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8341Re: [nslu2-general] Re: Another alternative to the slug - $70 refurb WDTV Live

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  • Mike Westerhof
    Jan 31 9:44 AM
      Bill wrote:
      > ...
      > So, I can definitely see why one would prefer 1 Gbps networking for video. However, as I said, a good switch can handle this problem for you. It will receive the 100 Mbps traffic from your server and pass it on as 1 Gbps to your media player. It can also queue up packets from multiple sources so they don't collide. So if you are using a high quality switch, packet collisions should only happen when you exceed the actual available bandwidth.
      Bill makes a great point here. I'll expand on that a bit for the
      benefit of those in the larger community that might be looking at
      re-doing their network. If you've invested in high-end electronics, but
      cable them all up to a $45 router, your performance is going to suck.
      Upgrading to gigabit will mask the problem, but it's still the case that
      a cheap switch is going to underperform -- there's a reason that
      companies pay hundreds of dollars for switches. One of the key measures
      is internal bandwidth of the switch, another is latency (one of the
      considerations being how quickly can the switch figure out where to send
      the incoming packet), and a killer for home use is the behavior of the
      switch when presented with different speeds (and duplex settings) on the
      various ports. My network includes a pair of Dell managed gigabit
      switches for the big machines, with a scattering of consumer-grade
      switches where performance is not at a premium -- such a mix keeps costs
      low. And as for my router, it has 4 ports -- but only one is in use
      (cabled to one of the bit gigabit switches), because like most routers
      the switch inside it pretty much sucks. And wifi is barely used in my
      network - the marketing hype around the speeds is all hype and no
      substance, in real life, even a the "n" wifi connections don't work as
      well as even a slow wired connection. Don't believe the hype...

      There are plenty of reviews and performance test results just a quick
      google away - I'd encourage folks to check those before buying. And if
      you've never considered that thing you plug those cables into, perhaps
      you might like to check out its performance and see if you lucked out
      and bought a good one, or if the marketeers pulled one over on you! :-)

      -Mike (mwester)
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