Advertisements If you have a star type wired system, I don't see that you would have to isolate the Tivos in some way. Simply because they send fewer packets on the 100Mbit/sec conveyor doesn't mean the conveyer belt is going slower, or that congestion on their belt has any effect on anyone elses belt. And if you are imagining something like a "FedEx sorting room" problem at the switch congestion at the switch, most of that sort of thing doesn't happen because of the smarts in the switch that do things like effectively wire two conveyors together when they are sending traffic (no "collissions- no further management needed). That is a metaphoric representation of why I don't think you will have a problem even though the T3's might pump data out at slower rates. The way you are thinking about the internals of the T3 is mistaken, but your feeling that there will be network constraints there is true. Dan pointed out that because it is 100BaseT then the connection out from the T3 has an actual max aroung 70Mbits. So whatever they do inside the box, they are stuck with that because they didn't do 1000BaseT. So you aren't going to initiate a transfer and Boom- it's there on your local T3. Maybe you can jump ahead quickly to points by precaching, so maybe having the Boom transfer gives you nothing. The problem with the way you are thinking about it is that realtime embedded systems designed for particular tasks are not so centralized as general purpose CPUs. If the CPU can stay out of something, it will. Things are very much going on in parallel. The CPU is not involved with Mpeg2 encoding in an S2 for example. The CPU is pretty much twiddling its thumbs while the encoder shovels bits onto the hard drive. The CPU just steps in to initiate the transfers, configure them, and fire them off. I don't know the particulars, but it is wrong to assume the CPU being the crucial bottleneck. In a properly balanced and most efficient system (both from production cost and from user percieved performance)- the perfect system is where all components are right up very close to being overwhelmed by the task. The complication of this effort is why new custom engineering designs for realtime systems take so long. It is truly and art form that has to be understood to be appreciated. The guys that do such real time systems are amazing.