Other people are also working on similar projects to the eBox, and some of them have also documented their experiences on
the web. Most of these concentrate on the software side of things.
- Chris Kirby's HTPC - Windows-based project using ShowShifter. Information and lots of links to useful sites.
- SuperMegaUltraGroovy GrooveBox - MythTV-based multimedia box. Semi-commercial, few details.
- freeplayTV - these guys are (or are planning to) sell Linux-based PVRs.
- The DVD Player Project - some interesting hardware mods (graphical LCD, controls that connect to the serial port) and
custom software. Uses Xine for playing video. Neat-looking case, too!
- The Kiwi PVR - another New Zealand based project (like mine). Short on details right now.
- Orwell(gb) - not sure what the gb stands for. A work in progress, but some good info so far.
- Building a Linux-based time-shifting box - A fair bit of info,
including scripts, etc. Listen also to the discussion on
The Linux Show 8 September (starts at about 48m20s).
- Cap'n Hank's Linux PVR Project - Linux-based DivX playing machine built into an old Mac desktop case. Pictures and short descriptions only
at the moment. [Seems to be down.]
- Video Digital Recorder - detailed information, pictures, and config files available for download.
- Dave/Dina Project - media box, plus home automation and some other funky stuff.
- Building Your Own Linux Based Audio Component - more emphasis on audio, but lots of practical
info on setting up a "component" PC and Linux software.
- Ding - fairly complete instructions on setting up a Linux multimedia box.
- Primer's App Page - this guy has written a little perl script to choose a video file to play. He gives details
on how he set up his system as well as copies of his config files. He's not going all the way with a standalone machine for movie playing, though.
- media.box - similar goals to the eBox, but few details at the moment and hasn't been updated for a few months.
Linux software packages alone: (I haven't tried most of these yet)
- oxine - lightweight OSD based front-end to the xine library.
- Showtime PVR - very little information, but the software (perl-based) is available for download.
- Linux Open Media Box - fairly ambitious project to create a set-top Linux distribution. Software has been released.
- MoviX - two Linux distributions for movie playing. The first, MoviX, is a bootable CD distribution for combining with movies on a single CD. The
second, MoviX2, is a Linux distribution tailored for installing on multimedia PCs.
- NetworkMultiMedia - looks like a fairly ambitious project, to provide a framework for any video -> any device, including network support. They
also have an eboxy-like menu application and details of their hardware project.
- MythTV - impressive TV GUI for performing PVR functions (recording/pausing live TV, etc), with extensions for MP3 playing and a whole lot of other stuff. Probably the most promising and functional Linux PVR project right now.
- Freevo - great looking multimedia system.
- MMBox - another interesting all-in-one multimedia system. Site is in French, click on "English" on the right hand side to translate.
- MPEG Menu System - outputs a menu of video files to play in MPEG-2 format, suitable for display through a Creative Dxr3
or other MPEG-2 decoder card.
- HomeDVR - Screenshots look very promising, but no software released yet.
- XDVR - evolving from a University project, few details.
- Limes - still in the planning stage
- OpenMovie - appears to be text-mode only at the moment
Don't forget there's also my own work in progress - eboxy. If you have done something similar to the eBox or written some software package that
might be useful, let me know.
- 7volts.com - lots of information about PC cooling, fans, noise reduction etc.
- Zottel zas-mp3 - this is an interesting project I found a few years ago. The author has built an MP3
player out of an old Pentium PC, and written his own software and built his own hardware for the various special functions. He even has a simple
monochrome TV-out circuit! Most of the software is for DOS/Windows.
- Homebuilt Linux TV-out - (in German) a description of how to build a TV-out converter for a
standard video card. You can also view the BabelFish translation,
but it mangles the ASCII-art diagrams so you will need to refer back to the original for those.
- QuietPC.com - vendors of much quiet equipment (fans, drive enclosures, power supplies etc.), but at steep prices.
This is probably only of relevance to New Zealanders, but I buy my PC hardware from Ascent, because of their
excellent service and convenient web ordering system. Electronic parts I usually get from Jaycar or
There are some really impressive Windows GUI software packages coming out for making eBox like devices, so if you're going this route check these out:
- myHTPC - very similar to eboxy. Lots of features, and it's free. Check it out!
- Media-Box - very nice looking application. I only wish someone would write something this pretty for Linux.
- ShowShifter - simple but nice looking GUI, allows DVD playback, timeshifting, plus lots of other things.
- SnapStream - this company has gone for the more networkable approach. They even provide a video client for PDAs.
Controlled via a web interface. Doesn't really look suitable for use on a TV though.
As far as hardware goes, I could only recommend an ATI All-In-Wonder card for this kind of application under Windows - this is what they are designed for, and the supplied software is reasonably good (cheaper capture cards usually come with junk software and dodgy drivers).
- linitx.org - discussion forums focussing on mini-ITX and Linux.
- mini-itx.com - a ton of reviews, projects and general info about small PCs and alternative case designs.
- AVStuff - community site for Audio/Visual and home theatre stuff.
- AV Science Forum - ditto.
See my website if you want more information about me personally. You can email me at