the Xvid codec, have an apparent corruption of video represented by a thick Green Bar(TM) somewhere on the image. Generally the colours are askew as well and sometimes sections of the image are blurred. You might assume that the original video is corrupt in some way, but this is not the case as the video will typically run fine through media players on other platforms. (more…)
Read More

HowTo: Create your own subtitles to display on video in Totem

Tutorials
Subtitles - a simple, but effective means of communication for speakers of non native languages and the hard-of-hearing. We see subtitles in DVD's and on TV in various forms. It would be good to utilise subtitles for a home video that you have encoded to give to your parents or grandparents, both of whom are a little hard-of-hearing, but it's an effort to add subtitles to a video, encode it again and it will ultimately bother those people who don't need to view the subtitles. You don't have to encode the subtitles as part of the physical video, however. Most media players, including Ubuntu's Totem have the ability to overlay subtitles on top of the video being played back. This allows you to create your own custom subtitles and be…
Read More