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some notes on designing a dedicated PVR/HTPC box

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Anonymous
May 12, 2004 6:10:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

Just finished building a dedicated machine for the living room. Used a
Silverstone SST-LC03-B case which looks just like a high end audio amp -
no exposed connectors or drive bays on the front panel at all, those are
hidden behind two nicely geared access panels that slowly lower. The
finish is mirror smooth and jet black, yet isn't a pain about
fingerprints. The case has plenty of well placed ventilation holes and
"high-end" audio component type feet. The only downside to the case (in
my opinion) is that you can't mount a 3.5" drive behind a bay cover
without using a Dremmel because of where they put the mounting holes,
but if you use only one hard drive, you can mount it below the bay cover
area.

For a hard drive, I used a Maxtor 250 GB with fluid-dynamic bearings.
The drive is totally silent except when seeking, and even that isn't
bad.

For the CPU I used a 2.4 GHz Celeron since it'll do the job just fine
and is really cheap these days. I replaced the stock Intel
cooler/heatsink with a Zallman CNPS7000A-AlCu which is completely silent
when in it's "slow" setting, and does a better job of cooling than the
Intel cooler even in the silent mode. It's also the only silent CPU
cooler that I could find that's under the maximum 450 gram weight limit
for CPU coolers.

The poser supply is a "silent" Zallman 300W model (ZM300A-APF ). Since
there's only one hard drive and one DVD-ROM drive, I don't need much
more. The "silent" in the name isn't just marketing hype - I have to put
my hand next to the fan to even know the thing is running.

Installed BeyondTV and moved my Hauppauge PVR-250 card over to the new
box. My wife can't figure out what the big deal is, but once she uses
it, I know she'll be as spoiled as I've become. When she sees that we
can record two shows at once (when BeyondTV 3.5 starts shipping), then I
know she'll be convinced.

Since I'm running with remote control only, no keyboards or mice allowed
in the living room, I installed a VNC server on the machine so I can
administer it remotely from a laptop or the tower machine in the spare
room.

For now I'm using the remote that came with the Hauppauge PVR-250 card,
but Snapstream just came out with their "Firefly" remote that lets you
control software DVD, Media Player, photo slide shows, etc so I'm
seriously thinking of going that route. For now, the Hauppauge remote
does everything I need.

The best part - this machine lets me wirelessly stream mpeg-2 files *and
my Divx archives* from my tower machine in the back of the house,
something my Hauppauge MediaMVP could never do well.

Anyway, I'm just posting this to give people some ideas for how to make
a silent PC, that once you put it in the living room you won't know it's
there, and it doesn't take anything exotic to make it quiet. And - it
doesn't need to look like a "PC", thinks to Silverstone cases (OK, there
are other cases out there, like Ahanix, but who want to pay close to
$300 for a case - not me!).

Oh, the motherboard for this project was the newly released Asus
P4R800-V Deluxe. I chose this board because it has *everything* for a
PVR machine except for the tuner card. It has on-board Radeon 9100
graphics, good enough to play Unreal Tournament on, and it has
*on-board* S-video and composite video out. It seemed like the perfect
HTPC motherboard. And I have to say, I like the video quality better
than what I was getting from my Nvidia 5600 based card. Asus did a great
job with this board in my opinion!

Keith
Anonymous
May 12, 2004 9:39:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

> For the CPU I used a 2.4 GHz Celeron since it'll do the job just fine
> and is really cheap these days. I replaced the stock Intel
> cooler/heatsink with a Zallman CNPS7000A-AlCu which is completely
silent
> when in it's "slow" setting, and does a better job of cooling than the
> Intel cooler even in the silent mode. It's also the only silent CPU
> cooler that I could find that's under the maximum 450 gram weight
limit
> for CPU coolers.

Sounds like a "cool" system. <g>

> Installed BeyondTV and moved my Hauppauge PVR-250 card over to the new
> box. My wife can't figure out what the big deal is, but once she uses
> it, I know she'll be as spoiled as I've become. When she sees that we
> can record two shows at once (when BeyondTV 3.5 starts shipping), then
I
> know she'll be convinced.

