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Hardware Support Discussions related to using various hardware setups with SageTV products. Anything relating to capture cards, remotes, infrared receivers/transmitters, system compatibility or other hardware related problems or suggestions should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 06-25-2009, 09:31 AM
transco transco is offline
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Question Goodbye Mac, Hello PC

In another thread, I was asking about running NextCom's R5000 mod on a Mac. Apparently there is no way to do this other that possibly running a Windows VM or Bootcamp, both of which aren't doable. My only option is apparently to setup a PC for the purpose of running the R5000 software. I would hate to use LAN bandwidth to stream from a PC to a Mac. Already I'm pushing it running two HDHomeRun's while streaming STV output. So, if I want to recover most of my losses (I'm already $600 into this project), it looks like what I need is a PC with enough HP to run the R5000 software and STV while serving media to the LAN. The 4DTV equipment is currently in my living room and can't easily be moved because of the cabling requirements. This means the PC also must be in that room; i.e. it has to run fanless or with a very quiet fan. I haven't used a Windows based PC for many years and, at this late stage of life, have no desire to build my own PC, or spend much time under the hood. I need as close to a turnkey installation as possible. Finally, there isn't much money left in the equipment budget, so need something relatively cheap. Having said all this, I'd appreciate suggestions as far as which PC to buy.
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  #2  
Old 06-25-2009, 10:28 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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check craigslist for used pcs? seriously, you don't need much hardware at all if it is going to run headless. That, or cut your losses, sell the modified box and get an HDPVR... of course, support for that on the mac is limited as well, i believe. Not sure what else to tell you.
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  #3  
Old 06-25-2009, 10:42 AM
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sandor sandor is offline
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i second craigslist. i just sold a dell tower w/ 3.2 ghz P4 for $150 - so getting hardware that will work will be cheap.

in terms of LAN capacity, i think it is time to go gigabit - 1000bT routers and switches can be had for under $50, and then there is no need to worry about running out of capacity.

what are the specs of your mini? running parallels or vmware in "unity" mode or something like that works well - the necessary apps run w/o a visible windows desk top, etc. any way you look at it, you will need to pay for windows on a PC, so look for a cheap old copy of win2000.
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Old 06-25-2009, 10:44 AM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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if buying a craigslist pc, odds are it was a pre-built computer, and will have a windows license on it. Saving that cost.
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Primary Client: HD-300 through XBoxOne in Living Room, Samsung HLT-6189S
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  #5  
Old 06-25-2009, 04:44 PM
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sandor sandor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
if buying a craigslist pc, odds are it was a pre-built computer, and will have a windows license on it. Saving that cost.
I suppose, depending on the seller. I sold mine with a blank hard drive, as i wanted to continue using the XP license i had. With as much as XP and Vista phone home, it is next to impossible to have more than one computer running the same license #.
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  #6  
Old 06-25-2009, 05:33 PM
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Fuzzy Fuzzy is offline
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True, but in most pre-builts, the actual license cert is attached to he case. technically, the holder of that cert is the owner of the license.
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  #7  
Old 06-25-2009, 06:02 PM
transco transco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandor View Post
in terms of LAN capacity, i think it is time to go gigabit - 1000bT routers and switches can be had for under $50, and then there is no need to worry about running out of capacity.
I have gigabit boxes throughout. I wired every room of the house with Cat-5 a long time ago. From what I've read, unless you are running at a bare minimum CAT-5e and preferably CAT-6, it is unlikely you are going to get full gigabit bandwidth.
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  #8  
Old 06-25-2009, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transco View Post
I have gigabit boxes throughout. I wired every room of the house with Cat-5 a long time ago. From what I've read, unless you are running at a bare minimum CAT-5e and preferably CAT-6, it is unlikely you are going to get full gigabit bandwidth.
the 1000bT spec was actually written for Cat5, so you shouldn't have any issues at all.
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  #9  
Old 06-26-2009, 03:04 AM
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mayamaniac mayamaniac is offline
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Looking at the PC requirements for the R5000, it seems any PC made within the last 8 years will do. I third the craiglist. If you set up the PC strictly for the R5000 with no one touching it, it should run flawlessly.
Quote:
PC Requirements

* Windows XP/2000/Vista*
* One USB 2.0 port or one PCI slot and a PCI USB 2.0 adapter
* 512MB RAM
* Pentium III 1.0 GHz (Dish Network), Pentium 4 1.8 GHz (DirecTV)
* 9GB / hr Free disk space
* HDTV playback software or hardware
* Optional IEEE1394 Firewire port for recording to D-VHS Tape
* DirectX 9.0 required for D-VHS and Media Player

*32-bit versions
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  #10  
Old 06-26-2009, 07:39 AM
transco transco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayamaniac View Post
Looking at the PC requirements for the R5000, it seems any PC made within the last 8 years will do. I third the craiglist. If you set up the PC strictly for the R5000 with no one touching it, it should run flawlessly.
Could you push that to 10 years? While digging through the junk in the garage I came across an old IBM X20 Thinkpad loaded with Windows 2K Pro. Out of curiosity I loaded the R5000 and STV software. Both ran OK, but I don't have my R5000 modified HDD-200 yet so couldn't do a full test. It may be that the USB ports are USB 1.0. I can't remember when USB 2.0 became the default standard. Fortunately, the docking station has a single PCI slot, so could add a USB 2.0 card.

As to Craig's list, I've been burned a couple of times so am a bit apprehensive about looking for hardware there. It's worth taking a look however. Since I want to keep running my Mac, the best way to add a PC would be to make it headless so I can avoid switching the display (HDTV). In fact, in a perfect world, I could use the Mac as a remote terminal for the PC.
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  #11  
Old 06-26-2009, 08:19 AM
transco transco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayamaniac View Post
Looking at the PC requirements for the R5000, it seems any PC made within the last 8 years will do. I third the craiglist. If you set up the PC strictly for the R5000 with no one touching it, it should run flawlessly.
I see you are running two PC's, one for DirecTV and one for Dish. Where are you running the STV server and how are you getting the streams from the DirecTV and Dish computers to it?
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