Author Topic: Newbie with Installation from Scratch  (Read 5475 times)

Ray_N

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Newbie with Installation from Scratch
« on: January 24, 2009, 12:05:44 am »
Hello there guys and gals...
   I'm new to LinuxMCE (or any other media center solution for that matter), but I want to jump in with both feet and get myself soaked. And (side benefit) I want to show all my friends the power and flexibility of Linux. ;D By reading throughout the website, I've come up with this shopping list that I'm planning on buying to get me going. But before I actually plop down my credit card I wanted to check with you the experts to see if this makes any sense.

   This will be a Hybrid/Core system only for now...only serving my living room, to a 40" 1080p Samsung...Maaayybeee (big maybe) later extending to other rooms in the house. So that's why I'm not planning for another NIC since everything will be on my one network.

   Also, I'm seeing on the wiki page for the MOBO I picked (wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/ASUS_M3N78-EM) that this board may not have best performance out of the box for UI2 with alpha blending, so I'm thinking maybe I should wait until LinuxMCE v0810 comes out.

   Any thoughts, thumbs up or down on the shopping list, anything I should change or add, or anything else will be very much appreciated.

(I'm fairly technical, as you can see I'm planning on building this myself, and have some intermediate knowledge of Linux so feel free to talk tech. Although I would prefer if I didn't have to be running a bunch of scripts or recompiling things to get everything going).
Thank you all,
R

Item
Cost
Description
Website
Case$49.99 hec  Black 0.7mm Thickness SECC 7K09 Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Casewww.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811121027
CPU$78.00 AMD
  Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma 2.7GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W  Dual-Core black edition
www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=19-103-300&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&SelectedRating=-1&PurchaseMark=&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&Keywords=(keywords)&Page=2
Motherboard$89.99ASUS M3N78-EM  AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 8300 HDMI Micro ATX AMD www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131354
RAM$45.98 (2)
  Kingston HyperX 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104012
Hard Drive$74.99Western Digital  Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache  SATA 3.0Gb/swww.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136320
Bluray Player$109.99 LITE-ON  Black 6X Blu-ray DVD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal 6X Blu-Ray DVD  ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Model iHES106-29 - OEMwww.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106270
TV Capture Card$114.00pcHDTV PCHD-5500www.pchdtv.com/
Transceiver$55.00 USB  UIRTwww.usbuirt.com/order.htm
Orbiter$149.00Fiire Chiefwww.fiire.com/fiire-chief.php
Sound CardIn MOBORealtek  ALC1200 - 8 Channels
Graphics cardIn MOBONVIDIA GeForce 8300
Heatsink$24.99 COOLER  MASTER RR-CCH-P912-GP 92mm Sleeve CPU Coolerwww.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103041
Thermal  Compound$5.99Arctic Silver 5  Thermal Compound - OEMwww.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007
LinuxMCEFREE!!!Woooohooo!www.linuxmce.com/

  Total:  $797.92
« Last Edit: January 26, 2009, 04:38:33 am by Ray_N »

colinjones

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Re: Newbie with Installation from Scratch
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2009, 01:02:04 am »
1) You need the second NIC, add it to your list. Install it, even if you don't connect it to anything. For a newbie, this is not-negotiable!

2) Don't bother with AlphaBlending unless you don't mind annoying tearing in your video even when the menu's are not on screen. This is not a performance thing, so bigger graphics hardware will do nothing to fix this. UI2 Overlay is the best mode to pick. On that subject, in case you were wondering, an 8300 chipset is massive overkill! It will work fine with the new nVidia drivers, but don't feel you have to use something like that, you can go much smaller if you wish.

3) 2GB of RAM is oodles, you would easily get away with 1GB if you wanted.

4) Seriously, don't plan around putting your media on the core. You can, but it is far better to scale another one of your PCs or a NAS, separation is king here. My suggestion would be to use the internal core drive for storing recorded TV only.

5) Blu-Ray (and HDDVD) support in LMCE is extremely rudimentary at best - don't rely on it, not much can be done about this currently due to commercial entities screwing the life out of products like Linux via the USA's Digital Millenium Act

Generally, if your mobo, graphics chipset, audio chipset or network chipset are not specifically mentioned on the wiki or in the forums as working, the bare minimum you have to do to ensure they will work with LMCE is check that they have working drivers for Linux, either K/Ubuntu 0710 or kernel 2.6.22-14

b4rney

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Re: Newbie with Installation from Scratch
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2009, 01:24:21 am »
Got to agree with colinjones about the NIC. I tried to run linuxmce with one nic and it took months for me to realise it was a mistake.

Looks like you're getting a challenge with that motherboard too. A lot of issues in the wiki.
Whatever mainboard you get install i386 over 64 bit. It's generally more stable.

