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media streamer

Updated: 2018-03-06T15:53:46.564+08:00


Bootable Ghost USB key


Today I was trying to create a Bootable DOS USB thumbrive for restoring my GHOST partition, I search many times but cannot find a good solution. Finally, I solve it after many hours.

Hence to document it down.
Most of the instruction is from:

The problem is I do not have floppy drive anymore.

1. Download and install HP flash drive creation tools (both)

a. HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool,64963-order,1-page,1-c,peripherals/description.html

b. HP Drive Key Boot Utility Version 7.41

2. Next download a win98SE setup flash image because only win98 support USB drive.

3. Finally download bootkey that automatically configure for GHOST
Instruction as per


4. Since I do not have a floppy drive this is what I do.
Step 1 -> Format your thumbdrive using the installed "HP Drive Key Boot Utility"(from 1b)

Step 2 -> Using the win98SE image from 2.

Step 3 -> Remove and reinsert your thumbdrive, then copy all the content including system files into a directory.

Step 4 -> Now using "HP USB Disk Storage Format"(from 1a) to again format your thumbdrive, selecting the system files from Step 3.

Step 5 -> Finally copy the files from bootkey (from 3) into the thumbdrive including the ghost.exe into the correct folder.

You are now ready to go.

Adaptive Codecs for different devices from PDA, handphone to laptop


Recently, I saw a presentation from a local research institute on an adaptive codec that they are developing.

Today if you have video content that you will like to provide for your users' devices like handphone, laptop or DVD player, you will need multiple files.
Eg. your handphone might only support QVGA (small size video) while your laptop can display in High Definition, and DVD can only take Mpeg2 and DIVX. So what do you need if you are the content provider.
- You need to store different files for different devices.

However with the new codec container, you only needed to store the picture once, depending on he device connected, the container will release the correct files. This will speed up the overall download speed as well as format type.

Full link at Exploit Technologies to Showcase HD-AAC

Turning your laptop into a portable video/DVD player


Sometime back in 2005, when I was servicing a laptop, I notice that it can actually bootup as a portable DVD players without booting up the Microsoft Windows. I know that the laptop actually had two partition. The first being a Linux partition of around 80MB and the other the normal Windows partition.

I was very curious, unfortunately, although I manage to get hold of the setup disc, I was unable tochave it running own other brand of laptop. The drivers that the setup CD provided are restricted to that machine.

It was not only later that I come across a good software call GeeXboX that provides a linux live CD that make it so easy to customise for different machines. It has a customisable CD option where only necessary drivers are loaded into the CD. One can then transfer the CD image to the Harddisk on your laptop. The only problem is normally your laptop is 100% filled up with windows partition. You can use partition magic to reduce the partition to make way for your DVD/linux partition.

Normally I do that manually, I run a scandisk and optimisation to make sure that the last sectors are free from any data, then I simply used fdisk to reduce the partition without reformatting. CAUTIONS - possible data lost at your own risk. So far I have no problem with my laptop.
My laptop has bootup problem but is easily fix by twitching the GRUB bootup command.

Joost gave up its P2P player


I received an email from Joost
"..we have decided to discontinue our original Joost software application. As of Friday, Dec. 19th, you will no longer be able to watch videos in the Joost software application – but you will be able to find all of our videos, and more, on"

Finally they give up on this fancy players of theirs and move to the browser. This is not surprising as the effort takes to maintain both platform is simply too much. I wonder will other video sites follow suit or have already done so.

3.5" Harddisk storage with media playback capability



I was strolling by an average IT shop and guess what I see. A 3.5" harddisk casing for S$89. This is not just a casing but one that can playback stuff directly onto your TV using Video cables and control via a remote control.

As mention I have saw this at various location, including Singapore Post (image) by a brand call EMTEC Movie cube, which is package together with hardisk some time in April.

Most importantly, both this boxes support Divx movies and those photos you have taken.
Sure enough my DVD player can also play them if I burn it on a disc or connect my external USB harddisk to it.

But then for a price of $20-30 more I get direct playback capability. Not if only I have a LCD screen in my car I can play my kid's favourite cartoon.

HD-DVD vs Blu? no the downloading camp !


