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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 12:31 pm 
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Human wrote:
nharris wrote:
2. Would you consider offering any other case options (like for a stripped down frontend)?

We definitely will. The LC17 case is the only option at launch time, but we'll be adding more case options over time. Do you have suggestions?

Something more VCR sized... everyone makes this kind of case. The only major drawback is low profile for the video card.

Human wrote:
nharris wrote:
3. Will you offer an analog capture option (ie-PVR150 or PVR500)? My backend will be dual OTA HD and dual DirecTV analog capture.

Because the folks at Hauppauge keep changing their chipsets on a regular basis, it's hard to guarantee that a PVR500 card sold 2 months from now will work with today's software. We are, however, considering getting some analog/digital cards from pcHDTV.

I was not aware that the pcHDTV cards had an on-board hardware MPEG2 encoder. Or is this a yet-to-be-released card? I'm interested in any alternatives you may have to the Hauppauge option. I have been considering buying a friends older 500 card for the same reason.

Human wrote:
nharris wrote:
6. Is there room for a second hard drive?

Yes, but consider the heat that this adds. If you don't want to have to add extra fans, I think it's better overall to go with a single large drive than dual drives. Dragon 2.0 has options for up to a 500GB SATA II drive, and we're keeping an eye out for a cool and quiet 750GB SATA II drive. (The Seagate we tried was very loud and hot.) Western Digital has really been the leader in quiet large drives in our experience, but they don't currently have anything above 500GB.

I guess the other way to go is NAS for my DVD collection. This is probably the better solution. I could always add another Ethernet card if I run into bandwidth problems on the backend side (which I doubt I will... even with the HDHomeRun + frontends).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:32 pm 
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Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
nharris wrote:
Something more VCR sized... everyone makes this kind of case. The only major drawback is low profile for the video card.

Also potentially a reduction in the number of usable PCI slots, poor airflow, insufficient room for large quiet CPU heatsinks, potentially no room for full-sized quiet PSUs, too.
Human wrote:
I was not aware that the pcHDTV cards had an on-board hardware MPEG2 encoder. Or is this a yet-to-be-released card? I'm interested in any alternatives you may have to the Hauppauge option. I have been considering buying a friends older 500 card for the same reason.

The pcHDTV 5500 acts as a frame grabber for NTSC and doesn't have an mpeg2 encoder. For more info: http://pchdtv.com/hd_5500_right_down.html
nharris wrote:
I guess the other way to go is NAS for my DVD collection. This is probably the better solution. I could always add another Ethernet card if I run into bandwidth problems on the backend side (which I doubt I will... even with the HDHomeRun + frontends).

Good idea. And the NAS would have wider applications than MythTV, so you could use it for backups, general storage, etc.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:01 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles
Hi Human,
I have a Silverstone SG01 Evolution that I use for a frontend-only in my bedroom. It accepts a full-size ATX PSU. Not quite "VCR Sized", but it's a good comprimise in regards to size when considering airflow. I replaced the stock fans in the case with ARCTIC COOLING Pro TC 80mm Case Fans. I coupled it with a SeaSonic S12-380 ATX12V 380W Power Supply and I am extremely pleased with the noise/airflow/overall performance. The only noise I hear is a slight whine from my stock Intel socket-775 heatsink/fan. I'll be replacing that with a Zalmann if Santa is good to me. I leave it on all the time and have no trouble sleeping. :D In fact, everytime I enter the room I have to look at it to make sure it's on!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:09 pm 
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Posts: 72
nharris wrote:
Frontend only machine, target price ~$500:
    Small case (no PCI cards)
    Core2Duo, Small hard drive or flash drive, MCE remote
    Motherboard graphics with DVI/HDMI (XvMC not required)
    SVideo output would also be nice (for flexibility)
    Multichannel and optical audio output
    Normal size (not laptop) tray/slot loading DVD-ROM drive
This looks pretty similar to the list that I made.
Quote:
1x Stereo component sized chassis
1x Core 2 Duo (low power version)
1x Motherboard (Nice with onboard NIC/audio/video with analog/digital outs) [1]
1x 512MB DDR stick
1x 1GB Compact Flash card
1x Power supply (possibly external brick)
1x IR Receiver (and/or RF)
1x DVD-ROM drive (optional. An RW drive would probably cost the same)

Even though there would be a lot of the same costs in a frontend HD system, doesn't mean that it isn't wanted. A front end should be as small and simple as possible, and there are a number of things to take advantage of. For instance, being able to do away with the hard drive and use a compact flash card instead, to reduce noise/heat/failure.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 7:06 am 
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Posts: 389
Human wrote:
nharris wrote:
Something more VCR sized... everyone makes this kind of case. The only major drawback is low profile for the video card.

Also potentially a reduction in the number of usable PCI slots, poor airflow, insufficient room for large quiet CPU heatsinks, potentially no room for full-sized quiet PSUs, too.

For a frontend, I don't think PCI slots are an issue (ideally, you would not use any). If you don't put anything inside the case, then airflow should not be a big deal. I agree with the CPU heatsink issue... I am a big believer in proper heatsinks and increasing lifespan. I don't believe the quiet PSU should be an issue... in fact with no HD, PCI cards, etc... in the box, you could go fully passive on the power supply.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 1:50 pm 
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Human, care to share some HD playback performance numbers on the 2.0 Dragon? How much better/worse is it than Dragon 1.x?

