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  #1  
Old 10-25-2004, 05:06 PM
natesneat2000 natesneat2000 is offline
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Question Client hardware: hardware decoder? specs?

There's a small chance I may buy a old laptop or desktop; what would you recommend for processor, RAM, etc. for a responsive client system?
I see the reqs are 600MHz P3, 128 RAM; are these for server or client?

What about options for a hardware decoder, preferably with DVI or component outs? Don't some graphics cards have hardware MPEG-2 acceleration? I guess this wouldn't be an option for a laptop, but for a slower desktop, could help.

I don't really want to buy MediaMVPs due to potential hi def support, having to train users to use 2 remotes, and basically lack of flexibility and upgradeibility.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2004, 06:27 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Those requirements are for playback, the server (without playback) needs very little. As for recommendations, what's your budget? I ask because you can probably build a new PC, a relatively powerfull one, for what a used PC will cost, especially a used laptop.

As far as hardware decoding, there's not much, the Xcard has component out, but if you're using compoenent I'd go with a video card (more flexible, possibly better quality). Most video cards have hardware accelleration anymore though so that will help too.

If you could give us some of your goals, equipment, budget I could probably make better recommendations.
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  #3  
Old 10-25-2004, 06:59 PM
natesneat2000 natesneat2000 is offline
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Goal is a responsive, reliable, easy-to-use system.
It's replacing a cable company DVR (sa 8000), which had its crashes, but was overall pretty easy and never too slow.
Current server and main client specs:
950 MHz K6 (Pretty sure, will check)
128 mb RAM (am looking into upgrading, definitely too low)
GeForce 2 card, svideo out (will probably be buying new for for DVI though)
80 gb hard drive

Budget for clients is ever too small We're moving about a week before Thanksgiving, and rather than setup cable or sat boxes, I'd like to just move to Sage clients. Probably around 4 TVs, including server's. I'm trying to teach my family how to work it now, but it's not always responsive, changing channels takes away, and basically could be improved. I'd like to build a new desktop, move old one to server/client, use old server as another client, but that'd come out to much $$$; too much, though, I don't know...
Anyways, budget for clients is probably 400ish, including $25 Sage client and $35 Niveus remote. Could you build a system for around $350? I suppose you could...

Also, what about HD-less clients? Could booting from CD or DVD into Windows and running STV Client work? Or even from image on server? No hard drive in clients sure would ease budget pain if go with building...
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  #4  
Old 10-25-2004, 07:50 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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Pretty good PC for about $350.
Case
RAM
Motherboard
Processor
Video Card
Total $364.50
Woops forgot the HDD, the cheapest one on newegg is ~$50. You could probably trade the Athlon XP 2200+ for the slowest Athlon XP you can get and come out about the same total.

Now a few things to consider:
Channel changing takes time, there's really no way around it.
That's a pretty lean PC, probably fine for running SageClient, but not if you want to do other stuff.
Diskless, it's possible but not really easy or cost effective (the software to do it is rather pricey).

I would seriously consider MediaMVPs, at least for the less critical TVs, as Jeff eluded to in another thread, someone has an STV in the works to give a "full" client interface on the MVP, although I haven't heard when that will be released. And there's already a mod for the MVP.

Last edited by stanger89; 10-25-2004 at 07:54 PM.
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  #5  
Old 10-26-2004, 04:21 PM
natesneat2000 natesneat2000 is offline
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Holy shnikies (sp?)! That's a better crappin grapchis card than anything in my house! The closest would be my Xbox! Wow... (for those curious, GeForce 2 in STV server, Nvidia Vanta in current "gaming" rig (Solitare blazes, baby!).)

Anyways, as that graphics card surely has mpeg-2 accelartion, is that much CPU speed really needed? I'd think with hardware-assisted decoding, you could - I run Sage Client, along with Firefox and Gaim, on my desktop (with the Vanta) with PowerDVD 4, 1.5 GHz P4, and runs pretty darn smoothly - so I'll probably move to dirt cheap Athlon XP.

As for booting from CD, what about BartPE? I'll be experimenting with this, as if I can get it to work, HD-less clents would be awesome and like $30 cheaper... each.

Thank you for your help so far, stranger!
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  #6  
Old 10-26-2004, 04:39 PM
mls mls is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natesneat2000
As for booting from CD, what about BartPE? I'll be experimenting with this, as if I can get it to work, HD-less clents would be awesome and like $30 cheaper... each.
Will be interesting to hear how you work around the SageTV Client storing/modifying its SageClient.properties and backup files.
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2004, 04:58 PM
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stanger89 stanger89 is offline
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You might want investigate PXE. Last time I saw a thread on AVS there was no free way to do it, but you never know:
http://unattended.sourceforge.net/pxe-win2k.html
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  #8  
Old 10-26-2004, 06:21 PM
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SHS SHS is offline
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You call that crapper grapchis Jee I thought I runing by far most crapper grapchis on the planet here she only has 4MB and it ATI junker hehe.
The problem with BartPE is it need lot system memory
What would make best Boot CD Client is Windows9x with Network support but there are same magor problem with this idea Video/Audio Drivers, MPEG decoder, Sun Java and DirectX.
If want try go here some info
http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=28825

Last edited by SHS; 10-26-2004 at 06:32 PM.
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  #9  
Old 10-26-2004, 06:32 PM
natesneat2000 natesneat2000 is offline
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Also, as that is an OEM processor, would any cooling be needed? I'm new at matching up mobo's and processors, so I'll be asknig for some help
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  #10  
Old 10-26-2004, 06:37 PM
natesneat2000 natesneat2000 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHS
You call that crapper grapchis Jee I thought I runing by far most crapper grapchis on the planet here she only has 4MB and it ATI junker hehe.
The problem with BartPE is it need lot system memory
What would make best Boot CD Client is Windows9x with Network support but there are same magor problem with this idea Video/Audio Drivers, MPEG decoder, Sun Java and DirectX.
If want try go here some info
http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=28825
I called nothing crappy graphics...
Quote:
That's a better crappin[g] grapchis card than anything in my house!
I said everything in my house compared to that FX 5700 was poor. I realize there are plenty of worse graphics out there, like in my server.
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