- A *NIXish server running a custom app which provides the end users with a portal that they can order videos.
- A managed 10/100 switch with a Gig-E uplink.
- A server running a *NIX-like OS with a ton of RAID-5 disk space, on which the videos are stored and streamed from. This box has a 10/100 port for management and a Gig-E port through which the videos are streamed.
- Set top boxes which connect to the TV, and which also have an Ethernet port, where the videos are received. The STBs convert the MPEG-2 video streams from IP data to something TV-compatible.
We got everything racked and configured on Wednesday over in Moorestown. Yesterday, I started testing the system against our SMC Ethernet switches. I made good progress but it was slow going. I want to have an STB connected to each port on the SMC, but before I can start a video stream, I need to flash the firmware in the STB. This uses TFTP, gettng the new firmware from the portal server, and takes about 15 minutes per box for it to download and apply the firmware, then reboot. This is taking longer than I'd hoped.
I'd planned to return today to finish the SMC part of my eval, but Judith came down with some kind of respiratory infection so I had to stay home with the kids, who aren't in daycare during the summer. I'll go back Monday.