When the Blu-ray camp won the high-definition format war, there are many published aricles about what's will it be in the future. "Did Blu-ray camp actually win the war?" - was the question. Yes but ... The conclusion which I tend to also agree is "for how long". The days of physical storage media are numbered. More and more videos are be downloaded via the internet every day. Optical media may not be only choice for the current and next generation consumers.

Harddisk space are getting so much cheaper. A few years ago we are still paying $1 for 1MB of space, to day we are paying less than $1 for 1GB, in no time it will be 1TB. Just like the way the PC industries moved from 5 1/4 inches disc with 1.2MB space to 1.44 3.5inches magnetic diskette to 700MB CD-ROM to 4.2GB DVD to 25GB Blu-ray for portable storage. Non-removable disk space also increased at a very fast rate. Beside better compression has allowed more virtual data to be squeeze into less physical space.

Today a ripped DVD video can be squashed to 700MB CDROM thanks to Xvid avi format. Well as compared earlier, I really don't see that much difference between the actual compressed and uncompressed videos. Especially so if you are chasing a TV series. The best part about this technology is now downloading it from the internet is possible in a much shorter time.

When I was younger, I was using 9.6Kbps modem to connect to BBS bulletin boards. For simple x86 dos games to GIF picture files. With the same technology we advanced to 56Kbps dialup speed. Then the next switch I jumped to 1Mbps cable internet. I was given free upgrade year after year, 2,4,6Mbps. Now I planned to downgrade back to 1Mpbs, simply because I do not need such high speed.

Now if you take a Xvid 1.5hrs video at 700MB at 1Mbps it's going to take roughly700 x 10Mb / 60s = 117 minutes = 2hrs at best.However experience tells me that this will never be the case. I see that at best it will be 25KB/s = 466 minutes = 8hrs
So realistically, if you leave it to download overnight you will get your file tomorrow. However, if this is a more popular file, another technology call peer-to-peer is here to help. It's indeed possible to get up to 100 KB/s using P2P.

Here comes the question, will you download something from the internet and transfer this to your DVD player to watch or will you watch it on your computer. Again the answer is simple: people want to watch it on the TV if possible. Hence solution like DLNA, wireless, Media Centre PC comes about. The reason why these solutions are still not so popular is because they are too expensive and complicated. An average joe will not spend this amount of money if he knows of the solution in the first place.

Recently, I went down to Sim Lim square, I founded a 3.5" USB harddisk enclosure (IDE/SATA) with Video output (supporting Xvid) at only $80. I almost bought it but when I return the shop keeper was out for lunch. Although similar networking product are also avaible they are at a higher price right now. E.g. the DVICO media player, at least $300 without harddisk.

Some one predicted that finally the CE companies will win the consumers over, but until then the IT maker especially from Taiwan and Korea, will be pumping out more and more of such equipments.

Another from China -


(image) Interestingly, found this while searching on website. It's a P2P streaming from China, call Blin (Be..Lin) as in "being your neighbour"


Able to play some movie
, like HERO etc

Joost competitor and a P2P direct to TV device


Interestingly, it has taken so long before another contenter is going against Joost.
Blinkx is proposing a client similar to Joost. Let me try it out and let you know later

MyKa is building a box similar to Apple's iTV but it uses the "legal" P2P technology Bittorrent for downloading.
Without a linkage to content provider(s), I'll not be surprised when the authority go after them. Having said that isn't there alot of routers and NAS providing P2P download already?

The difference is, this box allows you to download into a box that directly playback to the TV.
Let see if this goes on. I can't wait to get my hands onto one of this.(image)

Record the singapore local broadcast


A friend of my told me about this services before, I have no time to check it out till recently. And it works. I use to do recording using my PC at home. I have to pre-program, and also leave my PC on throughout... Hey this is a neater way to do that. After which I just stream it from the internet :)
This service is only available in Singapore, unfortunately, for the time being channel 5, channel 8 and Channel news asia. Can't wait when they expand it to kids channel and channel U.

BTW, I have watermarked the jpg using gimp as learn from this forum link

A quick look at VeohTV


A boost of 122 Channels, Ranging from some good source to other free podcasts(image)
The first few CBS - features clips like CSI,
FOX - featuring 24,
NBC, PBS which retrict the audience to be in the US only.
Then you have popular ABC News, CBS News, YouTube.
Trailers from Paramount, MGM. Lionsgate
Podcaster like Rocketboom, Tiki Bar TV, G4TV which you can also find in Democracy.

