Inside a compact embedded Linux – Hacking MediaMVP

The Hauppauge MediaMVP is a network media player. It consists of a hardware unit with remote control, along with software for a Windows PC. Out of the box, it is capable of playing video and audio, displaying pictures, and “tuning in” to Internet radio stations. Alternative software is also available to extend its capabilities. It can be used as a front end for various PVR projects.

The MediaMVP is popular with some PVR enthusiasts because it’s inexpensive and relatively easy to modify.

As an MP3 and MPEG player, the Hauppauge MediaMVP lets you play digital media through your television set. As a tightly purposed embedded device, it is an excellent example of a compact Linux implementation on minimal hardware.

The MediaMVP is similar in some ways to the TiVo: it’s intended to be a pure appliance, performing only specified functions. Unlike the TiVo, it doesn’t make a significant effort to prevent users from loading their own software, and sure enough, users have done just that.

This article looks at the “standard” install provided by Hauppage and also looks at the MediaMVP Media Center (MVPMC) project, which is developing a custom user environment for the system.

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