Good luck with your first steps into linuxmce. Stick with the tested good hardware and have fun.
Barney

thedaver

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Re: Newbie with Installation from Scratch
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2009, 05:14:38 am »
Whatever mainboard you get install i386 over 64 bit. It's generally more stable.

Can you cite a reference or something on that 64 vs 32 bit decision?  Would appreciate understanding the risk/reward a bit better.
THANKS!

b4rney

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Re: Newbie with Installation from Scratch
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2009, 12:13:43 pm »
Hi thedaver,
I think if you search the forums you'll find the general consensus is that 32bit has fewer issues and is more stable and that the benefits of 64bit are outweighed by this. This might change with the new version in development though.

I have two 64bit computers running 32bit linuxmce 710. It's rock solid ... so I recommend it!

colinjones

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Re: Newbie with Installation from Scratch
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2009, 12:26:32 pm »
Reality is, 64bit is not a panacea - it only offers advantages for specific types of workload. Stuff that needs a very large virtual address space for mapping mega large processes - none of that going on in LMCE, and some types of heavy duty calculation are the main ones. I seriously doubt that there is much 64 bit maths going on in your average MPEG or H264 decompression, but I suppose there could be. Either way, it would seem that the improvement in performance for a media player would be very marginal at best, and there is a material (albeit somewhat anecdotal) disadvantage in stability.

If we were running huge databases in MySQL or mega-number crunchers, then yes....

Ray_N

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Re: Newbie with Installation from Scratch
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2009, 06:03:07 am »
  Oh wow...this is excellent feedback. Thank you colin.
Now I'm kinda disappointed here. One of the main reasons for us to do this system is to watch BluRay movies. We don't really watch a whole lot of TV programming (months can go by without us even turning the TV on for cable), but we do like our Netflix.
  So...ok here we go:
- I'll get the other NIC...no argument there.
- The 8300 chipset is MOBO integrated, so selecting a different one because 8300 would be wasteful means selecting a different MOBO. I have no issue selecting a different one but would then appreciate knowing which NVIDIA would be the best to have without going overboard. The page in hardware here (wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Hardware) mentions "It is recommended to use one from a GeForce 6200 to a GeForce 8500". That's why I went with the 8300. Don't know if it matters, but obviously I prefer to be able to send 1080p whenever possible. If it's that important to go lower I could save about $20.00 right there, so that's good. So please advice what number should I go to.
- I'll drop to 1Gb RAM (saves me some money to buy the NIC)  ;)
- I'll drop the internal HD to say...160GB? (saves some more money there too)

   Now for the big question: How could I play BluRay? Should I (can I) just buy a separate stand-alone player and somehow connect it to LinuxMCE? And, still be able to keep one control over everything, so LinuxMCE controls everything? The video mentions connectivity to VHS, so I assume you could also connect a BluRay player. It'd be kinda strange to have two different drive bays there, but hey! you do what you need to do, right...
What say the gods?

Thank you,
Ray

tschak909

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Re: Newbie with Installation from Scratch
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2009, 07:19:42 am »
Currently, due to AACS protection issues, blu-ray ripping and playback is still very early in the game....

You can use other things to rip the image, and copy them over. MPlayer will then play them, but you will need the fastest dual core CPU that you can buy, as the codecs we use need lots of optimization.

You can also connect a blu-ray player and control it via say, IR, and have it be a legacy AV control. Later when we have device template for the Hauppauge HD-PVR, it could be used to digitize the component output so that it can be displayed on any media director in the house.

-Thom

Domodude

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Re: Newbie with Installation from Scratch
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2009, 12:12:31 pm »
Hi,

4) Seriously, don't plan around putting your media on the core. You can, but it is far better to scale another one of your PCs or a NAS, separation is king here. My suggestion would be to use the internal core drive for storing recorded TV only.

I was looking at putting my media on the core (using software raid 5), from an energy conserving point of view. One less computer to power -- there are plenty in the house already. Why would you suggest separation in this case?

colinjones

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Re: Newbie with Installation from Scratch
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2009, 11:42:55 pm »
Separation is a philosophy - LMCE isn't a specialist in storage, backup, redundancy, etc. It can do it, but if you can place your (valuable) media on a device that is better suited for these characteristics rather than on your (non-valuable) LMCE device, then why not?

By "non-valuable", this is taken to mean that the LMCE core device does not contain any irreplaceable data. At best it is stateful only - so a little config to get back to where you were, and even that is reducing with some of jon's work. So if your core was to fall over in a screaming heap, your first reaction would not be "oh shit I have to spend 40 mins rebuilding my core" it will be "shit f*#@! d#@$%, arrgh all the media I have been building up over the last 10 years is lost for ever!" See the difference?

