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ESXi 3.5 and 4: Can VMs see add-on cards?


thrawnis
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I'm sorry, but I am complete noob when it comes to virtualization. I have a simple Athlon x2 4400, 2gb of RAM, and RAID 0 2x1tb HDs. As far as the virtual machines go, my goal is to setup Windows Home Server with 512mb RAM and Windows 7 RC as a separate VM with 1gb RAM. This is because WHS can not record TV shows while Win7's Media Center can (without using any crazy hacks).

My question is, if I install VMWare ESXi 3.5 or ESXi 4, is there some way to allow the Win7 VM to see a PCI TV tuner card and record TV shows? From what I have read online, it is possible to setup WHS to share a "Recorded TV" folder from a different computer, and this case, I would have WHS look at the Win7 VM for the recorded shows.

Thanks in advance!

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My question is, if I install VMWare ESXi 3.5 or ESXi 4, is there some way to allow the Win7 VM to see a PCI TV tuner card and record TV shows?

As far as i know (i'm a virtualisation n00b too) ESXi won't share your PCI tuner card with the VMs. I've only used VMWare Server 2.x to any extensive degree (ESXi gives me hardware compatibility headaches). I'm confident your idea would work with VMWare Server 2.x *if* you used a USB based tuner instead of PCI.

That's all i can offer. Surely someone else has tried your idea though and will eventually give you an idea from their experience.

Maybe this sort of virtualised home media centre server setup could be covered in one of Matt's virtualisation segments. ?? :D

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There's a HCL somewhere but as a general rule, the answer here would be 'No'. SCSI cards will work and it's common to connect tape drives to VM's but I've never heard of a tuner card working in a VM.

http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibil...Category=server

I'm not even going to look at the list for a video capture card, because I'm pretty sure it's not there. Video functions and vmware aren't going coexist for a long time, it's not in vmware's interest to write drivers for high end video devices.

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