The Ultimate Media machine Using Linux Technology
Tumult is a project that aims to create a GNU/Linux based alternative to the existing proprietary closed source networked home appliance boxes like general DVD players, Tivo and ReplayTV. As Microsoft moves further into TCPA and DRM the free media environments will be more important to keep the homes free from "big brother". Therefore we decided to create a home settop box based solely on open source and standardized protocols.
It started off when ComputerCity in Gothenburg, Sweden had a discount on a computer based on the BookPC but it was modified by a French company that probably had created a set top box using the hardware but it was never a success and they started to sell the units pretty cheap. Form about 300 Euro we got a BookPC with DVD/CD player, Celeron 566, 10Gb hdd, tv (scart/s-video) out. In the box there was also a ITE8712F chip that could be used to recieve Consumer IR (even to boot the PC). This was a startup call for the Tumult project.
For the first months we had do laborate with the boxes to see what they were capable of, what hardware was already supported by linux and what we had to do to get Consumer IR working.
The following things are done and are working:
- The i810 i2c bus is now working (Lars made a patch available in the downloads section)
- Utilities (both for X/gtk and console) are available under download
- The Consumer IR is built and soldered to the ITE8712F chip. Working under LIRC. (Schemes and stuff is available under Consumer IR)
- The best free Tivo and ReplayTV clone Freevo is working on the box. This might be replaced by Tumult if it ever gets as good as Freevo.
Why not just use Freevo or VDR?
That is a good question. For now we use Freevo but we are working on a DirectFB based replacement coded in Perl/C/C++ to make it as fast as possible. Freevo is a bit too slow and the python language isn't the preffered language for us to develop in. At the same time we are coders and as people say: "Developers are the only ones that has developed the wheel over and over again. They never learn to trust another developer." That is probably true in this case.