What's the source for your TV feed and do you already have two tuners?

> The best part - this machine lets me wirelessly stream mpeg-2 files
*and
> my Divx archives* from my tower machine in the back of the house,
> something my Hauppauge MediaMVP could never do well.

That would be the only way I'd be interested in Divx, the thought of
watching a movie on my PC screen is unbearable.

> Anyway, I'm just posting this to give people some ideas for how to
make
> a silent PC, that once you put it in the living room you won't know
it's
> there, and it doesn't take anything exotic to make it quiet. And - it
> doesn't need to look like a "PC", thinks to Silverstone cases (OK,
there
> are other cases out there, like Ahanix, but who want to pay close to
> $300 for a case - not me!).

Now for the big question, what was the final cost?

It sounds like it was a labor of love, congratulations!
Anonymous
May 12, 2004 9:39:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

Morrmar wrote:

>
>
> What's the source for your TV feed and do you already have two tuners?
>

Well, I know you have a very nice satellite system, so you won't be
impressed : it's an analog cable - "advanced basic". I'm already pissed that
Comcast charges us $54 a month to basically watch re-runs (I don't watch any
network TV except for Simpsons currently - OK, I confess to sometimes
watching American Idol...). My wife and teenager like the network shows
though so I can record all the History Channel and Simpsons I want.

A friend at work tells me that BeyondTV can control satellite boxes via an
infrared controller. I don't know anything more than that you you might want
to check their web site.

No, I only have the one tuner. BeyondTV will support multiple tuners in
their upcoming 3.5 version, so when it ships then I'll add another PVR-250
card.

Sage TV supports multiple tuners now. But I've already paid for BeyondTV and
am on the beta program, so I'll wait. It shouldn't be much longer. Even so,
the one-tuner setup is a ton of fun to use. The only thing it doesn't do
that a Tivo would (besides downloading "upgrades" without my permission,
no-thanks, Tivo) is guess what I might want to watch, but I could care less
about that. I can schedule recording from any internet browser anywhere in
the world, and that I like.


>
> That would be the only way I'd be interested in Divx, the thought of
> watching a movie on my PC screen is unbearable.

Same here, since "PC monitors" aren't big enough to be seen clearly from
across the living room. I sit in a cubicle or in a lab all day long - the
thought of sitting at my desk in the "den", turning on a PC monitor to watch
TV for relaxation isn't appealing to me in the least. I want to kick back on
the couch or recliner with nothing in my hand except the remote. No keyboard
commands just to watch TV. I freely admit to being a geek, but I watch TV
with a remote, not a keyboard. ;->


>
>
> Now for the big question, what was the final cost?

Well, ahem... I didn't figure in the cost of the hard drive or the PVR-250
for this project since I already had them. But you can get a "bare" PVR-250
card for $99 (no remote control - which you shouldn't get anyway, now that
the Firefly is shipping). Prices on hard drives are dropping like the stock
market after the dot-com crash. Last week 250 GB drives were going for $159.

So that said, the cost was almost exactly the same as a "160 hour" Tivo with
a "lifetime subscription". Keep in mind that it's silent, looks like
high-end audio gear and can be configured to do lots of things Tivo's can't,
and it seemed like a reasonable approach.




>
>
> It sounds like it was a labor of love, congratulations!

Well, it was that - and wanting to have "Tivo functionality" without being
locked in to the Tivo copy-protection or having to "hack" a Tivo to get any
added functionality (yes I know they run on Linux so it's not hard), but
this route was extremely easy. Snapstream's BeyondTV was *very* easy to
configure.

Keith
Related resources
Anonymous
May 13, 2004 9:24:49 AM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

Your post is a keeper. Thanks.

> Since I'm running with remote control only, no keyboards or mice allowed
> in the living room, I installed a VNC server on the machine so I can
> administer it remotely from a laptop or the tower machine in the spare
> room.

How do you play games on it?

> For now I'm using the remote that came with the Hauppauge PVR-250 card,
> but Snapstream just came out with their "Firefly" remote that lets you
> control software DVD, Media Player, photo slide shows, etc so I'm
> seriously thinking of going that route. For now, the Hauppauge remote
> does everything I need.

