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Official Ceton Echo Extender Info Thread - Page 224  

post #6691 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

Short answer is, no.

The Echo is a Media Center Extender, and as such it relies on a PC running Windows Media Center. That is how Microsoft designed the Extender Architecture. The Echo doesn't have any of the Media Center bells and whistles built in. Basically it opens a glorified Remote Desktop connection to the PC in order to display the Media Center User Interface, and it streams the media, but all of the "pretty" stuff in Media Center is actually rendered on the host PC, and then send via RDP to the Extender. No PC, No UI. And while I guess it could technically work without a GUI, it would basically be like one of those craptastic STBs that a lot of cable companies are handing out to people who still have analog sets, once they stopped using analog channels.

There is a great deal of speculation about how all of that could change if/when Ceton rolls out an Android based firmware for the Echo, but even when that comes out there is no guarantee that it will be able to bypass the PC and connect straight to a network tuner.

So, if I understand all this correctly, for my network, I'd have to have three boxes (the server, an HTPC and the echo) powered up just to get live TV to the echo, right? My tuner card is physically located in my server but, since the tuners are bridged out over the network to the HTPC's, one of them would have to be on in order to provide extender capability to the echo, right? That'd be ridiculous. I could sooner build a mini-itx HTPC and go back to two boxes required for TV.

So what, other than a smaller footprint, does an echo have over an Xbox exactly?
post #6692 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajkrishock View Post

So, if I understand all this correctly, for my network, I'd have to have three boxes (the server, an HTPC and the echo) powered up just to get live TV to the echo, right? My tuner card is physically located in my server but, since the tuners are bridged out over the network to the HTPC's, one of them would have to be on in order to provide extender capability to the echo, right? That'd be ridiculous. I could sooner build a mini-itx HTPC and go back to two boxes required for TV.

So what, other than a smaller footprint, does an echo have over an Xbox exactly?

I've been keeping an eye in this thread as I'm super-interested in the development of the Echo and I'm an InfiniTV4/Windows Media Center user.
To make things simpler (for ajkrishock's set-up), I'd put the tuners in one of the PCs, map your WHS box as the recording drive. Then just put extenders where you want to watch TV and your other media instead of bridging the tuners to full PCs. Or to be even more simple, if you can live without WHS, install win7 and the tuner card on the server instead, and call it an HTPC. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't see what benefit WHS has for being just a media server. If you did that you could ditch all the extra PCs (use one of the win7 licenses from an unused pc so you aren't spending extra money, unless they are OEM machines), and have a unified DVR and media set-up where all the extenders are front-ends to the big tuner box/server which dynamically allocates tuners without conflicts. That's what I do, although I put the sever/tuner box in the main viewing area so it's an HTPC while serving the tuners around the house to extenders. It works well. I have my gripes with Xboxes as extenders and this thread discusses ironing out the kinks of the Echo, but up until recently it was the only whole-home solution for copy-protected TV. I'm really pulling for the Echo and cheers to Ceton, the beta testers, and owners working to get it right.
post #6693 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajkrishock View Post

So, if I understand all this correctly, for my network, I'd have to have three boxes (the server, an HTPC and the echo) powered up just to get live TV to the echo, right? My tuner card is physically located in my server but, since the tuners are bridged out over the network to the HTPC's, one of them would have to be on in order to provide extender capability to the echo, right? That'd be ridiculous. I could sooner build a mini-itx HTPC and go back to two boxes required for TV.

So what, other than a smaller footprint, does an echo have over an Xbox exactly?

Yes, assuming no changes are made to your setup, that is correct. Extenders require a WMC PC to operate. That part is simply unavoidable. If your concern is power consumption, the Echo's should be negligible. If you don't like the idea of having multiple devices on at the same time, then you can fallow the advice suggested to you previously, or drop the idea of the Extender architecture, as it is fundamentally incompatible with your requirements.

The appeal of the Echo compared to the XBox is less power, less heat, less noise, and smaller footprint.

