Topic: video app of any kind

I think a video app that plays from or any sort of public domain video would be great. I used to watch videos on my dash for free. now i pay and there is really zero video capability. Seems like this is wasting the capability of the dash

2 (edited by drexful 2017-11-30 16:24:19)

Re: video app of any kind

The typical answer here seems to be no and it is very frustrating.. Maybe the option to move to a Raspberry Pi version of the Chumby is a better option to invest time and effort.. The main issue is flash and flash is unsupported now.

Owner of a Chumby One, Insignia 3.5, and Sony Dash C10. A tinkerer at heart and IT manager by trade.

Re: video app of any kind

The main issue with video on the chumby-branded devices is that they're simply not powerful to play anything but most trivial video.  You'd need to encode it in FLV at 320x240 at a relatively low frame rate.  Youtube *used* to host in this format back in 2006-2008 but no longer does so.

The Sony dash, on the other hand, uses a processor that it typically used in a TV set, so it does have the power to play video in a variety of formats.

The issue then is: "what video"?

The commercial video services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Vudu, etc all require formal licenses and to be paid, on top of the costs of development and certification.  They all also require that the device be made closed and tamper proof, which is by definition no longer the case with the patch that turns them into chumbys.  Youtube has closed their APIs so they're not an option any more.

That pretty much leaves public domain video - the media player on the dash can play them.  So, at that point somebody needs track down that video ( is a good source) and to write the wrapper software to play it.  Unfortunately, at the moment, despite the general openness of the devices and the availability of documentation and tools, for some reason that someone is generally always expected to be me.

Unfortunately, I'm currently completely slammed by my day job.  I'm not even at home at the moment, I'm typing this from a hotel room in NYC, where I will be off and on for the next couple of weeks. Right now, I'm just hoping I'll get some sort of breather at Xmas.

Re: video app of any kind

I understand Duane's frustration. And he is doing a good job running this service.

Would it make more sense to concentrate community efforts to optimize Raspberry PI firmware to free up some resources of Duane? This would free us of the flash limitations and waiting for Duane to come to the rescue...

Owner of a Chumby One, Insignia 3.5, and Sony Dash C10. A tinkerer at heart and IT manager by trade.

Re: video app of any kind

All that would need to be done in Flash is the UI, the video would be using the built-in player.

The irony of Flash development at this point in history is that Actionscript, the language one writes Flash movies in, is essentially Javascript, currently one of the most popular programming languages due to the popularity of Node.js.  Flash even uses the asynchronous model typical in node development, but was considered unusual during Flash's heyday.

Any reasonably competent Javascript developer could write Flash movies.

Re: video app of any kind

Thanks for the response Duane! And thank you again for resurrecting the Dash. I still use it every day!

Re: video app of any kind

I had good success using "Flash Video Player", if you have your videos as files but you'll need to reencode down for Chumby.

I kept a selection of Chumby compatible video files, I'd copy in the file I wanted to play to the fixed file location, I pointed the app to this and start the video app. I NFS mounted the server's drive and set the path in the app to this fixed file location:


To encode for Chumby I used ffmpeg to generate the flv files:

ffmpeg -i source.avi -ab 56 -ar 44100 -b 200 -r 15 -s 320x240 -f flv chumbyvid.flv

Hope this helps