I have ordered PVR-250 with BeyondTV ... and a FireFly remote. I will
let you know how well it is.

> The best part - this machine lets me wirelessly stream mpeg-2 files *and
> my Divx archives* from my tower machine in the back of the house,
> something my Hauppauge MediaMVP could never do well.

Seem like going wireless is best with a PC instead of using a network
media player (such as Hauppauge MediaMVP). I assume this has to do
with the lack of memory buffer problem in Hauppauge MediaMVP. If I
want to use Hauppauge MediaMVP, I will have to use wired connection.
BTW, Does your Hauppauge MediaMVP in EBay now?

Jay Chan
Anonymous
May 13, 2004 2:34:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

Jay Chan wrote:

> Your post is a keeper. Thanks.
>
>

Hey, glad it helped. I spent a lot of time doing the research so I thought by
summarizing what I'd found it might help someone going through the same steps.




>
> How do you play games on it?
>

I don't. It's being used as a "media center". The thing is, I don't want a
"game machine" in the living room. There's nothing worse than having your TV
hijacked by kids playing games when you want to watch something. That's why
our X-Box is in another room and not the living room.

If I got a wireless keyboard/mouse, then I could easily play Unreal Tournament
on the box. While the Radeon 9100 isn't the fastest chip on the market, for
non "cutting edge" games it fares OK in benchmarks. But what I care about is
the quality of the picture, and I have no complaints.


> I have ordered PVR-250 with BeyondTV ... and a FireFly remote. I will
> let you know how well it is.
>

According to UPS' website, my Firefly remote should be here next Tuesday.

I think you'll love BeyondTV. My wife and her teenager went from "yawn, who
cares" to "whoa, this is cool" pretty quickly. Having instant access to the
program guide, being able to search for anything related to the movie "Troy"
and queue them for recordings in seconds (I used a PC in the other room for
that via a web browser) made it a hit, especially when they realized nobody
would have to change VCR tapes at 3 AM in order not to miss recording a show,
and at 7 Mb/sec CBR, the quality is every bit as good as "live" in my opinion.
I know others disagree and that's fine by me, I won't argue the point...either
way, it's far better than anything possible with a VCR.

>
> Seem like going wireless is best with a PC instead of using a network
> media player (such as Hauppauge MediaMVP). I assume this has to do
> with the lack of memory buffer problem in Hauppauge MediaMVP. If I
> want to use Hauppauge MediaMVP, I will have to use wired connection.
> BTW, Does your Hauppauge MediaMVP in EBay now?
>

Well... After some throughput testing by transferring some 3 GB files back and
forth between machines, it's becoming clear that wireless just isn't suitable
for this at all in a typical home setting. I see apparently random
fluctuations in throughput speed depending on where I stand or sit or if I
hold my breath just right, and that's with high gain antennas on both the
router and bridge.

I think to do this with wireless truly requires unobstructed line-of-sight :
no walls, no floors in between antennas. You may get a signal, and it may be
fine for checking email, but anytime it gets obstructed (say by someone
walking down the hall) then you can literally see it in the transfer rate.

It's far better than the MVP, but there are still small pauses periodically,
still, nothing as bad as the horrible stuttering the MVP was doing. I think
part of the MVP's problem is buggy software.

For example if you turn the unit off and force it to do a cold boot every time
you want to play a movie it can do pretty well. But pause it, or fast forward
or reverse it or skip around, and the stuttering gets really pronounced
anytime the transfer rate takes a hit. Watch a few movies then leave it on for
a few days and then try to watch another one...that can be frustrating.

At work all the wireless access points are ceiling mounted and this works fine
for the "sea of cubicles"...now I understand why they do that. I'd get killed
if I tried to mount an access point on the ceiling at home though...hey, do
smoke detectors have antennas? ;->

So I guess I have a project to figure out how to run a wire between rooms
since the machine with the DVD burner and the PVR both have gigabit NICs.

The MVP is still around, I'll play with it in the spare room where the PCs are
and use it in wired mode through a 100 MB switch and see how that works.

