View unanswered posts    View active topics

All times are UTC - 6 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 140 posts ] 
Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 10  Next

Print view Previous topic   Next topic  
Author Message
Search for:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2005 10:16 pm 
Offline
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:29 am
Posts: 2419
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
alspain wrote:
Does the Dragon work with a HD DirecTV receiver? If so which one(s)?


It does not. Dragon was designed to get its HDTV content from broadcast stations. Future KRP systems may be able to work with an HD DirecTV receiver, but this would depend largely on whether or not the HD DirecTV box outputs QAM on a coaxial output, or maybe has a useful firewire implementation.

alspain wrote:
Is there a Dragon that works with SD DirecTV receivers?


While the spec for Dragon is fixed, there may be other KRP systems that would work with SD DirecTV receivers. I myself have a DirecTivo, and the best that the box can output is SVideo with digital sound. It'll do coaxial mixed A/V, too. Depending on when you got it, your DirecTV receiver may or may not have good-quality A/V outputs on it.

The first step would be for you to see what kinds of outputs your DirecTV boxes have, and then we can determine what capture cards would work best for you. For analog capture, a PVR-250 and an IR Blaster would probably do the trick on the backend, though the quality of analog capture - even from a clean source like a DirecTV signal - is disappointing once you've seen even standard-def digital.

_________________
KnoppMyth R5.5
MythiC Dragon v2.0
Join the KnoppMyth Frappr!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2005 10:47 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 6:37 pm
Posts: 2657
Location: Whittier, Ca
Human wrote:
:D Thanks very much for the endorsement!
Not to start a mutual admiration society, but thank you. Thanks for stepping up to the plate with KRP. I was an idea I had way back when and with your insite, it has come to fruition!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: second KRP system
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 11:00 am 
Offline
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:29 am
Posts: 2419
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
With Dragon launched, we're working on the concept for the next KRP system. The current concept being kicked around by MythiC.TV and the KnoppMyth team is a "road warrior" back-end HDTV box with automatic transcoding configured. The idea would be that the box would do what all back-ends do, but it'd be configured to serve transcoded content via https or VPN to a midrange laptop. Using https or VPN would prevent unauthorized people from getting to your content.

The primary scenario would be for someone who does a lot of traveling (for work or vacation) to be able to watch their back-end box's content on a laptop in a broadband-equipped hotel. Yes, you generally have cable at a hotel, but you also generally don't have a PVR there, and maybe you want to watch a show that was on while you were on an airplane or in a car on your way to the hotel.

It'd also be great for someone who wants HDTV and doesn't want to spend the money required to do full-quality playback on the front-end.

As with Dragon, there are two pieces: the hardware, and the software customization.

Like Dragon, the hardware that we select will be Tier1 (with minimal Tier2) and will give the user great performance for the task.

Unlike Dragon, the software customization could probably apply to any back-end. Other than an HDTV tuner card, there really doesn't seem like there would be anything special to this box's hardware. Anyone who wanted to replicate this functionality on their back-end would likely be able to take advantage of whatever tweaks and such that come out of this.

So, what do you all think? Like it? Love it? Hate it? Want one? Do you have a different idea for the next KRP? Remember, we're your store - help us make what you want :D

_________________
KnoppMyth R5.5
MythiC Dragon v2.0
Join the KnoppMyth Frappr!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2005 2:47 am 
Offline
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2005 2:36 am
Posts: 5
I'd also like to give you a thumbs up for doing this! One of the worst things about working with Linux is getting things to work.

It looks like you guys chose the 939 board, which is compatible with all of the new dual-core athlons AMD is putting out. I like the idea of dual core chips, but would one of these cause a problem if used in the Dragon reference design?

I was looking at their most affordable 3800+ dual core with the intent of overclocking it, but now I'm not sure if that would cause timing issues with the HD-3000 card.

I love building PCs as a hobby, and I'm looking forward to building a Dragon.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2005 9:22 am 
Offline
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:29 am
Posts: 2419
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
ErikZ wrote:
I'd also like to give you a thumbs up for doing this! One of the worst things about working with Linux is getting things to work.


Thanks! With MythTV in particular, you have to find a set of hardware that works in Linux, and then you have the added challenge of finding out how to configure everything properly for MythTV. A lot of people spend hundreds of hours doing all this, and we're trying to short-circuit it with KRP by having done all of it already.

