It’s taken me a while to figure out what I want, but I think I’ve finally narrowed it down.
Lori and I have laptops and I reckon things are going to stay like that for the forseeable future. This means that we don’t need any expensive (I define expense in terms of initial layout, power consumption and noise) powerhouses as the lappys do all the heavy lifting. What I want is
- VoIP (only one line)
- Media server
The question is how do I get this all, particularly when my audio collection is in Ogg Vorbis, FLAC and mp3? Let me break down the problem slightly.
ADSL – This is easy. I’ve an ADSL modem which dosn’t consume too much power.
VoIP – This is not easy. Can I run a VoIP app on my Media server and simply use a SIP hardware phone such as this one? I simply don’t know and won’t know until after some testing.
Media server – This is definatly not easy as I don’t know how much computing power is required to make a PVR/DVD player/MPEG player combo. Especially when I’d like the option to upgrade it to a High Definition system in the future. I want to get one of the USB Digital Video receivers and hook that up to a box. But I want it to be low power consumption. I’d like to play XviD and Ogg Theora videos, but I can settle for transcoding everything to MPEG2 if that’s all the hardware playback will handle.
Wireless – This is reasonably easy. I’ve a PCI 802.11b/g card or I could buy one of the 9W Linksys products. The cool thing about the linksys is that I could turn it into a DAAP server (iTunes server) and buy one of the things that allows wireless receiving of DAAP to a hi-fi system. Unfortunatly those systems only support AAC and MP3, not FLAC and Vorbis.
For the media server I think I could just store everything in MPEG2 and get a hardware playback card. Thus the box wouldn’t need processing power, but would need I/O bandwidth. Thus it could have a cheap, low power CPU like a VIA Nemiah or even an ARM based core.
I’ve to consider my use cases aswell. I’ll never want to watch TV and listen to music at the same time. I will want to record TV and listen to music. I may also want to watch TV and make a VoIP call at the same time.
Does anyone know how much processing power/RAM I require for VoIP? Likewise for PVR/playback functionality?