On occasion you will likely need to rebuild your core, and so not having media on it vastly simplifies and speeds this process - you just stick a DVD in, hit the reset button and you are on your way. With media on there you may spend hours getting it all off first for safety, and much longer when you suddenly relise that you haven't got enough storage elsewhere to keep it!

Realistically, a simple NAS device consumes only a fraction more power than a hard drive on its own - do you really not have another PC in the house? Either way, you have more flexibility in setting up and scaling up or out your storage, redundancy and backup architecture when using NAS(s) or other equivalent, dedicated technologies. When you reach the limit inside a PC (like LMCE) it starts to become inconvenient, awkward, expensive or impossible to scale up. You can easily buy NAS's that allow you to add lots of drives, or daisy chain, or simply plonk another standalone NAS on your network as an additional share... no limits. Also, hardware independence - get a second cheap NAS, and use software to mirror between them. No amount of RAID will save you from a fire, but this potentially could (either in a NAS or an actual house fire!)
« Last Edit: January 25, 2009, 11:47:36 pm by colinjones »

Ray_N

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Re: Newbie with Installation from Scratch
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2009, 05:16:10 am »
Excellent!
   This is great...thanks guys.
Thom:  Thank you for that insight into ripping BluRay, I think that will work. Rip somewhere else and then LinuxMCE will play the BluRay .iso file.
   So here's my "final" shopping list. I added the NIC, lowered the memory and HD capacity and even changed to a nicer case with the money saved. What do you guys think? Any showstoppers? Comments are welcome...

Thanks,
Ray
Item
Cost
Description
Website
Case$58.99 hec Black 0.7mm Thickness SECC Steel 7KJ9 Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case - Retailwww.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811121068
CPU$78.00 AMD
  Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma 2.7GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W  Dual-Core black edition
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103300
Motherboard$89.99ASUS M3N78-EM  AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 8300 HDMI Micro ATX AMD www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131354
RAM$22.99 Kingston HyperX 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memorywww.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104012
Hard Drive$34.99Western Digital Caviar Blue WD800JD 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEMwww.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822135106
BluRay Player$109.99 LITE-ON  Black 6X Blu-ray DVD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal 6X Blu-Ray DVD  ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Model iHES106-29 - OEMwww.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106270
TV Capture Card$114.00pcHDTV PCHD-5500www.pchdtv.com/
2nd NIC$27.49Intel PWLA8391GT 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI PRO/1000 GT Desktop Adapter 1 x RJ45 - OEMwww.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833106121
Transceiver$55.00 USB  UIRTwww.usbuirt.com/order.htm
Orbiter$149.00Fiire Chiefwww.fiire.com/fiire-chief.php
Sound CardIn MoBoRealtek  ALC1200 - 8 Channels
Graphics cardIn MoBoNVIDIA GeForce 8300
CPU Cooler$24.99 COOLER MASTER RR-CCH-P912-GP 92mm Sleeve CPU Coolerwww.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103041
Thermal  Compound$5.99Arctic Silver 5  Thermal Compound - OEMwww.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007
LinuxMCEFREE!!!Woooohooo!www.linuxmce.com/

  Total:  $771.42

tkmedia

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Re: Newbie with Installation from Scratch
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2009, 05:20:54 am »
Take a closer look at that mother board some others have had problems with that mobo working oob with LinuxMCE 0710

chk post

http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=6838.0


Tim
« Last Edit: January 26, 2009, 05:23:27 am by tkmedia »
My Setup http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Tkmedia

For LinuxMce compatible  systems and accessories
http://lmcecompatible.com/

tkmedia

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Re: Newbie with Installation from Scratch
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2009, 05:27:27 am »
Note: due to limited quantities the Fiire Chief is presently only offered for sale along with a Fiire Engine (Fiire 12TB) or a Fiire Station (Prestige, Prestige Light, or Invisible).


You may want to look at other options for orbiters n800, cisco, 7970, WebDt366


good luck

Tim
My Setup http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Tkmedia

For LinuxMce compatible  systems and accessories
http://lmcecompatible.com/

colinjones

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Re: Newbie with Installation from Scratch
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2009, 07:15:20 am »
or perhaps a Gyration remote

Domodude

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Re: Newbie with Installation from Scratch
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2009, 09:57:41 am »
Separation is a philosophy - LMCE isn't a specialist in storage, backup, redundancy, etc. It can do it, but if you can place your (valuable) media on a device that is better suited for these characteristics rather than on your (non-valuable) LMCE device, then why not?
....
Realistically, a simple NAS device consumes only a fraction more power than a hard drive on its own - do you really not have another PC in the house?

I suppose you have a point. But a lot of the NAS devices out there take only 3, sometimes 4 drives. Do you know of any higher capacity NAS devices worth looking at?