OST-Box : News
For more info about what OST-Box really is, see the about page.
To sea the release plan, have a look at the
You can post comment/problems/ideas or anything about ost-box on the mailing list : firstname.lastname@example.org !
It is now possible to make your box goes in suspend to ram or disk when user hit the
power button. OST-Box will program the rtc clock so that it will wake up on time for scheduled records
For this to work, you'll probably need some tweaking to the script suspend.pl, at least making it setuid root.
(see the doc for details)
Also, a new lirc utility was added to make use of wake-on-lan feature.
It is usefull if your remote receiver cannot wakeup your box (it is the case for the ati remote wonder for example.)
With it, you can use a second lirc receiver plugged on a second computer to power on the box with just a keypress on the remote.
Other changes include :
- OST-Box can now connect to multiple lirc daemon, and provide a filtered lirc sockets to legacy lirc application
- The volume control utility (volume.sh) was modified so that it can now be configured for 5.1 setups (you'll have to modify parameters at the beginning of the file)
- The default mplayer config was updated to add the -noconsolecontrols switch. Without it, mplayer would not play video, just waiting for input from ostbox.
This version adds the possibility to use deinterlacer plugin, either per tuner or per frequency.
It can be configured by adding the option "player_deinterlace" (see channels.example.xml file, in tuner DVB-T).
Other changes include :
- The recorder UI will now ask for confirmation on delete, and report operation progress
- The recorder helper accept changing the duration of an already running record
- A German translation was added, thanks to Oktay Cetinkaya
- Some compilation problems were fixed, and a severe bug was fixed with newer xinelib (1.1.3+).
- The xine.cfg file is now used to select the audio driver. You may have to adjust it if your sound output stop working after upgrade.
- The syntax of the channels.xml files changed : frequency name disappeared.
So it cannot be used in the start-command or in the helper arguments.
You can still use frequency ID, or better, use an option to pass additional data for frequency.
(see the "radio" tuner of the included channels.example.xml file)
OST-Box now includes a recorder !
It has two interfaces :
The recorder is a separate process from the user interface. It is started
when ost-box starts, but it
will continue to run after you exit ost-box. So it is possible to record TV
while ost-box is not running.
- the direct one where you enter manually the time of
the program, its duration, its channel, ...
- The other way to program the recorder is from the TV program guide. In this
case, you just have to select the program and click the "record" key.
A new schedule will be created and the TV guide will show you that the
program will be recorded.
Finally, OST-Box cooperate with the recorder in a nice way : If you have
only one tuner, it is possible to watch a channel while it is recorded. In
have two (or more!) tuners, ost-box will directly choose the unused tuner
to other channel.
For question regarding TV configuration, look at the documentation and don't hesitate drop a mail
on the mailing list : email@example.com.
The process can be tricky and I'd like to improve it.
Spanish and french translations were updated.
Additionaly, the default main menu was cleaned and some TV and sound related bugs were fixed.
The music player was improved :
The translation catalogs were updated, so that new text entries can correctly be translated.
However translation updates are still needed for russian, hebrew and spanish !
- Support for random and play forever mode
- A full directory tree can be loaded
- Support for loading and saving playlist
- On click on file, the music browser will now decide if it can directly play the song or if is best to show the add dialog
Finally, a rare bug was fixed (restarting lirc while playing music could cause problem to xine-lib).
This release adds SMS input ability. This feature will allow user to input text with a lirc remote, or with a keypad.
While not really usefull for the moment, this is necessary for incoming features like playlist editor, (see the
TODO page for details).
See the Setup/remotes/sms menu for some fun...
This release also improves usability in some ways :
Finally, lirc remote and media helper now work correctly when ostbox is globally installed (in /usr/local)
- LIRC configuration is now complete and allow the configuration of filtering and acceleration
- A "leave ostbox" menu was added to allow program termination, regardless of current "power off" behaviour
- When ostbox turns on the screen, it automatically switch to the main menu. That way, you always get the initial screen on power on
Notice : If you get a segfault starting ost-box, just after the message "registerOstboxPlugin(..)",
please unset you LANG variable (LANG="" ostbox). The bugs comes from xinelib translation
(from version 1.1.1 to at least 1.1.3). A cleaner workaround will be
included in next release of ost-box, until the bug is fixed in xine-lib.
