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Version Status Date Updated Updated By
710 Relevant info 2nd June 2011 purps
810 Relevant info 2nd June 2011 purps
1004 Unknown N/A N/A
1204 Unknown N/A N/A
1404 Unknown N/A N/A
Usage Information

A hybrid is a PC that performs both the functions of the LinuxMCE Core server as well as the function of a Media Director.

There can only be one Core server in a LinuxMCE home automation/multimedia network. Therefore, a hybrid will take the place of the Core server -- there cannot be another Core or hybrid in the network.

The LinuxMCE system allows for other MediaDirectors, however, in addition to the hybrid. While the secondary Media Directors can netboot, the hybrid always boots from the hard drive (as does a Core).

While a dedicated Core can be hidden in some out of the way location, a hybrid is usually meant to be in your main entertainment area, connected directly to your AV devices in that area. As such, it is closest to a true Home Theater PC, and has almost identical hardware requirements.

Because it serves as the Core, it needs the hardware components of a core PC:

  • A fast processor with lots of RAM.
  • Large hard drive capacity, or an external hard drive, or a NAS storage device in the network or directly attached.
  • A TV video card.
  • A second NIC card for connecting to the rest of the home automation/multimedia network.

Obviously, you will need lots of expansion slots in a hybrid PC.

In addition, since it is sitting in your living room (usually), it must have the characteristics of a Home Theater PC:

  • Stylish case.
  • Low heat emission, if possible.
  • Quiet fans, or better yet, a fanless heat sink.

Also, as the Media Director, it provides all the output to the AV devices and therefore requires:

  • a good video output card (nVidia recommended), preferably with an S video output jack or other appropriate video out jack.
  • a good sound card with the appropriate surround sound output (5.1 or 7.1 jacks)

It requires a DVD drive, of course.

Lastly, it will provide the input for that room, so ports for wireless, infrared, Bluetooth, or USB-UIRT remote controls must be integrated or available on the hybrid PC.

In short, a hybrid Core/Media Director has the requirements of both a Core and a Media Director, so must be a super-duper media computer. The highest end Home Theater PCs are advisable if you choose a to run a hybrid PC in your LinuxMCE system.