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VncSix: A VNC Viewer

Compatible with the Roku PhotoBridge HD

[ Download VncSix 1.2 for the Roku PhotoBridge firmware 2.0.24-2.0.35+] [ Download VncSix 0.8 for the Roku PhotoBridge firmware 2.0.16+] [What Users Are Saying]

Version 1.2 released for firmware 2.0.24-2.0.35+! Download it here...

Features

VncSix is a VNC Viewer compatible with the Roku PhotoBridge HD.

Like other VNC viewers, VncSix is capable of displaying the screen of another computer over the network, so long as that computer is running a VNC server. Servers with different aspect ratios than the PhotoBridge display are shown letterboxed or with pillars, as appropriate.

This release has a few limitations. In particular:

  • It only works on the 2.0.x beta firmware.
  • It doesn't support 32-bit color servers. On Unix, start your vncserver with "-depth 24". On windows, change the number of colors from "Millions" to "Thousands".
Since version 0.7, VncSix can connect to and show servers with a wide range of resolutions. It has been tested with resolutions from 800x600 to 1600x900.

In this release, VNC Viewer can transmit mouse movement and mouse presses. It can also transmit keystrokes using hotkeys on the remote or an on-screen keyboard brought up by the Menu button. More details can be found in the USAGE section below.

Also in this release, on-screen server selection is available. If no server is specified on the command-line (as is the case with the default VncSix.roku file), a list of servers stored using storepasswd will be displayed.

Easy Installation

(Make sure you have a VNC Server running on a PC to begin with. I recommend RealVNC.)

First, download the SetupServer.roku script (in the helper script bundle). Put it in the same place as VncSix, on a share visible to the PhotoBridge. Open it in an editor like emacs or WordPad. Change these two things:

  • Change 10.1.1.10 to the address of your VNC Server (the PC running WinVNC, for example).
  • Change password to the password of your VNC server
With these changes ready, go to the PhotoBridge GUI and rescan the share if needed. (Click the select button on the share on the left of the PhotoBridge GUI). SetupServer should appear in the Applications list. Click on it. It will say 'Please Wait' for a few seconds and then return to the GUI.

Now your server is registered with VncSix. When you launch VncSix, your server address should appear in the VncSix GUI. Hit the select button on the remote and it should connect to your server. You are now seeing your PC screen on your HDTV! Continue to the Usage instructions below.

Installation

VncSix can be launched from the PhotoBridge GUI if passwords have been stored using storepasswd. If the launch script doesn't specify a server, a list will be shown in the GUI. If the lausnch script specifies a server name, that server will be shown immediately. Also it can be launched from the command-line interface and the password entered interactively on the command-line.

To install, extract into a location of your choosing that is visible from the PhotoBridge.

Telnet in to the PhotoBridge: "telnet [your-roku-ip-here]" Log in with the username "root", no password required. Change directory using "cd" to /tmp/Volumes/[volume-name-here]/[directory-with-VncSix-here]. You can hit the tab key at any time to expand a partially-completed path, twice to show all possible expansions if there is ambiguity.

Once in the directory where VncSix is located, run it using ./VncSix {vnc-server-name}:{server-number}. Replace {vnc-server-name} with the hostname or IP address of your server. {server-number} will usually be 1 on Unix systems and will be 0 (zero) on windows systems. So if your server is a Unix machine with IP address 10.1.1.8 and you want to connect to the first running VNC server, use this:

./VncSix 10.1.1.8:1
If your server is a windows machine with IP address 10.1.1.2, use this:
./VncSix 10.1.1.2:0
If it says "permission denied" or otherwise refuses to launch, it may not be executable, which can be changed with the command chmod u+x VncSix.

If you see a password prompt (it may be buried in other messages) and your screen turns grey, type in your password and hit enter. You should then see the VNC server display appear on your television.

Password Storage

To store a password for later usage use the storepasswd program. Provide the full name of the server and the password on the command line, like so (assuming foobar is the password for the server 10.1.1.8):
./storepasswd 10.1.1.8:1 foobar
Then the next time you launch VncSix and specify 10.1.1.8:1 as the server, you will no longer be asked for a password. This allows you to set up a script to launch VncSix from the main PhotoBridge user interface. The VncSix.roku script shows an example of this. Simply change the address in the script to match that of your server. Then you will be able to click on the VncSix icon in the Roku interface to start it running.

In 1.2+ you can list all stored passwords using the "-l" option:

./storepasswd -l
In 1.2+ you can remove a specified server using the "-r" option:
./storepasswd -r 10.1.1.8:1

Usage

Move the mouse using the direction buttons on the remote, and left-click with the 'Select' button. Right-click with the Info button. Middle-click with the Rotate button.

Type using an on-screen keyboard that can be displayed and hidden using the Menu button on the remote. While displayed, use the direction buttons to pick a key, and press Select to send the key.

The Exit key terminates VncSix.

These hotkeys are available from the remote in the Web keymap, which is the default. You can switch between keymaps using the Fast-Forward (Next) button.

  • Zoom Out: Send Page Down
  • Zoom In: Send Page Up
  • Menu: Bring up an on-screen keyboard. Press again to dismiss
  • Rewind ("Previous"): Send Alt-Left Arrow (Back Button in Firefox)
  • Fast-Forward ("Next"): Switch to the next keymap
  • Play/Pause: Send Alt-F4 (Close Window in most window managers)
These hotkeys are available from the remote in the MythTV keymap:
  • Zoom Out: Send Page Down
  • Zoom In: Send Page Up
  • Direction Buttons: Send the matching arrow key
  • Select: Enter
  • Menu: Bring up an on-screen keyboard. Press again to dismiss
  • Fast-Forward ("Next"): Switch to the next keymap
  • Play/Pause: Send Esc
The keymap can be specified on the command line like so:
./VncSix -m "MythTV" 10.1.1.8:1
./VncSix -m "Web" 10.1.1.8:1

Future Features

Several changes and improvements are planned to VncSix, in expected implementation order:
  • Full remote-control setup/configuration: .roku extension and full interactive server/password specification.
  • On-screen messages for progress and errors.
  • Some form of keyboard support, hopefully, depending on keyboard support by Roku hardware.
For more details about how the changes will be implemented and how you can help implement them, visit the design page.

Design

Information on the design of VncSix can be found here.

Source Code

VncSix is licensed under the Gnu GPL. Download Sources

[ Download VncSix 1.2 for the Roku PhotoBridge firmware 2.0.24-2.0.35+] [ Download VncSix 1.1 for the Roku PhotoBridge firmware 2.0.24-2.0.35+] [ Download VncSix 0.8 for the Roku PhotoBridge firmware 2.0.16+] [ Download VncSix 0.7 for the Roku PhotoBridge firmware 2.0.7-2.0.15] [What Users Are Saying] [More PhotoBridge Software And Info]

Last modified on 9 Dec 2006 by AO

Copyright © 2016 Andrew Oliver