Author Topic: LinuxMCE and Popcorn hour  (Read 1339 times)

Zebra3

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LinuxMCE and Popcorn hour
« on: July 23, 2008, 11:41:17 am »
I am looking in to a lot of solutions for home theater and home automation, and I have settled on LinuxMCE as the OS on the "brain" machine. I will build my own PC for this. But am having trouble with decisions regarding the client machines.

I like the fiire station solution, great features, easy setup, and hides very well (a big issue for my girlfriend). But, I don't live in the USA, which makes this solution somewhat expensive for me, because of shipping and import fees. And lets face it, you can build PC's with the same capabilities for half the price.

So, I am wondering if anyone has tried combining the Popcorn Hour A-100 and a LinuxMCE server machine? Has this worked for you?
Also, do I need to use the popcorn interface, or does someone have a way to boot MCE on one of these? Making it basically the same solution as a Fiire station?

I am also really interested in building my own thin clients, anyone who has some tips about that I would really appreciate it, I am having trouble finding ways to make them small enough.

Thanks very much

jondecker76

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Re: LinuxMCE and Popcorn hour
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2008, 05:02:39 pm »
Looking at the specs online - I would say that it would probably work using its own interface to pull from LMCE over SMB- but this defeats LMCE's purpose of a unified interface throughout the house, as well as the Popcorn Hour's inability to do the rest of the things a normal MD would be able to do.

I doubt you would want to try to network boot one, as I would guess that it has a Via graphics chip, which at this time is a poor choice for MD's.

You could easily build a very nice MD for much much less than one of these.

Techstyle

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Re: LinuxMCE and Popcorn hour
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2008, 09:02:19 pm »
If you are going to build a Core, why not build an MD?

If you live in the UK this is what I would do:

buy a motherboard (find one from the WIKI), preferably with onboard NVidia graphics, Gigabit Lan, and Sound (about £35)
RAM 512Mb min (about £7)
CPU don't need much - AMD Sempron LE-1200 2.1GHz clock speed 256Kb L2 cache 45Watt AM2. (£20)
Case - A nice one to keep the ladies happy - this is where you can spend.

My MD's are old PC's that were being thrown away, new Quiet power supplies and hidden in cupboards

(prices are from Spot On Computers, Manchester)

Zebra3

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Re: LinuxMCE and Popcorn hour
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2008, 10:54:16 am »
That's exactly what I think I will do,
I don't live in the UK, but Sweden, so I can get from the UK, for a bit more money...

Do you have any tips on Chassis, something small and discreet... I have been looking around and found a few, but I am just wondering if you have any tips.

How about power supply? Any tips on that? Silent of course...

Do you think an on board graphics card will stream Blue Ray well enough? Do I need 512 of the card, or will 256 do it?
In my PC at home, I have a sparkle graphics card, any feelings about using one of them, as I understand it's just like Nvidia, same arch and drivers, but half the price.

Any tips are appreciated.

niz23

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Re: LinuxMCE and Popcorn hour
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2008, 11:38:15 am »
Zebra3.
That's exactly what I think I will do,
I don't live in the UK, but Sweden, so I can get from the UK, for a bit more money...

Do you have any tips on Chassis, something small and discreet... I have been looking around and found a few, but I am just wondering if you have any tips.

How about power supply? Any tips on that? Silent of course...

Do you think an on board graphics card will stream Blue Ray well enough? Do I need 512 of the card, or will 256 do it?
In my PC at home, I have a sparkle graphics card, any feelings about using one of them, as I understand it's just like Nvidia, same arch and drivers, but half the price.

Any tips are appreciated.

Välkommen.
I´m from sweden too.

As for a stylish chassi I can recommend Omaura LV5. Look like a professional hifi gear.

There is also some ASUS barebones that should work well. Pretty nice looking too.
See smart-home-blog.com


Silent PSUs are hard to find and pretty expensive. At least if you choose a fanless PSU.
I´m experimenting with a professional PSU that soo far seem promising.
Another alternative is to buy a picoPSU and an external switching power supply.
For a MB with onboard nvidia 7050 and an AMD BE CPU you can choose a 120W PSU. It will be enough to make your MD work good.

As for graphics performance and manufacturer. Use Nvidia chip based cards. It´s enough with a 7000-series with 256MB of ram.
Built in or external doesn´t really matter in my opinion.


/niz23

Zebra3

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Re: LinuxMCE and Popcorn hour
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2008, 01:48:55 pm »
Tack!

I should point out, I live in Sweden, but I am Canadian, so, thanks for not writing the answer in Swedish.
I will look in to that, I like the idea of HIfi type chassis, also, glad to hear that you think internal stuff will work fine, really cuts down on the profile of the case.

As far as the power supply goes, any info about how loud it will be with a fan... The PC is have at home is really loud, but it's also a big bad @ss kicker. So I don't have experience with silent ones. Do they have fanned ones that are at least relatively quite?

Zebra3

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Re: LinuxMCE and Popcorn hour
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2008, 06:16:27 pm »
CPU don't need much - AMD Sempron LE-1200 2.1GHz clock speed 256Kb L2 cache 45Watt AM2. (£20)

Will this be OK for HD-vid playback as long as I have a decent video card, i am just wondering because i read a site that said you need 3ghz or more for HD playback.