PowerlineHD and HDMI audio

I got my PowerlineHD equipment today – its certainly not Gigabit, but iperf reports around 90mbps and NFS transfers go at about 6MBytes/sec, so faster than 54G wifi can manage, and fast enough to stream SD video for sure (not tried HD yet).

The one downside is that it seems to be interfering with the radio in the kitchen, although the wireless keyboards and Bluetooth headset and phones are fine.

I wasted most of this evening trying to figure out why I can get no sound via the HDMI cable from the nettop to the TV when running Fedora14 (or Ubuntu 10.10) but it works fine in Windows7.

It turns out that Linux sees HDMI audio as a form of SPDIF, so I had to run alsamixer and unmute the three SPDIF channels by pressing ‘M’ or in /etc/rc.local so it survives a reboot:

amixer -c0 -q set 'IEC958',1 unmute

Now the router is downstairs again, the netbook’s wifi signal strength has gone up to 98% which you’d hope for from across the lounge!

Update: I tried streaming a 3.5Gb HD video and it worked fine. There was some tearing of the video which was fixed by disabling Compiz. Its interesting to see CPU usage go from 90% or more down to 15% or less when you switch to VDPAU rendering, thanks NVidia the ION acceleration works great!

Wire speed!

Dad came over the other day and helped me run some CAT6 cable from my computer room to my lounge so I can stream video’s etc at gigabit speed over NFS from the fileserver upstairs to the Mac Mini which is now hanging off the LCD TV using my new HDMI-to-DVI cable.

MacOSX at 1920×1080 on a 37″ screen is incredible! I’m awaiting my wireless keyboard/trackerball so I can use it to surf downstairs as well as running Plex (Xbox Media Center ported to the X86 Mac) with the Mac’s remote control. I’ve watched my first 720p and 1080p movies, and you can actually see the difference from a regular 480p XviD or DVD – not just the resolution, but the detail like hair and leather textures and lack of compression artefacts, plus you get DTS 5.1 sound and so on that the Xbox1 simply can’t cope with.

I’m going to order 15m of white CAT6 or 5e from ebay though, as the blue looks a bit naff against my white walls.

I’ve been playing with Windows Vista today under VirtualBox3, it really is a pile of poo – can you believe that to install Service Pack 2 you actually have to first install SP1? They each take about an hour, and afterwards there’s still more to get from Windows Update. Literally to install Vista, Norton and Office (plus service packs etc.) must have taken well over four hours! Nothing like RedHat where you install 5.0, type “yum -y update”, go make a cup of tea and come back to 5.3 with OpenOffice and so on pre-installed.

Weather’s still boiling hot, in fact I’ve come out in prickly heat/heat rash, so am showering every few hours to keep my core body temperature down and minimise sweat.

I also finally found my old GnuPG key, so I’ve revoked the Jedi one from the keyservers, leaving the more up-to-date Synaptic one which uses better encryption.