Some of its clips uses P2P to download but it is not always the case.
I have not been able to watch most clips online. However I was able download and movies. In fact Veoh itself does not restrict file size hence there are full episode shows. Wonder how they can get away with the legal issue.
I've download an ECOGEEK clips I notice that I cannot playback using VLC, since there's a *.enc file that possibly encrypt the file to disallow playback without using VeohTV.(image)
With so many Channels, the worst thing is there's no classification at all. You typically scroll pages to look and the decription for the channel cannot be horrible. Some of the length of the video clip is not valid. I have had the experience when playing back the video it will skip to the next clip, there is no sign of how much of the content is downloaded or how much left.

The good part is the search engine, you search video clips using yahoo, google and Veoh. The return results were quick and a validation of the link is there as well. Best of all a small jpg picture of the clip is immediately available.

Battle for IPTV or rather WebTV continues with Veoh TV


Juz read on latest news that Veoh not only offer video sharing service online like YouTube.

Their latest Veoh TV, after Joost and Babelgum, will not only offer episode for ABC, Fox etc will also offer user generated shows from YouTube, Veoh etc.

I have applied to sign up as beta, can't wait to get my hands on it.

Content, Content II My List of RSS Feeds


I decided that instead of posting and updating my RSS feeds, I can create my own XML file. Now all you need is to add my link.

I have added it to my sidebar on the right for easy access.

Babelgum has open up for Beta


While trying Joost a few months back, stumble on a similar product.
Finally, they have open up for Beta. Quick get it now !

A quick look at it is disappointing.. there are very few videos available. I was complaining the lack of clips available for Joost already... hopefully that's going to change when they gain more attention.

It has pretty much looks of Joost but not quite as powerful. That explains why it did not need a too high-end PC as require by Joost.
As quote from the website
Windows Xp
1.0 Ghz Pentium class processor or better
512 Mb RAM
32 Mb video RAM
Internet connection with 640 Kb/s of download bandwith

One thing I miss is there is no ability to fast forward or reverse.

It also seems unclear to me whelther I should double click or single click.
or some occasion. Let's see how it goes in the coming days

Tversity release 9.10.1


Yap now it supports conversion Divx!! and can also be defaulted to DVD/VCD Mpeg2. Thanks to the team!

Media Storage: USB or Network?


Run out of space for my videosThe bad thing about ripping DVDs is that sooner or later your PC’s harddisk got so full that you have no space for other stuff. Although you can convert some to Xvid, you still might end up with media files taking 80% of your harddrive.Luckily harddisk price have falled so much that it cost less than $1 for 1GB.Quote some online price: 3.5" Harddisk, the normal PC ones.Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 16MB 750GB 7200rpm $469 5Yrs : 1GB=SGD$0.62=US$0.40If this is too big,Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 16MB 500GB 7200rpm $255 5Yrs 1GB=SGD$0.51=US$0.33And you if you insist on carrying your harddisk around then you need to buy a portable harddisk 2.5" ones. These are more expensive.Quote:Hitachi 5K160 - 160 8MB 160GB 5400rpm $199 3YrsIt’s still 1GB=$1.24=US$0.81Then just buy a case to put the harddisk in. You have the option to use a USB casing or one with network capability.I bought portable 2.5" USB one for $6.90 and 3.5" one for $20. You can also choose a more expensive with multiple drive storage (you can put 2-3drive in it), but for me I don’t think I want to go that far.Network Attached Storage with that also act as Media ServerInteresting enough some of the network storage devices support UPnP and BitTorrent directly without the need of a PC. Take a look at the storage from Synology for example. Their DS-106e/j has this functions: +Share More Than just Data – Network storage+Program Your Own Web - WebServer+Let the Music/Video Play – Stream the video directly to any UPnP media player like the SLM5500.+Total Backup Solutions+Share Photos with Right Persons – Account control+Continuous Download without PC – BitTorrentIf you have deeper pocket, then go for this. Cost: SGD$369 (w/o Harddisk)Streaming video from Synology using SLM5500And this is how it looks like on SLM5500My video collections on Synology.Direct movie playback !! No PC ! Update: I found this good review here's this[...]