ErikZ wrote:
It looks like you guys chose the 939 board, which is compatible with all of the new dual-core athlons AMD is putting out.


That's one of the reasons we chose this board, since it leads to future expandability.

ErikZ wrote:
I like the idea of dual core chips, but would one of these cause a problem if used in the Dragon reference design?


In terms of using it as a MythTV platform, I don't anticipate any problems. However, we have some scripting that auto-detects Dragon based on what it can poll about the hardware. Technically speaking, Dragon is our exact spec, and you're free to build variations on that spec, but those are not Dragon. You may not benefit maximally (or at all) from Dragon-specific scripting included with the next KnoppMyth release. At this time, we do a strict check on the CPU. Failure to match tells the script that it isn't a Dragon, and Dragon auto-configuration steps won't run.

We didn't do this to exclude people, so we made the Dragon auto-configuration scripts available to run by hand if you choose. However, keep in mind that all the testing we did to certify Dragon as a KRP system was done with the single-core processor. I don't know if the dual-core version kicks off more heat than the spec heatsink can quietly throw out of the case, for example. In Dragon, we have the CPU fan cranked down as far as it will go, and it's rock solid hardware. You may need to crank the same fan up if you're using a different CPU.

I'd like to ask that if you do build your own Dragon and include a dual-core processor, let us know how it performs and what you had to change. And a request - if you do this, please don't refer to it as a Dragon, since people may search on Dragon, read about your variant, and assume Dragon is one and the same. It's not so much a branding issue as it is just not confusing people. "I thought Dragon could teleport my cats into the attic! It says so right here!" etc.

ErikZ wrote:
I was looking at their most affordable 3800+ dual core with the intent of overclocking it, but now I'm not sure if that would cause timing issues with the HD-3000 card.


For MythTV, the spec hardware for Dragon is more than enough power, though CPU-dependent processes such as transcoding, commercial flagging, etc. would be faster with a faster processor. So if you jumped to a dual-core 3800+ Athlon 64, I don't think overclocking would be necessary, and it would probably produce enough heat that you would need to make your box noisy. The Dragon is whisper-quiet as spec'ed.

Also, consider that all our performance testing was done on a 32-bit Linux distro (KnoppMyth R5A16). Eventually (not saying when, since I don't know) there will be sufficient demand for a 64-bit version of KnoppMyth that upgrading to it will squeeze a lot more performance out of the spec processor. Please don't ask cesman about when this would happen - it's not even on his todo list at this point.

ErikZ wrote:
I love building PCs as a hobby, and I'm looking forward to building a Dragon.


Great! We made the spec open so you could do just that :)

_________________
KnoppMyth R5.5
MythiC Dragon v2.0
Join the KnoppMyth Frappr!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2005 4:07 pm 
Human,

You know what I'd like to buy? (this is probably straight from fantasy land but hey, it don't hurt to ask) I'd like to buy an absolutely silent (ie, 0 dBA and NO fans and NO harddisks) front end KnoppMyth system. The smaller the form factor the better but also capable of replaying HDTV content. It should be completely compatible with my KnoppMyth frontend/backend server running in the basement. Oh yeah, capable of playing DVDs locally as well.

In short, something like an Hauppauge MVP but running KnoppMyth in a frontend only mode and capable of HDTV playback and playing DVDs.

Hey, I said it was fantastic but that doesn't mean I don't want one.

Thanks

Andrew Lynch


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2005 7:52 pm 
Offline
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:29 am
Posts: 2419
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
lynchaj wrote:
I'd like to buy an absolutely silent (ie, 0 dBA and NO fans and NO harddisks) front end KnoppMyth system. The smaller the form factor the better but also capable of replaying HDTV content. It should be completely compatible with my KnoppMyth frontend/backend server running in the basement. Oh yeah, capable of playing DVDs locally as well.

I think we all want such a system :) In fact, it's easy to imagine a system as you describe being an in-dash PC.

It's not as far out there as you might think. Dragon comes very close to your spec, with the exceptions that it's roughly receiver-sized, as opposed to small form factor, and it does generate more than 0dB.

What you want is probably 1-2 chip generations away, since right now, most fanless heatsinks just give the job of moving air to something else. We use a fanless heatsink on the northbridge chipset in Dragon, and we can only get away with that because the PSU fan plus the CPU fan move enough air to keep it cool. We'd either need a low-heat northbridge chipset or an expensive customized passive heatsink built into the case to do that without any fans at all. When you buy a customized 0dB case and PSU today, you're channeling all the heat toward the radiator(s) they stick on the outside of the case, and the designers gamble that you'll have enough airflow of the right temperature to keep dissipating the heat. (That and they usually use low-performance chips.)

