Network Video Streamer for under £20

I had a desire to stream all my Sky TV channels to various devices on my network. These devices would be Tablets, Laptops, and XBMC. As such dedicated hardware with custom client software or browser application (Like SlingBox) wouldn't do.

So scrabbling around in my parts bin, I came up with this. An old mini-itx board, a WinTV card, and VLC set to stream from the WinTV card. All running on a stripped down version of Puppy Linux.

The only things I bought for this project were the riser for the WinTV card, and the custom project box.

Total outlay: £18

I'm proud to say that this hack was featured over at Hackaday.com!

Mini-ITX board, with custom mounted 2.5" HDD, in the project box.

Back plate cut to fit. WinTV card fitted on Riser. Red power button, and power socket below it.

Front panel with Green power LED fitted.

Using a Pico-PSU adapter (those two Yellow squares), so the board can run off a laptop power supply.

Booting Puppy Linux. X doesn't start automatically. Boot script configures the WinTV card, and then starts VLC with some command line options. The red error text is just VLC complaining that there's no GUI for it to talk to. The whole thing will run headless anyway, so this screen is never seen during normal operation.

By connecting a cable from a video source to the s-video input on the WinTV card, I can then view the stream over HTTP in any application that supports it. This includes Windows Media Player, VLC, Media Player Classic, and XBMC/Kodi.

-October 2014