Changes to the home network

Just about to make a number of changes to my ageing network.

First up, its time to upgrade my XBMC box in the living room, to something more modern and smaller. Right now I’m using a Lenovo Thinkcentre  A55 mini desktop machine to something smaller and can handle full HD without struggle (specially now I got my new full HD TV). A friend has suggested the Feteko MyGica EnjoyTV 510B, but what puts me off is the 10/100 networking and it runs Android.

My home network backbone is gigabit and most devices are gigabit including the Thinkcentre but after doing some recent reading and tests, I have concluded that the speed of reading data off the hard discs is slower than pushing it around the network. I was using NFS mounts for a while which seemed more efficient but I’ve switched back to Samba after not really understanding how NFS mounts work correctly and installing Plex Home server. Seems my Samba setup isn’t caching as much as I would have liked. This all in all means 10/100 device should be ok to receive media from around the network.

Android? My biggest issue with Android as the background operating system is I’m not certain its as flexible as Ubuntu and XBMC is still in beta on Android. Because this is my main XBMC box, it needs to be super reliable and play everything. I do want to get the live TV functionality in the Frodo release of XBMC working too.

On top of all that… I’m also looking to firmware of the Edimax BR-6574N router I have to the classic DD WRT firmware, mainly because I want to sort out a VPN into my home network.

Yes quite a few changes… luckily I got to use up my holidays before April

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.