Author Topic: 2 orbiters on one machine??  (Read 3861 times)

jondecker76

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2 orbiters on one machine??
« on: January 24, 2008, 06:49:22 pm »
My core is going into a closet between my bedroom and the living room. I was wondering if I could give it 2 video cards, and 2 Fiire dongles (extended with USB extension cords to put them about 15' apart) and have the core as a hybrid with 2 on screen orbiters (one for my bedroom and one for the living room)? If so, would it operate the same as having an MD in each of the rooms (functionally)?

The same for MD's - is it possible to serve two or more rooms in the same manner?

If not, I think it would be a great feature to add and it could save a lot of cost deploying a whole-house solution.


chrisbirkinshaw

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Re: 2 orbiters on one machine??
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2008, 07:55:26 pm »
I don't think this will be possible. What might be possible is having a dual head setup (one graphics card) with the main output feeding a projector at say 1080p, and then the second output feeding a small touchscreen at a lower resolution running the orbiter to be used for remote control only.

Anyone confirm?


jondecker76

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Re: 2 orbiters on one machine??
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2008, 10:21:46 pm »
Thats too bad - it would be a really nice feature - as a lot of power is "wasted" just serving one room. If someone has the power to server more than one room, why should they be limited? This is not just a cost savings, but an energy savings as well too

chewi

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Re: 2 orbiters on one machine??
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2008, 08:10:10 pm »
I gave it a thought...

Theoretically, you can have 2 independant linux-systems on 1 host by using XEN.
Each systems needs a graphic card. So you could (theoretically) put 2 cards in that host and forward one of those devices to the guest-os entirely.

This way it should be possible to have 2 full MDs on 1 host, using 2 physically different graphic cards.

Best of luck and report your efforts,

Andreas

jondecker76

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Re: 2 orbiters on one machine??
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2008, 12:58:50 am »
I'll have to give that a try.... (my last few parts for my core come in on Wendsday)

But it would still be nice to have this supported by LinuxMCE

chewi

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Re: 2 orbiters on one machine??
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2008, 09:04:13 am »
When I find the time, I want to setup a (headless) core under xen and give a script for it. This way, developers could easily switch between dev and stable...
By adding a graphiccard to xine, it should be possible to make it a hybrid.
My guess is, that there should not be too many changes necessary.

The point with MDs is, that they rely on net/PXE-Boot. I have not fully understood this. But using the kernel (and maybe an initrd) and just start that up with xen, should lead to that same result.

I'll keep you up-to-date...

richard.e.morton

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Re: 2 orbiters on one machine??
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2008, 04:53:16 pm »
That's an interesting idea. I desire for a two TV system, lounge and bedroom are directly over the top of eachother... I want to control the systems with Gyration a remote, P1i Phone and Netpad (N800i).

I have an SP13000 board and was going to use that as the bedroom system, but a single server running two screens is much more appealing.

I have seen and used these devices for extending Video over Cat5e (I have used it to move video from the 2nd floor of a building to the 9th floor and distribution over the entire floor. A run of 200 metres) CatX Video TX 8 and CatXQ Video RX, does sound too and low cost.

so, please let me know how you get on... I have just bought parts to build a quad core hybrid which, if you can get it to work, I may by a different graphics card to also give it a try...

How about VirtualBox (i have no experience of XEN) on one of the screens of a dial head system in full screen, with sound routed to a seperate sound card...? Virtual box doesn't support USB yet so we'd be limited to orbiter control rather than usb mouse control.

Thanks

Richard

indulis

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Re: 2 orbiters on one machine??
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2008, 04:02:21 am »
Linux can do this easily without Xen, X is based on one server with multiple graphics heads (displays)- you can have 2 or more separate users on one server, each running their own independent display. 

I did something similar for my Mythtv server, using one display adapter, using the S-Video output to drive a TV for Mythtv, while I could also use the computer monitor plugged into the adapter's VGA port as a normal monitor.  In my case I just had the one video card presenting as 2 separate displays to X, with a single logged in user (was going to change it to a completely separate one but it worked well enough that I couldn't be bothered).  Then ran a 2nd copy of a desktop GUI on the 2nd display- it was actually still accessible to my normal mouse and keyboard (in case I wanted to control mythtv from the keyboard or mouse).  I was going to completely separate it but never got around to it!

I didn't do this for sound (Mythtv owned the sound card) but that is also pretty easy if you just put in another sound card.

I think the idea of using one piece of hardware for 2 users is a REALLY great GREEN idea.  Imagine with a multicore machine that feeds 3-4 rooms.  Cheap and green! And Linux!
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 04:10:56 am by indulis »

colinjones

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Re: 2 orbiters on one machine??
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2008, 05:29:35 am »
Yes, Linux can do this - they are talking about LMCE being able to use that functionality. Currently, it cannot.

indulis

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Re: 2 orbiters on one machine??
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2008, 09:52:57 am »
Thanks Colin, I did sorta figure that that was the case, but thought if it sounded like a good idea then there might be some simpler ways to do it using native X & Linux multiuser rather than virtualisation which adds another layer of potential performance reduction (and possibly complexity), and may not support multiple sound outputs to different cards, serial and USB remotes for 2/3/4 rooms etc.

It sounds like an interesting area to investigate though!

My new hardware is arriving this week for my Linux MCE server, to replace my Mythtv server, so I will be able to start contributing more practically.

Monkgs

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Re: 2 orbiters on one machine??
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2008, 10:15:58 am »
While I know this isn't supported "out of the box", surely it can't be too hard to get this working with some tweaking. I think you'd have some HID issues if you went the multi-desktop route and wanted to use the remotes to control each orbiter separately. Instead I think the way to go about this would be to run two X-servers, that way you could isolate the input devices. For dual-video card boxes, this shouldn't be an issue. For multi-head video cards you might run into some issues.




indulis

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Re: 2 orbiters on one machine??
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2008, 01:30:24 pm »
You can definitely run 2 x-servers on 1 video card, so no need for 2 cards from an X perspective, maybe performance or overlay reasons or some other reason, but not X.