Excellent hardware for streaming!

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Sifter

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I found an excellent hardware setup for streaming. This involves any thin client that runs windows xp embedded. Mine specifically are a Termtek TK-3370 and a Wyse 941GXL. Both are 1ghz processor units, and have no moving parts. But the best part is they are LOW power consumption and are silent. They can be had for around 25-50 dollars depending on demand. You can run any windows xp compatible program from them, but just have to be careful on not filling up the flash memory. Mine came with 512meg, but can be upgraded to 1gig. Ive even heard of people loading regular XP on these.

Some other models are HP T5700.
 

jscott02

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Where did you get those prices? I just did a quick search and they were much higher than that where I was finding them....though the idea is very interesting.
 

nydxa

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Thanks, and some questions

I think you may have just solved a problem that I've been trying to tackle for a long time!
I'm not familiar with a "Thin Client", but it looks like a strem lined PC, where flash memory takes place of HD.

I too am looking to stream some audio.

1. So either of the two would work, or you need to use both?
2. Once it's booted up, you load the audio streaming client and run it as if it's a PC?
3. How about the audio inputs? How are they handled?
4 And like the previous post, can you suggest any places that offer decent prices? EBAY looks about $200

Thanks
 

SShuster221

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I have these machines, www.FIT-PC.com. There smaller then a scanner run on 6watts. Also they have a laptop harddisk in them.. Or you can upgrade to a SSD drive.

Just my two cents.
 

Sifter

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Do a search on ebay for "xpe", this will bring up a ton of thin clients that are running the windows xp embedded system. Ive found that 1ghz - 1.2ghz ones work the best. Also, in most cases, you can upgrade the ram and DOM flash yourself easily. Just like a previous post said, yes, it is a miniature pc and can also be converted to run regular windows xp.
 

jscott02

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Thanks sifter!

I think what I may end up doing is just building a "purpose built" PC. With all the parts I have laying around I think it will be easier/cheaper to do this rather than have an xpe machine for each feed (I'm currently streaming two and thinking about adding at least one more).
 

KC1UA

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I'm finding this approach very interesting. I just missed out on a bid for 6 Wyse XPE thin clients. The lucky winner got all 6 for $127.00. These seem like the perfect low power consumption devices that can be dedicated just to feeds. I wouldn't even have a monitor or keyboard connected to them after the initial config; I would just go in using UltraVNC or the like and control them from there.

I run a dedicated machine that handles most of the feeds I provide. Of course if it fails, all the feeds go bye bye. I'm going to probably buy one of these thin clients and experiment with it. I have two secondary feeds I run for my area. It will be interesting to see if I can get Teamspeak, Edcast, and Icecast running on one of these to provide the feed to multiple sources. If I get one I'll report back. Neat idea.

Edit: I just grabbed one of these off of eBay for $50.00. Should be interesting.
 
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nydxa

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Two questions...

I appreciate all the activity on this subject. What I'm not clear about is how do you connect the analog audio to these thin clients? Is there a slot for an audio card?

Also in case you need to expand, can RAM be added, or possibly an external USB flash drive?
Happy Holidays
 

jscott02

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I appreciate all the activity on this subject. What I'm not clear about is how do you connect the analog audio to these thin clients? Is there a slot for an audio card?
The ones I was looking at had a mic in jack on the back. They appear to have integrated audio.
 

bezking

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In a past life, I managed a network that used exclusively thin clients - about 500 of them. We used them to connect to Citrix ICA servers, and that's it. I will be very interested to see how these experiments turn out - I've never actually used one with an actual onboard application...

To answer NYDXAs question - they aren't expandable - because they were never meant to store anything - just to connect you to a server, that's it.
 
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KC1UA

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I figured it would be worth the gamble for $50. The one I bought seems to have quite a few applications already on board, to include IE, Windows Media Player, VNC, and more. Teamspeak and Edcast are small programs. One thing I'm going to try is to get a USB sound device running on it in addition to its on board audio. I have a version of Teamspeak that will allow for multiple copies to run, and Edcast has no problem running multiple ones. Ideally I will try to run two feeds off of the device if it doesn't push it. It'll be fun to try anyway, and I can probably find something else for it to do if this doesn't work. It would make a dandy conversation piece as a paperweight! :D

Hopefully I won't eat those words. Time will tell.
 

Sifter

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Alot of the units ARE expandable. You can add more memory, as well as change what they boot to in the bios. Alot of them have regular phoenix bioses, just like a regular pc. When I got mine, I pulled the 512meg stick that was in it and stuck a 1gig stick in, booted just fine and showed the addition. Some have regular ata cable connectors on the boards with dom chips inserted in them, others have laptop drive connectors. Almost all of them can be converted.

The lower end ones that are geared towards a built in OS, such as what wyse runs, might have a hard time being upgraded. Thats why you need to stay with ones that were made for windows xp embedded (XPE) or a beefed up unit that is running linux. In most cases, they will all be 1-1.2ghz processors. I personally wouldnt purchase one below that, but your mileage may vary.

Btw, Im streaming with my thin client currently. http://boone.mo.scanamerica.us/index.php The cpu doesnt even peak over 2%. Very pleased.
 
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Sifter

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I run one feed, the police and sheriff, the other one is run by someone else in the town. Its as simple as plugging in the cable from the scanner to the line in jack. Gordon's icecast app launches automatically on reboot.

In order to run two feeds, all you would need to do is get a usb sound card and hang that off of the thin client. The usb sound cards can be found on ebay as well for 5 or 6 bucks.
 

jscott02

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In order to run two feeds, all you would need to do is get a usb sound card and hang that off of the thin client. The usb sound cards can be found on ebay as well for 5 or 6 bucks.

DUH! Why didn't I think of that?! LOL! OK, I think I might think more seriously about this after the Holidays. Thanks again Sifter!
 

KC1UA

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In order to run two feeds, all you would need to do is get a usb sound card and hang that off of the thin client. The usb sound cards can be found on ebay as well for 5 or 6 bucks.
That's my plan exactly. I have a Soundblaster USB device waiting to be used. My only concern was how the drivers were going to install, but I'm sure I can figure it out. I know XP Pro will see the Soundblaster and use native drivers, but that driver doesn't provide anything but a very basic interface. It'll be interesting to try.
 

Sifter

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Some units also come with riser cards and the ability to install a pci card. So this might be an option for you as well. Both of mine have that ability. YMMV.
 

jpryor

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These thin clients with XP Embedded look pretty interesting. Does the XPe have IIS, or can IIS be installed easily? I'd like to be able to run my web server from one of these as well. Also has anybody tried installing and running Windows Media Encoder for live streams?
 
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