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Living Room / Re: I found a home theater configuration expert!
« on: September 08, 2011, 08:36 AM »
Er.. I have to respectfully disagree a bit on this but hey I just realized that standards on what actually qualify as HD experience do vary from person to person. Maybe it's just a preference/bias - a recent CNET review reckons that 60 inch is now the new minimum, while I would get distracted by the edges on any display smaller than 55 inch when visiting friends, and my mom is totally happy watching 1080p movies on a tiny 13-inch MBP.

Living Room / Re: I found a home theater configuration expert!
« on: September 04, 2011, 10:45 PM »
A few things will be missing with most PC playback solutions for now:
1. 48-bit deep color (xvYCC) playback... the vividness, accuracy, and saturation cannot be matched by True-Color displays.
2. Intelligent contrast using localized LED dimming... I don't see any LCD monitor does it.
3. Sitting on an office chair and staring at a 24-inch monitor does not give you immersive experience.

I agree with JavaJones on the digital sound part. :)

Living Room / Re: Building a home server. Please help, DC!
« on: September 04, 2011, 07:58 PM »
Steel's suggestion above is some of the absolute best advice I've ever read here.

A few things to consider when going for an ESXi server configuration for purposes beyond file storage, esp. in the multimedia area:

1. Performance tends to be a hit or miss
In addition to the overhead caused by virtualization, Disk IO/RAM/CPU resource allocation/throttling can majorly affect your experience under load.

2. Free version of ESXi hypervisor enforces limitation on hardware utilization

3. Graphic card accelerated computing is not supported (not even on the roadmap iiuc)
Essential for transcoding large 1080p videos (a lot of online benchmark reports suggest that the performance difference is staggering without CUDA/DXVA)

4. The yet unproven capability/performance of USB 3.0 pass-through (to guest VM) in ESXi vSphere 5.0
I don't assume that you'll have a Blu-ray built-in on the server. To work around this, an external USB 3.0 Blu-ray reader/burner attaching to a USB port on the server is likely needed. For guest VM to access this device, you have to create a mapping that pass-through this device to the guest VM. USB 3.0 support is only just recently introduced in vSphere 5.0 and I haven't got time to test it out.

P.S. Blu-ray and USB 2.0 do not go together, at 2x speed you may wait half a day to just burn a single disc, and any other intensive IO operation during the burning process may cause it to fail.

It's no go. See:
"it is limited to USB devices that are connected to the machine on which you are using the vSphere client or web client. So, you still cannot connect a USB in the ESXi server and pass it through."

Creating/deleting VMs in a lab does not give you much indication of limitations mentioned above until you run into problems in real world production environment. ;)

Living Room / Re: Building a home server. Please help, DC!
« on: September 04, 2011, 05:37 PM »
100Mbps is unusable
-lotusrootstarch (September 04, 2011, 09:11 AM)

Except in the USA where most connections to your ISP don't even get to use all of that.

Ain't leaving something as important as your Internet connection completely at the mercy of private corporate interests a grand thing? The competition was supposed to make things better. Instead it resulted in higher prices and less bandwidth than what's found in many other industrialized nations. And lets not even talk about the joke the US cellphone system has rapidly become.

I was talking about using 100Mbps link for LAN sharing. :D

Living Room / Re: Building a home server. Please help, DC!
« on: September 04, 2011, 09:11 AM »
My observation is that media traffic can easily be "crowded out" by traffic such as file transfer, network backups etc. And due to whole bunch of factors (everyone's got his/her own opinion on this), I see the actual maximum aggregated speed over a 1Gbps link seldom goes above 40MB/s for a single session (such as one SMB file sharing session), and tend to drop below 20MB/s when you have multiple sessions (such as file transfer, heavy Internet downloading, streaming) going on concurrently.

Don't forget 1Gbps is just a theoretical max, and a bunch of factors slow it down to a disappointing real world speed -- host CPU power, switching/routing infrastructure, host NIC card quality, cable quality/length/distance along the path, disk IO speed, TCP congestion avoidance mechanism, etc.

100Mbps is unusable but don't put too much trust in 1Gps either, it ain't that good.

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