Eventually the Echo should also be able to support a few more media formats as well. Um, other than that, there is the forthcoming Android stuff, but what that will actually give you compared to the XBox is complete speculation at this point (don't let anyone else tell you differently, unless they work for Ceton)
post #6694 of 7721
Here's the best (and only?) information available about android on the echo at the present time.
post #6695 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajkrishock View Post

So, if I understand all this correctly, for my network, I'd have to have three boxes (the server, an HTPC and the echo) powered up just to get live TV to the echo, right? My tuner card is physically located in my server but, since the tuners are bridged out over the network to the HTPC's, one of them would have to be on in order to provide extender capability to the echo, right? That'd be ridiculous. I could sooner build a mini-itx HTPC and go back to two boxes required for TV.
As someone else also mentioned, I think a question you have to ask yourself is what WHS features you're actually using on your WHS server. If you're just using it as a file server and as a host for your InfiniTV card, then the best solution in your case is to rebuild that box with Windows 7 and use that as your only WMC box (assign all 4 tuners to it) and use Echo's or other extenders of your choice at each TV. If you do this, you only need 1 PC and whatever extenders you're currently using turned on. Windows 7 works perfectly fine as a file server.
Quote:
So what, other than a smaller footprint, does an echo have over an Xbox exactly?
The Echo is physically smaller, uses less power, and is silent (no fans). Other than that, it really doesn't have any advantages over an Xbox at this point, but that's enough advantage for some people..
post #6696 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Isn't it faster to swap to an SSD than to RAM? Things are already pretty perky.

The swap file is always to disk, Not quite sure where ram came into this but. Basically not having a swapfile forces windows to keep the swapfile contens in memory. You can also setup a ram disk which is really the right way to go about it, for a server atleast, desktops it doesn't matter so much..
post #6697 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by skybolt View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Isn't it faster to swap to an SSD than to RAM? Things are already pretty perky.

The swap file is always to disk, Not quite sure where ram came into this but. Basically not having a swapfile forces windows to keep the swapfile contens in memory. You can also setup a ram disk which is really the right way to go about it, for a server atleast, desktops it doesn't matter so much..

I already corrected my error. I'm not sure what I was thinking last night.

That said, swap/page files free up RAM by moving something in RAM to disc if it hasn't been called upon recently.
post #6698 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

... That being said, The whole "disable your page file" (it hasn't been a swap file for quite a while now) idea is more of a placebo than anything at this point. ... So in a nutshell, if you choose to disable your page file, you probably won't break anything like decades past, but you probably won't help much either.

Not really the case, if your going to use an SSD, then put more ram in the system and turn off the paging file to reduce R/W, it will extend the life of the SSD. But you may be right in that todays CPU's are so fast you don't notice the R/W as much as you once did.
post #6699 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I already corrected my error. I'm not sure what I was thinking last night.

That said, swap/page files free up RAM by moving something in RAM to disc if it hasn't been called upon recently.

Not to beat a dead horse, but that was the point of adding more ram to the system, to accomodate the added file loading. If you have an SSD, and atleast 4gb ram then turn off your swap file, your SSD will love you for it.
post #6700 of 7721
Short of re-doing my whole set up, I have no choice but to use 4GB RAM as I have Win7x86..

One day I will update this but really haven't come across anything demanding that I do.
post #6701 of 7721
Swap files are what can be considered as virtual memory. Assume you have 4GB of RAM but created a 4GB swap file, the OS will pretend it has 8GB total memory. When programs demand more memory than the 4GB physical RAM can hold, the OS will swap the least used the memory pages to the disk and the freed up memory can then be used for the new memory request. Otherwise, those programs will report out of memory error. If your environment rarely exceeds your physical memory limit, the swap files are not needed.Swapping memory to disc slow things down (and increase wear on SSD) in exchange for running more crap than your system physically can.
post #6702 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Short of re-doing my whole set up, I have no choice but to use 4GB RAM as I have Win7x86..

One day I will update this but really haven't come across anything demanding that I do.

4GB is overkill. The 32-bit OS will only use about 3GB or so max. And applications can only use 2GB or so. That is your WMC will only see 2GB of memory.
post #6703 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post

4GB is overkill. The 32-bit OS will only use about 3GB or so max. And applications can only use 2GB or so. That is your WMC will only see 2GB of memory.

