My Apple TV project

Hi, all
Long time lurker of the Haiku project, Big fan of BEOS.

I Wanted to share a project I’m working on.
It’s a “personal media database system” for POSIX OS’s. It’ sounds complicated but is very minimal setup.

While looking around at different minimalist Linux distros, I thought why not have Haiku as the front end. It would be great to see BeOS and Apple Hardware (but now intel based awesomeness) together again. I just recently bought (at an amazing price) the first GEN Apple TV to hack it and throw a minimal OS on it as a front end. Just waiting for it to arrive.

I’m bringing up this topic to see how feasible it is with using Haiku as the frontend on a Apple Tv box.

My (Unamed) project uses the Client/ server Architecture

Platform(s): Haiku/Mac OS X/Linux
Custom python script with VLC for a nice simplistic interface that connects with my media database.

Back-End: Ubuntu Linux server
Uses Mysql, Apache
I Have a (Video only right now) MySQL Database the keeps detailed info (I can post the early version schema if needed) File info, Episode details , Banners, Screenshots,etc. that works with the file server…
*php (web interface planed down the line)

My questions are as follows:

  1. Does the native Haiku boot loader support EFI or is Haiku Compatible with GRUB?
  2. Are Haiku’s Nvidia drivers optimized for video playback?
  3. Can you get reliable Video playback from the VLC port in Hakiu
  4. Lastly BEOS was always known for it’s amazing audio backend, how does Haiku compare in this Alpha stage?

Thanks for reading and look forward to your comments.

#1. Haiku can be booted from GRUB and fairly sure it can boot GRUB partition too. People say they can boot Haiku on their x86 Macs but for some USB (& sound?) does not work.

#2. Haiku’s Nvidia driver support upto Geforce 7950. Anything newer will use VESA driver which is fast itself and not noticeable on LCD display.

#3. VLC has very good performance and really stable on Haiku but you are stuck using version 0.8.6 which has trouble with certain types of codecs (ie: h264).

#4. Audio is pretty good but maybe not great? Playback works but haven’t done much testing to see how well.

You’re best bet is to create a partition, burn a LiveCD and install to disk partition or USB key to test on real hardware yourself!

As designed the AppleTV is capable of 720p video, but it has NVidia PureVideo. Haiku doesn’t support that (it just has YUV overlay support inherited from the BeOS era) so you may find that e.g. HD movies or recordings of HD television don’t play back smoothly because almost everything is done by the rather weak CPU.