Hauppauge MediaMVP

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The Hauppauge MediaMVP is a Linux-based embedded diskless workstation which was created solely to display audio, video and still images from streaming servers or from network-attached storage.

A special-purpose device, it has no disc drives and no tuners of its own. While it is based on the same IBM PowerPC processor as the Dreambox, it is a networked media playback device only.

The processor is a 250MHz embedded PowerPC with hardware MPEG2 decode capability; output is PAL or NTSC with composite and s-video; newer revisions provide coaxial sp/dif output for digital audio. Infrared remote control is included.

This device was designed to rely on a networked desktop PC as firmware and data source; there is third-party firmware to allow embedded devices (including some Linux-based network routers) to provide the servers needed to boot the diskless MediaMVP unit.

Most MediaMVP units rely on a wired LAN as the sole source of data input; provision has been made on some devices for wireless networking. The firmware is based on an open-source model and mvpmc, a third-party firmware is available for these units.

Diskless operation

There are multiple versions of this device, with minor differences in boot sequence:

The original ("flashless") unit obtained the addresses of network servers via DHCP. It would then connect to a server using TFTP to download a file (dongle.bin) containing the firmware for the device.

The newer ("flash") units (current revision codes beginning H1 through H4, as of 2007) contain more memory and use a slightly-modified boot sequence. On these units, DHCP provides only a network address for the MediaMVP client itself; the information on which servers to access for firmware download is provided by a separate network server application, mvprelay, on port 16881. The mvprelay application provides the address of a TFTP server, which is also on a non-standard TCP port - port 16869.

The software is otherwise the same for the various versions of MediaMVP.

Once booted, these units are capable (under mvpmc) of playing MPEG2, JPEG and MP3 media directly from shared (NFS or SMB) network drives.

They can play streaming media, such as Shoutcast-format (MP3) Internet radio. A MythTV-compatible client is also provided as part of the mvpmc platform.

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