some notes on designing a dedicated PVR/HTPC box

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
15 answers Last reply
More about some notes designing dedicated htpc
  1. 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!
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
    >
    >
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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?
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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... ;->
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