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Hi guys,


First post here. I have a problem that I'm trying to find the solution for. If this is something that I can find in the search function please let me know what to look for because I couldn't find anything.


Dilema. I work for a cosmetic surgical office and currently we have for operating rooms with 15 inch LCD Tv's hooked up to our local cable service and a DVD player for each wired up in a back room. The patients can watch TV or DVD at their leisure provided one of the technicians loads the DVD for them.


The problem with the DVD issue is that we only have one copy of each movie (about 300) so if two patients want to watch the same movie then one is out of luck.


Goals:


1.) Replace 15 inch LCD TV's (with built in tv tuners) with larger units (at least 24 inches but not quite as big as 32) that can double as computer monitors. Good resolution is needed for both TV/Movie watching and computer use (browsing the web, email etc.).


Our current screens are attached to swing arms that extend roughly 20 to 25 inches from the wall. I'd like to have this ability so if you know of a good wall extention arm for a larger screen that would be great.


2.) Consolidate all our movies into a large capacity server that will feed out our backup copies to one or multiple screens simultaneously.


3.) I know I'll need a small PC to run each monitor and feed cable TV with built in tuners unless the screen has a tuner built in like our current setup but I'll still need a box to allow the patient to have internet access.


Has anyone done something like this? I'm sure it's been done but I guess my biggest issue is the one of the DVD backups on hard drive. Can the same movie file be served out to a maximum of four screens?


Thank you for any and all input and advice.


Joe
 

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I'd call Dell, since this is a business.


They can give you a good deal on their 24" widescreen LCDs.


Also, buy the cheapest P4 PC that Dell sells, one for each LCD.


Buy a MyHD MDP-130 for each of the PCs. The MyHD will allow OTA-HD viewing, OTA-NTSC viewing, analog cable channels, and unencrypted digital cable channels. Also, it'll upconvert DVDs. (You'll need software like AnyDVD for DVD playback with the MyHD, it's relatively cheap though).


Buy a server from Dell, it doesn't need to be top of the line, probably the cheapest they offer will work. For 300 DVDs, you'll need about 2TB of storage.


Finally, get a good switch (number of ports dependent upon how many PCs you'll be connecting).


The reason I say to go with Dell is because they will work out a deal for businesses. Also, you'll want their warranty/tech support.


For the MyHD MDP-130, I suggest digitalconnection.com. Very reputable on this site.


Sorry, don't know anything about the LCD mounts.


NOTE: Do not get a P4 with hyper-threading. A 2.4Ghz P4 will do fine.
 

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Honestly, I think that you are crazy to do this for a business. If the movie is being used than say sorry, it is in use. You are asking for a TON of trouble with issues with each computer and then telling each patient how to use the system. Heck, putting the DVDs on the server will take TONS of time. If I were you I would just upgrade the monitors.


Good luck!
 

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Hey guys, thanks for your input. I know the chances of two or more patients wanting to view the same film is slim but this is also to cut down on dvds suddenly going "missing" if you know what I mean. I know it will take a lot of time to backup the films to hard drive but it will be worth it in the long run. The system will also be convenient to access the web for the patients as well as allow the patients to pull images up on the screen to compare what they have with what they are looking to achieve cosmetically. This is something that I've had many patients ask for. The advantages of having a network like this in our OR's is lengthy beyond the scope of what I've mentioned.


So, I've spoken to Dell and after getting some quotes I think I can do this cheaper and more efficiently but I have another question.


Is media playback going to be more dependent on the workstation's cpu/videocard? I think this is the case and the only thing that the server's cpu would be for would be to divy out the file to multiple workstations in the rare event that the same file is required by more than one workstation. Is this correct? If so, perhaps I should simply get a couple of NAS boxes like the Terastation and divide the files between them on a gigabit network (built in on the Terastations). Thoughts?
 

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There may be an issue with copyright infringement if you allow more than one person to view the same DVD at the same time on different TV monitors.


Ozy
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jotronic /forum/post/0


So, I've spoken to Dell and after getting some quotes I think I can do this cheaper and more efficiently but I have another question.


Is media playback going to be more dependent on the workstation's cpu/videocard? I think this is the case and the only thing that the server's cpu would be for would be to divy out the file to multiple workstations in the rare event that the same file is required by more than one workstation. Is this correct? If so, perhaps I should simply get a couple of NAS boxes like the Terastation and divide the files between them on a gigabit network (built in on the Terastations). Thoughts?

Wow, I honestly thought Dell would be the cheapest route (including tech support).


You did tell them all you needed were standard Pentium 4 2.4Ghz processors right? No hyperthreading, no Pentium-D, no Core2Duo. 512MB of RAM would be enough for each machine, though 1GB is recommended. Also, all you need is WinXP Home Edition. You don't need Media Center Edition. This is especially true if you use the MyHD.


I would recommend WinXP Professional on the server side.


And yes, during playback, CPU usage is on the client-side. All the server does is send the files.


Seriously, besides the server, these PCs shouldn't cost more than $300 a piece. You don't even need it to have a AGP slot. A Dimension 2400 would do fine.
 

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this is very simple, as any new PC nowadays will play DVDs streamed, video capability and have the network connectivity.


the problem is "user friendly-ness".


dell has $299 boxes but the slimline C421s would be excellent since they're smaller/thinner.


if it were me i'd make "backup" copies to DVD-R (instead of a central server) and store the originals which is perfectly legitimate use. i say that because the big obstacle will be selecting the movie, playing it, pausing it and adjusting volume. ideally you'd want a touch-screen interface to start/stop and choose movies


you can use 22" or 24" LCD with component inputs and simply use cable boxes or tunercards (or usb tuners) for tv/cable but again then you need an easy way to change channels, raise/lower volume, etc.


server can be any regular dell dimension (ie. e521 with 5 sata bays) or an external drive array (raid) via usb or esata
 
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