This release fixes some important bugs added with previous version :
It also includes some new code of the next 0.3.3 version (SMS input support, for the curious).
- Failure to start on fresh installation (thanks to Riccardo Maglioccheti)
- 100% CPU used by the media-helper when watching DVB-T
- Compilation against recent SDL libs
This release adds an internal video player with alpha-blended OSD, relying on xinelibs.
It also introduces a new infrastructure which will provide timeshifting and recording support.
This will be possible by using media-helpers process which will be responsible for stream grabing and multiplexing.
This mode is working out of the box for dvb card (but timeshifting and recording is not implemented).
For video4linux card, you'll need to find a good grabber tool.
The LIRC input layer was reworked to allow automatic reconnection and better event filtering.
The UI latenty and startup time were improved by optimizing image caching.
Finally, a full configuration guide was added, with concrete example about using a dvb card with ost-box.
OST-Box can now use an external EPG source. Ost-box will automatically read xmltv program from ~/.ostbox/guide.xml.
Content of the file is displayed when switching channel. There is also a new channel
browser which display full info about programs (including description if available).
Information about how to configure and use it is available in the FAQ
The channel selector behaviour was improved. It can now be configured (a new TV configuration menu was added for this
purpose). Also it now displays the current program when listing channels.
Also new in this version, some support for xine as dvb player was added, and
process which doesn't respond to stop-command get killed (this is a security
- for xine, mainly)
The translation system has been simplified. Each language now has its own
file, making translation update easier.
A spanish translation was added (thanks to
Orlando Hernández San Ginés). Other translations were updated.
Finally, several bugs were fixed. The code was checked against valgrind;
this resulted in "potential bug" fixes...
TV and webradio support is now more stable. From the last pre-release, various
bugs in the handling of video player and external programs were fixed.
A hebrew translation was also
added, thanks to Liran Tal. However, you'll need to adjust the fonts to times before using it.
The next step will be xmltv programs usage, which should not be a big deal.
Then developpment will focus on much more exciting things (from a developper
point of view...) like builtin video/dvd player, media integration, video
OST-Box needs developpers and testers !!! If you think you
can help improving it, don't hesitate : join !
This is a pre-release version. It has been tested for some
time now on my own setup (fedora core 3), but I suspect it might have problem on some
configs. If you try it, please report your mileage
here (or by
mail : pludov at nnx dot com)!
It introduces a new plugin to watch TV and listen to radio. It
relies on external viewers (for exemple mplayer, xawtv, ...).
It has support for browsing channels accross any number of tuners, and is
able to cooperate with background recorders (it can avoid to start a
player on a used tuner).
Please note that the key handling was changed, so that you will have to
reconfigure your keys (not only for lirc device, but also for keyboard
ones). Old key mapping will not work at all, so you'd better
remove ~/.ostbox/map.xml from 0.2.x before starting this new
The volume control now uses alsa mixer, using the amixer tool.
If this does not work for you, please report it !
A bug with external tools was also fixed. (the handling of child process was
rewritten to be more resistant to differences between version of the
Finally, I started a new FAQ, for configuration and troubleshooting.
This release fixes a bug introduced in 0.2.9.2, causing ostbox to sometime crash or freeze, mainly during startup.
In fact, the crash may occur on each child process termination...
A bug caused ostbox to not re-appear after an external program was terminated.
This bug only occured with some versions of the libpthread (at least the one that comes with slackware 10.1).
These versions don't handle child processes in the posix way, and this was causing real troubles to ostbox : lots of zombi and disappearing forever...
Version 0.2.9.2 gives a workaround to this bug and adds some precisions in debug messages (each log from an object now prints the object origin)
Previous version 0.2.9.1 included a bug sometime leading to a crash with a message saying "select: interrupted system call". Please upgrade to 0.2.9.2 if you encouters such problems.
