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Author Topic: IntelliStar 2 specifications?  (Read 14496 times)

Offline IntelliStar

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IntelliStar 2 specifications?
« on: November 07, 2010, 08:03:00 PM »
I have three questions about the IntelliStar 2.  My first question is: what type of hardware does the IS2 use?  I would think it would be an x86-based (or maybe x64-based) Intel processor machine, although I could be wrong.  I wouldn't be surprised though, considering how TWC moved from the higher-cost SGI/MIPS-based WeatherStar XL to the lower-cost Intel/x86-based IntelliStar.

My second question is: What company developed the IntelliStar 2?  The Jr was designed by Wegener Communications (who also was partly responsible for the III, along with Compuvid), the 4000 was developed by Amirix, the XL by SGI, and the IntelliStar by Wind River (now a subsidiary of Intel).  Does anyone know who developed the IntelliStar 2?

My final question is: what operating system does the IntelliStar 2 run?  I know the XL runs IRIX and the IntelliStar runs FreeBSD.

I hope someone could answer these questions

Offline Charismatic Applesauce

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Re: IntelliStar 2 specifications?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2010, 12:36:47 PM »
The IS2 was probably by the same company as the IS, since the IS2 has mostly the same logo as the IS, but with a 2 at the end.
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Offline TWCToday

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Re: IntelliStar 2 specifications?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2010, 02:57:26 PM »
The IS2 was probably by the same company as the IS,
Nope not at all.

Offline Mike M

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Re: IntelliStar 2 specifications?
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2010, 04:03:40 PM »
The IS2 was probably by the same company as the IS, since the IS2 has mostly the same logo as the IS, but with a 2 at the end.
Logo has nothing to do with the company that designed it.

Offline Austin M.

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Re: IntelliStar 2 specifications?
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2011, 10:16:29 PM »
Still, at this time (nearly a year later), there is no knowledge on who developed the system, or the tech information?

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Re: IntelliStar 2 specifications?
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2011, 03:03:07 PM »
The original intellistar was a joint effort.  The specialized PCI boards were designed by WindRiver and they also wrote the firmware for those boards.  The FreeBSD device driver was also developed by wind river.

The rest of it was done internally.  The actual off the shelf hardware components plus O/S (FreeBSD 4.x) was chosen by the engineering group.  As a result, TWC hired John H Baldwin (jhb@freebsd.org) to ensure FreeBSD could be used and to be able to make any kernel mods necessary.  Over time, bugs in the kernel were found (including a very old scheduler bug) and quashed by jhb.  John was the MP tech lead of FreeBSD at the time.  (FreeBSD was chosen due to issues with the Linux VM at the time, and also because RedHat was mandated if Linux were to be used.  Back in that time, gcc 2.96 was released by redhat and was a train wreck.  Multithreaded programs didn't work initially with that compiler, for instance).

The rendering engine and all the other high level software was written internally.

For the I2HD things went differently.  It started out the same -- outsource the hardware, insource everything else.  The problem was that the new world of HD was much more complex and it proved to be too difficult for the outsource partner.  The I2 project was in big trouble as the partner had effectively failed.  Out of the ashes of that effort, TWC decided to create a hardware engineering department and in-source the hardware engineering of the boards.  The staff has very talented hardware designers and was augmented by equally talented firmware designers (who still work there today).  It was managed totally in house.  There ended up being 2 boards and a daughter card to make the I2HD work.  The two main boards are PCIe boards and are very complicated.  There are several instances of embedded linux running across the boards. 

Again, the software was developed in-house.  The new renderer was purchased from a 3rd party and integrated into the system (VizRT).  The device driver was also done in house.  The high level software is written in C#/F# running on Windows Embedded Standard (due to business requirements not present for I1).

The entire I2HD project was done with in-house engineering talent in the end after a failed 1st start.

As a side note, the "I2 alpha" that people refer to @ cablevision NY is not a Star at all.  Just a random morsel of inside information to boggle your minds.


phw115wvwx

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Re: IntelliStar 2 specifications?
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2011, 03:24:47 PM »
May I ask who are you, and how do you know this information if it's true?

Anon

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Re: IntelliStar 2 specifications?
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2011, 03:53:18 PM »
Cannot tell you who I am except that I was part of both projects and still am at TWC.  We also posted pics a while back of the I2HD hardware in the racks of our test lab to whet your appetite.  I just thought I would answer the question given there isn't much out there on I2HD currently and you all were curious.  That means you have to make your own decision as to whether this information is accurate or not.  I've answered your question (mostly.. tho I didn't go over the internals like cpu/memory) and that is enough for me.  Eric S can probably confirm some of these details if you have that kind of relationship with him.

We're obviously proud of what we've accomplished - it was very hard work. 


phw115wvwx

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Re: IntelliStar 2 specifications?
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2011, 03:55:47 PM »
Okay, thanks. :happy:  I'll let the posts stand for the others to read and take it how they want.

Offline Localonthe8s

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Re: IntelliStar 2 specifications?
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2011, 04:20:41 PM »
Who's Eric S?

Offline Tyler

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Re: IntelliStar 2 specifications?
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2011, 05:04:18 PM »
We certainly appreciate you stopping by and sharing some details! :)

Offline twcfan68

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Re: IntelliStar 2 specifications?
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2011, 06:44:52 PM »
Wow, thanks for your insight and expertise. I certainly believe that info to be accurate.

The IS2 looks great. You and the rest of your team certainly went way past my expectations for an HD LF. It looks wonderful.

Offline Mike M

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Re: IntelliStar 2 specifications?
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2011, 02:19:26 AM »
Who's Eric S?
One of the product developers I'm assuming..

Offline Austin M.

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Re: IntelliStar 2 specifications?
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2011, 08:27:12 PM »
As a side note, the "I2 alpha" that people refer to @ cablevision NY is not a Star at all.  Just a random morsel of inside information to boggle your minds.

I figured that it was not a STAR considering it had nothing, not even the infamous "dot" on the ID screen.

But... if it isn't a STAR... what could it be?

Offline beanboy89

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Re: IntelliStar 2 specifications?
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2011, 11:14:16 PM »
As a side note, the "I2 alpha" that people refer to @ cablevision NY is not a Star at all.  Just a random morsel of inside information to boggle your minds.

I figured that it was not a STAR considering it had nothing, not even the infamous "dot" on the ID screen.

But... if it isn't a STAR... what could it be?
Not sure where I heard this; it could be speculation, but I believe I've heard that the NYC Cablevision Alpha "STAR" is a direct localized TWC feed coming from TWC HQ in Atlanta.
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