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News in brief

By Chris Williams. Published: 29th Jul 2005, 16:31:26 | Permalink | Printable

Latest PCI TV card support, VNC, Firefox and more

News in briefIt appears that Simon Wilson's PCITV is not compatible with recent Pinnacle Rave PCI TV cards, which use the SAA7134 chipset from Philips. Robin Hounsome's Remote software however now supports this chipset which includes NICAM stereo sound, full DMA and PAL support. The software is still in beta, according to Robin, and NTSC and anamorphic 16:9 display support are currently on the to-do list. Robin is also working on PCITVText, an application to decode and display teletext data from a Pinnacle PCI TV Card.

Robin told us that developed his software "from scratch" in BASIC and ARM assembly language.

"Obviously Simon and I have had many discussions regarding the development and one day we would like to see the two programs combined in some way so that users can be presented with a common interface no matter what chip sets are present on the TV card," he said.

"The module I've written for !Remote already contains some code to allow transparent programming of either the BT878 or the SAA7134 chips (but the BT878 functions are currently disabled).

"When I get around to adding teletext, then that should in the main be able to use common code irrespective of chip type."

In brief
James Peacock has updated his remote desktop VNC viewer to support basic authentication. RiscCAD developer David Buck has uploaded a utility that converts Drawfiles to DXF files. In his announcement, Dave added, "No apologies are made for the very basic nature of this utility, but it does provide simple Draw to DXF conversion, and there seems little point in it languishing on my hard drive."

RISC OS Firefox fans will be happy to know that beta version 4 is out, as is version 1.10 of Jon Ripley's Firefox Integration wrapper software, now with HotList, BookMaker and Acorn URI protocol support. Mark Fraser has also updated Andy Poole's Google toolbar software and released it on his website.

And finally, Owen Griffin has told us that he is giving away a crate load of old software and manuals for free. Take it off his hands, or the bin will.


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Hmm, I have a TV cards with an SAA7134 chip - you'll have no idea how difficult it is to find decent drivers for it on Windows, and even when you do find them, it doesn't work particularly well. Perhaps it's just a poor card?

Besides these chipsets, will any digital TV cards be supported? Seeing as analogue TV is to be switched off in 7 years time (I know, it's a way off) wouldn't it be sensible to support the new DVB cards being released? MHEG support will be difficult though, unless the cards themselves offer decoding...

Good to see progress though :). If only my RPC could run Firefox :(. Also, has anyone noticed that Google have released their own toolbar for Firefox now?

 is a RISC OS UserSmiler on 31/7/05 11:38AM
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Yes, DVB cards on RISC OS should probably of the fully-featured kind (with MPEG2 decoder), like the Hauppauge Nexus.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 31/7/05 6:45PM
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Robin and I have been looking into DVB cards, most seem to ask for 1.6GHz P4 or higher which suggests they are relying on Software MPEG decoding, which wouldn't be very practicle even on the Iyonix. A DVB card with onboard hardware MPEG2 decoding we think is the only solution. I would not expect hardware decoding on sub 100 GBP DVB cards:-( Does the Hauppage Nexus have hardware decoding?

 is a RISC OS UserCJE on 1/8/05 12:19PM
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There is currently no hardware MPEG2 decoding DVB card available that fits into an IYONIX - they are all 5V only PCI cards. Pricing shouldn't be the problem, they cost around 160-180 EUR in Germany.

The "logical choice" atm would be the Pinnacle PCTV Sat, because it is based on the well-known BT878 and has open source drivers available - however, no hardware decoding available here, so we would need a fast software MPEG decoder. KinoAmp, with the recent work by Thomas Milius to use XScale-specific DMA transfers, might be fast enough for 12,5 fps.

However, I understand that UK users would like to have DVB-T instead...

 is a RISC OS Userhubersn on 1/8/05 12:35PM
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Software MPEG isn't going to be practical on the current generation of RISC OS machines, even if it can be made to work an an acceptible frame rate. Whats the point have having the machine using almost 100% CPU time on displaying a TV picture? The whole idea is you can have a window displaying the TV picture without affecting the operation of the machine, and can occationally grab stills or clips. If you want anything else, then either a proper TV or a digital video recorder is a much better option.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/8/05 1:28PM
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Hello All If anyone would like to write a driver for a DVB card the Omega does support 5V PCI cards. I for one would be very pleased if someone would like the challenge.

 is a RISC OS UserIanK on 1/8/05 11:30PM
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IanK: Is documentation for the Omega's PCI API publically available?

 is a RISC OS Userjmb on 1/8/05 11:46PM
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They don't seem to be available publicly. I do have a copy, it's pretty similar to the Iyonix one. If anyone is interested in writing a driver for the Omega please get in touch.

 is a RISC OS UserIanK on 2/8/05 12:35AM
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