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Thread: Can anyone direct me to...

  1. #1

    Default Can anyone direct me to...

    a good forum to get help building a portable media player capable of playing, among other video types, video ripped directly from Blu-ray, as well as audio? I also want to build a companion computer application media player for the portable hi-def media player. Hopefully this will kind of be a true hi-def cross between an iPod and a Zune (to end the Microsoft vs Apple wars lol!). Direction to an appropriate forum where I can discuss this project (and preferably the forum would be Canadian in origin although I know that may not be possible) with other like-minded, experienced people, would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for your help, guys!

  2. #2

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    Sorry for the blunt response but: No.

    Any serious electronics forum or mailing list will either flame you into oblivion, or try to delicately explain why what you want to do isn't even in the realm of possibility.

    You're talking multi-layer boards with surface mount components and very expensive equiptment. If you had the experience to do the former and access to the later, you'd already know lots of good resources. Even if you could be some miracle produce in your garage a portable media player that could compete with the ipod or zune, you'd never be able to sell it thanks to the wonderful world of patents.

    I'm not usually for crushing dreams, but you sound like someone who is just getting into electronics and this is definitely not a beginner project.

  3. #3

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    LOL I did realize it was a bit far-fetched, I'm not dumb. But that's why a dream is a dream I guess...Even if I could actually make one I might only be able to make a few for a few select people LOL. But it's always nice to dream isn't it. But I do hate dreaming TOO big. I do have less crazy alternatives that already exist though (namely iPod, iTunes, Zune and Windows Media player).

  4. #4

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    maybe Tek Syndicate | The most epic hardware and PC gaming community in the history of the universe.


    either way it would be incredibly hard I bet. Also the nexus 7 is a great device. Asus built, google controlled.

  5. #5

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    The only place I think it is a Linux comunity. Nothing is impossible in this kind of place. And you fall on the expert who will tell you if the project can be realistic. I advise you therefore to propose on one of the websites below.

    CLUE | The Canadian Association for Open Source
    Home | Ubuntu

    Do you have an idea of ​​how these devices functioned. No doubt you will have to build dedicated application. Do you have the technical capabilities (if so, what you seek?) You have the resources ($ $ and others). Are you able to manage a project or another. If this is not the case, that aims to offer you, visit one of the site or looking for a person of interest.

  6. #6

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    You could probably start with a raspberry pi, which can play 1080p videos with its graphics card. You're stuck with linux for the graphics card drivers. I believe XBMC will run on it, so you already have an interface (customizable if you want). Storage might be a problem - I'm not sure if SD cards are fast enough for 1080p video (they probably are, if you get an expensive one, since you can record HD video to them, but I'm not sure if the reader in the raspberry pi is fast enough).

    The display is going to be the toughest part. You'd want something with HDMI input. Finding someplace that sells small, low power, touch sensitive HD displays in small quantities seems hard. This will also be the most expensive part. Unless you go with android (in which case just get a nexus 7 ), I'm not sure how well gestures are supported under linux.

    Power might also a problem - I'm sure it can be done, but I'm not sure of any built-in power management for the raspberry pi. I wouldn't be surprised if that's already been done by someone else. Power management for the display might also be hard, but is probably doable since there are GPIO pins.

    Fitting everything in a sleek case might also be hard. It's hard to get a sleek case if you're assembling off the shelf components.

    The companion application could control everything over the network - you'll need a usb wifi adapter for wireless, but one of the models comes with an ethernet port. Realistically though, XBMC will probably do everything you need. Copy files over is pretty straightforward, so the interface could be as fancy or as plain as you want.

    It sounds like a fun project. You could definitely prototype it with a monitor or TV as the display while working out the portable display details too.

    edit:

    Oh, and surface mount soldering at home is doable with a good ($100) soldering iron, as long as it's the larger size components. Some people even do at home BGA soldering in toaster ovens, but they're crazy.
    Last edited by LittleAcorn; 19-Nov-2012 at 02:37. Reason: add bit about soldering

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleAcorn View Post
    Oh, and surface mount soldering at home is doable with a good ($100) soldering iron, as long as it's the larger size components. Some people even do at home BGA soldering in toaster ovens, but they're crazy.
    That "as long as it's the larger sized components" bit is relevant. The main IC on that raspberry pi is a fine pitch BGA that while it may not be impossible to solder at home, I would seriously question whether someone was an actual human being if they managed it..

    Also I totally picture a device the size of 2 DVD cases .. but then I'd probably buy that :>

  8. #8

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    My son in law is a programmer/electronics computer entrepreneur, and it seems every time he has a good idea and begins to develop it, one of the giant companies beats him to the punch. It's very hard to compete with companies that employ over 100,000 in staff and have budgets in the billions.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    My son in law is a programmer/electronics computer entrepreneur, and it seems every time he has a good idea and begins to develop it, one of the giant companies beats him to the punch. It's very hard to compete with companies that employ over 100,000 in staff and have budgets in the billions.
    I might agree with you if it's a hardware idea, simply because of capital expenditures required, but I don't think that's the case with software. In fact, those 100,000 in staff are a disadvantage at that point with all the entrenched bureaucracy.

    To be fair, I work for a startup, so I might be a bit biased.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleAcorn View Post
    I might agree with you if it's a hardware idea, simply because of capital expenditures required, but I don't think that's the case with software. In fact, those 100,000 in staff are a disadvantage at that point with all the entrenched bureaucracy.

    To be fair, I work for a startup, so I might be a bit biased.
    His latest venture was something called Friendio, and it would enable one to use multimedia with one or two clicks, so to speak. It tied into one's widescreen, making access to other media very easy. I've noticed that new wide screen TV's are coming out with this. It's just hard to get ahead of the curve. Anyway, this is my observation, and I'm a musician and a writer, not someone savey in computers, programming or technological advances, so I must plead ignorance in such things. You would certainly know a whole lot more than me.

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