Archive for Hardware

Network Upgrades: CAT7 and IPv6

I received a message from a follower asking me about my current network configuration, both in reference to a post I made a few years ago and the fact he too lives in the St. Louis area and uses Charter.  Funny you should ask….

I currently pay for Charter’s highest tier at 100/5 (the fastest in our area… /praying for Google Fiber to come to the St. Louis area).  I’ve never really achieved the speeds I pay for with my hardware and never felt the need, but as my hardware was nearing 5 years old (it was future-proofed at the time) and my family’s demands on the hardware are more reliant and strenuous, I felt it was time to future-proof once again.

First, my old configuration:

And for my newly purchased upgrades:

The purpose behind this whole project was to future-proof with reasonable expectation of some slight speed increase over the network… nothing spectacular and not terribly expensive.

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Media Players 2012

Every year around the holidays I sit down and look at my media hardware and see if there’s anything I should upgrade and/or replace.  I thought I’d do some public brainstorming this year in case anyone else might be interested.

My Current Setup

  • We cut the cable years ago so we have no cable or satellite.  We will subscribe again if there’s ever an opportunity to pay per channel or pick the channels we subscribe to.  We don’t mind the commercials, it’s all the extra crap.
  • We have a dedicated WHS with 4TB of space, most of which is used to host the videos we stream to the TVs
  • We have two WDTVs which we use mainly to stream video from the server to the TVs, but also for streaming Netflix and TuneIn Internet Radio.
  • Our big screen in the living room has the sole Blu-Ray player in the house, but all the other TVs have a DVD player.  We rarely use media because we’ve ripped all our DVDs with makeMKV onto the server thanks to my 3-year-old breaking half the discs… this includes the Blu-Ray media, although the larger Blu-Ray files do tend to skip over the wireless when streaming so on occasion we do toss in the disc.
  • We have an antenna on the roof for reception of all the local HD channels.  This could improve… although we do get some, I’d like to get several others, but would need a different antenna for that. Read more