GeeXboX 1.1: ‘Not a Substitue for Human Interaction’ Edition

geexbox boot screenshotAlthough development never stopped, more than a year has passed without any new official GeeXboX release. This new one is a really good candidate for your HTPC multimedia distribution choice. It comes with an improved hardware support, providing dozens of new drivers (a lot of new WiFi controllers, DVB card chipsets and new remote controls). It also comes with a massively upgraded and more stable MPlayer, which features native decoding of various audio/video formats/codecs that used to be available through non-free Win32 DLLs only (such as Windows Media Video, Flash …). Also, GeeXboX now has some decoding speed improvements (use of SSSE3 instructions from Core2Duos has been added) and the OSD menu has been completely rewritten to provide a lot of new attractives features. Oh, and did we mention? It can play decrypted EVO files from HD-DVD.

While still working on version 2.0, the next version of GeeXboX (1.2) will come with some features that were requested for quite a long time. First, it’ll come in both 32 and 64 bits editions (second one is 15% faster). But more importantly, it’ll be first version of GeeXboX to come with a native HDTV screens support. So, just stay tuned, most of these features are already available, and 1.2 won’t take a year to come this time ;-) By the way, speaking about the future, we’re looking for a Sony PlayStation 3 to port GeeXboX to: that would make the best HTPC ever. Feel free to help us doing so ;-)

But let’s get back to 1.1 release and just enjoy using it.

Detailed Changelog (relative to 1.0 release) :

- Update Linux to v2.6.21.3
- Upgrade BusyBox to v1.5.1
- Update uClibc to 0.9.29.
- Upgraded SysLinux bootloader to v3.20.
- Better CPU frequency scaling capabilities.

- Added optional support for GNU glibc 2.5 in toolchain for debugging purpose.
- Upgrade to GCC 4.1.2

- Upgrade to MPlayer SVN v23418.
- Added support libavformat demuxer in addition to internal libmpdemux.
- New native VC-1/WMV3/WMV9 video decoder (Windows Media Video).
- New native On2 VP50 and VP62 decoder (Flash video).
- New native lossless audio decoders for WavPack, TTA, and Shorten.
- Support for VC1 in MPEG-TS and MPEG-PS files (like HD-DVD and BlueRay ones).
- Support for EVO demuxing (HD-DVD file format).
- Added support for VP7 binary codec.
- Added binary extra codec (through Generator) for WMA Pro files handling.
- Added binary codec for VC-1 codec as the native decoder is not (yet) able to decode all samples.
- Support for audio stream switching in MPEG-TS/PS, Matroska and streams supported by libavformat.
- Support for audio stream switching between streams with different codecs.
- New native RTSP input (handles MPEG-TS over RTP only) for generic RTSP servers (like FreeboxTV) which deprecates Live555 usage.
- H.264 decoding speed improvements.
- SSA/ASS subtitle renderer.
- Added support for ICEcast netstreams.
- Radio is now handled direclty through V4L2.
- Support for 3GP, AAC, VDR and DVR-MS files.
- Added a new Preferences menu, with many new options to control audio streams, subtitles, colors and tweak all video parameters.
- Removed libdts, libmpcdec, libogg, libvorbis and libtheora, as deprecated by new MPlayer internal decoders/demuxers.
- Allows loading external subtitle files.
- Allows setting playback speed.
- Allow selection of radio Genres, and store each genre in a subfolder for easier discovery.

- Fix with VESA on i945 cards.

- Added support for IVTV based cards (such as Hauppauge PVR 150/250/350/500).
- Support for WPA encryption on WiFi cards.
- Added support for Broadcom BCM43xx WiFi chipsets (like Apple AirPort).
- Added Ralink RT61 and RT73 chipsets support.
- Added support for wireless TI ACX111 chipsets.
- Added support for MadWiFi-NG driver.
- Added support for ZyDAS ZD12x1 wireless chipsets.
- Added support for PVR USB 2 TV card.
- Added support for Rio Karma USB mass storage devices.
- Added support for USB soundcards.
- Fixed ATI USB mouse directional keycodes.
- Added Medion (also Aldi) X-10 OEM’d remote.
- Added support for Logitech UltraX Media remote.
- Added support for some USB to serial interfaces.
- Introduced new libata support in kernel for IDE disks support.
- Do no more force disks to 32bits I/O (crashes with CompactFlash over IDE).
- Much better autodetection of USB DVB devices.
- Support for more radio cards.
- Rework of DVB firmware loader.

- Support for IPv4 multicast (useful for RTSP streams).
- Added NdisWrapper support that allows using Win32 network (WiFi) drivers under Linux.
- Upgraded bftpd to version 1.8.4 and added new file /etc/ftp for FTP authentication.
- Updated Samba to 3.0.25, uses UTF-8 charset to mount shares and fixes some mount points handling issues.
- Allows Samba and NFS mounts to come up if the servers are brought up after geexbox boots up, by looping in the background.
- Added basic WebGUI implementation.

- Support for NDISwrapper driver loading.
- Added new tab to add extra files to generated ISO image.
- New generator option to set WiFi channel number.
- Support for Windows Vista.

- Removed deprecated non-working recorder/mencoder support.
- Added remote=/receiver= cheat codes in isolinux for easy change.
- Added menus in installator for selecting remote/receivers.
- Added support for various keyboard mapping (azerty/qwerty/qwertz)
- New makefile rules to build and play VMware virtual machines (make vmx; make vmx-play).
- Fixed QEMU/VirtualBox emulation.
- Add autoplay support for USB devices.
- Reworked internationalization files.
- Support for multiple languages in the same ISO image.
- Support for JFS file system.

GeeXboX 1.1 (for x86 computers only) is available here and right now!

Filed in: Software