Keith
Anonymous
May 14, 2004 1:06:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

> I think to do this with wireless truly requires unobstructed line-of-sight :
> no walls, no floors in between antennas. You may get a signal, and it may be
> fine for checking email, but anytime it gets obstructed (say by someone
> walking down the hall) then you can literally see it in the transfer rate.

Thanks for setting my expectation straight.

> So I guess I have a project to figure out how to run a wire between rooms
> since the machine with the DVD burner and the PVR both have gigabit NICs.
>
> The MVP is still around, I'll play with it in the spare room where the PCs are
> and use it in wired mode through a 100 MB switch and see how that works.

Please and please keep me updated on this!!! I am VERY interested to
know!

I would like to see how MVP behaves when you connect it with 100MB
connection and do a lot of fast-forward, reverse...etc.

Also I would like to see what is the performance difference between
100MB connection and gigabit connection in streaming video. I suspect
that there will not be any difference (according to Tom's Hardware web
site). But I still would like to know if you indeed replace the 100MB
switch with a gigabit switch.

Thanks in advance!

Jay Chan
Anonymous
May 15, 2004 10:41:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

Jay Chan wrote:

> > I think to do this with wireless truly requires unobstructed line-of-sight :
> > no walls, no floors in between antennas. You may get a signal, and it may be
> > fine for checking email, but anytime it gets obstructed (say by someone
> > walking down the hall) then you can literally see it in the transfer rate.
>
> Thanks for setting my expectation straight.
>
> > So I guess I have a project to figure out how to run a wire between rooms
> > since the machine with the DVD burner and the PVR both have gigabit NICs.
> >
> > The MVP is still around, I'll play with it in the spare room where the PCs are
> > and use it in wired mode through a 100 MB switch and see how that works.
>
> Please and please keep me updated on this!!! I am VERY interested to
> know!
>

In the limited testing I've had time to do so far, running the MVP through a Linksys
WRT54G switch at 100 mb (wired), playback is excellent. Cold boots happen *much*
faster than over wireless too.

Right now I'm using the new beta software for the MVP which lets you do DivX
playback. It works pretty well but their software doesn't scale the image - so if
you have half frame Divx video as most people do, then it shows up as a small window
on the TV. Hopefully they'll change that soon.

Their software is just flat out broken for things like FF/RW or skipping forward or
backwards. For example I was skipping through commercials with the MVP (on a wired
network), skipped too far, and it refused to let me go back. Only a cold boot let me
get around that.

As for the MVP software's claimed ability to remember where you left off and resume
playback at that point, that only works if you don't restart the server on your PC.
If you do, then the MVP will start over from the first frame.

Unlike BeyondTV, which uses a database on the hard drive to remember where you left
off.

I honestly can't reccommend the MVP unless you only intend to watch stuff straight
through from beginning to end, never pause, never RW or FF, and only skip
occasionally. Maybe in a year the software will be mature or there'll be a 3rd party
server app for it and then it would be worth considering.

From a hardware perspective, the MVP doesn't work with some Zenith TVs, apparently
the video signal isn't spec compliant (Zenith's think they have no input). To make
the "no input" box disappear from the Zenith's OSD, I had to run the MVP through a
spare input on the VCR. It works fine with our Sony and Curtis Mathes set.

But on the plus side, also from a hardware perspective, the picture quality of the
MVP is just outstanding.

It's too mad the MVP has so many bugs and that Hauppauge rushed it to market with no
testing, because it has a lot of potential if someone would take the time to make
some minor tweaks to the design.

Needless to say the box with the PVR-250 and BeyondTV is seeing a lot of use, and
the MVP is gathering dust.



>
> I would like to see how MVP behaves when you connect it with 100MB
> connection and do a lot of fast-forward, reverse...etc.
>
> Also I would like to see what is the performance difference between
> 100MB connection and gigabit connection in streaming video. I suspect
> that there will not be any difference (according to Tom's Hardware web
> site). But I still would like to know if you indeed replace the 100MB
> switch with a gigabit switch.
>

There should be no difference if there's no other significant traffic on the
network. 100 mb is fast enough to transfer files at much greater speeds than
required for "real time" viewing, even high bit-rate mpeg2.

