[vdr] Any progress on an XBMC frontend to VDR?

Michal Dobrzynski michal at appl.com.au
Wed Mar 23 12:21:49 CET 2005

First off I need a disclaimer. This will be a bit of a rant which will 
hopefully let me vent some frustration and maybe if I'm lucky discover 
some useful information.

--- Start of RANT ---

If you care about how your home theater setup looks and how hard it is 
to maintain then having a PC as a central part of it is an AWFUL thing.

Don't get me wrong, VDR itself is great but there's just no way to make 
a PC as practical as something like an XBox as the actual physical 
front-end. and believe me.. I've tried. I've tried so god damn hard 
that I'm close to losing my mind. I've sunk thousands of hard earned 
dollars (that I couldn't really afford but determination does awful 
things to your finances) into trying to make a PC integrate well into a 
home theater setup.

Today I nearly threw the fucking PC through the wall in frustration. I 
recently purchased an XBox solely for use to playback xvid's and DVD's 
(integrating as many functions into one capable unit as possible 
GREATLY simplifies things for some users such as my parents) and with a 
remote control it cost me less than any single component I purchased 
for the PC (of which there were many).

In my humble opinion maintaining a server which isn't trying to pretend 
to be a PVR that fits in well with home theater gear would be much, 
MUCH simpler and cheaper. And an XBox connected to a network with such 
a server on it would make for an extremely cheap and powerful front-end 
that doesn't require any thought to be put into hardware, just 

Using the XBox for watching DVD's and xvids has well as listening to 
music has been a revelation. It starts up quickly, it turns off with 
the press of a button. If anything locks up you can turn it off, then 
on and reload the interface faster than a PC would take just to turn 
off. If digital TV (including recording) could be made this easy and 
combined with the other features great features of XBMC then it would 
be unstoppable and only lacking in the HDTV department (next XBox for 
that I guess).

This is an unplanned post and hasn't been fully thought out. It's just 
something I needed to get off my chest. Any pointers to things which 
aren't too complicated which could help me get what I'm after would 
also be appreciated.

Also please not that there is no suggestion as to how to make a PC more 
user friendly in a home theater setup would be useful. The Xbox already 
does everything right in that respect at a fraction of the cost.

--- End RANT ---

To sum things up I'm not asking for VDR to change into something else 
(unless that's necessary for this sort of thing to even be possible but 
I doubt that). All I really want to know is if any work on an XBMC 
frontend to VDR ("My TV" anyone?) is being done by anyone anywhere. Is 
it possible? Why or why not?

P.S. I suspect the primary problem is Microsoft and the proprietary 
nature of the XDK. This prevents the sort of people who would normally 
work on such things from even contemplating them. Is this a reasonable 
guess? Might this change once an open-source development environment is 
made available (work on such a thing is being done).

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