First I saw PC0's (PC's without hard disk) + mastered graphic cards (at low level) as a good way to recycle old PC's as homebrew game consoles, compatible with other hacked consoles because of some unified library.
Now I see another additional possibility : To recycle PC's into DVB Sat channels receivers inside a house.
Actually it will just be a MPEG2 stream receiver. Software like ProgDVB or DVBDream can act as server on ethernet local network to broadcast in your house a channel received through a DVB card (I own a PCTV 400i card, able to decode DVB-S stream).
Next week I will get a few Sat antennas installed on my house. Since I still lack free time (but it can't possibly last forever since my boss, i'm sure, will run out of ideas sometime and let me just do maintenance instead of fiery new development...), I can't promise any ETA again, but I will definitely try to add something to the unified library, in order to, at least, with the few graphics card I will try to master (mainly 7300 GT, 8500 GT and 9600 GT, possibly X1300 Pro too), get some MPEG2 stream receiver code working, with appropriate rendering through VGA cable or something else depending on the output existing on the graphic card.
Homeplug (or CPL in french) allows to convert your house electric wires into an ethernet local network. So, either for homebrew games or DVB Sat channels (see list on www.lyngsat.com), plugging the ethernet ports of PC0's or hacked consoles into homeplug/CPL adapters plugged in standard electric plugs may help, in future -if I ever do what I'm announcing all the time- to easily allow all your kids play together or watch together a movie received from a satellite broadcast (without the need to maintain OS'es on hard disks).
Btw, I'm very suspicious about the last technology advertised everywhere recently ('TntSat', also, a new one will appear too named 'FranSat'). It seems someone is putting an amazing amount of money in its pocket by just broadcasting 'free' digital TV broadcasts (DVB-T, I assume) from satellites (thus becoming DVB-S2, I assume, encapsulating some MPEG4 stream). The demodulators are sold with an extra 'tax' of 90 euros, and have some of the demodulator capabilities disabled on purpose (preventing from decoding non Tnt channels) and a fishy encryption card is supplied with them. Encryption is valid 4 years and it is said it is automatically renewed through air. This is utterly fishy... Officially they may claim it's to prevent broadcasting national tnt channels outside the borders of the country, but I'm not sure that's the truth. Funny thing is that an earlier modem manufactured in Germany was first sold 39 euros and didn't need any card. Then it got revamped and now costs 129 euros. Fishy, I told you. Card is probably a way to revoke a demodulator model if its manufacturer refuses to transfer the big 'tax' to whoever is behind this strange business model...
I will definitely stick to free DVB-S channels (MPEG2) for now... Also it seems that it is something france-only related, but if it really brings amazing unjustified amount of money to someone, it may become popular and appear everywhere on the planet. I just hope that won't kill free DVB channels (recording or streaming instantly MPEG2 compatible data is just so GREAT...)
For legal reasons, I will delete any post dealing with illegal decoding of encrypted Sat channels. Only talk about free FTA DVB Channels is allowed.
EDIT: FRANSAT is just starting now. Same thing as TNTSAT : for french people only, encrypted to prevent licensed stuff to be seen out of borders. But a good difference is that the 'tax' seems lower than the one for TNTSAT. TNTSAT is on Astra and FRANSAT on Atlantic Bird 3. I have my antenna now. Will try something in unified api of minidash in future in order to do something about in-house Dvb broadcasting. User agreement says that if any hacker manages to create a system allowing people from other countries to decode the national channels, they will notify to all decoders a message that warns user that card has to be replaced with a new one (with stronger or different encryption). User will have to pay for that new card (how much is not written...).
This post has been edited by openxdkman: Jul 9 2009, 07:14 PM