The rendering has been vastly improved. OST-Box now layout widgets
regarding their text size. For example, long directory name are now
correctly displayed in the browsers.
Also the rendering speed is better since layout are no more updated before widgets are completly
Default font size have been increased.
However, this will only affect fresh installation. (If you already
have ost-box installed, you can still adjust your font sizes in the
Finally this release includes some bugfixes and smaller improvments...
As always, a detailled changelog :
- Better browsers
Long item name are no more truncated. Items get the size they
need to display...
- Delayed update of layouts
OST-Box now waits some milliseconds after all widgets are loaded before updating the
geometry layouts. This saves lots of CPU when loading a new page (especially
browsers, when widgets are added at small time interval...)
- Image status improvment
The image status is now always correctly displayed (regardless of
image name, font sizes and screen resolution). It also smoothly disappears after some seconds.
- Volume indicator corrected
The volume indicator was not always correctly displayed, depending on
the volume and font size setting. This is fixed.
- Better small resolution support
Due to the fact that text size is used to determine widget sizes, ostbox can
now be used with big font and/or small resolution (ie 320x240).
- Fixed an important memory leak concerning xine utilisation
The xine engine was not totally released when starting external program. So
alternativly playing music and starting external program was consuming about 10Mo
each time !
- Fixed a compilation failure about assert.h
OST-Box now has a skin selector. For the moment, two skins are available :
the default one and "artic". It is possible to alter them by modifying
styles.xml files in the src/interface/skins folder.
(to test, launch ost-box from the src/interface, with "-r ." as
The complete changelog :
- Skin selector
- Dynamic menu items
The photo browser will no more propose to rotate directory :-)
- Filters in browser
Browsers (photos, videos, images) now filter files, only showing relevant
ones. Also current directory name is now displayed.
- Compilation failure fixed on some distribution
I got some report of compilation ending with symbol not found when linking.
It was due to C files included from C++ code. It should now be fixed in all
- Binary and source RPM availables...
... for fedora core 3 and core 4.
See the download section !
The source RPM can be used to build on other distros.
Several bugs where fixed :
- Monitoring of directory changes was added
MP3, images and videos browser now correctly refresh themself when a
file is added or removed.
- x86_64 compilation & execution problem fixed
This is not heavily tested since I don't really have access to x86_64
hardware. However, it starts correctly, at least... Please report
- Sound device is now released before starting external programs
So that video player will be able to use the sound card after MP3 playing
This version is focused on support for external programs.
version 0.2.7 : Better support for external program (download here)
- Main menu configuration
The main menu gives access to the image browser, the MP3 player, ...
It is also possible to put external program in this menu (like xawtv,
You can customize the main menu by editing the ~/.ostbox/menu.xml. You can :
See the content of ~/.ostbox/menu.xml for details. The key format for LIRC
device is "LIRC::". You can get them by assigning key's
to function via the setup menu and then look in the ~/.ostbox/map.xml file.
- Add new external program
- Assign a shortcut key to any menu item
- Change name/icons of existing items
- Better support for external programs
OST-Box now switches to windowed mode before launching external program.
This avoid strange interaction with the window manager (if any), which
sometime resulted in having ost-box fullscreen running in a window !
- Screen state control
ost-box can be configured to turn off screen (using
DPMS feature), when you hit the "power" key.
For this, go in the setup menu, installation settings and set "Screen power
mode" to "DPMS Control".
- Interface style reviewed
The interface definition files provide a more consistent look.
All parameters affecting the aspect of the UI are regrouped in the style.xml
file. Now, it will be possible to add skins to ost-box by modifying it's
Fixed error occuring when saving changes to a remote configuration.
Various small improvments will simplify navigation through videos and photos:
- The image viewer now has a menu available which popup when viewing an image
in fullscreen. From it, you can start/stop slideshow, jump to next/prev
image, rotate image and go back. It is accessible with the menu key.
