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Hi all, simple question (famous last words !!)

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Hi all, simple question (famous last words !!)   

Postby ghost123uk » Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:10 am

Hi all, my name is John and I am new here, but certainly not new to technical forums, oh no ;). I live in the central UK, I am 99% a Linux user, and though fairly competent with it, I am not a full on expert or developer etc (far from it :roll: )

I have a fairly simple question = I see that one can run WDLXTV from a USB drive ("non-flash") without altering the software (firmware?) on the actual box.
With that in mind (and I bet this is going to be a stupid question that gets me shot down in flames), is it at all possible that WDLXTV could be made to run on a normal computer?

Prepares to use the Ooops emoticon ;)
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Re: Hi all, simple question (famous last words !!)   

Postby mad_ady » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:19 am

Don't worry, we won't shoot you down.

You haven't told us what WDTV device you have. Check the wiki and compare your part number. Based on that you have some options:
1. For Live/Gen1/Gen2/Plus - you need to flash WDLXTV. After this you can boot the stock firmware from a USB drive while having WDLXTV flashed (so it's the other way around). You can't boot WDLXTV directly from flashed stock.
2. If you have Gen3/Gen4, then you need to root your stock firmware and you can boot WDLXTV from USB (there's no flashable WDLXTV version for those devices).

For your second question the answer is no with these reasons:
1. The firmware runs on an embedded system. This is not the same thing as a general purpose PC - it has dedicated hardware that takes care of video decoding for instance. In fact the CPU and video output are both programmed inside a FPGA, so they're completely different than a standard PC.
2. The architecture is MIPS, not i386 or x86_64. Completely different instruction sets. You could conceivably run the code through a mips emulator (such as quemu or bochs), but it would be slow, and wouldn't work anyway because of #1.
3. The platform has custom kernel drivers provided by AlphaNetworks (the designers of the system-on-chip), which will not run without the correct hardware.

So it will not run in a VM on a PC.

What you could do is to try to port it to run on a different device that has the same System-on-chip hardware (such as this for instance: http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_mediamvp-hd.html)
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Re: Hi all, simple question (famous last words !!)   

Postby ghost123uk » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:48 am

Ah, well cheers for that mad_ady :)

My box is the WD TV "LIve". I was not wanting to flash it away from standard, I had another thing in mind (but after reading stuff on here, I might well flash it).

Re Running WDLXTV on a PC. Pretty much as I had guessed then = no, although I didn't realise the boxes were using MIPS, I had read somewhere they ran on a special version of Linux and so I presumed they were normal(ish) PC architecture.

I'll be honest here, actually my project is to find a "one stop shop" to enable a Linux computer to play streaming video from all the free to air outlets, such as these (in the UK) = all the BBC stations, ITV, Channel4, Channel5, YouTube etc etc and of course to include outlets where a subscription is required such as Netflix, Amazon, SkyGo etc.

Windows computers use a mix of Flash, HTML5, and Silverlight to achieve full compatibility, sadly to get Linux to play nicely with all the required channels is currently not feasible (as far as I know). It's frustrating that the lovely polished product that Linux Mint has become, is stuck in a rut on this subject :twisted:
Anyway, I'm getting off topic here, so best shut up on that ;)

Glad I found you all though, I will have a go with WDLXTV on my Live box when I get time :)
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Re: Hi all, simple question (famous last words !!)   

Postby mad_ady » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:26 am

I don't know - maybe you can find suitable plugins for Kodi to view FreeView and others. Kodi is a better player (as design) than whatever WD packaged for the WDTV.
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Re: Hi all, simple question (famous last words !!)   

Postby ebo » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:43 am

Seconding what mad_ady said, I'd give Kodi a try. It runs on many platforms, Windows and Linux at least. For my usual media player I've switched from a WDTV Live Plus that became unreliable to Kodi on a Raspberry Pi 2. There are many plugins available including BBC since you're in the UK; not sure about others since I'm in the US and can't use any of them. Even the CBC has cut off access to most of their shows outside Canada. But there's no Netflix or similar plugin because Kodi doesn't support protected content.

BTW, saying you have a WDTV Live still isn't specific because WD's later (and very different) Live Streaming Media Player is often called "Live" even by WD. You have to go by model number.
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Re: Hi all, simple question (famous last words !!)   

Postby ghost123uk » Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:45 am

Thanks for the input. I will give Kodi a try on this 64 bit Linux powered laptop. I had not tried it before (as XBMC) because I was under the impression it was just a good local media streaming software, I did not know it could stream TV channels as well. I suppose it's all to do with the plugins (like with IE or FF where Flash and Silverlight etc have to be there for it to work).


OK, my WD box is marked underneath with WDBGXT0000NBK-01. It is currently running on the latest standard software. I discovered only yesterday that, in addition to it being happy to have media "pushed" onto it from my Sony phone or Linux laptop 9as I have been doing for some time), it also is happy to work with "Screen Mirroring" from the Sony phone, which I thought was pretty neat. When I get a bit of time to play, I will try out your WDLXTV software on it :)
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Re: Hi all, simple question (famous last words !!)   

Postby mad_ady » Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:17 am

You have a Gen3. Search for an appropriate Gen3 firmware if you want to try it.
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