Singapore IT Show 2007


Streaming related device on show

I went down to the IT Show last Friday to get a Dlink 5 port switch at SGD$23, they're out of stock so I bought the 8 port 10/100 one at SGD$30. That's really cheap :)
Interestingly, Snazio, a local maker of Digital Media Adapter, show off their latest H.264 DMA. When I ask the price the salesman ask me lots of question, in the end I still don't know how much. I check their brochure, there's no information as well. But what's interesting is that this lastest Media Receiver Snazzio SZ1322, has a build-in DVB Tuner and is able to playback H.264 media. I guess this is either the same or similar to their Snavio series.

Other interesting stuff includes a Planex MIMO XR Wireless router that supports USB harddisk, UPnP and BitTorrent. Meaning that now, all I need to do is plug a Harddisk to the router... Instantly I have got a Network Storage, I can then stream content from this device using my slm5500. It will also download multimedia content from the internet via BitTorrent, All this for SGD$169. exclude Harddisk. Beside using a MIMO means I should have better WiFi performance!

Media Converter Part 2_b: VOB vs XVID


VOB and XVID at 2 times and 4 times size

Well, well.. I used the mediacoder alright. There are more options and hence more confusing.. rr or is it because I got use to Super?

Anyway it took a really long time to convert a DVD to xvid. The end result was a bigger file from 4.36GB DVD to 1.47GB xvids. It took me a very long time, 3hrs and 18minutes. I'm going to try again with a different setting today.

Been wondering whelther there's really lost in the video. So I take a look at the old jpeg snapshots again. Turns out that if I blew up the picture by 200% I can tell the differences slightly.
Hint: look at the shadow.

If you still don't quite see it. Here's the 400% blown up version.

(image) Hint: Look at the shadow and the ear.

The right picture is the original DVD and the left the xvid. The DVD has smoother curves and less "squares". So unless you have a very good eyesight on a full HD 42" TV, chances are you won't be able to notice.

Media Converter Part 3: Other free converter


Another free video converter

Interesting enough I come across someone's video converter when I was looking at Metacafe video.

This was very similar to the erightsoft's Super that I was talking about in my earlier blog. It's like a skin above mencoder. Here's a quick screenshot. I'm giving it a go and find out if it's good.

Here's the official website

Media Converter Part 2: VOB vs XVID


Is there a different in the video quality between a ripped DVD and xvid compressed one?

I was helping a friend with DVD, unfortunately he had a 2 layer DVD. My suggestion was to either used DVD shrink and choose a 75% or so quality or convert the movie from Mpeg2(DVD) to Mpeg4(Xvid).
Finally he chose DVD shrink to downsize casue that's straight forward.
I was wondering what's the quality difference between my DVD and the Xvid ones. Here I used Super to convert DVD(Mpeg2) to Xvid as outline earlier.
Definitely the size changed. From 1GB file to only 262MB. Here is a screen shot.See if u can tell the differences. To me they are pretty close. On screen the Xvid one is abit darker in contrast.

(image) Ripped DVD using DVD shrink(100%) on my Harddisk(image) .