Extenders are a definite reason to use more than 4GB RAM. And a x64 OS.
post #6704 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post

4GB is overkill. The 32-bit OS will only use about 3GB or so max. And applications can only use 2GB or so. That is your WMC will only see 2GB of memory.

Each WMC instance can only access 2GB. But there are going to be multiple instances of it running when using extenders.
post #6705 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Short of re-doing my whole set up, I have no choice but to use 4GB RAM as I have Win7x86..

One day I will update this but really haven't come across anything demanding that I do.

4GB is overkill. The 32-bit OS will only use about 3GB or so max. And applications can only use 2GB or so. That is your WMC will only see 2GB of memory.

Extenders are a definite reason to use more than 4GB RAM. And a x64 OS.

I didn't even think you followed this thread, assassin.

Well it will do one for sure but memory utilization is about 60 to 70 percent so it may do two but that is about it. To add more than three I think another processor core is required so that would mean a whole system rebuild for me (i3-550). Fortunately I only envision one or maybe two extenders anyhow.

I have a 120GB SSD waiting for me to set up a 64bit system. One day I'll have the time to do it and add another 4 GB of RAM.
post #6706 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by skybolt View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I already corrected my error. I'm not sure what I was thinking last night.

That said, swap/page files free up RAM by moving something in RAM to disc if it hasn't been called upon recently.

Not to beat a dead horse, but that was the point of adding more ram to the system, to accomodate the added file loading. If you have an SSD, and atleast 4gb ram then turn off your swap file, your SSD will love you for it.

I'm not convinced of this when running extenders. As indicated above memory utilization is already pretty high. I'm not sure how 4GB RAM is over kill when I'm already using 2/3 of what is available.
post #6707 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I didn't even think you followed this thread, assassin.

Well it will do one for sure but memory utilization is about 60 to 70 percent so it may do two but that is about it. To add more than three I think another processor core is required so that would mean a whole system rebuild for me (i3-550). Fortunately I only envision one or maybe two extenders anyhow.

I have a 120GB SSD waiting for me to set up a 64bit system. One day I'll have the time to do it and add another 4 GB of RAM.

I follow most threads. I read and absorb much more than I type. wink.gif

The old "rule of thumb" that an extender needs 1 CPU core and 1GB RAM is largely outdated with today's CPU architecture. Those recommendations were written in the Core2Duo days or even before. Today an i3 CPU is very capable of running the primary HTPC and 3-4 extenders.

Here's my independently reviewed proof (This system had an i3 2100 and 4GB RAM):

http://dvr.about.com/od/capturetvwithacomputer/a/Assassins-Elite-Htpc-Three-Months-In.htm
Quote:
fter my initial review, I decided that it was time to really push the Elite system to ensure that it could hold up as a daily driver for anyone looking for a pre-built HTPC solution. With that in mind, I installed two different Ceton InfiniTV tuners (A 4-tuner USB and a 6-tuner PCIe device). This gave me a total of 10 tuners to use at any time. I also went ahead and installed Total Media Theater 5 for Blu-ray playback. Other software included RecordedTV HD and Media Browser. The entire system was installed in my living room and connected to our family's Windows Home Server where archived TV shows and movies are maintained.

Over the course of several months we've used the Elite as our daily Media Center PC in our living room. It also serves content to four Xbox 360 extenders throughout our home. During this time, the Elite has been nothing but exceptional when it comes to the demands we've placed on it. The system has yet to lock up, dump running programs or have any sort of hardware issue while in use.

Recording and viewing television is the main function for our family and the Elite never hesitates when accessing all of the content we record. When you consider that this includes all of the metadata associated with the recordings, this is no small feat. Accessing and displaying this much data can pound on an HTPC and the Elite never stutters or drops the ball when it comes to pulling content.

The same can be said when accessing our archived media. With full gigabit support to the server, movies and TV shows load quickly and playback begins almost instantly. Once Total Media Theater 5 was installed, Blu-ray playback within Media Center (though not perfect) was excellent. Any issues during playback had everything to do with TMT5 and not the hardware running it.