For what it's worth, there are only two fans in Dragon - a 16.2dB 120mm PSU fan, and a 20dB 90mm CPU fan. We don't have the equipment to tell you how loud the system as a whole is from a typical distance, but it's certainly the quietest post-1994 computer I've ever owned. I'm actually a bit of an audiophile and have very sensitive hearing. If Dragon doesn't make me long for a totally noisless box, chances are most people would be very happy with it. The only time I notice it's on is when I'm ripping CDs, and that doesn't take very long :)

If this seems sales-pitchy, remember the Dragon spec is open, so you can build your own if you want to :)

_________________
KnoppMyth R5.5
MythiC Dragon v2.0
Join the KnoppMyth Frappr!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 5:31 pm 
Offline
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2005 2:36 am
Posts: 5
I've got a question about the motherboard, it seems...unusually pricey. What's so special about this board that you guys decided to use it for the Dragon?

Oh, and I understand that the dragon is meant to be a stand alone unit, but I'll be plugging it into my network, and having it use the NAS for all video file storage. Is that going to be a problem?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 6:02 pm 
Offline
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:29 am
Posts: 2419
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
ErikZ wrote:
I've got a question about the motherboard, it seems...unusually pricey. What's so special about this board that you guys decided to use it for the Dragon?


We tested out several motherboards that met our requirements, in order of ascending price. Unforunately, only the MSI was long-term stable. We kept getting cascade failures of the northbridge chipset on the Foxconn, Gigabyte, and Biostar boards we tried. They failed the same way (and we even tried two of the same model Gigabyte boards to be sure it wasn't a bad board), ultimately leading to failures of the network connection and corruption of the HDD.

I should note that the boards would start working again, but only if they were unplugged for several minutes. If not, they'd fail again right away at the next boot, no matter how long they'd been allowed to cool. (I think I may have even had to restore the BIOS defaults, too, but it's been a while since I was testing them.) So while the boards weren't dying, they were failing regularly (about 1/week in our tests).

Significantly, the MSI never failed, even though it uses the same northbridge chipset.

We got nVidia support involved, and while we appreciated the fact that they assigned us a Linux support person, he was unable to resolve the problems on the Gigabyte and Biostar boards.

This is what we mean when we say there's guesswork involved in designing your own MythTV system. The major chipsets on that MSI board are the same as those other ones, but only the MSI worked well.

We were happy with the MSI board, since it leaves lots of room for later expansion, such as upgrades to dual-core CPUs, and the use of PCI-Express add-on cards. At this time, the only suboptimal thing about it really a problem with ALSA; the nForce4 digital audio support has regressed, but that's why we added in the Chaintech audio card.

ErikZ wrote:
Oh, and I understand that the dragon is meant to be a stand alone unit, but I'll be plugging it into my network, and having it use the NAS for all video file storage. Is that going to be a problem?


I don't anticipate you having trouble storing your videos on a NAS box. Since the Dragon has gigabit ethernet, it should be rather fast for you :)

The only caveat is that you won't fully benefit from the KRP-related automation that's going into KnoppMyth. We're working on a release now that will auto-install and auto-configure things on Dragon, and it first tests to see if the system is a Dragon, per the spec. If you don't use the exact hardware in Dragon, you're still free to run the relevant tweaker scripts by hand, but it's unlikely that they will be run for you. Likewise, if you have a spec Dragon and have configured it to store all files on a NAS box, the automation will not know this, and after a KRP-aware KnoppMyth installation, you may need to hand-edit some things.

Having mentioned those caveats, let me offer to do what I can to help you avoid those situations. We want people to be able to do whatever they want with their Dragon, but we also want to be able to support non-technical people and give them the benefit of a very easy installation. I'm sure you can understand the opposing goals :) So if you buy or build a Dragon and aren't benefitting as much as you could be from the automation we put into the installer, just let me know, and I'll work on making your configuration more compatible with the automation.

_________________
KnoppMyth R5.5
MythiC Dragon v2.0
Join the KnoppMyth Frappr!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:35 pm 
Offline
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2005 2:36 am
Posts: 5
Wow, I'm amazed that the other motherboards were so troublesome.