Converted to Xvid@2Mbps mp3@192kbits, 48khz

Layman's Video Codec


In the begining I was quite puzzle with video formats, especially when I was playing with TVersity. After spending lots of time reading up, I have better understanding.There are lots of variant and beside filename extensions (who knows why they are call MIME-type) doesn't help.My basic understanding goes like this:MPEG - Short form for Moving Picture something...And in each Mpeg there are different layers, treat them like 1.1, 1.2,1.3 etc.Then there is another community, that does the H.26x standard.Mpeg-1 = lousy picture as in asia's VCD still watchable if you don't care much on the details, normally this is layer 2.Mp3 songs also = Mpeg-1 layer 3 AudioMpeg-2 = SVCD and DVD.But then a broadcaster also uses Mpeg-2, difference is in the stream. In Media eg DVD, they are call MpegPS - Program Stream. Meaning at the begining of the file, it contain how long is the movie, etc.In broadcasting, MpegTS - Transport Stream is used. There is no fix length to the movie. Generally your recorded TV is this format.The difference in watching this 2 files over a device like slm5500, a PS file you can see in the information bar how long is the movie, while the other you cannot. Not all DMA handle this well enough though.To make things more complicated, a recorded TV program from Microsoft Media Center is DVR-MS. Although this is also a Mpeg-2 file with data scrambled. ie they mess up the bits, so that normal Mpeg decoded cannot read it properly.Mpeg-3 not usedMpeg-4 this is the confusing one. There are lots of labeling and extension, beside every video player claim that they are mp4 player.In layer 2, the older Mpeg-4, you have the popular DivX, Xvid even WMV.In Layer 10, which is the getting popular Mpeg-4 AVC also known as H.264. The new Blu-ray is supposed to used AVC HD.Then you have the ITU guys who did the Internet stuff decided they also need compressed video over the IP. Hence comes out with H.261, hardly used now and H.263 for video conferencing.Video ContainersTo confuse us more we put video and audio into a file call a container.A common container is AVI.Today only perhaps Mpeg1, Divx, Xvid uses avi.VOB - The DVD format, Video in mpeg-2 audio in ac3.3GP - for most mp4 player. Video either H.263 or raw mp4, Audio AMR-NB or AAC-LCMKV - Matroska contains Mpeg-4 video.MP4, M4V, MOV - base on quick time raw mpeg-4, very loosely usedFLV - Flash movie for most of todays internet video like YouTube. But they are likely to be embedded in a SWF file. A variant of H.263?SWF - Not a video container, but if you look at the type is listed as application. So you actually need adobe player to run this file.ASF - Streaming container for Windows Media.Then there is also PlaylistYou have m3u, pls, xspf, asx. - which is basically your collections like a favourite listing.This article has proven to be a challenge to me. Took me quite a while to write and to make sure that I did not make serious mistake.what's this[...]

Enabling UPnP services in Windows


There are time which you are wondering which UPnP media server to use ? Beside Vista comes with Windows Media Connect 4.0 which is essentially a UPnP server.

With my SLM5500, I have tried PMM (Philips Media Manager that comes with the product), TVersity for online content, and Windows Media Player 11.

All had it advantages I believe,

  • PMM is simple and it comes with the product naturally it's the first to use, lack of features especially online contents. Saying that "Juice" add more to it.

  • TVersity gives you lots of online content plus it allows realtime transcoding, however it's quite difficult to get it right and it still in beta (crashes off and on)

  • WMP11 - If you have portable device, then allowing the same content playlist on both this devices helps.

How to enable UPnP on Windows Media Player 11

Even if you are using XP, you can still get the Microsoft UPnP server (called Windows Media Connect which is part of Windows Media Player 11).

To get Windows Media Player 11, go to

Well the thing I hate about the installation is that I need to restart my PC after the installation!

Start Window Media Player, Go to (image)

Library -> More Option -> Library tab -> Configure Sharing -> Share my media

You have the option to click on allow for just one Device or you can choose to allow all devices. (image) There is a good reference site :,1895,2086248,00.asp

Vista works the same way exept that you can also follow instruction from

Content, Content, IPTV, Web Camera, RSS feeds for SLM5500


What do you feed your Digital Media Adapter? Well for me using TVersity opens up a new door for me, so here is the list from my TVersity database on all the feeds and Live URL I was using last year. Unfortunately some of them like Metacafe and most live TVs failed to work now. I have not got the time to update them. Any way here it is.Audio feedsRTHK Audio Podcast == Business == on Cinema == URL Audio CD direct from VLC == mms:// own XML feedCartoons Mania TV == c:/documents and settings/user/desktop/cartoonmania.xmlVideo FeedsABC News - Money Minutes == Business(Flv) == - Animation collection == Channel Frederator == == TV - Popular Today == == Reality Remix(mp4) == Video - Funny == Video Featured == Featured == Highest rated == == (m4v -VC-1) == Production == Latest == Pop Culture show(mp4) == Most Viewed Today == Top Rated == Daily == Morning America == Top News == 7 Days == Search Sponge Bob == Video - Search Crazy frog == Video search - Digital Media Player == Media PlayerDailyMotion Popular Film == Sports == Podcast == Today == TV == == Technology News == Techno File ==[...]