So far I haven't gotten the gigabit nic on the PVR box to operate i gigabit mode.
When I go to the device manager to try to force speeds, I can only go up to 100 mb
full duplex, there's no option for gigabit, and the nic always comes up in 100 mb
mode when auto-negotiating. I installed the driver that Asus supplied with the
board... I just haven't had time to mess with it all that much yet and it'll be a
moot point till I can run cat-5 to the living room.

Mostly I want gigabit speeds so I can edit the files in place (strip commercials) or
transfer them to the machine with the DVD burner quickly.

I have no plans for a gigabit switch unless the price comes down considerably. Right
now, a straight crossover between the two machines is all I would need.
Anonymous
May 15, 2004 10:52:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

Great read...Thanks alot!!!

my 2 cents

"Keith Clark" <clarkphotography@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:40A66465.1F0583C9@hotmail.com...
> Jay Chan wrote:
>
> > > I think to do this with wireless truly requires unobstructed
line-of-sight :
> > > no walls, no floors in between antennas. You may get a signal, and it
may be
> > > fine for checking email, but anytime it gets obstructed (say by
someone
> > > walking down the hall) then you can literally see it in the transfer
rate.
> >
> > Thanks for setting my expectation straight.
> >
> > > So I guess I have a project to figure out how to run a wire between
rooms
> > > since the machine with the DVD burner and the PVR both have gigabit
NICs.
> > >
> > > The MVP is still around, I'll play with it in the spare room where the
PCs are
> > > and use it in wired mode through a 100 MB switch and see how that
works.
> >
> > Please and please keep me updated on this!!! I am VERY interested to
> > know!
> >
>
> In the limited testing I've had time to do so far, running the MVP through
a Linksys
> WRT54G switch at 100 mb (wired), playback is excellent. Cold boots happen
*much*
> faster than over wireless too.
>
> Right now I'm using the new beta software for the MVP which lets you do
DivX
> playback. It works pretty well but their software doesn't scale the
image - so if
> you have half frame Divx video as most people do, then it shows up as a
small window
> on the TV. Hopefully they'll change that soon.
>
> Their software is just flat out broken for things like FF/RW or skipping
forward or
> backwards. For example I was skipping through commercials with the MVP (on
a wired
> network), skipped too far, and it refused to let me go back. Only a cold
boot let me
> get around that.
>
> As for the MVP software's claimed ability to remember where you left off
and resume
> playback at that point, that only works if you don't restart the server on
your PC.
> If you do, then the MVP will start over from the first frame.
>
> Unlike BeyondTV, which uses a database on the hard drive to remember where
you left
> off.
>
> I honestly can't reccommend the MVP unless you only intend to watch stuff
straight
> through from beginning to end, never pause, never RW or FF, and only skip
> occasionally. Maybe in a year the software will be mature or there'll be a
3rd party
> server app for it and then it would be worth considering.
>
> From a hardware perspective, the MVP doesn't work with some Zenith TVs,
apparently
> the video signal isn't spec compliant (Zenith's think they have no input).
To make
> the "no input" box disappear from the Zenith's OSD, I had to run the MVP
through a
> spare input on the VCR. It works fine with our Sony and Curtis Mathes set.
>
> But on the plus side, also from a hardware perspective, the picture
quality of the
> MVP is just outstanding.
>
> It's too mad the MVP has so many bugs and that Hauppauge rushed it to
market with no
> testing, because it has a lot of potential if someone would take the time
to make
> some minor tweaks to the design.
>
> Needless to say the box with the PVR-250 and BeyondTV is seeing a lot of
use, and
> the MVP is gathering dust.
>
>
>
> >
> > I would like to see how MVP behaves when you connect it with 100MB
> > connection and do a lot of fast-forward, reverse...etc.
> >
> > Also I would like to see what is the performance difference between
> > 100MB connection and gigabit connection in streaming video. I suspect
> > that there will not be any difference (according to Tom's Hardware web
> > site). But I still would like to know if you indeed replace the 100MB
> > switch with a gigabit switch.
> >
>
> There should be no difference if there's no other significant traffic on
the
> network. 100 mb is fast enough to transfer files at much greater speeds
than
> required for "real time" viewing, even high bit-rate mpeg2.
>
> So far I haven't gotten the gigabit nic on the PVR box to operate i
gigabit mode.
> When I go to the device manager to try to force speeds, I can only go up
to 100 mb
> full duplex, there's no option for gigabit, and the nic always comes up in
100 mb
> mode when auto-negotiating. I installed the driver that Asus supplied with
the
> board... I just haven't had time to mess with it all that much yet and
it'll be a
> moot point till I can run cat-5 to the living room.
>
> Mostly I want gigabit speeds so I can edit the files in place (strip
commercials) or
> transfer them to the machine with the DVD burner quickly.
>
> I have no plans for a gigabit switch unless the price comes down
considerably. Right
> now, a straight crossover between the two machines is all I would need.
>
>
Anonymous
May 17, 2004 5:25:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

