Author Topic: Moving from DLink DSM320 Media Lounges to LinuxMCE and MD's?  (Read 2005 times)

freymann

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Moving from DLink DSM320 Media Lounges to LinuxMCE and MD's?
« on: March 01, 2008, 12:37:06 am »
I'm waiting for a few more parts to arrive (hopefully next week so I can start playing next weekend!)... to build my LinuxMCE core. Right now I have a small network of computers with smb shares. One computer in particular (ug, a Vista box) has a 500GB USB external drive with music/movies/photos.

At the moment, I have two tv systems, downstairs and upstairs (both with a bell dish for tv) that access my media using DLink DSM320 Media Lounges. I have nothing High Definition (well, the downstairs TV is an LCD HDTV), but none of my sources are HD. That is fine for us. Playback through the Media Lounges are pretty good (everything is hard wired). Mind you downstairs, even using the component video outputs from the DSM320 to the HD TV doesn't create any awe inspiring images on the LCD TV. In fact, I think it's the same resolution? (480i) as anything else.

I'm hoping that LinuxMCE will give me 720p or even 1080i/p? output to the LCD TV. My desired new core computer is only a few months old and meets all the requirements to run ubuntu just fine (2GB Ram, Intel Pentium D 925, GeForce 8400 GS video card, etc). It's running ubuntu 7.10 perfectly at the moment. The core will also have its own Hauppage 150 MCE PCI card to access the output of the Bell dish.

I intend to build a Media Director computer with a Hauppage 150 MCE PCI card for use upstairs. It'll be connected to a big 32" CRT TV via SVideo and since it also has one of our Bell Dish's at that location, I figure I can utilize the feed through the Hauppage. Correct?

I'd like to build another MD for playback only and put it in the master bedroom. And am I correct in thinking if we network boot either one of our laptops they will become a MD too?

The downstairs will be the main core and MD attached to the 26" LCD HD TV, with the capture card and dish.

While I get around to building the other MD's... can I play back video/photo/music from the LinuxMCE core on the Dlink DSM320's? They support uPnP... or do I have to hurry up and create a couple MD machines?

I "guess" I could just continue doing things the way I am. Heck, it works just fine.. but I like to tinker and experiment and LinuxMCE looks like a great fit for me!

Thanks for any comments you may have..

-me

colinjones

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Re: Moving from DLink DSM320 Media Lounges to LinuxMCE and MD's?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2008, 02:05:13 am »
Lets see...

- LMCE (at least 0710beta3 onwards) will give you 720p/1080i/1080p, but you should do lots of reading on this forum and the wiki to understand the caveats! It will be dependent on how well the hardware handles it, video card capabilities/compatibilities and the specific screen capability/compatibility.

- Your CPU/RAM/Video are all at least as much as they need to be from the sounds of it, although I note that some of the 8000 series nVidia chipsets have been fiddly to get working, esp the 8500/8600, anecdotally. Again forums and wiki for advice on drivers and settings for this, but just do a search for 8400 as well, as I am sure I have seen people talking about it working OK.

- Make sure you read and understand the networking requirements before you start (2 NICs, internal/external network, LMCE being the DHCP server, etc) - if you just accept these "requirements" you will find it much easier to get working. If you try to re-engineer the architecture you need to expect problems. There are hundreds of posts about this subject ... if you come back and post along the lines of "why does it have to be a DHCP server" or "how can I set it up with only 1 NIC", you won't be very popular! This is already covered in detail in lots of places. Hint - so it the way it is designed! Believe me, it is not a big deal and 99.99% of networks are NOT dramatically effected by the minor changes you need to make.

- Probably best to wait another few days for Beta 4 to be released as it has lots of bug fixes....

- Read and understand the differences between the DVD and CD installs - use DVD if you can because it is quicker and easier, but it will erase the entire hard drive you point it at, no matter what partitions you have set up. Use the CDs if you have compatibility issues.

- Read up on the AV Wizard and how to deal with blank screens after install, it is usually quite easy to resolve this. And display drivers...

- At this point in the beta cycle, as long as you are using MythTV, yes you can direct the TV streams to/from any Media Director. VDR will probably add this later...

- Don't expect much on the HD DVD/Bluray front at this stage. Apparently it works (sometimes), but a lot of caveats around functionality.

- You cannot use your DLinks as Media Directors. A Media Director is a LMCE PC ... period. Your DLinks are not. uPnP plays no part in this. If you really want to use them still, leave all your media on the Vista box (which you should probably do anyway) and leave the DLink app running - then you have 2 different media player systems accessing the same source media. But bear in mind that the DLinks are just Syabas systems same as about 2 dozen other boxes (eg LinkTheaters, eyehomes) and use a web site as the "server". You can use any Syabas compatible media server software, but many of them are very proprietorial about their media, with exclusive file locks and the like, so there is a good chance that you may encounter conflicts between the systems. I use Wizd... not bad but certainly not perfect..

freymann

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Re: Moving from DLink DSM320 Media Lounges to LinuxMCE and MD's?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2008, 03:23:11 am »
- LMCE (at least 0710beta3 onwards) will give you 720p/1080i/1080p, but you should do lots of reading on this forum and the wiki to understand the caveats! It will be dependent on how well the hardware handles it, video card capabilities/compatibilities and the specific screen capability/compatibility.

