Streaming HD wirelessly

As I had mentioned in a preview post, I've been working on a mac mini MythTV frontend. The only current issue I have is streaming HD content over 802.11n. My first attempt worked great as long as I didn't move the mini to a different room than the router. I'm learning a bit more about wireless networking as I go along here, essentially, my 'old' router operates in the 2.4 Ghz range which is significantly more crowded than the 5 Ghz range, so I'm going to test out a 5Ghz router this weekend, and see what I can get.

Another possibility is to transcode the HD to SD (which is the quality I would be viewing it anyway) and stream that. I don't want to outright replace my HD content (I still watch it in HD downstairs afterall), so I might set up a User Job to transcode it, and place an entry in the MythTV database for a 'second' show.

Mac Mini and Analog video

Well, it seems in Apple's infinite wisdom that they've dropped support for analog video in the newest mini. After pounding through forums and what-not, I've discovered the same issue exists for the macbook pro's as well. Unfortunately, that will lead me to the purchase of a VGA -> S-Video adapter. More on that later, as I continue my quest for a turnkey MythTV frontend.

Ruby code for creating redirects for my (roughly) 100 old posts

As I mentioned in a previous post, I moved my blog from my own host, to Google's blogger. As a result, there are ~ 100 old blog posts that are linked to from all over the place and I'd like to have a graceful way to re-direct. The previous post mentioned updated the header with a 301 redirect. Going through so many old posts, and updating each one was nuts, so I wrote a small ruby script to handle the duties.

# update_redirects.rb
# This script will traverse the directory given as the first argument
# and replace the contents of all files with the 'redirect_text'
# some special conditions: it assumes that they are php redirects, but you
# can use <meta> redirect tags as well for plain HTML

require 'find'

dir = ARGV[0]
redirect_text ='<?php
header("HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently");
?> '

# find all the files that were published by blogger (they are all in their
# respective year directories)
Find.find(dir) do |path|
if path=~/^\.\/200.*.php$/,'w') # open 'w' truncates the file
new_text= redirect_text.gsub("%%PATH%%",path.gsub("./",""))

MythTV on a Mac Mini

I've finally gone and done it. I've purchased a new mac mini for an upstairs MythTV frontend. MythTV runs well on Mac OS X so I figured I'd give it a shot. I've never experienced anything quite as easy as this. The Mac Mini is the *perfect* MythTV frontend. I've unboxed (always fun with Apple products), plugged it in, gone through initial Leopard setup, and downloaded the precompiled dmg from The Snider Pad. I have my backend broadcasting itself as a UPnP Media Server, so when I fired up on the mac for the first time, it found it right away. Once it connected, I was done. There were all my shows. Of course, the first thing I did was go straight to some of my traditionally difficult HD content, and it played it back flawlessly.

Now onto the next steps
  • I streamed HD over 802.11n in the same room as the router, I need a real-world test upstairs
  • The apple remote worked out of the box, but only has six buttons. The nice thing about MythTV is you can remap the buttons, but six... hmm... just not quite enough. I'll need to find out if there is another remote that can work. I might go down the lirc path
Bottom Line

This was such a pleasant experience and the mini is soooooooooo silent that I'm counting the days until my monstrous 4 year old media PC dies in the family room! Another project might be to figure out what the most compatible tuner's are for a mac and kill my loud backend in the office. I've been impressed with MythTV on a Mac OS X. I hope to write some apple friendly applescripts/automator actions to do some fun things that I've been dying to do.

Making google happy with redirects

I've been moving my blogs around a bit the last couple days, and the thought occured to me that I have years of posts that are still generating pretty significant traffic to my blog. How can I update the 'old' urls so that they 1) redirect the person who runs across an old link and 2) tell google to update my link in their search results and keep my rank.

Here you go:


header("HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently");


That little dandy replaces every page that I want re-directed. Now... wouldn't it be nice to write a little ruby script to go through my 100 posts and update each one!

New mac mini

The new mac mini has been released, and we've decided to go ahead and use it for a second frontend for the MythTV backend. Not that we're big TV watchers, but having a second frontend upstairs gives us a chance to hole up upstairs when sick/etc... and watch the same programs as downstairs. We'll see how streaming HD over 802.11n goes!