January 27, 2011

I had collected over 1000 albums and in the late 90s I learned about MP3 and converted my collection so I could use my computer as a very functional jukebox. I also collected a large number of DVDs and thought it would be nice to use the same computing power to allow me the ease of viewing this material without having to shuffle through discs.

Over the years I have used a number of technologies to stream my DVD and video collection anywhere in my home. Most of these applications were too slow, too difficult, did not have the features I wanted or simply did not work reliably. So with this in mind I created Bedia.

Bedia is designed to be a simple interface to a computers hard drive that is navigated using any two button mouse that has a scroll wheel. The scroll wheel is used to navigate up and down the list, the left mouse button selects items and the right mouse button returns to the previous menu. Simple enough? I thought so. The mouse does not need to lie on any surface and there is no actual mouse icon/pointer as the user is using the mouse like a simple remote control. One of the problems with current tv remote controls is that they have so many buttons and you are moving your concentration from the tv/monitor to the remote and back again. This is not an effective way to view your media. Another problem with many tv remotes is that they are line-of-sight, so if your remote is not preciesly aimed at the tv or video box you are stuck pressing the same button multiple times. Bedia seeks to resolve this by allowing the user to use inexpensive wireless mice that do not require line of sight and the options; Fast Forward, Rewind, Pause, etc, are viewed on the top of your tv/monitor. This way your are looking at your media while you are selecting what function you wish to perform. Easy right?

An Introduction to Bedia.

As you can see from the following two images, you can see that I have setup Bedia to just view a collection of folders that the user can choose from your local or network hard drive. Because each user may organize their files within your own logic I believe it would be easist to allow the user to choose their own oganizational patterns. There is no database and nothing to update, unlike so many other media systems. So the moment the user selects a menu the data within that folder is displayed. There is no need to update a database or system files. If you add new media to one or more of your folders, when you select that option within Bedia the new media will be displayed.

Menu with video playing*

Settings Page

Bedia running on a TV.

Commands available during playback:


Update: Jan 2nd, 2014. Added additional podcasts, available via the Settings menu. Update the UI to be consistant with the upcoming version of Bedia NV Fixed a few minor bugs.
System Requirements:

Download Bedia 1.6

Source Code is available at GitHub

VLC has released a new version (2.0) and unfortunately the new version has broken the existing interfaces. Version 1.0 of Bedia only works with VLC 1.1.11 or earlier. There are some known issues with this version.

Download VLC version 1.1.11

Download Bedia 1.0, VLC Version

* Kudos to MST3K.

Technologies: VB.NET, XML, Windows Media Player