- The zoom image functionnality has been improved so that the image
always stays as centered as possible
- The video navigator has been improved (support for
sub-directories, better display of video which are not TV record)
- The back key will now always bring you back, up to the main menu...
- Images are now rendered using a bilinear filter. This is
particularly visible in fullscreen photo and in the photo browser :
|with bilinear filter|
- Also, the image cache has been improved to save some CPU and disk IO.
And a russian translation is now avaible, thanks to Roxana Chernogolova !
Fixed compilation failure with gcc version >= 4.0.
Fixed segfault on freash installation.
Support for playing ogg vorbis files was added.
In the previous version, the configuration file was overwritten at
each start of ost-box ! So ost-box was always using the default configuration values...
version 0.2.4 : Fix major bug in previous version (download here)
In this release, the setup menu has been completed. From it, it is now
possible to set language, fonts family and size, photos/videos/MP3
collections paths and screen resolution.
However, for screen resolution you'll still need to resize manually the
background.jpg image. The next release will handle this issue.
Finally, a crash when dealing with incorrect utf8 encoding was fixed.
This release includes a new "setup" menu. For the moment, you can configure
your remote(s) here (assign key to functions, modify keyboard mappings). In
the next release, this menu will also includes other configuration aspect
of ost-box like screen size, language, directories, ... All parsing and
saving of xml configuration files is done using XML for <SCRIPT>.
version 0.2.2 is out : keyboard and remote configuration now have a menu (download here)
OST-Box can now be installed globally (make install). Most configuration files and runtime data
will go in ~/.ostbox.
Finally, an important segfault bug was fixed in the image loading code :
Random segfault in the image browser are now fixed !
Here is the detailed changelog:
- Support for make install
- Most configuration files now goes in user specific directory (~/.ostbox)
- Created menus for handling keyboard and remotes configuration
- Include XML for <SCRIPT>
for xml file parsing from js code.
- New multiLineText property for widget : this makes possible to display
corectly long explanation text (in configuration or dialog box for example).
- BUG fixed : segfault in image loader
The UI now gives a visual feedback when an action is selected. Thumbnail generation
has been improved by applying a filter on image before resizing.
OSTBox now updates only parts of the screen which have been modified. This saves
lot of CPU and makes the UI more reactive. Some important bugs have been fixed in the player.
Here is the detailed changelog:
version 0.2.1 is out : focused on performances and visual enhancement ! (download here)
The image filter will make the thumbnails look very better in most case :
- Visual feedback. When you click a button, it gets animated (if
it does not disappear). Only one animation is available for the moment.
I will add more animation latter : different effects (rotation, color filter) and different conditions (bouton selection, page popup)
- Nicer thumbnail creating : images may now be filtered before resizing. This avoids some hugly pixel
effects, most notably in the image viewer plugin
- Speed improvment in display update (redraw only modified parts of the screen)
- More conservative image loading policy : keep the UI pixmap in memory as much as possible.
- BUG fixed : sometime the player was not showing the currently playing song.
- BUG fixed : play/pause/prev/next key shortcuts of the player were not working when the player was hidden
With new filter
OST-Box now uses xinelib to access all kind of music files (mp3, ogg, wma,...). It
also comes with a fancy music collection browser and player. Menu navigation
has been improved. Event notifications with alpha-transparency have been
implemented. Some bugs were fixed.
Here is the detailed changelog:
OST-Box has a new sourceforge account. Please, report
any bugs here !
Alternatively, you use the ost-box mailing list.
- Fancy music collection browser. Show music files and display associated images.
- Xine audio plugin implemented. Music playing works.
- Preliminary support for playlist (enqueue + navigation in playlist)
- Transparent notification (for audio level only for the moment)
- Easier menu navigation. Definition of menus is much easier. This will result in more usable menus
- Added control of dpms (to keep screen on while ost-box is runnning)
- Fixed a bug with "&" in path
It contains usability improvements to the image browser :
Next version will be focused on the music player.
- Added a key shortcut to the back button
- Position in the parent directory is now remembered
- Added scrollbars in browser
- Input event layer has been improved