<snip>Oh no they dont if they do they have been complied specially for that architecture. An x86 only linux program will not work on an Arm linux OS<snip>
Correct. And thus, most things have been ported to various architectures, ARM being one of these
Successfully stuffing a fullblown Debian Etch into eg. a Linksys NSLU2 is no problem, including native access to ARM-specific repositories, providing nearly all the apps present in e.g. the X86-repos. If memory serves me right, there were in excess of 20.000 packages available...
I know. Been there, done that. For more info, see e.g. http://www.cyrius.com/debian/nslu2/
I finally gave up on my trusty NSLU2, replacing it with a DS209 simply because the NSLU2 didn't have the oomph to properly run SqueezeCenter. There are limits to what you can do with 266MHz and 32MB of ram
But running e.g. a ssh-session, mysql, top, various daemons, squeezecenter, mc, sambaserver (catering several clients) and a few other odds and ends - simultaneously - is doable.
Same thing applies to another experiment, applied to an old Sun Ultra5 workstation: Fullblown Debian install, now including X, KDE and all the bells and whistles. The Ultra5 boasts a 266 MHz sparc CPU, meaning all apps are now found in a sparc-specific repo. Again, more than 20.000 packages available.
What i'm trying to say is that i don't buy your argument regarding the lack of available software. It's there.
<snip>An old Dell PC that could be anything, CPU architectures are difficult to compare...<snip>
<snip>I'm not sure if its a language issue but you dont seem to understand that the video stream has to be decoded at the client end with an MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 AVC complaint decoder (hardware or software), without that there would be no way to record the stream.<snip>
Your argument seems to be that the DS won't be able to decode, store or even broadcast the stream.
As stated earlier, DVB-T gets delivered to you in the shape of an MPEG2/4 formatted stream. I'll argue that it does not need any decoding at all. No heavy lifting. Showing it onscreen is what requires cpu horsepower. I'll back this argument up by providing you with measurements, taken from a EeePC 701SD, running Debian Squeeze, KDE4 and all the eyecandy i've been able to throw at it - including wobbly windows, rotating desktop cubes and whathavewehere. And of course Kaffeine and DVB-T reception. The thing boasts a 7" screen and a whopping 630MHz Celeron ULV CPU.
Measurements made with top, running beside Kaffeine in a shellwindow.
- Kaffeine idle: ~0% CPU load.
- Kaffeine recording one DVB-T/MPEG2 channel: ~3% CPU load.
- Kaffeine streaming four MPEG2 channels to LAN simultaneously: ~9% CPU load.
- Kaffeine showing one MPEG2 channel onscreen (window): ~33% CPU load.
- Kaffeine showing AND recording one MPEG2 channel onscreen (window): ~36% CPU load.
So, does grabbing and handling MPEG2 streams from a cheap USB-DVB-T stick bog down my 600 MHz Celeron? Nope. Recording one channel requires a mere 3% of available ressources. If we skip the disk handling and simply dump the data to LAN as UDP/RTP-data (multicast), four channels can be broadcast simultaneously using only 9% CPU.
Just as you said, it's showing
the MPEG2-stream that is expensive. Thus it's not a language-issue, but rather one of client/server task distribution understanding...
See the list above and observe that when i turn on the video, my CPU gets busy! But having no display, the DS cannot
show anything! That's for your client-side htpc (stream->video converter) to do, right? And reading reviews of various EEEbox- or netbook-type pc's reveals that they all do reasonable video decoding. Latest EEEboxes even have HDMI for big-screen use
What the DS must do is provide streaming data. And as seen above, that's a piece of cake! No heavy lifting.
I know, the DS does not have a X86 processor, but an ARM-variant. Clocked at 1.2 GHz, it should have enough oomph to run most things. Actually the Synology folks allow audio-transcoding in realtime today (DS2.2 onwards). Indicates reasonable amounts of grunt in store, right?
I think the biggest problem with making a 'TV Station' will be related to the required add-on-hardware. There are many different USB-DVBT-receivers available out there, and making them all work flawlessly wuold be impossible. But since Synology already provides a compatibility list for hard drives and cameras, why not implement another list with 'approved DVBT-receivers'?
And for the country-specific adaptation of channel-setup, i'll refer you to the fact that DVB-T is an international standard, meaning there's a fixed set of possibilities to choose from. It's no jungle. And Kaffeine comes preconfigured with a huge set of country-specific channel-setups.
I know, because recently we've had the entire danish TV-network updated/upgraded to DVB-T technology. Authorities moved everything around, meaning a new channel setup configuration had to be written. I took a peek at the Kaffeine conf-files and in an hour had a working set, replacing the DK-conf-files. No rocket-science. Kaffeine-developers even provide user-driven update-service to the conf-files.
So, what's stopping us?
You only live once - but if you do it right, once is enough.