The whole point here is that no matter what I've asked the Elite HTPC to do, it has done the task without issue. From streaming Netflix to pushing HD TV to three extenders at a time to recording up to six HD shows at once, nothing has phased the system. It doesn't even seem to blink no matter what is asked of it. (And yes, we are heavy TV and movie watchers.)
post #6708 of 7721
From that I gather that I should have no problem with two extenders. Adding a third one and assuming that all three are in use at the same time would be problematic. I highly doubt that will ever happen. It is pretty hard for a couple people to use three extenders and the HTPC all at the same time without some way to warp the time-space continuum.
post #6709 of 7721


Here's a screen shot of my resource monitor with the HTPC and the echo both playing Live TV.
post #6710 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I'm not convinced of this when running extenders. As indicated above memory utilization is already pretty high. I'm not sure how 4GB RAM is over kill when I'm already using 2/3 of what is available.

4gb is more then enough on a 64bt system to be able to turn off the swapfile thats it. In your case ~3.2gb is all that can be used. I have 7MC in a VM 2 cores assigned and 4GB ram. I can run atleast 3 xboxes without an issue. I haven't gone above that at once for anylength of time to say it works well with more. Thats all.
post #6711 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post



Here's a screen shot of my resource monitor with the HTPC and the echo both playing Live TV.

Cpu usage seems high to me. I have a Core 2 duo 3.3ghz HTPC and 1 MCX]both playing HD t.v in pic. , Ceton USB InfiniTV.
post #6712 of 7721
Not sure why it was so high at that time. Here's where it is currently:



I do have an RDP session going to my PC too. So there's the HTPC playing LiveTV, the echo playing LiveTV and an RDP session going..

How much RAM do you have, Haba?
Edited by Sammy2 - 3/24/13 at 10:20am
post #6713 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Not sure why it was so high at that time. Here's where it is currently:



I do have an RDP session going to my PC too. So there's the HTPC playing LiveTV, the echo playing LiveTV and an RDP session going..

How much RAM do you have, Haba?

Much better, you must have snapped the earlier screen shot when your system just started a temporary heavy process. I have 8 gigs with Win7 x64. I did have 4 before upgrading. I have tested 2 MCX and HTPC with 4 gigs without issue. I really doubt you will an issue with 3 MCX on your system, you can always check before the long transition to x64. I just looked at your memory usage, considering you were using an RDP for the screenshot it looks about right to me.
post #6714 of 7721
Luckily I have an extra SSD to load x64 on right now so my HTPC won't be out of service during the whole time that I set up the system as I can always put the x86 system back on line. Even then I'd need more RAM too.
post #6715 of 7721
Here's mine with 9 programs recording and 3 Echos playing live TV.
i5-650 with 6GB RAM, Win7 64.

post #6716 of 7721
Didn't the space shuttle explode right after 103% of maximum power was heard on the radio?

Is that over-clocked? What are the processor temps?
post #6717 of 7721
My echo is still in brick mode. Hopefully I can get it recovered this week. I had to run a second Ethernet connection over by the Win7 HTPC to setup the recovery process. This is really arduous. I mean, you need an Ethernet connection, an HDMI display, and a Win7 box all in the same place to set the recovery process in motion. If you don't want to separate your HTPC from the network, you need then 2 Ethernet connections or a switch at that point. And then, you need to send them your MAC from the echo for some reason and it's NOT on the outside of the echo itself or the box.

I'm waiting to hear back after having sent in my MAC.

Could this have gone easier ... yes. My Xbox360 was doing extender duty all of 2 minutes after plugging it in to the gig switch.
post #6718 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post


The appeal of the Echo compared to the XBox is less power, less heat, less noise, and smaller footprint.

My recent XBox is just as silent as the Echo. And it was cheaper. And it does more.
post #6719 of 7721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Didn't the space shuttle explode right after 103% of maximum power was heard on the radio?

Is that over-clocked? What are the processor temps?
It doesn't have any temperature monitoring so I have no idea what the processor temps are. It's not overclocked so I'm not too worried about it.
It normally runs at 3.2 GHz but increases to 3.46 GHz if needed so that's probably why the max frequency is just over 100%. Full specs here.
post #6720 of 7721
12 tuners? Do tell...
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