Based around the MythTV open source personal video recorder package, Australian company Development One (D1) are selling a home media centre from AUD$1800 (~UK£738).
The HMC has all the usual features: DVD/CD playback, audio jukebox, PVR functions, electronic programme guide – but it’s the first MythTV/Linux appliance we’ve seen available commercially. It runs Redhat with a custom 2.4.22 kernel, and MythTV, the popular GPL PVR software. The D1 website makes no mention that the HMC is Linux based – presumably as it’s being marketed as plug and play, and Linux has anything but a plug and play reputation.
The HMC comes in a Shuttle form factor case with LCD status panel and even has a remote control for accessing commonly used functions.
Interestingly, the MythTV feature that enables users to skip ads has been disabled, but there’s a quick hack to get round that.
MythTV is still in early development stages and still has a few show stopping bugs in it – it can quit unexpectedly, even on well-behaved systems. It will be interesting to see how consumers get on with an appliance that could potentially dump them out to a Linux command prompt.
We’ll have more on MythTV in the future as the application develops.