18 December 2007

My media server content update

My Half-Terabyte media servers is starting to look old. It's Intel P4 CPU based computer, using 4x160GB RAID5 storage for digital media. Still I have plenty of room there, only 171 Gigabytes is used out of 450 GB:

Server type:
TwonkyMedia 4.4
Used memory: 6868 KB

Last database update: 20:41:15

Music tracks: 6695 (42 GB, 799 albums)
Pictures: 22971 (32 GB)
Videos: 307 (77 GB)
Radio stations: 150

License information: The Server is registered.

Resolution mess

Today everybody have HD-ready plasmas or lcd-s at home Either 1080 or 768 horisontal lines resolution. There are only few devices what provide HD resolution, but lets refresh our memory in the resolution mess!

480 lines NTSC DVD, format mostly used in US 720 x 480
576 lines PAL TV and DVD, format used in Europe 720 x 576
720 lines HD format
1080 lines HD format

  • SCART is capable of carrying up to 576i lines (technically 625 lines with additional data)
  • Component video is capable of carrying signals such as 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p
  • HDMI cable is capable handling signals up to 1080p

Hope, it helped...

D-Link DSM-520 update and more....

Album art is there!

It's has been a while from my last post. Few reasons for that. First, my system is up and running and I use it for everyday home entertainment. Secondly, no major new products have been purchased. Still, tho main improvements in my setup: D-Link supplied remarkable firmware update for DSM-520 media player; secondly I purchased Logitech Harmony programmable remote in order to get disappeared remote mess on my coffe table.

In this post I'll concentrate on dLink. Almost half year back I replaced old DSM-320 with HD model DSM-520. First I connected it to my 1080i plasma via YUV HD Component cable, then via HDMI and now via PAL Scart. Strange, that I downgraded to 625 lines , but I did it because of convinience. My Hitachi 1080i plasma soesn't allow to adress inputs directly, only cycling via all inputs. Scart allows seamless automatic input selection. Pity, that HD formats (HDMI and Component) doesn't use automatic input sensing. Using HDMI requires selecting correct input each time on my plasma.

So, about one month ago new firmware ver 1.04.05eu became available and I installed to my media player. Main and most visible difference is music track playing screen, whitch is totally re-designed now. It shows album art, which is very nice! You tend to remember albums associating with album art.

From bottom to top: D-Link DSM-520, Onkyo DV-L55 DVD player, Onkyo TX-L55 d-class receiver

Also, it supports now 1080 resolution via HDMI now. At least few versions back, HD formats where not supported via HDMI as intresting as it was.