> In the limited testing I've had time to do so far, running the MVP
> through a Linksys WRT54G switch at 100 mb (wired), playback is
> excellent. Cold boots happen *much* faster than over wireless
> too. ...
> Their software is just flat out broken for things like FF/RW or
> skipping forward or backwards. For example I was skipping through
> commercials with the MVP (on a wired network), skipped too far,
> and it refused to let me go back. Only a cold boot let me
> get around that. ...
> It's too mad the MVP has so many bugs and that Hauppauge rushed
> it to market with no testing, because it has a lot of potential
> if someone would take the time to make some minor tweaks to the
> design.

This is a deal-killer. No wonder you spent the money to add a new PC
just for viewing TV in your living room. Now I understand why.

I am glad that you have shared this test result with me. This is the
reason why I like to browse in newsgroup like this one -- there is
such a rich information available for reference and for purchasing
decision. Thanks.

I will stay away from that MVP for a while until they have worked the
bugs out. This is -- in a way -- good. Then I can take my time to
slowly and steadily run wire around my house.

> There should be no difference if there's no other significant traffic
> on the network. 100 mb is fast enough to transfer files at much
> greater speeds than required for "real time" viewing, even high
> bit-rate mpeg2.

This is very promising. I will just have to get a 100Mb switch instead
of a regular 100Mb router. Then each connection will have 100Mb
throughput instead of sharing the same 100Mb throughout, and the
performance of each connection will not be affected by other network
traffic going on (at least that is what I believe to be the difference
between a switch and a router). That should be good enough for
streaming video to multiple locations in my house (provided that the
server can support streaming out that many videos).

Good, this should save me some money because giga-bit router is still
a bit more expensive than I would like to spend (although the price
has come down greatly).

Jay Chan
Anonymous
May 17, 2004 5:55:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

Jay Chan wrote:

>
>
> This is a deal-killer. No wonder you spent the money to add a new PC
> just for viewing TV in your living room. Now I understand why.

Yeah, I was trying not to spend the money, but in the end there was just no
alternative.

Of course if I'd strung an ethernet cable to begin with, the most annoying
bugs would have been avoided (skipping, dropouts, pauses). The FF/RW
issues are minor compared to that.

>
>
> I am glad that you have shared this test result with me. This is the
> reason why I like to browse in newsgroup like this one -- there is
> such a rich information available for reference and for purchasing
> decision. Thanks.

That's what Usenet is (supposed to be) for... :->

>
>
> I will stay away from that MVP for a while until they have worked the
> bugs out. This is -- in a way -- good. Then I can take my time to
> slowly and steadily run wire around my house.

Two good decisions. :->

If you hire a contractor, let me know what you find for cost...


>
>
> > There should be no difference if there's no other significant traffic
> > on the network. 100 mb is fast enough to transfer files at much
> > greater speeds than required for "real time" viewing, even high
> > bit-rate mpeg2.
>
> This is very promising. I will just have to get a 100Mb switch instead
> of a regular 100Mb router. Then each connection will have 100Mb
> throughput instead of sharing the same 100Mb throughout, and the
> performance of each connection will not be affected by other network
> traffic going on (at least that is what I believe to be the difference
> between a switch and a router). That should be good enough for
> streaming video to multiple locations in my house (provided that the
> server can support streaming out that many videos).
>

Might as well look at gigabit switches - I saw one at Fry's for $79
yesterday. A 4-port unit should be enough. Chances are the only thing
you'll be using the gigabit connections for are video anyway...


