Author Topic: Selling pre-built htpc  (Read 3849 times)

in_vancouver

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Selling pre-built htpc
« on: September 07, 2007, 08:03:16 am »
What would be your opinons on selling pre built linux mce htpc's? I could be wrong, but I think there would be a market out there for it if you could build a box that worked, came pre-set up, and had some nice documentation with it like a detailed quick start guide. Also for the average person to buy into them, I think you would have to simplify the options and maybe only have a couple different versions that just work. What do you guys think? Thanks in advance for the input.

Zaerc

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Re: Selling pre-built htpc
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2007, 10:59:17 am »
What would be your opinons on selling pre built linux mce htpc's? I could be wrong, but I think there would be a market out there for it if you could build a box that worked, came pre-set up, and had some nice documentation with it like a detailed quick start guide. Also for the average person to buy into them, I think you would have to simplify the options and maybe only have a couple different versions that just work. What do you guys think? Thanks in advance for the input.


My opinion would be that somebody is already doing that: http://fiire.com/.  Well, apart from the "nice documentation with it like a detailed quick start guide" part anyway.  Having "versions that just work" sounds like a really good idea, but do we really need more then one?.


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marrandy

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Re: Selling pre-built htpc
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2007, 05:20:40 pm »

Obviously yes.  If a company can't respond to a simple request of  "how many pci slots in the fiire engine"  over a 3-week period, then yes, more competition is needed.

Zaerc

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Re: Selling pre-built htpc
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2007, 07:15:11 pm »

Obviously yes.  If a company can't respond to a simple request of  "how many pci slots in the fiire engine"  over a 3-week period, then yes, more competition is needed.
Just to point out the obvious, I was refering to the "versions that just work" remark.
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t8zm8n18n

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Re: Selling pre-built htpc
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2007, 04:11:29 pm »
I think if the price was lower than the FIIRE boxes and worked well it would be a great idea.  I do think that most all specs should be posted of the machine, though!  I really like the Fiire box(es) but they seem a bit high when you need to buy two items.  Plus, I never see a sale on any of their items and they NEVER respond to emails.  Just my .02

Zaerc

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Re: Selling pre-built htpc
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2007, 05:51:02 pm »
To be honest, I am rather disappointed with the way Fiire is dropping the ball as well. 

On a sidenote, I recently looked at the licensing of the software and some of the key components will need a seperate license from pluto if you want to bundle them with hardware.  So I guess anyone that is interested in selling pre-installed machines will have to get in touch with the plutohome people first.
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marrandy

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Re: Selling pre-built htpc
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2007, 06:22:57 pm »

Well, I finally talked to someone at fiire.

They say the fiire engine (the server, what pluto calls the core, mythtv the backend) is a M2NPV-VM

http://www.asus.com/products4.aspx?l1=3&l2=101&l3=0&model=1138&modelmenu=1

has 2 pci slots.

My query about what to do with the other cards was that i could put 2 PVR cards into the fiire station (thin-client, what pluto calls the media director, mythtv the frontend).

I was sort of surprised as I expected everything to be in the server, although it balances the load...still :-

1)   I wouldn't have thought a thin-client could handle Two PVR's encoding  signals whilst receiving a movie from the server and outputting it to a TV, all of which, could be HDTV and, of course, sending those Two PVR data streams back to the server simultaneously for storage.

2)  As that is, effectively, dual backend/frontend, I wasn't even sure linuxmce/pluto could do that although mythTV can.

I'll leave it to people with more experience and knowledge to comment on this.  I'm just reporting what I was told.

darrenmason

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Re: Selling pre-built htpc
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2007, 01:06:48 am »
Wow, I am qute surprised that they used the M2NPV-VM in their CORE. I would have thought they would have gone with something bigger (more slots).

The Media Directors (Fiire Stations) are full PCs in their own right. They are not thin clients, they just remotely mount their disk system and then boot up a full operating system as if they were stand alone. They are just made to be smaller, quieter and with greater output options because they are meant to live in your entertainment areas. Rather than in a wiring closet etc.

Like you said, MythTV supports distributed backends (in a master/slave setup) so putting extra tuner cards into a Media Director is fine. Weather it can handle everything going at once (ie; recording off both cards and also streaming content from the CORE) would depend on teh quality of the video streams firstly.
But I would expect you would be running into CPU and Memory limitations. Is it likely that this would occur though?

So, I think the setup is valid - it just remains to be seen if it can meet your requirements.

You might find more details in dedicated MythTV forums regarding the system requirements of Slave backends (with two cards).

HTH
Darren