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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Turn your PC into a Home Theater PC or Media Center using GeeXboX 1.1

GeeXboX was under development since one year or more than that. And recently they have released an official version 1.1 of GeeXboX.

This new one is a really good candidate for your HTPC multimedia distribution choice. It comes with an improved hardware support, providing dozens of new drivers (a lot of new WiFi controllers, DVB card chipsets and new remote controls). It also comes with a massively upgraded and more stable MPlayer, which features native decoding of various audio/video formats/codecs that used to be available through non-free Win32 DLLs only (such as Windows Media Video, Flash ...). Also, GeeXboX now has some decoding speed improvements (use of SSSE3 instructions from Core2Duos has been added) and the OSD menu has been completely rewritten to provide a lot of new attractives features. It can plays decrypted EVO files from HD-DVD.

Version 2.0, the next version of GeeXboX (1.2) which is under development will come with some features that were requested for quite a long time. First, it'll come in both 32 and 64 bits editions (second one is 15% faster). But more importantly, it'll be first version of GeeXboX to come with a native HDTV screens support. So, just stay tuned, most of these features are already available, and 1.2 won't take a year to come this time ;-)

About GeeXboX

GeeXboX is a free embedded Linux distribution which aims at turning your computer into a so called HTPC (Home Theater PC) or Media Center. Being a standalone LiveCD-based distribution, it's a ready to boot operating system than works on any Pentium-class x86 computer or PowerPC Macintosh, implying no software requirement. You can even use it on a diskless computer, the whole system being loaded in RAM.

Despite his tiny ISO image size, the distribution comes with a complete and automatic hardware detection, not requiring any driver to be added. It supports playback of nearly any kind of audio/video and image files and all known codecs and containers are shipped in, allowing playing them through various physical supports, either being CD, DVD, HDD, LAN or Internet.

GeeXboX also comes with a complete toolchain that allows developers adding easily extra packages and features but that might also be used to give birth to many dedicated embedded Linux systems.

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