>
> Good, this should save me some money because giga-bit router is still
> a bit more expensive than I would like to spend (although the price
> has come down greatly).
>
> Jay Chan

A little off topic, but maybe you know the answer to this one - I have two
nics in my tower/desktop PC. the 10/100 nic is connected to my router/dhcp
server. The gigabit nic is connected to the PVR box. The PVR has only the
gigabit nic. I can transfer files back and forth between the two boxes over
the gigabit nic. But the PVR box can't contact the internet in this case.
Both nics are on the same subnet. What am I forgetting to configure? I'm
stumped. It's gotta be obvious...

Keith
Anonymous
May 18, 2004 1:52:18 AM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

"Jay Chan" <jaykchan@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:c7e5acb2.0405171225.7b481c74@posting.google.com...
> This is very promising. I will just have to get a 100Mb switch instead
> of a regular 100Mb router. Then each connection will have 100Mb
> throughput instead of sharing the same 100Mb throughout, and the
> performance of each connection will not be affected by other network
> traffic going on (at least that is what I believe to be the difference
> between a switch and a router). That should be good enough for
> streaming video to multiple locations in my house (provided that the
> server can support streaming out that many videos).
>
> Good, this should save me some money because giga-bit router is still
> a bit more expensive than I would like to spend (although the price
> has come down greatly).

I wouldn't worry too much about wired 100mbps. I have 10 encoders sending
out 3Mbps MPEG-2 (half-d1) and 2 sending 1.5Mbps MPEG-2 (sif) over multicast
into a 100Mbps Dlink DES-3226 switch and it works fine. I could probably
even crank up the bitrate quite a bit without problems.

The only switch (that I've dealt with) that has refused to properly pass
even 1 multicast stream was a SMC gigabit switch ($125) from Compusa.
SMC's technical support handled the issue so poorly that I just told them
that my company would have to blacklist their entire line wrt compatibility
for video distribution applications. I didn't expect them to actually make
the $125 switch work, I just wanted the issue to get passed to engineering
so that I could get them to tell me which switch they would guarantee to
handle multicast transmission.

BTW, the DLINK is a 24 port managed switch that can be configured for
properly handling multicast traffic. It's the cheapest switch ($325) by far
that I know of that can handle multicast. I falls down on the job when used
in a multiple switch hierarchy, but if you can put your whole network on one
switch, it's a steal.
Anonymous
May 18, 2004 1:52:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

FLY135 wrote:

> "Jay Chan" <jaykchan@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:c7e5acb2.0405171225.7b481c74@posting.google.com...
> > This is very promising. I will just have to get a 100Mb switch instead
> > of a regular 100Mb router. Then each connection will have 100Mb
> > throughput instead of sharing the same 100Mb throughout, and the
> > performance of each connection will not be affected by other network
> > traffic going on (at least that is what I believe to be the difference
> > between a switch and a router). That should be good enough for
> > streaming video to multiple locations in my house (provided that the
> > server can support streaming out that many videos).
> >
> > Good, this should save me some money because giga-bit router is still
> > a bit more expensive than I would like to spend (although the price
> > has come down greatly).
>
> I wouldn't worry too much about wired 100mbps. I have 10 encoders sending
> out 3Mbps MPEG-2 (half-d1) and 2 sending 1.5Mbps MPEG-2 (sif) over multicast
> into a 100Mbps Dlink DES-3226 switch and it works fine. I could probably
> even crank up the bitrate quite a bit without problems.
>
> The only switch (that I've dealt with) that has refused to properly pass
> even 1 multicast stream was a SMC gigabit switch ($125) from Compusa.
> SMC's technical support handled the issue so poorly that I just told them
> that my company would have to blacklist their entire line wrt compatibility
> for video distribution applications. I didn't expect them to actually make
> the $125 switch work, I just wanted the issue to get passed to engineering
> so that I could get them to tell me which switch they would guarantee to
> handle multicast transmission.
>
> BTW, the DLINK is a 24 port managed switch that can be configured for
> properly handling multicast traffic. It's the cheapest switch ($325) by far
> that I know of that can handle multicast. I falls down on the job when used
> in a multiple switch hierarchy, but if you can put your whole network on one
> switch, it's a steal.