I'm wondering how much overhead I have to do other stuff. My Athlon64 test system with nVidia 6200 can only playback 1080i (88%+ CPU usage). If anything else happens, I get stuttering and such. I can't seem to find any combo of settings which will solve this.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 2:06 pm 
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Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
nharris wrote:
Human, care to share some HD playback performance numbers on the 2.0 Dragon? How much better/worse is it than Dragon 1.x?

Sure. The last full test run I did on Dragon 2.0 was in E40 with the same build of MythTV that made it into E50. All percentages are average CPU load during playback.

Dragon 2.0 + E40 baseline + 0.20-fixes + patch
==
onefield + Standard (nVidia 8776)
--
CBSNLF1080i: 27%
Crawford: 29%
--
onefield + xvmc (nVidia 8776)
--
CBSNLF1080i: 27%
Crawford: 25%
--
onefield + libmpeg2 (nVidia 8776)
--
CBSNLF1080i: 24%
Crawford: 28%

Dragon 1.1 was 88% on Crawford using Standard or XvMC, but 82% using libmpeg2. Crawford is the toughest 1080i clip I've seen, so I use it in my benchmarking. Another 1080i test clip I have uses 10% less CPU on Dragon 1.1.
nharris wrote:
I'm wondering how much overhead I have to do other stuff. My Athlon64 test system with nVidia 6200 can only playback 1080i (88%+ CPU usage). If anything else happens, I get stuttering and such. I can't seem to find any combo of settings which will solve this.

R5E50 will perform better than R5D1 did on Dragon 1.1, according to my test results. Give that a try and see if it's any better for you.

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 Post subject: frontend-only KRP system
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 2:10 pm 
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I agree that it's doable, but the trick would be to come up with a design that didn't make people think, "For 10% more money, I could make this thing into a backend, too, so why buy two separate boxes?" It's a lot more feasible for standard-definition playback than high-definition, too, since it wouldn't need the latest and greatest CPU line.

When I get back from vacation, I'll rough out a frontend-only system and see what it'd end up costing.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 2:12 pm 
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Impressive numbers for Dragon 2.0... now I just need to see how much is left over after Christmas!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2006 2:20 pm 
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Human wrote:
I agree that it's doable, but the trick would be to come up with a design that didn't make people think, "For 10% more money, I could make this thing into a backend, too, so why buy two separate boxes?" It's a lot more feasible for standard-definition playback than high-definition, too, since it wouldn't need the latest and greatest CPU line.

I would use my Dragon 2.0 backend as a frontend too. However, I have more than one TV in my house and I would like to have full/independent access to everything on the backend. My bedroom has a SD TV right now, but later I will put in a small HD TV. Prices for smaller LCDs are still coming down fast.

Human wrote:
When I get back from vacation, I'll rough out a frontend-only system and see what it'd end up costing.

Thanks! Let me know what you come up with.


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 Post subject: Update on KRP frontend
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:35 am 
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Any status to report on the KRP frontend?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:53 am 
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nharris wrote:
Any status to report on the KRP frontend?

I'm very sorry, but this has not yet been given the time it needs. I'll post again when I have an idea of the parts involved and the total system cost.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:26 am 
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Human wrote:
nharris wrote:
Any status to report on the KRP frontend?

I'm very sorry, but this has not yet been given the time it needs. I'll post again when I have an idea of the parts involved and the total system cost.

I'm still looking for the HD frontend solution. Right now I'm considering a hacked AppleTV (still unproven) or an Asus Pundit. The Pundit config (netboot) is around $300. Here is a quick parts list with pricing from Newegg.

Asus Pundit P1-AH1 $164.99
AMD ADO3600IAA5DL $59.00
Kingston KVR800D2N5/512 $32.49
ASUS DVD-E616A3 $19.99

Any feedback on this one? I would love a Dragon HD Frontend config and would be willing to pay to have it preassembled/configured/tested.

Thanks!

-Nathan


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 3:41 pm 
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nharris wrote:
I'm still looking for the HD frontend solution. Right now I'm considering a hacked AppleTV (still unproven) or an Asus Pundit. The Pundit config (netboot) is around $300. Here is a quick parts list with pricing from Newegg.

Asus Pundit P1-AH1 $164.99
AMD ADO3600IAA5DL $59.00
Kingston KVR800D2N5/512 $32.49
ASUS DVD-E616A3 $19.99

Any feedback on this one? I would love a Dragon HD Frontend config and would be willing to pay to have it preassembled/configured/tested.

We're not able to undertake this project just yet, but we can suggest some next steps for you if you want to investigate this.

Noise levels need to be determined for the CPU cooler, case fans and PSU fan. The onboard digital audio would have to be verified as bug-free, and you'd need to work out whether or not all the frontend software would fit in 512MB of space and leave enough room to run the system properly. If it won't fit, you may need to add nonvolatile storage in the form of a laptop drive or CF cards, or bump up system RAM to 1GB and try again. You may be able to drop the DVD drive if you have one on the backend, too.

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 Post subject: Can't get no LC17 :-(
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 5:47 am 
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Posts: 25
I have all the parts for a KRP compliant system except the case. Every supplier I have ordered the Silverstone LC17 from has accepted payment, processed my order, and a week later admitted they could not obtain it.

Can someone suggest a reliable supplier for this case, at close to the RRP? ($139)

Can someone suggest an alternative case from a reputable supplier?
(should be under $200, and accept ATX mobo and PSU)

Thanks.


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