Wednesday, January 28, 2009

HDHomerun Update

I found from the HDHomerun forums that I should update the firmware. I downloaded the latest and updated, and now I'm seeing about 14 Mbps, which is perfect. If I decide on another HDHR, I'm figuring about 56-80 Mbps of bandwidth. Since our house was wired back in 1999 with Cat-5 (not 5e), 100 Mbps is as fast as the network can run. Also, each SageTV HD extender can use up to 20 Mbps so in worst case, the network will be overloaded - for 1 NIC. Furthermore, where I want the PC located there is no cable jack so I can't create a local GigE network with the HDHRs and the PC. I do, however, have a Cat-5 run from the HDHR location to the PC location, so I can create a small 100 Mbps network with 1 NIC and the HDHRs. I can then add a 2nd NIC connected to the main LAN to handle regular network access and streaming to the HD extenders. One thing is the HDHR is a DHCP only device, but will default to a 169.254.x.x address if no IP address is handed out to it. I just need to set the HDHR connected NIC to 169.254.y.y with a subnet mask of and the PC should see the HDHRs.

Edit: Turns out, the reduced bandwidth I was seeing was due to using VLC to view the streams. Using Sage, the bandwidth was still 30 Mbps. I have since installed the SageTV 6.5.8 release candidate and the bandwidth is now down in the 10 Mbps range.

Looking into SageTV

I've taken a break from automation stuff and I'm looking at media now. I've downloaded a trial of SageTV and I got an HDHomerun. I have things set up on an old Sempron 2800+ machine, which is adequate for recording and serving video (not at all for watching live HD though). The dual tuners on the HDHomerun use up 80 Mbps when bother are tuned to HD channels. This is clearly not usable unless I upgrade some parts of my network from 100 Mbps to gigabit. I have a few other issues to work out as well, but the Sage software and the HDHomerun seem to work well.

Monday, January 26, 2009

HAL is a Piece of Crap

I just did a long needed Windows update of my HA server and the only app on my machine that craps out? HAL Deluxe. After someone calls and leaves a message, the HAL System Server fatals. I restored my old db files. I re-installed HAL. I did a clean re-install of HAL. No luck. I had a similar problem with 2.066 (I'm using 3.7.3 now). I'm just about ready to go back to an answering machine...again.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Finished up HAL Client-Server App

It's been a while since I wrote my app to link multiple HAL installations. I finally finished it up last night. I've linked the MacroPhrases from the master to the client so all voice commands are accessible from the client. It only does this at startup, so it will not update if the server phrases get updated.