Media Converter, From DVD to Xvid, Video for phones and MP4 players, Real Media for Streaming


How to compress your video on your harddisk;
How to get your video to fit into your PDA, iPod;
How to get Real Media to stream on TV

Now after your shrink all this DVDs to harddisk you will find that your harddisk is getting filled up rather fast. 10 DVDs of 4GB each = 40GB, a korea drama - 32 disks = 128GB. Unless you buy one of the terabytes one, you will soon be running out of space.

The best way is to compress this video from Mpeg-2 (DVD) to Mpeg-4 without too much video lost. Since my streamium can handle Xvid (a Mpeg-4 standard) natively, I manage to free up lots of space.

After some searching.. actually ffmeg/memcoder can do the trick but the user interface was not there, beside I got to type a long command each time.

So finally, I found a free GUI (image)


It's easy enough. The codec support is huge, it also allow you to select the DVD default sound track etc.

Video format: 3gp/3g2(Nokia,Siemens,Sony,Ericsson) asf, avi (DivX,H263,H263+,H264,XviD,MPEG4,MSmpeg4 etc..), dat, fli, flc, flv (used in Flash), mkv, mpg (Mpeg I,Mpeg II), mov(H263,H263+,H264,MPEG4 etc..), mp4(H263,H263+,H264,MPEG4), ogg, qt, rm, ram, rmvb, str (Play Station), swf (Flash), ts (HDTV), viv, vob, wmv

- Audio format: aac, ac3, amr, mmf, mp2, mp3, mp4, mpc, ogg, ra, wav, wma

Wow ! that almost all the stuff you can find today :)

Now choose
1.Output container - avi
2. Video codec - XviD ; Maintain input's scale & aspect
3. Audio codec - Mp3 ; Stereo, 128kbps, DVD language default

Add the file and start converting...

Well beside that I can also use it to convert some of the Video to be played on my PDA mobile phone - 3GPP. So I can use the same software to do 2 things....

Now wait... earlier on I had videos which unfortunately were in Real (.rmvb) before discovering TVersity, I got someone to write a software (GUI) base on Java for "mencoder"

All it does is this

C:\Program Files\mplayer\codecs\mencoder.exe" "file.rmvb" -o c:\file.avi -vf kerndeint,scale=640:352 -oac mp3lame -ovc xvid -xvid encopts pass=1:bitrate=4000:vhq=1:max_bframes=0

So I can replace this with Super!

Watching Geekbrief podcast using PMM and Juice


HOW TO watch Geekbrief Podcast on your TV using SLM5500

I read from forum about a Podcat catcher, call Juice,

So I went out and test it, well at least it works with GeekBrief my favourite podcast channel.
So I decided to write a howto on it.

After downloaded from, run setup(image)

Next go to your podcast site and copy the feed's address in this case

In Juice, Tools-> Add a Feed - > (image)

In this case
Now you can check the recent feed(s),
and expect the rest to download at a preset time under - > scheduler -> enable.

(image) Now start Philips Media Manager, PMM and add the Juice download folder into the watch folder and

VOLA !!! ... you should be able to watch GeekBrief Podcast on your Streamium SLM5500 !!!

Video player and Tools


Video player and Tools

Woof... interesting enough I loaded a free anti-virus software (freeav) and anti-spyware (AVG) software and Vola!! I cannot log into my own blog :( Finally I have to use another PC. Dunno what's wrong.

Anyway put that aside.. I saw an interesting forum article saying that someone discover a useful software call VLC.

Well VLC by has been around for long time... It's ported from Linux ..when I first use it.

To me this is a very very good player, any media that I cannot play with windows media player, I'll try playing with VLC.

However I discover another good tool last year - call GSpot. I was playing with TVersity at an early stage when I need to find out the actual codec in the .avi extension. Before that I was actually using AVICodec quite limited in it's way. Anyway the good thing is the codec pack "K_Lite_Codec_Pack" already contain this tool.

In the newer version Gspot even allow you to play your video file. A quick reference to wikipedia shows some helpful information as well.

Lastly to see how your codec work graphically you can use GraphEdit.

Update: Another good tool is MediaInfo