 Yes, I've been reading for a few weeks :-) I have the 0710beta3 on DVD here now.

- Your CPU/RAM/Video are all at least as much as they need to be from the sounds of it, although I note that some of the 8000 series nVidia chipsets have been fiddly to get working, esp the 8500/8600, anecdotally. Again forums and wiki for advice on drivers and settings for this, but just do a search for 8400 as well, as I am sure I have seen people talking about it working OK.

 So far I don't recall anything negative about the 8400 (well, maybe one thread?)... I've got it working great with ubuntu 7.10 and all desktop effects right now.

- Make sure you read and understand the networking requirements before you start (2 NICs, internal/external network, LMCE being the DHCP server, etc) - if you just accept these "requirements" you will find it much easier to get working.

 In my case, I do want to run with 1 NIC. I already have the page about "Single NIC & Existing DHCPd" printed out and I've read plenty on the subject.

 As such, I tend to side with the group that likes a single NIC. I, like many, already have a LinkSys wireless access point which connects me to my PPPoE internet connection. I have no problem disabling the DHCP server in it. I understand LinuxMCE must be the DHCP server, and I want that, as I want to use diskless Media Directors.

- Probably best to wait another few days for Beta 4 to be released as it has lots of bug fixes....

 Oh, I didn't know Beta 4 was forthcoming. That may work out great as I'm not ready to start till another 7 days anyway!

- Read and understand the differences between the DVD and CD installs - use DVD if you can because it is quicker and easier

 I am completey prepared to use the DVD install and start with a fresh system. I don't need to "save" any existing partitions. I want to do exactly what the DVD install is supposed to do (wipe and start clean).

- Read up on the AV Wizard and how to deal with blank screens after install, it is usually quite easy to resolve this. And display drivers...

 I'm hoping the 8400 will do fine, but I will have a VGA monitor connected as backup during the initial configuration, with the goal of using the LCD HD TV as the only video output when everything is installed/configured.

- Don't expect much on the HD DVD/Bluray front at this stage. Apparently it works (sometimes), but a lot of caveats around functionality.

 I don't have any HD inputs (DVD, dish, etc) so HD is not an issue here.

- You cannot use your DLinks as Media Directors. A Media Director is a LMCE PC ... period.

 Thanks for the clarification. I'm using Tversity under Vista to share my media currently. It provides media to the Dlinks and we have a web address where we get a quick 'n easy interface to all media on our notebooks and PDA. I wasn't sure if the DLink's would be able to talk to LinixMCE.

 Since I'm moving my current Ubuntu box to be the new LInucMCE core, my Vista machine is becoming my new ubuntu box (albeit in dual boot mode). However, I can configure TwonkyVision under Linux to deliver media to the DLink's while playing. I've already tested that.

 I appreciate your response. I've been researching LinuxMCE for about a month now. I've purchased a gyro mouse and hauppage pcr-150MCE pci cards with a remote and beanbag IRD that are known to work. My core is already happily running ubuntu 7.10 and should be fine for LinuxMCE.

 I do intend to sell off the DLinks and use that money towards barebones MD's. Hopefully something quiet ;-)

 I have been paying attention to what hardware "works" and have been making sure my equipment is compatible, *before* the installation, as opposed to the other way around. Hopefully I'll do well.


colinjones

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Re: Moving from DLink DSM320 Media Lounges to LinuxMCE and MD's?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2008, 04:21:52 am »
Good luck - have fun!

freymann

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Re: Moving from DLink DSM320 Media Lounges to LinuxMCE and MD's?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2008, 04:51:21 am »
Good luck - have fun!

 Well, hopefully 'luck' doesn't have much to do with it! :-)

 When LinuxMCE is running, do you know if I can run other programs in the background? It would be great to be able to run TwonkyVision, or TorrentFlux. Or is it best to leave the machine alone....

1audio

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Re: Moving from DLink DSM320 Media Lounges to LinuxMCE and MD's?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2008, 08:46:34 am »
You can download SwissCenter http://www.swisscenter.co.uk/ and a few other Linux /Syabas servers and install them in LMCE. I have done that and made the cores content available to the media player. Its definitely not as integrated as an MD and navigation is not as nice. And you can't control it from an orbiter or control anything else from it BUT they work and they do play content well. The configuration will require some time since you need to match LMCE's content system to SwissCenter's.