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 Post subject: What type of adapter do I need to connect directly to a PC?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:46 pm 
8086
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I have a Western Digital TV Live media player. My router resides upstairs with my desktop PC and my HDTV lives downstairs. My house isn't wired so I bought Netgear HomePlugs to connect the media player to the network. Unfortunately, I can't find the right combination of outlets that gives me enough bandwidth to play HD media w/out it choking.

I just built a Windows Home Server and I can/will hide it in the entertainment center and connect it to the network using the HomePlugs. The WHS is intended for backups and storing shared files (such as HD movies).

So the question would be, what kind of adapter do I add to the WHS PC so that the WD Live connects to the network via the WHS? My thinking is that if the WD Live is communicating directly with the WHS over wired Ethernet then the HomePlugs will be bypassed. But I'll be damned if I can figure out how to make that happen!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:15 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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Adapter for what? The homeplug?

I'm not familiar enough with Homeplug, but from what I understand of it (which is it's just acting as a bridge for your ethernet), you only have one solution, which is to have the HomePlug feed a switch. which in turn feeds both the WD Box and your WHS box.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:52 pm 
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I want to avoid the HomePlug altogether so I'm hoping there's a way to connect the Ethernet port of the media player to the PC/WHS and access it directly, bypassing the latency issues of the HomePlug.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:08 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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Either a switch or a cross-over cable then. I'd probably get a switch, just because at some point, you'll probably want some sort of internet connection feeding it.

As a different approach, If you have Wireless N available, I might suggest getting a wireless gaming adapter to use for your connection instead of the homeplug.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:45 am 
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Thanks for the help, furball. My network vocabulary has always been lacking and it usually takes me a few tries to articulate what I really need.

I don't have Wireless N, just G. I was trying to save money by purchasing the Powerline plugs instead but so far that hasn't worked out.

Let me see if I can describe the network again to make sure the switch or crossover cable is really what I need:

Cable modem connects to Linksys WRT110.
Primary desktop and WHS connect to WRT110 through cat5.
Laptop connects to WRT110 wirelessly.

So far so good!

Now I'm adding the WD Live to the mix. cat5 currently isn't an option, nor is a wireless connection. I added Powerline plugs to extend the network downstairs and get as close to wired speeds as possible. This should be sufficient to stream HD content but unfortunately housing wiring is so variable that you never know how it will perform until it's all bought and paid for. I'm unable to get enough bandwidth from the Powerline adapters to stream the HD content.

My idea is to physically locate the WHS by the WD Live. All HD content would be stored on the WHS and the WHS would connect to the network through the Powerlines. Speed isn't an issue as long as there is a connection; I don't care how long it takes for the HD content to move from my desktop to the WHS as long as it gets there!

Now the burning question: Will connecting the WD Live to the WHS by a crossover cable (or switch) use the Powerline adapters at all or is it strictly a communication link between the two Ethernet adapters in each device? In other words, will the WD Live be able to stream from the HD on the WHS through the crossover or will it have to use the network connection of the WHS through the Powerlines? If it's the latter then I'm screwed. The WD Live has no internal storage so it is dependent on USB or Ethernet to get its content.

Speaking of USB, I do have the option of attaching a USB-connected hard drive to the WD Live. Once connected to the WD Live and the Live is connected to the network then the drive becomes accessible through the network. I could then move content to the USB drive over the network (even if it's slow) and then perform playback directly through the USB connection.

I'd prefer not to have a HD tied permanently to the Live. That's just one more point of failure. Sneakernet is also an option with the drive but I'm really hoping to make this as family-friendly as possible!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:07 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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badun wrote:
Now the burning question: Will connecting the WD Live to the WHS by a crossover cable (or switch) use the Powerline adapters at all or is it strictly a communication link between the two Ethernet adapters in each device?


So, if the WHS machine has one ethernet port and the WD device has one ethernet port, both of which will be used, with either the cross-over or cat5 feeding a switch, where is the homegroup come into play and where is that going to plug into? It's not going to come into play. You will though just need to configure an IP and Subnet mask on each machine (say 192.168.0.2 and 0.3 with both SMs being 255.255.255.0)

Now if you wanted some sort of internet connection to that WHS machine, you would connect the homegroup to the switch, however, you would want to manually configure your network settings on the WD device, so it doesn't use any gateway to talk through it and then let whatever DHCP service assign the WHS box an address.

I assume the WD device can stream from a shared folder, be it WHS, Win 7, or whatever OS you're using.

badun wrote:
Speaking of USB, I do have the option of attaching a USB-connected hard drive to the WD Live. Once connected to the WD Live and the Live is connected to the network then the drive becomes accessible through the network. I could then move content to the USB drive over the network (even if it's slow) and then perform playback directly through the USB connection.


It'll just add space or it'll just use the USB drive. I'm not sure which.

and I don't know where you're getting a network from...unless you're talking between the WHS and WD box. You already said, you don't want to use the homegroup, and wireless and wired isn't an opton.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:12 pm 
8086
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Again, thanks for all the information and especially for taking the time to help my dumb @ss. I don't know why but I've always struggled with networking.

Anyway, the clear path is to save money and upgrade to wireless N. In the meantime I'll use attached USB storage. Now that I have the WHS for backups I can take the big external HD that I previously used for backups and use it solely for HD content.

Many thanks!


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