That's really impressive! Are you using Grass Valley equipment or home-brew?
Anonymous
May 18, 2004 9:40:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

> Of course if I'd strung an ethernet cable to begin with, the most annoying
> bugs would have been avoided (skipping, dropouts, pauses). The FF/RW
> issues are minor compared to that.

I assume this "minor issue" is annoying enough to you that you decide
not to live with it. Or this is minor enough that you would have lived
with it if you have not already constructed the new PC in your living
room. I am trying to understand how severe this "minor issue" is.

> If you hire a contractor, let me know what you find for cost...

I don't intend to hire a contractor because the job is so simple (I
don't intend to wire the entire house, just a couple locations).

> Might as well look at gigabit switches - I saw one at Fry's for $79
> yesterday. A 4-port unit should be enough. Chances are the only thing
> you'll be using the gigabit connections for are video anyway...

It is CHEAP! Now I cannot rule out the use of gigabit switch, and I
definitely use cat-6 cable instead of cat-5e -- just to make sure I
keep this option open.

> A little off topic, but maybe you know the answer to this one - I have two
> nics in my tower/desktop PC. the 10/100 nic is connected to my router/dhcp
> server. The gigabit nic is connected to the PVR box. The PVR has only the
> gigabit nic. I can transfer files back and forth between the two boxes over
> the gigabit nic. But the PVR box can't contact the internet in this case.
> Both nics are on the same subnet. What am I forgetting to configure? I'm
> stumped. It's gotta be obvious...

Actually, you are WAY ahead of me in home networking. My suggestion is
to post this message into one of the comp.* newsgroup. There are many
experts in that area. Hope you can get this issue resolved soon. Then
you can browse internet in multiple locations at your house.

Jay Chan
Anonymous
May 18, 2004 7:17:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

Jay Chan wrote:

>
>
> > A little off topic, but maybe you know the answer to this one - I have two
> > nics in my tower/desktop PC. the 10/100 nic is connected to my router/dhcp
> > server. The gigabit nic is connected to the PVR box. The PVR has only the
> > gigabit nic. I can transfer files back and forth between the two boxes over
> > the gigabit nic. But the PVR box can't contact the internet in this case.
> > Both nics are on the same subnet. What am I forgetting to configure? I'm
> > stumped. It's gotta be obvious...
>
> Actually, you are WAY ahead of me in home networking. My suggestion is
> to post this message into one of the comp.* newsgroup. There are many
> experts in that area. Hope you can get this issue resolved soon. Then
> you can browse internet in multiple locations at your house.
>

Someone told me to just turn on "internet connection sharing" but that refuses to
even allow me to set it.
Anonymous
May 22, 2004 2:01:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

"Keith Clark" <clarkphotography@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:40A9428D.BFA16905@hotmail.com...
>
> That's really impressive! Are you using Grass Valley equipment or
home-brew?

I work for a company that builds MPEG encoding and decoding equipment. I
write the embedded firmware and some windows application software. All of
our stuff is configurable for multicasting to allow multiple people to view
the video. Mostly used for security and traffic monitoring.
Anonymous
May 22, 2004 2:01:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

FLY135 wrote:

> "Keith Clark" <clarkphotography@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:40A9428D.BFA16905@hotmail.com...
> >
> > That's really impressive! Are you using Grass Valley equipment or
> home-brew?
>
> I work for a company that builds MPEG encoding and decoding equipment. I
> write the embedded firmware and some windows application software. All of
> our stuff is configurable for multicasting to allow multiple people to view
> the video. Mostly used for security and traffic monitoring.

Sounds like a very cool job. I work for a company doing IPMI controllers
running embedded Linux. Your firmware would be much more fun to test... ;->
!