And thanks for the huge reply. :-)

I was thinking about what you guys said the other day, to not use "Dragon" if I don't follow the specs exactly. You might want to call divergent boxes "Chimera". Part dragon and part something else. :-)

Just an idea,
Erik Z


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:40 pm 
Offline
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2003 10:38 am
Posts: 4978
Location: Nashville, TN
Human just a question I know there are plans for frontend and backend machines, but do you have any plans for a lower cost machine like the dragon. I know the low noise is nice, but it does jump the price considerably.

_________________
Have a question search the forum and have a look at the KnoppMythWiki.

Xsecrets


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:53 pm 
Offline
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:29 am
Posts: 2419
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
ErikZ wrote:
Wow, I'm amazed that the other motherboards were so troublesome.


And unintuitively so - you can't just go based on chipsets. A "compatible" chipset in a bad board isn't really compatible.

ErikZ wrote:
And thanks for the huge reply. :-)


Of course!

ErikZ wrote:
I was thinking about what you guys said the other day, to not use "Dragon" if I don't follow the specs exactly. You might want to call divergent boxes "Chimera". Part dragon and part something else. :-)

Just an idea,
Erik Z


Chimera is, in fact, such a cool name that we had already planned to use it for another system :) Some names we rejected: Slime Mold, Giant Frog, and Gelatinous Cube.

The only thing we worry about with ambiguous naming is that people may get confused about what Dragon does. You could call your variant DragonErik if you liked, and that'd be cool by us.

It's just that people who buy or build their own spec Dragons may want to do some searching and find out what other people with spec Dragons have done with theirs, and if half the hits are people using Dragon variants, it will get mighty confusing and may even mislead people prior to building or buying a Dragon.

_________________
KnoppMyth R5.5
MythiC Dragon v2.0
Join the KnoppMyth Frappr!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:23 pm 
Offline
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:29 am
Posts: 2419
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
Xsecrets wrote:
Human just a question I know there are plans for frontend and backend machines, but do you have any plans for a lower cost machine like the dragon. I know the low noise is nice, but it does jump the price considerably.


The short answer is no :(

As a longer answer, the next planned KRP system (a back-end) could spend its life in a closet, as long as it has access to an antenna and/or digital cable connection, and it would have few noise level requirements. I'm very hesitant to put together any front-end system that isn't very quiet.

So while any front-end (or combination front-end and back-end system) design needs to take noise level into account, back-end systems don't have to be held to the same standards.

The silver lining is that as time goes on, more low-heat chips are coming out, which means it'll get cheaper to build a quiet system.

_________________
KnoppMyth R5.5
MythiC Dragon v2.0
Join the KnoppMyth Frappr!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 4:45 am 
Offline
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2005 2:36 am
Posts: 5
Heh, hi, it's me again.

It seems that the price for the MSI motherboard has gone down quite a bit since I posted last. I was looking at the reviews on Newegg and it seems that some people had a lot of problems with it.

So I was wondering how you guys tested the board, so when I got everything built, I could test it to make sure I didn't get a faulty board. Do you guys have something specific for burn-in testing or did you just run the box 24/7 and wait for errors?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 10:29 am 
Offline
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:29 am
Posts: 2419
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
Hi, Erik!

ErikZ wrote:
It seems that the price for the MSI motherboard has gone down quite a bit since I posted last.


The best retail price we found at launch was $127, and now it's $123.69. Are you sure you aren't looking at the prices of refurbished boards?

ErikZ wrote:
I was looking at the reviews on Newegg and it seems that some people had a lot of problems with it.


Keep in mind that the overall rating for this board is 4/5 with 110 reviews. Any bad experiences would have to fall into the categories of bad boards, Windows problems, operator trouble, or people doing things with the boards that we don't do in Dragon. The frequency of these events is not clear from the few bad ratings. We have had nothing but great experiences with this particular board.

ErikZ wrote:
So I was wondering how you guys tested the board, so when I got everything built, I could test it to make sure I didn't get a faulty board. Do you guys have something specific for burn-in testing or did you just run the box 24/7 and wait for errors?


As a raw hardware test, we run memtest86 and prime95 for extended periods of time, to test RAM and the overall stability and heat characteristics of the system.

_________________
KnoppMyth R5.5
MythiC Dragon v2.0
Join the KnoppMyth Frappr!


Top
 Profile  
 

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 140 posts ] 
Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 10  Next



All times are UTC - 6 hours




Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group

Theme Created By ceyhansuyu